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  1. #1
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    Upgrade from 3x7 to 3x9, 3x10?

    I have a 2011 Crosstrail with the stock Tourney (48/38/28 front) and Altus (7-speed 12-32T rear).

    I though I read somewhere that all deraileurs have the same range of motion and that the only difference between a 7-/8-/9-/10-speed is the indexing which to me seems to be done by the shifters themselves. When searching on Amazon, I notice that even among the same model name (Alivio) that they sell them as 8- or 9-speed versions. Even more confusing is that some of the front deraileurs are sold as "7/8-speed," as well (I know the Tourney will work with at least an 8-speed, because my wife's bike has the same one). The question is can I keep my crappy stock deraileurs and just swap to new shifters, a new cassette and a new chain? If that's the case, I could get Alivio 9-speed shifters, cassette, and 9-speed chain for around $90, or 10-speed Deore for around $130 on Amazon, which seems like a reasonable price for the improvement. Ultimately I would like to get matching and upgraded front and rear deraileurs, which would be another $60 or $90 respectively. Has anyone ever done this, or am I just wasting my time?

    I guess I should put out there that my goal is to have the same gearing as my wife's 3x8 (48/38/28 and 11-32T). I found a 7-speed HG41 (11-28T) for $16 but I sometimes tow my 6 year old on a trailer bike and (rarely) the 32T gear actually gets used. As for why I was looking to move to a 9- or 10-speed, it seems a waste of time and money to only upgrade the 1 additional cog (from a 7- to 8-speed).
    Last edited by ryanpetersen; 06-16-13 at 08:57 PM. Reason: fix typos, clarification.

  2. #2
    Senior Member martinus's Avatar
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    8/9/10 " is the same " meaning the spacing on the freehub body is the same. So the " gears " just get smoshed closer togeather and the chain gets skinier... you can, just upgrade the cass, chain and the shifter. ... The problem will be the 7 speed part. You will need a new wheel. ... Or a new hub laced into your wheel.

    You might be better off, selling the bike and buy a new one ...

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  3. #3
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinus View Post

    You might be better off, selling the bike and buy a new one ...
    I agree, going from a 7 speed to an 8 speed will cost more than the bike is worth. However, you might find the range you need by adding a smaller granny gear (consider a 26 or a 24) and installing a tighter 7-speed cassette (consider a 12-30 seven speed). Your bike shop can tell you if your crank will take a smaller granny gear.
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  4. #4
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Nowadays,changing the number of speeds can get complicated/expensive as parts are becoming more size specific. If you were to go to 10spd,you would need to change everything(cassette/chain/rings/shifter/derailleur). The cost alone would make getting a whole new bike a better idea.

    According to Spec's site,you have a cassette. You might be able to just swap on an 8spd cassette(chain will be the same size) and swap the shifter. The rear hub's width would be the determining factor;I'm pretty sure the frame has 135mm spacing as it's probably used on at least another model. If this won't work,plug your bike's and your wife's bike's number into here. Then look at what changing your front rings will do. You might be able to match the gearing up that way.

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  5. #5
    Fitness Rider/Commuter
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    Wow...I had no idea that rims were speed specific, I know not all brands are the same but just assumed all Shimano and SRAM compatible would work. I don't have the stock rear rim because that kept popping spokes so I bought a ZAC19 36-spoke but that was supposedly a direct replacement. I agree on switching to an 8-speed is not worth it which is why I was looking to 9 or 10. Thanks all for saving me a lot of time and money!

  6. #6
    Senior Member martinus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanpetersen View Post
    Wow...I had no idea that rims were speed specific, I know not all brands are the same but just assumed all Shimano and SRAM compatible would work. I don't have the stock rear rim because that kept popping spokes so I bought a ZAC19 36-spoke but that was supposedly a direct replacement. I agree on switching to an 8-speed is not worth it which is why I was looking to 9 or 10. Thanks all for saving me a lot of time and money!
    The freehub bodies ( the part on on the axle/hub the cass slides onto. ) are "speed specific" ... 5/6/7 are all the same spacing, 8/9/10 are all the same .
    Going from 7-8 would need a new wheel ( cheapest way to go ) ... or you can pay someone to re-lace the rear wheel with a new hub so that way the rims match, might get price-y... and you still need shifters and cass and chain ...

