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Thread: 7sp to 9sp

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    Senior Member baltazar's Avatar
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    7sp to 9sp

    I'm replacing the rear wheel on my 7speed '93 Raleigh road bike commuter and I think I'd like to go with a 9sp. My downtube shifters are in friction mode and the rear 105 derailer is newer and can do 9sp. Questions:

    1. I have another 9sp road bike and I tried to fit its rear wheel on the Raleigh aluminum frame. It looks like I just need to expand the frame 1/8 of an inch or less. Can I do that with an aluminum frame?
    2. From a 7sp to a 9sp, do I need to replace the chain rings so the new 9sp chain does not get stuck in the middle of the chain ring?
    3. Is there anything I need to consider?

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by baltazar; 08-03-08 at 09:47 PM.

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    Senior Member FlatFender's Avatar
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    you will need 9 speed shifters if you are using an indexed system, If you are using friction, you will be just fine. You shouldn't need new chainrings.

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    You will probably have to replace the chain to get it to work smoothly. A '93 vintage 7 speed chain is wider than newer 9 speed chains. That older, wider chain may rub on the closer spaced 9 speed cogs. It might "work", but if you're doing all this to upgrade to SIS 9 speed, might as well have it work right.

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    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Are you using the existing hub or getting all new? An 8/9 speed requires a longer Free Hub body than a 7, so if you were going to use your old hub, you need a new FH body too.

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    Senior Member anti.team's Avatar
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    1. As long as you are willing to spread the dropouts 3-4mm every time you install a wheel, you will have no issue. With an aluminum frame there is no way to redo (coldset) the rear spacing, but you should have no problems otherwise.

    2. It may be technically possible that the 9sp chain could fall in between the wider spacing of an older crankset, in practice this is not an issue. I have never really heard of anybody having problems, nor have I had an problems myself (9sp chain on '81 vintage 5sp compatible crank). Don't worry about it.

    3. It may take some adjustment using the friction shifters on 9sp since the cogs are a little closer together. I haven't tried it myself but I doubt it would be an issue. Other than that, I doubt you will have any issues.
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    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anti.team View Post

    3. It may take some adjustment using the friction shifters on 9sp since the cogs are a little closer together. I haven't tried it myself but I doubt it would be an issue. Other than that, I doubt you will have any issues.
    I went to 8 from 7 and seem to screw up a similar number of shifts

    Actually, I think my shifting is slightly better, because I went to a "road" geared cassette from a "mountain" geared one. Those 1 & 2 Tooth differences seem to "ease in" a little better, than the 3-4 tooth changes.

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    That's not surprising. The cog spacing on 7sp and 8sp is the same. (That's why they had to increase the rear frame spacing from 126mm to 130mm when they went to 8sp.)

    However, the cog spacing is narrow on 9sp. (So they could keep the same frame spacing.)

    Steve

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    Team Poseur RyanHJMS's Avatar
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    I went from a 7sp to 10sp cassette on my 1991 Raleigh recently.

    I replaced:
    the rear wheel (with a 10sp cassette)
    the rear derailleur
    the crankset
    the chain
    the shifters (Dura-Ace down tube)

    The wheel fit pretty well without cold setting, although I won't be making any quick wheel changes.

    Having done this, I wouldn't recommend doing it unless you have some sort of attachment to the frame. For the money, I could have found a good used bike, similarly equipped.
    “Just because I don't know doesn't mean I don't understand.”
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    Since you are in friction mode, and since you are replacing the wheel and chain as stated in you posting, this should work fine. I updated a friend's 7-speed to 9-speed, the old crankset and derailleurs worked perfectly.

    Al

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    What about upgrading from 5 speed to 9 speed on a 1980s raleigh frame? Would I need to change the crankset? Would the old chainrings be ok with the thinner HG chain needed for the 9 speed cassette? Thanks.

