Your Opinion: Do you really need a 9-speed cassette?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Your Opinion: Do you really need a 9-speed cassette?

    Hey, hey...

    Maybe it's me, but I think I'd be much happier with a 5 or 6 speed cassette on my Stinky (it has a 2x9 setup). The 9 speed seems like overkill for the type of riding I do on it. I can see if you are running one chainring up front you'd want a 9 speed, but with 2 chainrings? I'd think less dish on the wheel would be worth it for the additional wheel strength.

    Obviously for roadies or XC/CX riders that are looking for that perfect cadence, the more gears the better, but for FR or even most aggressive trail riders? Again it seems like overkill.

    Think SRAM or Shimano will ever get the picture that for some types of riding, more gears doesn't exactly mean better?

  2. #2
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    sometimes it is nice to have that granny gear....and always the big gear for fast riding (resort). Maybe larger spaces in-between gears
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  3. #3
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    i want a 3 gear hub. i only ever use 3 anyway.......


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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker.
    i want a 3 gear hub. i only ever use 3 anyway.......
    Exactly. How many gears do you really use (or need)?

    It would be nice to have some more freedom to set up a custom (manufactured) drivetrain. DIY setups would work, but it is still on a wide hub!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker.
    i want a 3 gear hub. i only ever use 3 anyway.......
    3 gears would be not enough......there are 3 gears that have a slighty different feel when riding depending where you are at. then you need a big and then a small gear..
    I say 5
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  6. #6
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    im quite content with my 9 speed, just wish i could axcess them all without rubbing on my chainguide

  7. #7
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    if you are only using 5 of the rear cogs, then you dont need 2 chainrings, you'd be better off running 1x9.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslingger
    no doubt you must have majored in english or something rad!!!

  8. #8
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    What is the point... saving weight or what...?

    38 X 11-34 ... that's it..and I use them all..

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    3 gears would be not enough............
    i use my 4th gear when riding around, 2nd when climbing and 7th when going downhill.........

    once i had a broken shifter for like a year and a half and those were the only gears i could get, i have since adapted. i really dislike the slightly different feel between close gears...


  10. #10
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    so, while we're on the subject, has anybody noticed a decrease in durability going from an 8 speed cassette to 9?

    I'm still running 8 speed, and see no reason to updgrade until I get a new bike, but I'm curious about this, I've heard some complaints about 9 speed cassettes, (ie, 'dude, they fold in half') but not from realiable sources. So - any complaints?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by grundy
    so, while we're on the subject, has anybody noticed a decrease in durability going from an 8 speed cassette to 9?

    I'm still running 8 speed, and see no reason to updgrade until I get a new bike, but I'm curious about this, I've heard some complaints about 9 speed cassettes, (ie, 'dude, they fold in half') but not from realiable sources. So - any complaints?

    No complaints so fare...

  12. #12
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    i have a 9 spd on my dh bike and an 8spd on my play bike (both that way for 4+ years on the same cassettes) and have noticed no benefits/weaknesses between either....


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by grundy
    I'm still running 8 speed, and see no reason to updgrade until I get a new bike, but I'm curious about this, I've heard some complaints about 9 speed cassettes, (ie, 'dude, they fold in half') but not from realiable sources. So - any complaints?
    lol, surely not reliable (in fact, that person is a downright moron). The difference in widths between the 8s and 9s cogs is 0.02mm (1.8 vs 1.78). The way they get more gears in is by spacing them closer together. In that respect they are more finicky with poor adjustment, dirty cables or tweeked derailers.

    the casettes are fine, its the deraillers that are more picky.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslingger
    no doubt you must have majored in english or something rad!!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by zedro
    lol, surely not reliable (in fact, that person is a downright moron). The difference in widths between the 8s and 9s cogs is 0.02mm (1.8 vs 1.78). The way they get more gears in is by spacing them closer together. In that respect they are more finicky with poor adjustment, dirty cables or tweeked derailers.

    the casettes are fine, its the deraillers that are more picky.
    well, that's good to know. Maybe one of these days I'll get a new bike and join the 9 speed world... still rockin' the '97 Klein over here...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIA
    What is the point... saving weight or what...?

    38 X 11-34 ... that's it..and I use them all..
    36 X 11-32 here. FR HT, and it's perfect, makes me stand up for those climbs...

  16. #16
    Uhhhhh...
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    I run a 38 x 12-26 and i'm fine with it.