    I upgraded my 2010 8 speed downtube shifter road bike, to 10 speed... by buying and installing 105 sti levers, 105 cass, 105 chain ... ( the cranks are the same, so are the derailleurs. )
    It cost ~400$ but that was *cheap* compared to what I needed for my 1989 7 speed road bike that needed EVERYTHING on the drive line replaced to go 10 speed. ( including the rear wheel )... I could have baught a coda elite with the same money ...
    Last edited by martinus; 06-30-13 at 07:34 AM.

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  7. #7
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    If I were you, I wouldn't even bother. You're going to spend a whole lot of money for a very small gain. So to answer your question "am I just wasting my time?", I would say yes and add that you are also wasting your money.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Check your current free hub body.
    many newer 7 speeds (135mm spacing) are using the longer8/9 speed bodies with a 4.5mm spacer installed before the cassette.
    You should be able to see it if yours is like that.
    IF so, all you need is shifters and a cassette. Add a new chain if 9 speed.

    7 speed der's tend to be a bit wider between the plates, so shifting may not be as precise, but they'll still shift. I was using a Tourney RDER on a 9 speed upgrade.

    I'd avoid an upgrade to 8 speed. Not really worth the money for just one more gear AND the assortment of 8 speed cassette is much more limited.
    10 speed chains and cassettes are much more expensive and much less durable, since the cogs & chains are externally thinner.
    I went to 9 speed and am happy as a clam. You do need the chain, but for $20 more.....
    Shifters are only slightly more than 8 speed if you watch the extremely variable online prices.

  9. #9
    Fitness Rider/Commuter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    Check your current free hub body.
    many newer 7 speeds (135mm spacing) are using the longer8/9 speed bodies with a 4.5mm spacer installed before the cassette.
    You should be able to see it if yours is like that.
    IF so, all you need is shifters and a cassette. Add a new chain if 9 speed.

    7 speed der's tend to be a bit wider between the plates, so shifting may not be as precise, but they'll still shift. I was using a Tourney RDER on a 9 speed upgrade.

    I'd avoid an upgrade to 8 speed. Not really worth the money for just one more gear AND the assortment of 8 speed cassette is much more limited.
    10 speed chains and cassettes are much more expensive and much less durable, since the cogs & chains are externally thinner.
    I went to 9 speed and am happy as a clam. You do need the chain, but for $20 more.....
    Shifters are only slightly more than 8 speed if you watch the extremely variable online prices.
    Well this gives me some new hope. My rim is only 2 yes old (ZAC19 36-spoke upgrade from stock Alex 32's. I hear you on the 8-speed, which is why I was looking at 9 or 10 (sounds like 9 makes more sense). Rethinking cost, if my bike is sitting around $600 as-is, even all new 9-speed components would be cheaper than a new Sirrus Elite ($850) which is sort of what I would want if I replaced the whole bike.

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Is the 28:32 , low gear gear ratio, the one you want? get another 7 speed cassette like Shimano's K model..
    it's a 13~34t

    and an inner gear cog substitution on the front crankset.. 74 bcd will take a 24t.

    You dont need more speeds to get the gear ratio you are missing ,
    just get the Ratio selection, itself.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 06-30-13 at 12:20 PM.

  11. #11
    Fitness Rider/Commuter
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Is the 28:32 , low gear gear ratio, the one you want? get another cassette like Shimano's K model..

    and an inner gear cog substitution on the front crankset..

    You dont ned more speeds to get the gear ratio you are missing , just get the Ratio selection, itself.
    No, I'm looking to add the 48:11 which I can do in 7-speed but I would only have 28:28 (vs 32) for lowest gear.

