I was hoping to hear some opinions on 8 versus 9 speed for a touring bike. I am seriously considering having a touring bike built and the LBS has recommended that an 8 speed shifter is best. Their rational is that the thinner chain for a 9 speed is subject to stretching. I have never read about this concern. When I look at the trek 520 or the Cannondales I see that they are 9 speed.
Anyway I would be interested in hear some opinions. I am aiming to have a bike with a range of approx 20 to 100 gear inches and my feeling is that the additional increments in the lower range would be beneficial. The area that I ride has a lot of hills and unfortunaltely my knees are not getting any younger.
Thank for your opinions