Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Bend, OR
Bikes: American Breezer mtb, American Classic ti road bike w/SRAM Force and XO, Crotch Rocket, SOMA 69'er w/XX-1 mtb, Handsome Shop Bike w/700c wheels. Bianchi SS 'cross
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Telford - You can use the '8' or '9' speed shifters, and I recommend them over 7-speed Rapidfire because of their better quality, "if" you re-space your 7-speed cassette and use the appropriate chain. Purchase at least XT (XTR if your budget allows). Your local bike shop can ensure the correct spacers, but, as a last resort, you can talk to a better mail order outfit like Cambria and they'll also make sure you get the right stuff (Wheels Manufacturing makes spacers for every combination of shifters/cassettes).
So, you'll need spacers, a chain, and shifters; and though doing this is a bit of work, you will certainly be satisfied with the results. In my 23 years of off-road riding experience, a 7-speed set-up is superior to 8 or 9 speed cassettes for trail riding (Noticeable differences between shifts). Good luck!