My commuter bike is a MTB from 1996 or so and the components are Deore LX from that era. It is an 8-speed rear and the shifters/brake levers are integrated. The front shifter is broken and can only use the 2 smaller chainrings. I want to upgrade the shifters & levers to separate units instead of integrated.
I have read about the non-trivial internal differences between today's XTR and Deore components, and I'm willing to pay for the better quality of XTR (or something close). My commuter will become my tourer later. I don't understand a couple things, though:
- am I right to go for non integrated shifters/levers or does that matter these days?
- will today's shifters work with my old 8-speed drivetrain? Or do I have to seek out an older 8-speed shifter?
- can I upgrade the shifters/levers now and the derailleurs later? Or does it have to be all at once?
- is this job something I can learn from a pal or should it be left to a LBS mechanic?
- what are your favorite resources for Shimano MTB components?
- other advice on this kind of upgrade?