Let's say I buy this 8 speed Sora 3300 RD http://cgi.ebay.com/Shimano-Sora-330...item27b0007208
But my freewheel right now is only 5 speed. Will my friction shifters work with this? I feel like if I am getting a new RD, I might as well get one that can accommodate some future upgrades (to a 8 sp freewheel and/or indexed shifting) that I might want.
'''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
Originally Posted by pobre
Even if the shifter has more speeds than the RD?
Again, derailleurs do not have "speeds", they only go where the shifter sends them. The number of "speeds" are only in the shifters and, of course, a matching cassette.
So, yes, an X-speed shifter can be used with an X-1 or X-2 or fewer speed rear derailleur. For example I'm currently using an "8-speed" 105 rear derailleur with 9-speed STI shifters.
The "speeds" listed for a rear derailleur only indicate which group it was contempory with. So a "9-speed" Ultegra derailleur was built during the period when Ultegra shifters and cassettes were 9-speed.