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7 speed group set. (Has Shimano and others abandoned us?)

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7 speed group set. (Has Shimano and others abandoned us?)

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Old 10-11-15, 10:38 AM
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elmore leonard
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7 speed group set. (Has Shimano and others abandoned us?)

What is a good 7 speed group set to buy these days? I notice when I search "7 speed group sets" there are very few to choose from, if any. Lots for 11 speeds and others. Many 7 speed mountain bike need refurbishing and the companies seem to have discontinued the upgrades for 7 speeds when they maybe needed most.
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Let me put it another way. If one had to put together a 7 speed group set, from brand new parts? What would be the holy grail 7 speed group set one could make up these days?

Edited to ask from brand new parts?

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Old 10-11-15, 10:40 AM
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There are plenty of individual 7 speed parts available to replace worn out parts. I doubt there's much demand for full 7 speed groups.
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Old 10-11-15, 10:50 AM
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+1. It's like the old days with 7-speed -- you gotta assemble the "group" yourself. Shimano still makes 7-speed thumbshifters (A050) and brifters (A070). Cassettes and freewheels, too. And 6/7/8-speed chain. Derailleurs, I think 8-speed is the lowest they make now, but that's no big deal. My bikes that are cobbled together from early-90s parts do the same thing. Beyond that, it's parts like cranksets and brakes that are more agnostic as to speeds.

The one thing that's missing is 7-speed-specific cassette rear hubs. I'm not aware of any in current production from Shimano, but the good news is that there are a lot of perfectly-good used ones still floating around. They still make replacement freehub bodies, which is nice. In fact, with many of their hubs, it's still possible to transplant a 7-speed freehub body onto a newer hub -- that would allow you to make brand-new 130mm 7-speed hubs for those old mountain bikes. (You may need to futz around with different drive-side cones to get the best fit to the seal, though.)

So life isn't so bad for those of us stuck in 7-speed land. As my dad would put it, "it just takes a little more doin'."
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Old 10-11-15, 10:51 AM
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7 speed freewheels are available; so are 7 speed cassettes which can work on 8-9-10 speed hubs with a spacer. Sevens speed shifters are available or you could use friction. Parts are not a problem for 7 speed set ups.
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Old 10-11-15, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
+1. It's like the old days with 7-speed -- you gotta assemble the "group" yourself. Shimano still makes 7-speed thumbshifters (A050) and brifters (A070). Cassettes and freewheels, too. And 6/7/8-speed chain. Derailleurs, I think 8-speed is the lowest they make now, but that's no big deal. My bikes that are cobbled together from early-90s parts do the same thing. Beyond that, it's parts like cranksets and brakes that are more agnostic as to speeds.

The one thing that's missing is 7-speed-specific cassette rear hubs. I'm not aware of any in current production from Shimano, but the good news is that there are a lot of perfectly-good used ones still floating around. They still make replacement freehub bodies, which is nice. In fact, with many of their hubs, it's still possible to transplant a 7-speed freehub body onto a newer hub -- that would allow you to make brand-new 130mm 7-speed hubs for those old mountain bikes. (You may need to futz around with different drive-side cones to get the best fit to the seal, though.)

So life isn't so bad for those of us stuck in 7-speed land. As my dad would put it, "it just takes a little more doin'."
+ 1 on this but you can use a spacer so that a 7 speed cassette works on a 8-9-10 cassette hub.
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Old 10-11-15, 11:08 AM
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Anyone tried those new Tourney thumbshifters TX-30 and TZ-50? The levers sure look short on those.
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Old 10-11-15, 11:09 AM
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Let me put it another way. If one had to put together a 7 speed group set, from brand new parts? What would be the holy grail 7 speed group set one could make up?
For me seven speeds is enough. I don't want 11 speeds.
..................................
Edited to ask from brand new parts?

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Old 10-11-15, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
+ 1 on this but you can use a spacer so that a 7 speed cassette works on a 8-9-10 cassette hub.
That can work, but then the extra dish of the wheel goes to waste, and that bugs me. I feel like you might as well use an 8-speed cassette at that point, 8-speed shifters and other parts not being hard to find, either.
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Old 10-11-15, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by elmore leonard View Post
What is a good 7 speed group set to buy these days? I notice when I search "7 speed group sets" there are very few to choose from, if any. Lots for 11 speeds and others. Many 7 speed mountain bike need refurbishing and the companies seem to have discontinued the upgrades for 7 speeds when they maybe needed most.
I imagine only OEMs can get 7-speed groups these days. For the most part, when buying new replacement parts the only things that need to be "grouped" on 7-sp MTB are rear shifter and rear derailleur. And even that's not so tough. If you have a Sram X.3 rear derailleur, you gotta shift it with a Sram X3 shifter, and vice versa.

Microshift, Shimano, Sram (except X3) and Sunrace 7-speed stuff is all interchangeable, AFAIK
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Old 10-11-15, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by elmore leonard View Post
Let me put it another way. If one had to put together a 7 speed group set? What would be the holy grail 7 speed group set one could make up?
For me seven speeds is enough. I don't want 11 speeds.
Depends on what you're going for.

For refurbing a nice, 1990-ish MTB:

Deore II, DX or XT thumbshifters
LX, DX, XT, XTR 7 or 8-speed rear derailleur
XT 7 or 8 speed front derailleur
M700 crankset

OR

XC-Pro (some Comp or plain XC bits perfectly acceptable.)

If you mean grail group from widely available brand-new parts, I'd have to mull that over a bit.
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Old 10-11-15, 11:31 AM
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"Grail" is a tough call, since the stuff being made now is so pedestrian. And if you try to go upmarket by buying derailleurs meant for more speeds, the cages get narrower and more finicky about shifting and chain width.

If I could wish the 6400 Tricolor group back into production, that's what I'd use.
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Old 10-11-15, 02:05 PM
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Shimano 6400 and Dura Ace 7400 7 speed studf is still out there NOS.

You could put a group together from either one of those series buying the pieces individually, but it would cost several times what you'd pay for new 5800 or 6800.

Another option is to look around for a super low mileage complete bike with 7 speed and swap the parts over. More likely to be found in very large or very small size bikes. Not NOS, but really just as good as.
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Old 10-11-15, 02:15 PM
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Shimano still makes everything you need for a seven speed. The brand new 7speed rear derailleurs are pretty cheesey looking but, they work OK. If you want vintage or NOS look for old Deore or Sora stuff.
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Old 10-17-15, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
Anyone tried those new Tourney thumbshifters TX-30 and TZ-50? The levers sure look short on those.
I bought the TX-30 6 speed, broke on my 3rd commute!
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