    -TS
    Fayetteville, AR and N.W.A RePrEsEnT

  17. #17
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    I need a drive system that has no cassette and no rear derailleur. The standard drivetrain simply does not hold up to heavy-duty freeride/downhill. The closest thing that exists now is the Rohloff hub, but it has some shortcomings: price, weight far from the bike's center, gripshifting, and a wider-than-necessary gear range. The new Honda and Hayes gearboxes look promising.

  18. #18
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    An internally geared 7spd hub with disc mounts is where it's at...it's also where it isn't because it would make derailers, cassettes, and current hubs obsolete, and from a business perspective that may not make sense.
    I know in my heart that Ellsworth bikes are more durable by as much as double. AND they are all lighter...Tony Ellsworth

  19. #19
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    I run a 9 just to have the awesome range. When I freeride though, it's always in 2 and 5. That just seems perfect to get up to speed for the drop, or jump or whatever. Downhill though I actually really want the range. I can jump around from like 5 to 9 back down to 7 or something. Its just nice.
    Northstar 2008 Riding Crew

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by watermoccasin
    The new Honda and Hayes gearboxes look promising.
    I agree.

    It'll be interesting if frame builders agree too (and start using them in their designs).

  21. #21
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    Well...

    .... do you really need air conditioning? Do you really need a street car that goes 200 mph? Do you really need indoor plumbing? Do you really need full suspension with no-bob? Do you really need 31 flavors? There's alot of things people don't NEED, but that people WANT. There seem to be very few drawbacks (aside from downhillers.) for 9 speeds. The simple fact is that most people who ride ride XC because not everyone has access to mountains and chairlifts. That's what the majority of people want, so that's what they sell. If they never changed the number of gears, they couldn't push you new stuff to buy.

    Technology makes almost everything better, so 9 is better than 8 which is better than 7, etc, etc. It's nice to have more choices.

    Shimano has started to follow bike manufactuers into the DH/FR market with the Saint components, maybe they'll start coming down with the gears to give buyers what they want. If you wanted to, you could always but some old 7-Speed stuff off Ebay and make it a 7 speeder. Or probably 6 if you tried hard. Hell, maybe 5.

    Dan
    I'm as bad as the Worst. But, thank God, I'm also as good as the Best.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike-o-saurus
    If they never changed the number of gears, they couldn't push you new stuff to buy.
    Right. I just don't want to be their b1tch anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bike-o-saurus
    Shimano has started to follow bike manufactuers into the DH/FR market with the Saint components, maybe they'll start coming down with the gears to give buyers what they want.
    Personally I'd like a 5 speed cassette, with a nice narrow freehub, and a brand new 5 speed triggershifter. Doubt it'll ever happen though.

  23. #23
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    But I like being sloppy.

    Quote Originally Posted by zedro
    lol, surely not reliable (in fact, that person is a downright moron). The difference in widths between the 8s and 9s cogs is 0.02mm (1.8 vs 1.78). The way they get more gears in is by spacing them closer together. In that respect they are more finicky with poor adjustment, dirty cables or tweeked derailers.

    the casettes are fine, its the deraillers that are more picky.
    Zedro, who want's to work on their bike all the time...cleaning the drivetrain, adjusting the cables, putting the the DAG on the der. hangar, etc., etc. I just want to ride, so I use 8 speed...LOL! Talk about finicky, some of this 10 speed road bike stuff at the shop is fun to work on.

  24. #24
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    Sometimes...

    I only use the top 3 gears on my urban bike for trials and stuff like that. but the 11-32 8spd cassette comes in handy when you have to leave quickly because the man rolls up.
    I wish my grass was emo so it would cut itself...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcrap



    Personally I'd like a 5 speed cassette, with a nice narrow freehub, and a brand new 5 speed triggershifter. Doubt it'll ever happen though.
    the CK SS hub has a narrow freehub. Not sure how many cogs you could get in there, maybe 5 9s cogs.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslingger
    no doubt you must have majored in english or something rad!!!

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    sometimes it is nice to have that granny gear....and always the big gear for fast riding (resort). Maybe larger spaces in-between gears
    your chain wont grab if the sizes vary too much

  27. #27
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    Chain breakage

    Quote Originally Posted by pcrap
    Hey, hey...

    Maybe it's me, but I think I'd be much happier with a 5 or 6 speed cassette on my Stinky (it has a 2x9 setup). The 9 speed seems like overkill for the type of riding I do on it. I can see if you are running one chainring up front you'd want a 9 speed, but with 2 chainrings? I'd think less dish on the wheel would be worth it for the additional wheel strength.

    Obviously for roadies or XC/CX riders that are looking for that perfect cadence, the more gears the better, but for FR or even most aggressive trail riders? Again it seems like overkill.

