Shimano 8- and 9- speed derailleur compatibility
OK, I'll admit I posted this question on the mountain forum as it applies to my older M950 XTR rear derailleur, but no one is responding to it over there. Road forums get more traffic, and I know there are credible gearheads over here also. My question is simple: can I run the older M950 XTR rear derailleur with a nine-speed cassette and shifters? I know the indexing detents are in the shifters because I saw where my old eight-speed ones are (the shifters are broken and I'm ready to update to nine-speed).
Shimano's site has some FAQs that state eight-speed derailleurs might not want to shift onto larger cassette rings, like a 34 granny. So I could always get, say, an 11-32. Plus the derailleur is long cage, so hopefully I'm not in bad shape with reaching some gears.
The shops I've called are giving me wishy-washy answers on the compatibility question, and I KNOW someone here can shed some light on the topic.
BTW, the 950 rear der. looks identical to the 952/3 model, except it doesn't say "Mega 9" on the cage.