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Old 04-06-06, 10:12 AM   #1
copydex
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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.
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Old 04-06-06, 11:15 AM   #2
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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.


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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.
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Old 04-06-06, 11:36 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 04-06-06, 12:03 PM   #4
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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.
I gotta disagree, with proper adjustment this shouldn't happen.
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Old 04-06-06, 12:54 PM   #5
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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?
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Old 04-06-06, 01:10 PM   #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.
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Old 04-09-06, 11:54 AM   #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.
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Old 04-09-06, 11:58 AM   #8
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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
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