    Also would like upgraded components since my (FD at least) has become a bit harder to keep adjusted (from what I can tell, Tourney is even lower than Altus). Surprisingly (to me), the RD has needed no adjustment in the 3500 miles I have had it, that's why I had asked if it was just the shifters that determine 7 vs 9 speed.

    Also, I just took a closer look at my rim...measures 5-1/4" or pretty close to 135mm and there does appear to be a small spacer. Guess I'll just take it down totthe LBS and see if it's compatible with a 9-speed.

  12. #12
    Fitness Rider/Commuter
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    Actually, I think I found the cheap 7-speed option I've been looking for; has anyone ever heard of Sunlite? http://thebikestore.com/zen/index.ph...oducts_id=2196

    This effectively adds my 11T cog and even makes the granny low gear even lower than my current 32T and the weight seems negligable. Guess I've been so focused on Shimano and SRAM cassettes I never looked for other options.

    PG-730 (302g): 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 26, 32
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  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    now that you mention it, I saw them in shop distributor's stocklists

    Rode my touring bike with a 95" top gear for years.. , if you feel a need for a 113" top gear ,

    Then I guess you pedal down hills, I coast down..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-01-13 at 12:13 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanpetersen View Post
    Actually, I think I found the cheap 7-speed option I've been looking for; has anyone ever heard of Sunlite? http://thebikestore.com/zen/index.ph...oducts_id=2196

    This effectively adds my 11T cog and even makes the granny low gear even lower than my current 32T and the weight seems negligable. Guess I've been so focused on Shimano and SRAM cassettes I never looked for other options.

    PG-730 (302g): 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 26, 32
    Sunlite (320g): 11, 13, 15, 18, 21, 24, 34
    You'll probably find the 18-15 shift too steep (I did) and use the 11T so little that you'll wish it was a 12, because 13T will end up being your highest "usable" gear.

  15. #15
    Fitness Rider/Commuter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    You'll probably find the 18-15 shift too steep (I did) and use the 11T so little that you'll wish it was a 12, because 13T will end up being your highest "usable" gear.
    Yeah...and I find myself in 3-5 (48:16) and 3-6 (48:14) a lot, 3-7 (48:12) is mainly a cruising or downhill gear. Just wish I had the 11T on the downhills (my wife's 8-speed is identical but adds that cog. You're probably right on with your comment, was something I was worried about. This was the first one that I saw that added the 11T without losing the granny gear 32T (most drop it with 26T being the shortest gear which is too hard to tow a trailer-bike up some hills. That being said, I took my 2 year old out in his child seat and 2-1 (38:26) was just fine for most hills but was glad to have 1-1 (28:32) on a couple spots. Maybe I should just have the 2 cassettes to swap out for different occasions. Does anyone do this? Seems like it wouldn't be to time consuming.

  16. #16
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    I try not to be too much of a weenie about the jumps between gears, but I think the 24-34 and the 11-13 would drive me nuts after a while.

    This may not be the cheapest option, but you might try swapping your 28T granny ring for a 24T or 26T, and the 48T big ring for a 50T to extend your range. (And maybe pedalling a little faster when you want to go fast. )
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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  17. #17
    Fitness Rider/Commuter
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    I try not to be too much of a weenie about the jumps between gears, but I think the 24-34 and the 11-13 would drive me nuts after a while.

    This may not be the cheapest option, but you might try swapping your 28T granny ring for a 24T or 26T, and the 48T big ring for a 50T to extend your range. (And maybe pedalling a little faster when you want to go fast. )
    That might be alright, I thought about a 50T, just never see them on hybrids. If I added a 24 or 26 chainring I could probably get by with the 11-26 that I had seen before (which doesn't have the huge steps like that 11-34 one I posted above. Just not sure my cheapo crank has the ability to swap those chainrings or not.

    After a bit of looking, it seems 48T is the largest hybrid/MTB chainring you can get; anything higher is a road crank which is a totally different bolt pattern.
    Last edited by ryanpetersen; 07-03-13 at 10:36 PM. Reason: Add further research

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