Sorry if this seems pretty dumb but I'm fairly new to all this, so please bear with me.
I have a full suspension 24 speed mountain bike at present and am switching to a hardtail. I would like to be able, if possible, to keep the Shimano XT gear shifters that I have (as I just bought them, along with my breaks) on my current bike and switch these over to my new bike with a new groupset. I can find 8 speed cassettes no problem but can't find any mention of 8 speed compatible front and rear mechs - do I need 8 speed specific mechs or can I use any of the current Shimano XT/XTR range(they only make reference to 9 speeds)? Do I need to get 8 speed specific chain rings, etc.?
Many thanks for any help you can provide to this novice.