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Old 03-05-12, 07:41 PM   #1
papaish
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9 speed Vs. 10 speed, that is the question..

I ordered some upgrade parts for my MTB last month and I received them all but the shifters, seems that Shimano and Sram have stop the manufacturing if some 9 speed shifters and have slowed down on the rest. I was told both companies are going to 10 speed drive train systems. My question is, is 10 speed really necessary for a mountain bike. Sounds like a lot of readjusting after each ride since the shift tolerance will be so close. Just wanted to know if anyone else felt this way?
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Old 03-05-12, 08:31 PM   #2
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I was happy with 8. Nine seems to have a bit of overlap and 10 is techno-weanie-ville to the max. This though is the opinion of a grumpy old man. I have a 2X9 on a road bike and it is as much as I want. MTB is a 3X9, I have been pricing 2X9s for losing a few grams of weight.
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Old 03-05-12, 10:54 PM   #3
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My question is, is 10 speed really necessary for a mountain bike. Sounds like a lot of readjusting after each ride since the shift tolerance will be so close. Just wanted to know if anyone else felt this way?
It would seem more sensible to seek opinions of those who have actually ridden 10 speed setups rather than those who share your likely unfounded prejudices.
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Old 03-06-12, 03:11 AM   #4
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I don't know that 10sp needs any more adjustment than 9sp., so I wouldn't worry about that. Supposedly 10sp wears a noticeable amount faster than 9sp so you'll end up replacing at least your chain and possibly other things more often. I think that on a 1x9 vs. 1x10, it may be worth it depending on personal gearing preference. If you're riding with 2 or more chain-rings then I don't think it makes much difference if you ride 9 or 10sp in the rear because your granny will give you the easy gear and you can gear the same for speed on downhills. 9vs10 will just be a matter of how many overlapping gears you want in the middle. But hey, that's probably what a lot of people said when they hit 7 gears in the rear and the same thing that our kids will say about 16vs18 gears in the rear, right? But, as I said, to me it seems like we're getting to the point where the gears are close enough already that 9 vs 10 is mostly a matter of parts being made of thinner metal and wearing out faster. Is that one extra gear in there worth the extra time and $$$ into maintenance? If you race and make money from biking and it's worth the extra time and $$$ to have a potential tiny advantage then 10sp is worth it.

I ride 1x9 on my MTB and 2x9 on my road bike. I'd go 1x10 on the MTB just because "why not" if the maintenance/cost were the same, but it's not worth the money to me.
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Old 03-06-12, 06:50 AM   #5
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You should easily be able to get nine-speed shifters. I believe they are still made, and any of the usual online sources such as Jenson.com or UniversalCycles.com will have them.

FWIW, I like the *idea* of 10-speed in a two-ring configuration. I'm planning to go that way on my next build. With three rings up front, I'd just as soon go nine-speed. When it comes down to it, I favor a two-ring setup regardless of the number of speeds in the back.
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Old 03-06-12, 07:12 AM   #6
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It would seem more sensible to seek opinions of those who have actually ridden 10 speed setups rather than those who share your likely unfounded prejudices.
Oh, hell what fun would that be?

Besides, FWIW, after riding 9-speed a lot, I have pretty much concluded that it was largely a technological failure. I don't have much faith that 10-speed makes the weaknesses of 9 any better.
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Old 03-06-12, 01:55 PM   #7
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I run 9 and 10 speed cassettes with double and triple cranksets on road and mtb bikes. IMO a 7 speed with a triple was enough and a lot cheaper to maintain. The only reason to even look at 9 or 10 speeds for a mtb is simply because there's no choice. As per Shimano's tech documents, Tourney, Altus, Acera and Alivio are NOT intended for anything except city riding and smooth off-road paths. And those are the only component groups that are available in anything other than 9 or 10 speed.

So aside from that your component selection should depend entirely on its intended use. Saint is the ONLY Shimano group targeted at downhill and freeride. SLX is targeted primarily at trail riding and all-mountain, Deore is the most flexible and can handle trekking, trail or cross country. Deore LX is intended for trekking only. Deore XT can be used for trekking, but will also handle trail and cross country extremely well. XTR is the only component group specifically designed for cross country racing, and although it performs great at trail riding and cross country, its NOT suitable for free ride or downhill and is overkill for trekking or city riding - unless you just like the 'bling' factor.

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Old 03-06-12, 03:53 PM   #8
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Why is XTR not suitable for DH or FR?
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Old 03-06-12, 04:03 PM   #9
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...... My question is, is 10 speed really necessary for a mountain bike. ....
no, it is not really necessary, everyone seems to be riding mountain bikes quite well for a while with the 9 speed. as for things that are necessary for mountain biking, neither is suspension, or dropper posts, but i love my suspension and dropper post.

when they went from 8 speed to 9 speed, 9 speed sucked and had issues. now we all (mostly) ride 9 speed. right now we all (myself included) think 10 speed sucks and has issues. ask me in five years, i'll probably be used to 10 speed and say it's fine.
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Old 03-06-12, 07:39 PM   #10
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Wow, thanks for all the reply's. It seems the big companies don't ask us riders what we think before they started to make these 10 speed parts, and as for as buying 9 speed shifters, yes you can still get them, however the stock at most places are very low. Price Point had to call me to tell me that the ones I ordered, (SLX) where out of stock and they can't get any more from Shimano so I upgraded to XT.
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Old 03-06-12, 08:23 PM   #11
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I have 9 speed MTBs and don't know why they went from 8 speed to 9 speed on MTB's. Seriously, when I upgraded the wheelset and seat post on the dually earlier this year, the last thing I was thinking of was changing the shifters and gears. I'd rather spend money on a new helmet.
With regard to road bikes, I started out on a 7 speed STI bike several years ago, rebuilt it as a 8 speed and did see a difference in the performance. Again when I moved to 9 speed, I was glad I made the move. When I moved to 10 speed it came with the new bike I bought. Honestly, I don't see much difference between the 10 and the 9 except the chains on the 10 wear out much faster.
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Old 03-06-12, 09:06 PM   #12
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The aspect of 10-speed that I like is that of having just two rings up front. One can get that with a nine-speed setup too, of course, and I do run several of my bikes with 22/36/bash. That range covers the trail riding that I do. However, I am wanting a bit more top-end on the mountain bike that I also often ride on pavement, and for that something like the 26/38 setup I can get on a 10-speed crankset seems just the ticket. I'm hoping to make the change this spring before the snow melts. I've got about another month.
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Old 03-06-12, 10:41 PM   #13
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........

