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  1. #1
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    Am I right to be a little pissed?

    I recently got my drive-train replaced on my old mountain bike, which I use for everything. IMG_3879 (2).jpg

    I changed the cassette to a 9-speed from a 7-speed, while maintaining a friction shifter. I never had issues shifting through seven gears with a friction shifter, so I just assumed it would be fine with a 9-speed cassette. I told the bike shop that this is what I want to do, and they said okay, that should work.

    Problem is, it has a lot of issues with ghost shifting, primarily when I would shift to a lower gear, as the derailer is high-normal. The guy at the bike shop told me the screw on the side of the shifter can be tightened to make it more difficult for the derailer to shift on its own. This helped to an extent.

    Question is, am I right to be pissed about the bike shop not telling me this could be an issue? It seems they would have known that using a friction shifter designed for 5 gears on a 9-speed cassette could cause issues. I'm currently thinking about changing back to a 7-speed cassette, as I had no shifting issues prior to going nine-speed. I'd rather not go with index shifters for financial and simplicity reasons, but mostly financial.

  2. #2
    Senior Member canyoneagle's Avatar
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    If it were me, I'd just go the next step and get 9 speed indexed bar-ends - they'd be a nice addition to that rig, and much better than those knee-basher stem mounts

    Otherwise, friction 9-speed is a crap shoot IMO - the cog spacing is much tighter than 7 speed, and harder to get "right on".

    So, I'd say either go with indexed bar-ends or revert back to 7-speed friction shifting.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post

    So, I'd say either go with indexed bar-ends or revert back to 7-speed friction shifting.
    I think what I'm going to do is revert to the 7-speed cassette, but hang on to the 9-speed. If I find a good deal on bar-ends or brifters, I'll have those and the 9-speed installed.

  4. #4
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Don't get pissed, just practice using smaller movements to shift. 7-speed lets you get away with being slightly off-center after a shift, but narrower cog spacing demands more precision -- it's kinda weird that no one told you this along the way.
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    Senior Member Dux_Helm's Avatar
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    they said it *should* work, not that it would for sure.
    I'm sure their first solution for you was to upgrade the shifters at some point.

    I don't think this is grounds enough to be pissed off .

    Perhaps your derailleur is wearing out, springs worn, perhaps your axle has a bit of a wobble to compound the problem...who knows?
    Even some grit in the housing could add to a bit of friction and with the tighter tolerances of the 9spd, as the cable settles, could move the derailleur just enough to grind or shift.
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    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    i would talk with the guys at the shop if they're reasonable.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.L. Zamenhof View Post
    Question is, am I right to be pissed about the bike shop not telling me this could be an issue?
    not really.. maybe they should have warned you that shifting would be more finicky but you're doing something pretty "non-standard" so you shouldnt be surprised if there are problems. but friction shifting on 9 gears should be pretty much the same as 7.. the only thing i can think of is that your RD is a lil sloppy but it wasn't a problem when you were running 7 gears

    why did change from 7 to 9 speeds anyways if you were happy with 7?

    btw, nice drop bar conversion
    Last edited by frantik; 11-01-12 at 08:39 AM.
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    I friction shift on a 9 speed setup no problem. I'm using (overpriced) rivendell DT shifters though.

    If I were you I'd try to find some old school suntour barcons. They're awesome and can be found for cheap here and there.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Worknomore's Avatar
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    I friction shift my old Cannondale mtb with a 9spd and the original thumb shifters with no issues. Practice make perfect.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dux_Helm View Post
    they said it *should* work, not that it would for sure.
    I'm sure their first solution for you was to upgrade the shifters at some point.

