Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Best 8 speed shifters available today?

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Best 8 speed shifters available today?

Old 11-07-16, 09:21 PM
  #1  
EricSteven5
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
EricSteven5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 55

Bikes: 1998 Cannondale F900

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Best 8 speed shifters available today?

So I think it's time to replace the rear shifters on my old trusty Cannondale F900, AGAIN. Currently running an Acera rear 8 speed shifter, which has probably 5000 miles on it. It will shift up but trying to go down it just won't move at all.

I'll take it in tomorrow to the LBS to see if they can get it working again (they just replaced shifter cables and cassette around 1000 miles ago). They also de-gunked the shifters at that time also. But I'm really just thinking I want something higher end that will last longer between needing corrections. The rest of the bike has pretty good specs and has been pretty bulletproof since I bought the bike new in 1999.

Are there any higher end 8 speed shifters still available new? I can't seem to find any aside from ebay ads claiming NOS. I've read that a 9 speed shifter will work, but.. I dunno...?

EDIT: These would be replacing rapid fire style shifters on a MTB. Would prefer to keep that style shifter.

Last edited by EricSteven5; 11-07-16 at 09:38 PM.
EricSteven5 is offline  
Old 11-07-16, 09:30 PM
  #2  
3alarmer
Friendship is Magic
 
3alarmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Tomato
Posts: 19,741

Bikes: old ones

Mentioned: 280 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21338 Post(s)
Liked 4,249 Times in 3,105 Posts
.
...there's a pretty bulletproof downtube 8 speed shifter from Shimano that you can buy for about 30 bucks online. But it only works if you want DT shifters.

Or you can look for barends in 8.

Either of those designs is probably more durable than ergo shifters.
3alarmer is offline  
Old 11-07-16, 09:38 PM
  #3  
EricSteven5
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
EricSteven5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 55

Bikes: 1998 Cannondale F900

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Sorry, should have specified that this would be replacing rapid-fire style shifters on a MTB...
EricSteven5 is offline  
Old 11-07-16, 09:43 PM
  #4  
3alarmer
Friendship is Magic
 
3alarmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Tomato
Posts: 19,741

Bikes: old ones

Mentioned: 280 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21338 Post(s)
Liked 4,249 Times in 3,105 Posts
Originally Posted by EricSteven5 View Post
Sorry, should have specified that this would be replacing rapid-fire style shifters on a MTB...
...never had one of those go bad. When they get sticky, they usually respond well to putting the bike on the stand, angling the bike down so the shifters are over a bucket, and running a quarter of a can of WD-40 through there while working the shifter. Worst case I had to run a pair through an ultrasonic cleaner once.

Can't say I ever had an Acera, though.
3alarmer is offline  
Old 11-07-16, 10:13 PM
  #5  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 15,054

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2973 Post(s)
Liked 1,261 Times in 883 Posts
We have a few 8x3 MtB shifters at the shop NIB we'd like to sell. I'll check out what their specs are and get back in a day or so (I'm only working a day a week currently so please be patient).


Although it sure sounds like the shifters have gotten gummed up again. If the shop that did the work before only sprayed out the pods and didn't actually solvent bathed and air blasted the pods then the thin spray lube has dried out and the not really removed old lube is still gummy. Don't think that a higher end lever set will have lube that lasts longer then the lube in a more basic level does. Perhaps the newer manufacturing of a newer set with newer lube will make you think it's the grade of lever that made the difference... Andy.
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Old 11-07-16, 10:14 PM
  #6  
Jeff Wills
Insane Bicycle Mechanic
 
Jeff Wills's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: other Vancouver
Posts: 9,552
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 681 Post(s)
Liked 323 Times in 213 Posts
Shimano, even at the lowest levels, tends to be bulletproof. I wonder what's happening in your mild climate with fresh cables and de-gunkifying.

In any case, these may be comparable to Acera:
Sunrace M53 8-Speed Shifter Set Black
MicroShift Mezzo Triple 8 speed Shift Levers
https://www.niagaracycle.com/categori...er-set-black-1
__________________
Jeff Wills

Comcast nuked my web page. It will return soon..

