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Old 11-28-03, 08:41 PM   #1
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Components help_derailleur, etc...

Hey...To begin, I need to state that I know little on how to effectively couple components in an orderly fashion...I've got an older Kona with Deore derailleurs...I want to upgrade now to XTR RR...I plan to ride this bike offroad nice and heavy on the rockiest terrain that i can find...

So for my question(s)....I was once told to leave the front derailleur alone if it 'ain't' bent...Would anyone suggest this also???? Also, If I go and buy the rear XTR RR, what else should I get to make it work??!???

I believe that I should get the rapid fire shifters??? What size chain???

I'm confused on this long,medium,short cage thing, but from what I've reviewed it seems like the long cage is a good choice?...?

Another question...Everyone speaks of upgrading 8 speed to 9 speed...I think I sort of get it...more gears with nine...any advantages with one over the other, for climbing up steep hills, then flyin' down???

What do I need to buy to turn this Kona into a 9 speed??? A new cassette?, hubbs??? I'm confused here....
Thanks for any help....
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Old 11-28-03, 08:50 PM   #2
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9 speed has closer gear ratios, that's the main benefit. It's definately worth it. Keep the front der if it works. I run the long XTR rear, it is sweet but I really don't know the advantages of the long over the short.

If you are running 8 speed now, you will at least need a new chain, new cassette, new shifters, and I would check and make sure your chainrings will work with a 9 speed chain. Most will, but not all.

Look into the SRAM stuff too, you can find deals on package components to turn your ride into a 9 speed. I have one bike with SRAM and it works well, not as good as the XTR, but still very good...
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Old 12-01-03, 09:03 AM   #3
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First of all, why XTR? I'm running it on my bike, and it's very nice, but it came on my bike. If I were buying components, XT is about as high as I go. Why? It works just as well and is 1/3 the price (for some components), and just a slight bit heavier (but also more durable!).

Secondly, are you upgrading your shifters as well? If not, more reason to stick with XT. The difference in precision between an XT and XTR is insignificant if you're not using XT or XTR shifters. There is a slight precision difference between XT and XTR shifters, but ever so slight. Honestly, 90% of us can't tell the difference in a blindfolded test (don't try this!).

Also, I would love to find some old stock of 8-speed XT or XTR components cheap and run them on my bike. The tighter ratios are NOT a big deal for me. I'm not into racing. The 9-speed is more fragile and more prone to breaking chains or getting crap junked up into the cassette. The 8-speed stuff was very durable and always worked well.

If you do decide to upgrade to 9-speed, you'll need new shifters, a new cassette, and a new chain. Your front derailleur will work as well as your chainrings, but not as precise as 9-speed specific stuff. More reason to NOT spend the money on an XTR rear derailleur.

My suggestion would be to buy an XT rear derailleur 9-speed (will work with your 8-speed for now) and save your money so you can upgrade your shifters/cassette/chain to 9-speed. Then if you've got money left over, get some 9-speed chainrings and then the 9-speed front derailleur. In that order.

As far as short cage, medium cage and long cage. The need for each depends on the cassette ratio. If you are running a tight ratio (like on a road bike) then a short cage is the one you need. If you are running a cassette ratio with a MEGA gear (34) then you need the long cage. It's all dependant on your biggest gear on your cassette.

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