.....Price Point had to call me to tell me that the ones I ordered, (SLX) where out of stock and they can't get any more from Shimano so I upgraded to XT.

That one we can't exactly blame on Shimano. The complete SLX line is 9 speed and covers 8 pages in the 2012 Shimano catalogue. I think someone was telling you fairy tales.

See that? Some on-line merchants will try to sell you what they have in stock too!

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Old 03-06-12, 11:23 PM   #14
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It would seem more sensible to seek opinions of those who have actually ridden 10 speed setups rather than those who share your likely unfounded prejudices.
Yeah, I just can't understand why they went back to freewheels and friction shifters. Oh wait, wrong 10 speed....

In all seriousness, like 9 speed, when it's set up right it works great, when it isn't setup right, the experience will absolutely suck.

With the sram vs shimano thing, it is still the same as it was with 9 speed. A sram rear deraillieur won't work with a shimano shifter and vice versa.

The first version of 10 speed shimano won't work with the new 10 speed shimano stuff.

The 771-10 series XT, 770-10 XT won't work with the new 780 series XT (dyna-sys) The cable pull is different.

In theory you aren't really losing anything. On a fully geared bike there are gear combos that are a no go. With a double up front 2x10, you lost a chainring up front, but got an extra cog on the back. There is a 3x10 option, but I have hardly ever heard of anyone wanting that option, the doubles sell more than the triples I guess.

I've tried a couple of bikes with the 10 speed drivetrains, one with sram(XO), the other with shimano(XT). To me, the sram offering felt a bit cheap at the triggers, where I thought the shimano triggers felt better. Durability: Shimano easily, I've seen sram shifters come new out of the box and be broken. Shimano's shadow plus deraillieur with the adjustable friction is being viewed as a game changer. There are also some advantages to the sram stuff. The match maker is brilliant, if you have a busted chain you don't have to hope that your lbs has the correct 10 speed shimano chain, the 10 speed sram chains are the same between the road and mtb. The shimano 10 speed chain for mtb is different than their 10speed road chain. The biggest advantage for Sram is that their 10 speed mtb shifters are compatible with any of their 10 speed mtb deraillieurs.

While to be honest, I don't ever see myself having a bike with a 10 speed cassette, let alone 9 anymore.
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Old 03-07-12, 11:08 AM   #15
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Dannihilator, to the best of my knowledge, all Shimano's 10-speed mountain stuff including the 770-10 are DynaSys and are cross-compatible insofar as rear indexing goes, which is something to be thankful for... weird exceptions to the compatibility rules are always a bad thing

On the main topic, I'd take 10-speed Shimano DynaSys over 9-speed, and one reason is that DynaSys requires significantly more cable travel per shift, reducing the impact of less-than-perfect cable & housing condition. The 2x/3x mode switcher on the XT and XTR front shift pods is also nice. Another benefit of 10-speed is the 11-36 cassette option... the less chainring changing you have to do, the fewer opportunities for chainsuck, chain drop, or big changes in momentum (classic case: dumping to the granny ring on a steep climb).

Someone asked why 9sp had to supplant 8sp. The answer is MegaRange. The 11-34 is still the most popular cassette I see on customers' mountain bikes.

For those who simply oppose progress because it wasn't your idea, well... when I started mountain biking in about 1989, a 12-28 7-speed with a 26-36-46 was the de facto standard. How many of you would be happy with that today? All rightie then Save your outrage for XTR Di2 electronic shifting when it arrives; shouldn't be too much longer, I don't think.
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Old 03-07-12, 06:39 PM   #16
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Dannihilator, to the best of my knowledge, all Shimano's 10-speed mountain stuff including the 770-10 are DynaSys and are cross-compatible insofar as rear indexing goes, which is something to be thankful for... weird exceptions to the compatibility rules are always a bad thing
QBP and the area shimano technical rep says otherwise.

The rear can be made to work, the front won't.
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Old 08-23-12, 06:03 AM   #17
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For those who simply oppose progress because it wasn't your idea, well...
Not nearly as much to do with progress, as it does with making money. Every few years they make a different standard which makes older stuff incompatible. Oversize stems, different seat post diametres, 7-8-9-10 speed groups and chains. Most of it just marketing hype.


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when I started mountain biking in about 1989, a 12-28 7-speed with a 26-36-46 was the de facto standard. How many of you would be happy with that today?
I'd be very happy with such setup, thank you very much. See no point in anything above 8 speeds. I have ridden from 5 all the way to 10 cogs in the back. IT IS nice to have 10 at the back when it's all shiny, new, smooth. But the less cogs, the more spaced they are, the less worrying about setting up shifters, shifter gaining "play" after some time etc. That setup you said and a decent pair of v-brakes can get me anywhere I'd want to go. That's just my oppinion ofcourse.
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