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    Senior Member anti.team's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris101 View Post
    What about upgrading from 5 speed to 9 speed on a 1980s raleigh frame? Would I need to change the crankset? Would the old chainrings be ok with the thinner HG chain needed for the 9 speed cassette? Thanks.
    No problem. The chain is only narrower on the outside.
    Quote Originally Posted by crushkilldstroy View Post
    99% of the world already thinks you're a moron for riding a bike anyways so it doesn't really matter what shoes you're wearing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris101 View Post
    What about upgrading from 5 speed to 9 speed on a 1980s raleigh frame? Would I need to change the crankset? Would the old chainrings be ok with the thinner HG chain needed for the 9 speed cassette? Thanks.
    Whoa, I think I'd check the spacing on that frame before I'd upgrade from 5 speed to 9 speed. You will certainly have to spread the stays, the question is, how far and can they be spread (cold set) that far.
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    Hi,

    The original frame spacing was 126mm, it didnt take much effort to open the stays to 130mm. Fitted a 9 speed cassette today, 9 speed rear derailluer and thin chain and it rides a treat, gear changes are fantastic (and quiet) compared to before. Of course the stays are now out of parallel by about 3 or 4 degrees, so I'll need to get that sorted, or just replace the wheel bearings quicker than normal. Chris

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    I've done the same with my old Cannondale, going to 9sp from 7. One thing to note with the old chains, the chainpins stuck out a bit and the chainring caught that and the sideplates on the upshift. with the smooth sideplates on hg chains upshifts are mediocre at best on old chainrings. i finally went to a new 9sp pinned and ramped big chainring.

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    Senior Member aloysius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris101 View Post
    What about upgrading from 5 speed to 9 speed on a 1980s raleigh frame? Would I need to change the crankset? Would the old chainrings be ok with the thinner HG chain needed for the 9 speed cassette? Thanks.
    This can be done, but you'll want to be careful. There's a good chance your frame's dropouts are spaced 120mm apart; you'll need to spread them a full cm to accept a 130mm 9-speed hub. You might want to cold set the stays to ensure that you don't screw up your frame's alignment. I think there's an article on cold setting on Sheldon Brown's site.

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    Senior Member aloysius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris101 View Post
    Hi,

    The original frame spacing was 126mm, it didnt take much effort to open the stays to 130mm. Fitted a 9 speed cassette today, 9 speed rear derailluer and thin chain and it rides a treat, gear changes are fantastic (and quiet) compared to before. Of course the stays are now out of parallel by about 3 or 4 degrees, so I'll need to get that sorted, or just replace the wheel bearings quicker than normal. Chris
    Oops, didn't read that post!

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Mickstar View Post
    That's not surprising. The cog spacing on 7sp and 8sp is the same. (That's why they had to increase the rear frame spacing from 126mm to 130mm when they went to 8sp.)
    Actually no, the spacers in between Shimano cogs went from 3.15mm to 3.0mm from 7 to 8spd (centre-to-centre spacing of cogs is 5.0mm vs. 4.8mm). The overall stack height of all the cogs & spacers is 31.85mm for 7spd and 35.4mm for 8spd. They are not interchangable if you want to use index-shifting.

    Going to 9spd is even more dramatic as the c-t-c spacing is 4.34mm with 2.56mm spacers and stack-height of 36.5mm.

    On the OP's bike as mentioned, the 7spd chain may not work on 9spd gearing. We don't know the exact model of chain he has so we don't know for sure if it'll work with 9spd. So just get a 9spd chain to be safe; most likely a 7spd chain that old is worn out anyway.

    1. No problem spreading the dropouts 2.0mm each when installing the wheel. Hook your thumbs around the inside of the seat-stays and pull slightly as you drop the bike down onto the wheel. Even easier is to get the Dura-ace 8-spd rear hub locknuts. These have a beveled cone-shape to them that helps spread the dropouts as you push the wheel in.

    2. No problem with the chain getting stuck in between the chainrings. However, the thickness of the chainring may be an issue as the gap between the chain plates is smaller. Your rings should be thin enough to fit into the chain. If not, you'll need new chainrings too.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 08-08-08 at 01:48 PM.

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    sheldon(may he bike 4ever) brown said one should never ever ever try to cold set an al frame as it will ruin it. The properties that give al it's stiffness do not allow for cold setting.

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    For commuting? You don't want 9 speed. It doesn't last as long, costs more and is less tolerant of things that are out of adjustment.
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