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Is it possible to convert 9sp Mtn to 10 or 11 sp?

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Is it possible to convert 9sp Mtn to 10 or 11 sp?

Old 08-18-16, 07:12 PM
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Is it possible to convert 9sp Mtn to 10 or 11 sp?

I worked as a mechanic in bike shops for years when I was younger but am stalled with 1980's technology and need some advice. I'm also more versed in road bikes than mountain bikes as mountain bikes came out after I stopped working in shops.

I bought a new old stock Kona Cinder Cone 3 ring crank/9 speed sprocket mtn bike. I want to upgrade the shifters to XTR and the mechs and cassette to a 10 or 11 speed XT or XTR. Is this possible to do with the current rear wheel? Will the newer 10/11 cassettes work on that wheel without major adjusting or having to buy a new wheel? Can I upgrade the crank to without major effort?

This is a good bike and frame but the current parts are of lesser quality.

Thoughts?
Grant
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Old 08-18-16, 07:24 PM
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10 speed yes; 11 speed needs a new hub.

For 10 speed, you'll need: cassette (and spacer, some 10 speed cassettes come with the spacer), new RD, new rear shifter, new 10 speed chain, new cable and housing is recommended.

The crankset and FD will be fine.

You will be very hard pressed to feel the difference when riding.
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Old 08-19-16, 07:38 AM
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If you are lucky you can swap free hubs to go to 11 spd capability, if not then you will need a new wheel.
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Old 08-19-16, 07:48 AM
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But why? 'Speeds/Vitesses' is a euphemism, you still have to work , And it costs money to buy the whole kit again,

and to be so much skinnier the steel on chains wears thru* faster.

* rollers ride on thinner metal.
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Old 08-19-16, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
But why? 'Speeds/Vitesses' is a euphemism, you still have to work , And it costs money to buy the whole kit again,

and to be so much skinnier the steel on chains wears thru* faster.

* rollers ride on thinner metal.
+++ better said than I did.
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Old 08-19-16, 11:05 AM
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Have you looked at the price of XTR? It will be worth 2 or 3 times the price of the bike. The cassette is $200.

My understanding is that 11 speed Shimano MTB cassettes fit on a 10 speed hub. So a derailleur, shifter, chain, and cassette should be all you need.
I don't think 11 speed is intended to run with a 3 ring crank so you may have to go 1X or 2 at the most.
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Old 08-19-16, 11:10 AM
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Nothing wrong with the older 3 x 9s. You can still get good quality components for them and they are very reliable. I've got 3 x 9 on both my MTB and my touring mutt and a 2 x 10 on my road bike and all of them are a joy to ride. My previous MTB was a 3 x 7 and honestly worked every bit as well as my 3 x 9. The only noticeable difference was slightly bigger gaps between the lower gears.

If you must upgrade, IMHO going to the 10sp will give you better bang for your buck but the 9sp drivetrain you have is likely more durable. I discourage people from upgrading for the sake of upgrading. If it works don't fix it.
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Old 08-19-16, 11:26 AM
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Good advice folks. Thank you.
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Old 08-19-16, 11:38 AM
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FWIW, 11 speed Shimano mtb cassettes will work fine on an 8/9/10 sp Shimano/SRAM freehub body. It's 11 speed Shimano/SRAM road cassettes that require a different freehub body.
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Old 08-19-16, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by GravelMN
Nothing wrong with the older 3 x 9s. You can still get good quality components for them and they are very reliable. I've got 3 x 9 on both my MTB and my touring mutt and a 2 x 10 on my road bike and all of them are a joy to ride. My previous MTB was a 3 x 7 and honestly worked every bit as well as my 3 x 9. The only noticeable difference was slightly bigger gaps between the lower gears.

If you must upgrade, IMHO going to the 10sp will give you better bang for your buck but the 9sp drivetrain you have is likely more durable. I discourage people from upgrading for the sake of upgrading. If it works don't fix it.
+1 I'm still running 9-speed on my mountain bike. The only reason I can see to go 10-speed is to get the clutch derailleur. The 770-series XT stuff is great.
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Old 08-19-16, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by nfmisso
10 speed yes; 11 speed needs a new hub.
no you don't - as were looking at Shimano here the spec of the Shimano MTB freehub hasn't changed since they went from 7 to 8 speed back in 1993/4ish

Originally Posted by nfmisso
For 10 speed, you'll need: cassette (and spacer, some 10 speed cassettes come with the spacer)
no you don't - MTB cassettes don't have spacers, only Shimano 10 speed road do.
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