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Old 02-21-10, 07:44 PM   #1
sloopy
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Derailleur upgrade

I have a 2008 Trek 2.1 WSD road bike and I was wondering if it is possible to upgrade from 27 speeds to 30. I still have all the factory parts on it: shifters -Shimano Tiagra STI, 9 speed, rear derailleur -Shimano 105, cassette -SRAM PG950 12-26, 9 speed.

If this is possible, is it cost effective or is it just better to leave my bike as is?

Thanks!
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Old 02-21-10, 07:51 PM   #2
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Its possible but would be costly. You'd need shifters, casette, possibly new wheels if your hubs can't do 10 speed casette, rear derailleur (FD would be okay I think). I have left my 9 speed bikes as is because I just don't think I would glean much additional benefit for the expense of adding one cog in the back. I'll woprry about when i can no longer get replacement parts for the 9 speed.
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Old 02-21-10, 09:03 PM   #3
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Leave the bike as is. As DOS says, you'll need a lot of new parts, though wheels would not be one of them. If your hub can accept a 9 speed cassette, it can definitely accept a 10 speed cassette. He did forget a new chain in his list as well.
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Old 02-21-10, 09:03 PM   #4
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Thank you for responding so quickly. I did some research on prices while I was waiting and yikes! I had the feeling that it would be a silly upgrade considering it would have been a $400 increase to buy the next model up. Just the upgrade from my 2005 Trek 1000 (men's) to this bike has been amazing. My hands don't fall asleep anymore. I was just curious about the upgrade because the sales guy mentioned that the 30 speed would have been a better purchase for me. Not sure if he was right, or just looking to squeeze more money out me...

Anyway, thanks again. I really appreciate a veteran's opinion.
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Old 02-21-10, 09:05 PM   #5
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Thank you as well, joejack. I know far more about cars than I do about bikes, so I need all the help I can get
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Old 02-21-10, 10:55 PM   #6
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Just to add a +1 to the other good advice above: 10 speed systems are still obscenely overpriced versus 9-speed right now, and for the most part the extra gears don't give you many more choices, since there are already so many combinations already. 10 speed chains also wear noticeably faster since they are narrower, and the shifting is even more touchy to adjust since everything is closer together. My recommendation on this sort of thing is that unless there is something deficient about your current system or unless something is broken, it's not worth messing with it.
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Old 02-22-10, 11:17 AM   #7
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10 sp makes more sense with a double, but with a triple you can have a close ratio cassette and still enjoy an emergency low low gear for climbing walls with a 9 sp cassette.
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Old 02-22-10, 06:29 PM   #8
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You don't even need a 9sp cassette much less a 10 or 11. Enjoy what you have. Remember the most important part on your bike is the engine.
If you still have the 30t small ring on the front, give some thought to a 24. It gives you a very low gear that can be handy when the road gets steep.
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Old 02-22-10, 06:39 PM   #9
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From 9 speed to 10 speed is not an 'upgrade' worth spending any time or money on.

If you had 7 speed and wanted to go to 10 speed... nope, still not worth the effort in my opinion. Ironically, 10 speed range selection is much more limited than 9 speed, as 10 speed is so far only for road bikes and 9 speed is used on mtbs. If you can't get a wider range then all you are paying for is slightly smaller steps between gears.
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Old 02-22-10, 09:03 PM   #10
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From 9 speed to 10 speed is not an 'upgrade' worth spending any time or money on.

If you had 7 speed and wanted to go to 10 speed... nope, still not worth the effort in my opinion. Ironically, 10 speed range selection is much more limited than 9 speed, as 10 speed is so far only for road bikes and 9 speed is used on mtbs. If you can't get a wider range then all you are paying for is slightly smaller steps between gears.
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You don't even need a 9sp cassette much less a 10 or 11. Enjoy what you have. Remember the most important part on your bike is the engine.
If you still have the 30t small ring on the front, give some thought to a 24. It gives you a very low gear that can be handy when the road gets steep.
All luddite opinions, reduced gaps betewen gears helps immsensely for certain applications (road racing), it is not up to you to say what is useful and what is not. I do agree that the 9 -> 10 speed upgrade is very uneconomical if you cannot do your own labour or have access to parts significantly below MSRP.
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Old 02-23-10, 08:21 AM   #11
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The 10 speed systems are better performance, but they aren't really more effective. If spend a ton of time on the bike and just want the best thing you can get than 10 speed or 11 speed is the way to go. If you want your bike to be simple and reliable than the 9 speed Tiagra is perfect. If your not racing than you don't need more than 9 speeds. If you really want to go to a 10 speed system than your best bet would be to look for used shifters and rear derailleur on Ebay.
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Old 02-23-10, 10:08 AM   #12
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She already has a 105 rear derailleur so that would not need to be changed. Shifters, cranks( if not 9/10 speed compatible), chain and cogs would be necessary and possibly new front derailleur if the cage spacing is too wide to move a 10 speed chain well. I looked seriously into upgrading my 9 speed system and agree it is not economical. I may still do it to make wheels interchangeable with my new 10 speed bike without changing cogs, but that is the only reason I can see for it.
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Old 02-23-10, 10:13 AM   #13
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I'd only go 10-speed if you're racing and the places you race only have 10-speed spares in the pits.
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Old 02-23-10, 10:27 AM   #14
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...reduced gaps betewen gears helps immsensely for certain applications (road racing), it is not up to you to say what is useful and what is not.
Nor is it up to you.

