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  1. #1
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    Beginners question about gearing

    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.

  2. #2
    Senior Member juicemouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copydex
    Sorry if this seems pretty dumb but I'm fairly new to all this, so please bear with me.
    Not at all, that's what this place is for.


    Quote Originally Posted by copydex
    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.?
    Any XT or XTR derailleur (and plenty of others) will work perfectly with your 8-speed shifters and cassette. Use an 8-speed chain. There's a tiny difference between 8-speed and 9-speed chainrings, but it's not enough to matter in practice.
    Last edited by juicemouse; 04-06-06 at 12:24 PM.
    It is my belief that every person in this world has something to teach, and everything to learn.

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  3. #3
    Camaro driver
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    I would use an 8-speed specific front derailleur, because the 8 spd chain is a little wider and will rub at one extreme or the other.

  4. #4
    THIS SPACE FOR RENT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team219er
    I would use an 8-speed specific front derailleur, because the 8 spd chain is a little wider and will rub at one extreme or the other.
    I gotta disagree, with proper adjustment this shouldn't happen.

  5. #5
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Nevertheless, if you have indexed front shifting (and you probably do), the chain will be more likely to rub with a 9-speed specific FD. You can find older FD's cheaply on eBay. Or, could you stick with the FD that you have?

  6. #6
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    Many thanks for all those replies - very helpful and encouraging, as I was thinking I'd have to completely replace everything and run at 9 speeds.

    I've found a source for a new old stock XT 8 speed front mech but the clamp is the wrong diameter for the seat tube, unfortunately, so I'll keep on looking. In the meantime, I've ordered an XTR 8 speed cassette, XTR rear mech, XT splined chainset and b/bracket, and an 8 speed IG90 XT chain, all of which will keep me busy when it arrives - can't wait!

    Thanks again,

    dex.

  7. #7
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    HI again.

    I think I've found a source for a new old stock front mech. It's a Shimano FD-M736 XT, and I wasn't sure if this was 8 speed compatible (info on the web is limited due to it's age) - does anyone here know, by any chance?

    Thanks,

    dex.

  8. #8
    Senior Member juicemouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copydex
    I think I've found a source for a new old stock front mech. It's a Shimano FD-M736 XT, and I wasn't sure if this was 8 speed compatible (info on the web is limited due to it's age) - does anyone here know, by any chance?
    That derailleur was actually from a 7-speed group. It will work perfectly with your 8-speed stuff.
    See: http://www.firstflightbikes.com/shimano.htm#1992
    It is my belief that every person in this world has something to teach, and everything to learn.

    In memory of Jim Price (aka. sydney) ...

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