Do all index shift components (within the same cluster range) work together? Is there an industry standard that is adhered to? For instance, on a 7 cog rear system, is the total cable take-up, and allocation between any two gears the same with all major brands? In other words, are the detents in the shifter for each gear uniformly spaced from one unit to another (brand or model), and will they work with all dérailleurs?
I realize that there are differences when you talk about different number of cogs. Spacing is tighter on newer high count systems (after 8 or 9 rear gears)? What about older 5, 6 & 7 gear systems? Is there a 'compatibility chart' anywhere?
If you read the microtype white sheets that come with some items, you would think that you cannot mix components, yet many bicycles do indeed come with say SRAM shifters and Shimano dérailleurs.
Generally, you can't mix brands because of differences in cable pull. You see bicycles with SRAM shifters and Shimano derailers because SRAM makes a line of shifters that are compatible with Shimano. Have you looked at Sheldon Brown's site? There's a wealth of information there on that subject and just about everything else involving bicycles.
Have you looked at Sheldon Brown's site? There's a wealth of information there on that subject and just about everything else involving bicycles.
I did go thru his derailleur pages (adjusting, cable changes etc.), but did not come away with a clear answer on the mix and match component question. Maybe I didn't hit the right page (he has so many cross-links that you could spend a week reading....).
Ok, so you did hit my basic question - unless you buy compatible mix brand components, you are not going to get positive engagement shifts. How can you be sure they will work together? I found some datasheets, but even these don't make it terribly clear.
With the only exception being the mentioned Shimano compatible Sram shifters no brands or speeds (7,8,9,10) will interchange or work with each other. Everything is specific to it's own kind.
That's the easy answer. Now, there are some devices, special cassettes and such that are made to make different brand systems work together but what if anything of these will work depends on the exact setup you're trying to put together.