A more correct version of your claim is: "reduced gaps betewen gears helps somewhat for certain applications"

And an even more correct version is "reduced gaps betewen gears gives a small psychological boost for certain applications"

Nothing you do to a good quality, well maintained bike will help "immensely" - only fine tuning the motor.

Example: As a competative road racer in my youth, I was regularily beaten by dudes riding bikes with 6 speed freewheels and friction shifters. And in my late 30s on my 7 speed drivetrain I can keep up with some of th fastest riders in my area, even though they have 9, 10, and 11 speed drivetrains.
Also, a racer with Campy 11 speed is not automatically faster than a racer with Shimano 10 speed (or even *gasp* three year old Campy 10 speed).

I think you are starting to believe all the BS you push on customers to convince them to buy new carbon bikes.
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Old 02-23-10, 01:18 PM   #15
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Every time someone uses the word "upgrade" and someone else has a bike that doesn't have that "upgrade", all hell breaks loose. Look, the OP was asking if it was beneficial to go to 30 speeds from 27. The answer to that is no. Not even for racing. There are too many gear combinations with a 3x9 setup that even if you are in a competitive race, by the time you stepped through your gears one by one, you'd have wasted to much time shifting instead of digging. Even if you go through 4 gears in quick succession on a 10 cluster instead of 3 on a 9 cluster, still would make negligible difference. The rider on the 9 speed cluster would have to turn the pedals maybe 2 or 3 times more a minute for lack of that last gear, and spinning at a 90 rpm cadence, it's hardly noticeable.

Now, is it nicer to have 10 gears for racing? Maybe, but I don't expect any performance enhancement. The only practical reasons in my mind to go to more gears is to have a broader range of gearing (high - low) and more compatibility choices with modern stuff, the better of which is all 10-speed.
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Old 02-23-10, 10:02 PM   #16
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operator

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All luddite opinions, reduced gaps betewen gears helps immsensely for certain applications (road racing), it is not up to you to say what is useful and what is not. I do agree that the 9 -> 10 speed upgrade is very uneconomical if you cannot do your own labour or have access to parts significantly below MSRP
We did a heck of a lot of racing on a 52/46 or a 52/40 with 14-21, 14-24, or
14-28 five speed freewheels.
Must be getting old and crotchity!
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Old 02-24-10, 03:35 AM   #17
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I went from 9 speed to 7 speed because friction shifting is easier that way. I don't notice any aignifiicant difference for touring and commuting - I don't race though. Actually, I usually find the tight gear ratios annoying during shifting.

I completely understand their use during racing and fast competitive riding - no comment there.
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Old 02-24-10, 04:33 AM   #18
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I went from 9 speed to 7 speed because friction shifting is easier that way....
When I finally scrapped the obsolete 5-speed hub I had on my winter commuter for a 7-speed MTB cassette I didn't have to drop down to the granny gear any more for my two "worst" climbs. Gave some sort of benefit I suppose.
Now I'm looking to switch to a 7-speed, road cassette, which probably will put the granny gear back into use. Time will tell if I like the close ratio more than the ability to do w/o the granny gear.
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Old 02-24-10, 04:40 AM   #19
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When I finally scrapped the obsolete 5-speed hub I had on my winter commuter for a 7-speed MTB cassette I didn't have to drop down to the granny gear any more for my two "worst" climbs. Gave some sort of benefit I suppose.
Now I'm looking to switch to a 7-speed, road cassette, which probably will put the granny gear back into use. Time will tell if I like the close ratio more than the ability to do w/o the granny gear.
By "road" and "mountain" cassette I assume you mean higher vs. lower gears?

You can just get a cassette with 11-34t - best of both worlds.
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Old 02-24-10, 05:01 AM   #20
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Closer vs wider.

...Given what folks in the know are saying about the durability of 10spd gear, I'd be happy with 9.

The expense and diminishing returns sound like pro territory to me.

Or to put it another way: if you can tolerate Tiagra on your bike, you almost certainly have no need for 10spd.

Last edited by Kimmo; 02-24-10 at 05:10 AM.
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Old 02-24-10, 07:07 AM   #21
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By "road" and "mountain" cassette I assume you mean higher vs. lower gears?
Sort of. I've never really needed the lowest gears, so I'm trading closer ratios for (cassette) range. I can still drop to the granny gear to get the overall range that I'm likely to use.

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You can just get a cassette with 11-34t - best of both worlds
Well, my knees need pampering, so I'm all about keeping the cadence up these days. (That, and getting to where I'm going reasonably fast.) Gone to shorter cranks already, which seems to help.
I could have toyed around with half-step gearing, but cassettes looks cheaper to experiment with.
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Old 03-01-10, 09:26 AM   #22
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Thanks for all the feedback from everyone. It's all been very helpful. I am going to leave my bike as is (even though I did plan on doing my own labor). I've been happy with it thus far. I was just curious about the change since, like I said previously, the sales guy almost made my bike choice sound like a mistake. It has never felt like a mistake to me, but being a newbie almost made me take the bait. I'm really glad I found this site. Thanks again!
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