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Old 11-12-07, 10:02 PM   #1
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Converting a 7-Speed to a 9-Speed. Needs?

Hello All, I have a 7-Speed Cannondale Killer V900 mountain bike that I bought new in 1994. I wanted to sell it, but the kind of money I'll probably be offered for it is not going to make me happy. I have started to gradually convert it into a short-distance tourer/excursion bike. The issue I am facing now is whether I can or should spend the money to convert it to a 9-Speed.

I have replaced the stock crank with a Sugino XD300 26-36-46. The original wheelset has also been replaced by a Mavic XC 717 rims laced to Shimano XT hubs. I was able to buy this wheelset for a fantastic price from Performance Bicycles. This wheelset is being used with a spacer, so as to accomodate my 7-Speed cassette.

The questions are these:

1) If I can find affordable Deore LX or XT shifters and corresponding brake levers on E-Bay, would these components work okay with my present LX front derailleur, XT rear derailleur and my cantilever brakes? The brakes are kind of sufficient for me, and frankly, I do not want to spend more money than absolutely necessary on this bike.

My main thing, is the fact that I do not want to give the bike away for cheap, and If I have to spend a few more dollars in upgrading it, I'll do it, but very reluctantly.

I envision eventually equipping it with panniers, throwing my camera into the panniers, and going on 50-60mile rides, while stopping to have lunch and take pictures frequently. Being fast is not an issue, but being comfortable is, as well as the rig being reliable.

If it helps, I already have a road bike that I get my speed-fix from.

Thanks for all responses.

Regards,
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Old 11-12-07, 10:51 PM   #2
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Any takers?
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Old 11-12-07, 11:02 PM   #3
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I am not familiar with those shifter/brake levers but I suspect they have the cable pull for V brakes, in which case you should switch the brake arms. You dont have to go for the most expensive models, and the adjustment of the pads is a lot easier than the 94 era cantilevers.
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Old 11-12-07, 11:44 PM   #4
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I am not familiar with those shifter/brake levers but I suspect they have the cable pull for V brakes, in which case you should switch the brake arms. You dont have to go for the most expensive models, and the adjustment of the pads is a lot easier than the 94 era cantilevers.
They are indeed meant for V brakes. Are you saying I'll also have to switch my cantilever for V brakes? If that is so, then it means I am probably gonna have to spend more than I thought.

Thanks for your response.
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Old 11-13-07, 05:59 AM   #5
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I believe you can buy shifters alone for 9-spd. The derailleurs should work as the cable ratios are the same. Make sure the new crank handles a 9 spd chain.
For its intended purpose, I don't quite understand the need to upgrade.
I understand, people want new for newness sake, sounds like your ride is fine though.

I'd put off additional upgrades in place of saving for a new bike later. You'll never recoup your investments if you decide to sell later.
The used market is fickle.
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Old 11-13-07, 12:04 PM   #6
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I believe you can buy shifters alone for 9-spd. The derailleurs should work as the cable ratios are the same. Make sure the new crank handles a 9 spd chain.
For its intended purpose, I don't quite understand the need to upgrade.
I understand, people want new for newness sake, sounds like your ride is fine though.

I'd put off additional upgrades in place of saving for a new bike later. You'll never recoup your investments if you decide to sell later.
The used market is fickle.
Thanks WNG. Actually, I just realised that I can only convert to 8-Speed, since I am limited by my Sugino XD-300 crank, which cannot take 9-Speed chains.

Anyway, I intend to keep my eyes open for cheap 8-Speed shifters on E-BAY.

Does anybody know if I'll also have to change my cantilever brakes to V brakes, and if not, will the Shimano LX or XT 8-Speed shifters work with my cantilevers?

Thanks for all responses.
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Old 11-13-07, 03:38 PM   #7
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It's not recommended to mix standard and linear (V) brake levers and brakes.
If you buy incorporated shifter/brake lever units, they are usually for V brakes now.
The only time V brake levers can be used with standard cantilevers, is if the cantilever arms are over 3" long. IIRC, I got this info from SRAM literature. There were some 'high end' cantilevers back then with such long arms. I think I still have a set buried somewhere. They were machined from billet aluminum.
Very bling bling, but I believe any entry level V brake will put them to shame.
To keep your existing brakes, buy 8 spd stand alone shifters.
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Old 11-13-07, 03:45 PM   #8
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Earlier 8 sp brake levers are for cantilevers later 8 sp for V-brakes.
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Old 11-13-07, 04:20 PM   #9
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IMO it's not worth it to "upgrade" from 7sp to 9sp. You'd be much better off investing in a new wheelset if you insist on upgrading, but really... what's wrong with 7sp? It's reliable, parts are easy to find and it's cheaper (especially since you've already got it!)
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Old 11-13-07, 07:00 PM   #10
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I agree that you should stick with seven speeds, but it's your bike and your money.

