Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Gainesville/Tampa, FL
Bikes: Trek 1000, two mtbs and working on a fixie for commuting.
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Avid Codes are unnecessary - they are for DH riding.
You have to spend a little for your upgrades. You can't use SRAM's X-7, X-9, X-0 shifters because they only go with 9 speed SRAM RD's of the same monikers.
Jameson is correct in that shifters will pretty be much the same. There is nothing wrong with integrated, high end XTR has integrated.
I've never experienced those disc brakes, but a good v-brakes with nice levers, pads, brake bodies, and cables/housing, along with proper set-up and alignment can blow a lot of mechanical discs out of the water (Avid BB8s are nice, though).
Oh, and you can pretty much keep the FD no matter what you do.
Also, if you are doing it yourself, vees are a heck of a lot easier to set-up and maintain.