    Perhaps your derailleur is wearing out, springs worn, perhaps your axle has a bit of a wobble to compound the problem...who knows?
    Even some grit in the housing could add to a bit of friction and with the tighter tolerances of the 9spd, as the cable settles, could move the derailleur just enough to grind or shift.
    Rear derailer is brand new, but it could be something else since the rest of the bike is fairly old.
    Quote Originally Posted by frantik View Post

    why did change from 7 to 9 speeds anyways if you were happy with 7?

    btw, nice drop bar conversion
    I changed to 9 speeds because I naively though I needed more range, especially on the high end, while keeping a similar gear-inch on the low end. But instead of getting a smaller 7-speed with a small ring up front, I spazzed and threw a 9 on there. Live and learn.

    hey thanks!

  11. #11
    Senior Member jdswitters's Avatar
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    Can I have a hint as to which shop? Nice bike, and good thread, I have a 9spd casset I have been thinking about putting on the old nishiki just because I have a 9 speed casset laying around and the center ring on the bike is pretty worn. After reading this I'll just replace it with a new 5 speed.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.L. Zamenhof View Post
    Rear derailer is brand new, but it could be something else since the rest of the bike is fairly old.
    what happened to the old RD you were using with the 7 speed set up? Maybe the new top-normal RD is what is giving you grief more than the 9speed cassette?

    the ghost shifting is probably due to the springs in the RD being stronger than the friction on your shifter. If you still have the old RD you might put that back on..
    Last edited by frantik; 11-01-12 at 08:44 AM.
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    Getting pissed is unreasonable. They did what you asked them to do. In all likelihood, they've never done a 9-speed friction shift before, and while they knew that the sweet spot would be smaller (and probably thought you did, too), they probably had no experience indicating that it would cause the ghost shifting issues you're having. In theory, friction shifting should be a perfectly flexible option that will work just fine regardless of the number of cogs.

  14. #14
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    Did they change the cables to compressionless housing? The spiral stuff is fine for 7-speed, but 9-speed will work better when the cable housing doesn't change length when you put pressure on the shifter. Also 9-speed friction shifting will definitely be touchier than 7-speed- so much so that some people change right back after trying it. 8-speed has nearly the same distance between cogs as 7-speed (4.7 mm rather than 5 mm); maybe try an 8-speed cassette.

  15. #15
    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.L. Zamenhof View Post
    I told the bike shop that this is what I want to do, and they said okay, that should work.
    . . .
    Question is, am I right to be pissed about the bike shop not telling me this could be an issue?
    I don't think that you have the right to be pissed. Next time, maybe ask for advice instead of telling them what to do. FWIW, I find the range of 9s too tight for clean shifting. BUT, I know lots of people that have no problems with it at all.

    Besides, it could be an issue with the rd hanger alignment and or the cables if they are old.

    BTW, don't be too hard on yourself either. A wise man once told me that, no matter what, you pay for your education.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Commodus's Avatar
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    I don't think it's reasonable to be angry at the shop, no. You're doing something that's pretty non-standard. It's good to experiment and try to save money, but it doesn't work out every time. Maybe time to ebay some more modern shifters, barcons would be a good fit on that bike I think.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.L. Zamenhof View Post
    I recently got my drive-train replaced on my old mountain bike, which I use for everything. IMG_3879 (2).jpg

    I changed the cassette to a 9-speed from a 7-speed, while maintaining a friction shifter. I never had issues shifting through seven gears with a friction shifter, so I just assumed it would be fine with a 9-speed cassette. I told the bike shop that this is what I want to do, and they said okay, that should work.
    There are two issues here, first being the ghost shifting. This sounds like it is a setup problem that can be fixed. The shop should help you with this.

    The second issue is the recommendation to go with a partial 9-speed cassette on a 7-speed freehub. The cog spacing is tighter, which makes for more finicky shifting, especially in friction. Personally, for me, 8-speed was the limit and the point where I transitioned from friction shifting to indexing. I ran friction downtube shifters for 30 years, but for me, 9-speed spacing requires too much precision to be working properly with friction.

