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  1. #1
    chain smoker
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    MTB Front Derailleur Questions

    1. What are the highest end derailleurs available for an 8-speed bike? Is Alivio the highest end front derailleur available for an 8-speed bike from Shimano?

    2. On Shimano's website, it states that the Deore front/rear derailleurs are only compatible with 9-speed bikes, but I have a Deore rear derailleur on one of my 8-speed bikes (it came stock). Can someone please explain this discrepancy?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    9-speed bikes use a slightly narrower chain than 8-speed bikes. When 9-speed bikes came out, Shimano carefully labeled it's front derailleurs for 9-speed use. I assume that they must have a slightly narrower derailleur cage.

    If it was my bike, I'd just slap on whatever 9-speed derailleur matched my budget. If I could get the shifting to meet my standards using an 8-speed chain, fine. If I got more derailleur cage rub than I wanted to live with, I'd change to a narrower, 9-speed chain.

  3. #3
    chain smoker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    9-speed bikes use a slightly narrower chain than 8-speed bikes. When 9-speed bikes came out, Shimano carefully labeled it's front derailleurs for 9-speed use. I assume that they must have a slightly narrower derailleur cage.

    If it was my bike, I'd just slap on whatever 9-speed derailleur matched my budget. If I could get the shifting to meet my standards using an 8-speed chain, fine. If I got more derailleur cage rub than I wanted to live with, I'd change to a narrower, 9-speed chain.
    Thanks.

    Can you just switch out an 8-speed chain with a 9-speed chain (assuming, of course, that the length is adjusted) without any other effects on the drive train (e.g., wearing out the cassette faster, etc.)? If so, why do they bother making 8-speed chains and 9-speed chains instead of just a universal chain?

  4. #4
    cs1
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    Senior Member cs1's Avatar
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    Ebay is full of NOS Deore ft derailleurs. Why mess with a new chain when you can buy the right part for under $25 Good luck

    Tim
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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  5. #5
    TreadHead MtbVA's Avatar
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    9spd cogs are closer together using the same overall distance as 8spd cogs.
    rear cog & chain must match.

    The derailers are controled by the shifter, so 9spd derailers will work with 8sp shifters.
    I'm using XT 9spd derailers & cranks working with 8spd chain, XT shifters & cogs with NO problems.
    I think the Deore name started back around 1990, it was 7spd back then.
    LX stuff is a good value, less plastic than lower line stuff, works as good as XT & way cheaper than XTR.
    Last edited by MtbVA; 03-28-07 at 09:42 PM.

  6. #6
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbVA
    I think the Deore name started back around 1990, it was 7spd back then.
    Actually, the original group to use the Shimano Deore name was for touring bikes, from the early '80's I believe, and it then evolved into the Deore XT group (w/ the deerhead) for mountain bikes-

  7. #7
    The quieter you become... Falkon's Avatar
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    You can pretty much use any 9-speed derailleurs you want for your 8-speed bike. Up until recently, I was running 9-speed LX parts with an 8-speed cassette, shifters, and chain.
    Quote Originally Posted by TechKnowGN
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