What makes you think you can't use your XD-300 with a 9 speed chain?
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Old 11-13-07, 07:34 PM   #11
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If you have not yet purchased the 8 speed shifters, why not look for shifters that are not mated to a brake pod?
Alternatively, if you do purchase 8 speed shifters with V-Brake levers, I'm certain you can find some low to mid level V-brakes for real cheap on ebay. Tektro V-brakes are very common and hard to sell, they usually go for $10-15 plus shipping. Maybe less. They should bolt on to your current brake bosses.
EDIT: I recently made the change from 7 to 8 speed on my road bike and found I liked it better. So if you can get the shifters cheap and want to do it, IMHO go for it.
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Old 11-13-07, 07:48 PM   #12
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You might also look at the various cassettes that are available. Sometimes, all you do is add a gear you don't use.
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Old 11-13-07, 08:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by LUCAS View Post
Hello All, I have a 7-Speed Cannondale Killer V900 mountain bike that I bought new in 1994. I wanted to sell it, but the kind of money I'll probably be offered for it is not going to make me happy. I have started to gradually convert it into a short-distance tourer/excursion bike. The issue I am facing now is whether I can or should spend the money to convert it to a 9-Speed.

I have replaced the stock crank with a Sugino XD300 26-36-46. The original wheelset has also been replaced by a Mavic XC 717 rims laced to Shimano XT hubs. I was able to buy this wheelset for a fantastic price from Performance Bicycles. This wheelset is being used with a spacer, so as to accomodate my 7-Speed cassette.

The questions are these:

1) If I can find affordable Deore LX or XT shifters and corresponding brake levers on E-Bay, would these components work okay with my present LX front derailleur, XT rear derailleur and my cantilever brakes? The brakes are kind of sufficient for me, and frankly, I do not want to spend more money than absolutely necessary on this bike.

My main thing, is the fact that I do not want to give the bike away for cheap, and If I have to spend a few more dollars in upgrading it, I'll do it, but very reluctantly.

I envision eventually equipping it with panniers, throwing my camera into the panniers, and going on 50-60mile rides, while stopping to have lunch and take pictures frequently. Being fast is not an issue, but being comfortable is, as well as the rig being reliable.

If it helps, I already have a road bike that I get my speed-fix from.

Thanks for all responses.

Regards,

Like another poster said I wouldn't bother w/moving to an 8 or 9 sp when 7 is perfectly adequate for what you want to do w/this bike. I've got a 94 Fuji mtb w/Alivio shifter/brake combo which works perfectly. Only had to replace the rear der cable a couple of years ago. The big thing is deciding on how low you want your gearing. I'd think 26/36/46 frt w/a 28x12 7 sp rear would be fine. You can also get the 34t 'bailout' gear in a 7 if you're going to do major climbs under heavy load. I think it goes 34-24-21-18-16-14-12. It's your decision, but I'd recommend spending money on gear rather than gearing as what you have is fine.
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Old 11-13-07, 08:28 PM   #14
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Thanks guys for all the responses. It sure would be nice if I can get all the 8-Speed parts that I want/need for about $(60-75) on E-BAY, then I can justify going ahead with the project. I hardly ride the bike, but If I remember correctly, I paid either a $1000 or a little over that for it in 1994. To sell it now, I doubt if I can get $200 for it. And it is a very good bike, has been extremely well-cared for and still rides great.

Anyway, I'll keep the project on the back-burner, keep looking on E-BAY, and if the price is right on some 8-Speed stuff, then I'll do the conversion, otherwise, I'll just keep it at 7-Speed for now.

Oh, Dirtdrop asked what makes me think I can't use the Sugino XD300 with 9-Speed chain. Well, when I purchased it from AEBIKE on the web, it specifically said the XD300's upper limit, chain-wise, is 8-Speed. The Sugino XD600, on the other hand, can work with 9-Speed chains.

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