    This bike shop recommendation is where you have ample grounds to be pissed. The shop could have just as easily replaced the old 7-speed cassette with like, a $20 part. So now you have a 9-speed cassette, which is double the cost of a 7-speed, and you are now locked into using 9-speed chains which are double the cost of the 7-speed. For no apparent purpose other than that is perhaps all the shop had in stock.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Commodus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
    There are two issues here, first being the ghost shifting. This sounds like it is a setup problem that can be fixed. The shop should help you with this.

    The second issue is the recommendation to go with a partial 9-speed cassette on a 7-speed freehub. The cog spacing is tighter, which makes for more finicky shifting, especially in friction. Personally, for me, 8-speed was the limit and the point where I transitioned from friction shifting to indexing. I ran friction downtube shifters for 30 years, but for me, 9-speed spacing requires too much precision to be working properly with friction.

    This bike shop recommendation is where you have ample grounds to be pissed. The shop could have just as easily replaced the old 7-speed cassette with like, a $20 part. So now you have a 9-speed cassette, which is double the cost of a 7-speed, and you are now locked into using 9-speed chains which are double the cost of the 7-speed. For no apparent purpose other than that is perhaps all the shop had in stock.
    I don't think it was the shop's idea to go 9 speed.

  19. #19
    Senior Member juggleaddict's Avatar
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    I'm also using the rivendell silver shifters on a 9 speed setup with no problem. The ratchet keeps it in place unless it hits a big bump. I'll hit in between every once and a while but even with a more shift-prone drivetran (XT) it hasn't been an issue.

  20. #20
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    L.L. Zamenhof
    - I suspect the reply about the new RD being too springy for you old frction shifters is probably right on. The other comment about asking the LBS for their recommmendation instead of telling them what to do is also a good approach.

    - But given where you are that this stage, recommend just getting some miles on it and see if you can adapt to the bike as it is. And while you are bending to that, get shopping for new shifters that are agreeable to the new RD. There is one or more shifter made for the family the RD is from. Hit amazon and ebay to see if you can get a decent price to compare with what the LBS charges. If your tech skills are not up to the full task, allow some budget for the labor to have them do it for you. Work with them to get it right and ask them to show you how it works while it is still on the repair stand. There may be some finase steps to it that they can share with you. And yes, you are eventually going to end up with index shifting...apologies in advance but in all honesty more bikers are cool with them or even swear by them. Oh, on the side, make sure you have a chain that matches up with the new cogset or you will probably continue to have grief with it. Good luck with the bike and feel free to pose more quesitons or concerns so we can further aide your path...

    /K

  21. #21
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Not reasonable to get pissed off. You asked for something, they gave it to you. On you for not realizing what the consequences might be.

    Only reason you might have is if you asked the shop before purchase and installation, "Will this work; what might the downsides be if I go this way?" and they were not knowledgeable enough to set you straight in just this issue.
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by THE ARS View Post
    You need to do your own work.

    Labor cost would have covered a new shifter.
    Nah, labor came in at $39.

  23. #23
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    Hey everyone -

    Thanks for the replies. The more I think about it and read your replies, the more I realize it was foolish of me to assume what I wanted done was the best thing for my bike. I definitely learned a lot from this experience, and no longer harbor any hard feelings. In the future I'll be asking for suggestions instead of telling them what I want.

    BTW, don't be too hard on yourself either. A wise man once told me that, no matter what, you pay for your education.
    This is very true. Thanks.

  24. #24
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Probably just the friction shifters slipping. I'd dissassemble them, clean 'em and see if there was any visible issue. Some models have a plastic washer that wears.

    Honestly - those shifting setups are so simple there's almost nothing else that can go wrong. Even the amount of cable housing is minimal relative to brifters or bar end shifters. I'm running DuraAce 10 speed DT shifters on an older road bike myself. They're the most current indexed shifters, but the degree of rotation between shifts is large enough that it should be possible to master a friction system with a little practice.
    Last edited by Burton; 11-02-12 at 07:28 PM.

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