    Think SRAM or Shimano will ever get the picture that for some types of riding, more gears doesn't exactly mean better?
    No concrete research but it seems like I break a lot more 9 speeds chains. Hell! I never broke an 8 speed chain. ???? Nine speed has nice range, but the system is more finicky (constant tuning, and retuning) and I like the set and forget of the 8 speed system.
    Just my opinion.
    ...and I used my strength to rip my blouse...

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Con-fecal
    No concrete research but it seems like I break a lot more 9 speeds chains. Hell! I never broke an 8 speed chain. ???? Nine speed has nice range, but the system is more finicky (constant tuning, and retuning) and I like the set and forget of the 8 speed system.
    Just my opinion.
    People weren't really riding as hard when 8spd chains were mainstream. I find plenty of way over-stretched 8spd chains on peoples bike as a bike mechanic...heck, it'd be better to have a chain break before it stretched, as it's a lot cheaper to replace a $25 chain instead of $100+ of drivetrain components.
    I know in my heart that Ellsworth bikes are more durable by as much as double. AND they are all lighter...Tony Ellsworth

  29. #29
    I lean like a cholo!
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    True

    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    People weren't really riding as hard when 8spd chains were mainstream. I find plenty of way over-stretched 8spd chains on peoples bike as a bike mechanic...heck, it'd be better to have a chain break before it stretched, as it's a lot cheaper to replace a $25 chain instead of $100+ of drivetrain components.
    True, I wasn't riding quite as hard with eight speed. But I must disagree about chain breakage being better than chain wear. Typical broken chain (for me) in sequence; 1st chain breaks $25, 2nd torque causes derailler to wrap into spokes $75, 3rd derailler hanger bites the dust $20, 4th numerous spokes bend, snap and mangle $????. So you see why I replace my chain every three months.
    ...and I used my strength to rip my blouse...

  30. #30
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    structurally 8 and 9 speed chains are just as strong
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslingger
    no doubt you must have majored in english or something rad!!!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by zedro
    structurally 8 and 9 speed chains are just as strong
    Well, you could argue 9spd is stronger due to narrower pins, which means less leverage is possible on them.
    I know in my heart that Ellsworth bikes are more durable by as much as double. AND they are all lighter...Tony Ellsworth

  32. #32
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    Soft 9 speed rings?

    I have not noticed any more problems with SARAM 9 speed chains, but I sure seem to be wasting the middle ring on my shimano 9 speed cranksets more quickly than the old 8speed
    system.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    Well, you could argue 9spd is stronger due to narrower pins, which means less leverage is possible on them.
    i hate arguing over 0.02mm's...
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslingger
    no doubt you must have majored in english or something rad!!!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by zedro
    i hate arguing over 0.02mm's...
    Yes, but some of my customers want to. I usually just agree with them because they aren't going to change their mind no matter what I tell them.
    I know in my heart that Ellsworth bikes are more durable by as much as double. AND they are all lighter...Tony Ellsworth

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    Yes, but some of my customers want to. I usually just agree with them because they aren't going to change their mind no matter what I tell them.
    heh, thats like those silly questions/arguments over the strength of different sized frames (its a 300$ commuter bike, get one that fits stupid) or flat vs riser bars (no, the bends won't sag over time, please leave before i hit you).
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslingger
    no doubt you must have majored in english or something rad!!!

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker.
    i really dislike the slightly different feel between close gears...
    me too
    SRAM needs to come out with simple durable 6 speed about 13, 17, 21, 25, 29, 34

    My old trusty K2 from Sportmart has a 7 speed that has had ZERO problems or any adjusting at all in over 3 years and is still don't use all 21 different gear combonations, 18 would be plenty
    Kona Coiler

  37. #37
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    Wouldn't having a big gap between gears = harder to shift? That is unless a whole different shifter and derailluer were made for them, and I doubt too many people would buy them (atleast at first).

  38. #38
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    If you really want to reduce the number of rear cogs, many of the new single speed cassettes can be built up with 3-4 gears from a disassembled cluster.

    You could also get a Profile Racing 6-speed cassette and used more of a dissembled cluster.
    HB - The God Damn Flying Dutchman
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  39. #39
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    on my fully i run a 9 and my HT i run an 8. on my DJ bike i could almost go SS because i barely ever change gears unless im on my way somewhere and need to go up hill...on my DH bike i use about 3 out of 9. granny for pedalling up and other two at the bottom for bombing down. maybe somewhere in the middle too for skinnys and other shore stuff but i definetly don't use all 9.

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