A buddy of mine just picked up an older Stumpjumper. We think it is a mid to late 90's, 7speed, LX gruppo. We are changing the threaded stem to a shorter threaded stem (130 to 90) to fit him. The old front brake cable hanger was through the neck of the old stem. We figured we should upgrade his brakes to V-brakes since we did not have much height to add a hanger at the headset. I don't have the bike in front of me and I can't remember if the shifters and levers are integrated. I'd rather go without a travel agent, but I will if it makes the most sense. He is leaving for school in a few weeks and I wanted to get it done with some time to ensure it works before he goes. He will be doing mostly campus riding. I don't suspect he will be doing serious XC or DH. If he does, this will carry him until he gets more experience and wants/needs something a little more specific.
1) If the lever shifter is integrated, are there v-brake compatible 7sp levers/shifters?
2) Is it just a cassette swap to go from 7sp to 8sp? I assume there are plenty of 8sp lever/shifter combos available.
3) Any recommendations on brakes and/or levers? Trying to keep the cost down.
I'll check when I see him again whether they are integrated or not. I'll keep it simple and won't bother with question 1 or 2 if the shifters and levers are separate.