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  1. #1
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    Convert from 9 to 8 speed cassette

    I'd like to try an eight speed system on my 9 speed hard-tail mountain bike (Raleigh M80). Can I just replace the 9 speed cassette and chain (SRAM 950) with 8 speed (e.g., SRAM 850 cassette and 68 chain) and leave the 9 speed shift levers? (I've heard the 8 speed system was better in some ways.)

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    What ways have you heard the 8 speed system was better? I've only heard that the 8 speed chain is beefier and thus less likely to break and the shifters are less complex and thus more robust. If you aren't breaking 9 speed chains, I wouldn't worry about it. You could always go test ride an 8 speed bike at the LBS.

    If you really want to try 8 speed on your exact bike, you'd need the chain, cassette, and an 8 speed rear shift lever. You could probably get a 9 speed rear shift lever to shift an 8 speed cassette but any benefit of the 8 speed shifter is lost then.

  3. #3
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Stick with the nine speed setup.

  4. #4
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    Thanks. Since I'm not having chain break problems, I'll stick to the 9 speed.

  5. #5
    Senior Member capwater's Avatar
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    Length of cable pull is different between 8 and 9 speeds.

  6. #6
    Bikes are good El Julioso's Avatar
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    Not to mention that chain rub can become an issue with 9-speed front derailleurs and the wider 8-speed chains. I find 9-speed to be superior in most respects anyway, except that the parts are more expensive.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Julioso View Post
    Not to mention that chain rub can become an issue with 9-speed front derailleurs and the wider 8-speed chains.
    Good point. I forgot about that possible issue.

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