Last edited by Jeff Wills; 11-07-16 at 10:18 PM.
Jeff Wills is offline  
Old 11-07-16, 10:33 PM
  #7  
EricSteven5
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
EricSteven5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 55

Bikes: 1998 Cannondale F900

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
Shimano, even at the lowest levels, tends to be bulletproof. I wonder what's happening in your mild climate with fresh cables and de-gunkifying.]
I do a lot of riding on beach bike paths oftentimes in windy conditions next to sand. That's my only guess.

I assumed higher level shimano (XT or XTR) would be better protected from debris, as they are designed for off road and mud, etc..?
EricSteven5 is offline  
Old 11-07-16, 10:38 PM
  #8  
Bike Gremlin
Mostly harmless
 
Bike Gremlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Novi Sad
Posts: 4,176

Bikes: Custom made on Scott Speedster frame, Custom made on a 1996. steel MTB frame (all but frame changed at least once in the past 20 years).

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 994 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 31 Posts
Originally Posted by EricSteven5 View Post
I do a lot of riding on beach bike paths oftentimes in windy conditions next to sand. That's my only guess.

I assumed higher level shimano (XT or XTR) would be better protected from debris, as they are designed for off road and mud, etc..?
In my experience, the most durable Shimano MTB parts are Deore. XT, XTR - lighter, but not more durable.

I'd look for friction shifters for maximal possible durability.
Bike Gremlin is offline  
Old 11-07-16, 11:04 PM
  #9  
Jeff Wills
Insane Bicycle Mechanic
 
Jeff Wills's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: other Vancouver
Posts: 9,552
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 681 Post(s)
Liked 323 Times in 213 Posts
Originally Posted by EricSteven5 View Post
I do a lot of riding on beach bike paths oftentimes in windy conditions next to sand. That's my only guess.

I assumed higher level shimano (XT or XTR) would be better protected from debris, as they are designed for off road and mud, etc..?
I have a set of XTR first-series 8-speed shifters and they work fine. However, they don't get much use.

My 9-speed Shimano shifters have been bulletproof in all weather conditions here in the Pacific Northwet. I grew up in Southern California- I really doubt the teensy little breezes and occasional sand down there compares to our gusts & mud.
__________________
Jeff Wills

Comcast nuked my web page. It will return soon..
Jeff Wills is offline  
Old 11-08-16, 12:45 AM
  #10  
American Euchre
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 569
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 242 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by EricSteven5 View Post
So I think it's time to replace the rear shifters on my old trusty Cannondale F900, AGAIN. Currently running an Acera rear 8 speed shifter, which has probably 5000 miles on it. It will shift up but trying to go down it just won't move at all.

I'll take it in tomorrow to the LBS to see if they can get it working again (they just replaced shifter cables and cassette around 1000 miles ago). They also de-gunked the shifters at that time also. But I'm really just thinking I want something higher end that will last longer between needing corrections. The rest of the bike has pretty good specs and has been pretty bulletproof since I bought the bike new in 1999.

Are there any higher end 8 speed shifters still available new? I can't seem to find any aside from ebay ads claiming NOS. I've read that a 9 speed shifter will work, but.. I dunno...?

EDIT: These would be replacing rapid fire style shifters on a MTB. Would prefer to keep that style shifter.
Open up the pod and spray with triflow. Should work perfectly.
American Euchre is offline  
Old 11-08-16, 07:24 AM
  #11  
dsbrantjr
Senior Member
 
dsbrantjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 8,107

Bikes: '93 Trek 750, '92 Schwinn Crisscross, '93 Mongoose Alta

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1349 Post(s)
Liked 859 Times in 601 Posts
You might consider these: https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-SL-M3...qid=1478609190 Under $30 gets you a set of two including cables


I have the M310 7-speed version on two of my bikes and they have been entirely satisfactory.
dsbrantjr is offline  
Old 11-08-16, 09:14 AM
  #12  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,599

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,320 Times in 830 Posts
Best? IMO, Thumbie adapters from Paul Comp, and the 8 speed bar end shifter called the Ultegra model.

Use the levers from those..

And there are still 8 speed new bikes sold, you can always get the replacement shifters from that parts set.

Are there any higher end 8 speed shifters still available new?
check in at a bike shop, their wholesale distributors carry parts for repairs to older bikes,

that have been superseded by More 'speeds' parts for the latest OEM build specs.










Last edited by fietsbob; 11-08-16 at 09:26 AM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 11-08-16, 11:45 AM
  #13  
Eric S.
Senior Member
 
Eric S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 925

Bikes: '04 LeMond Buenos Aires, '82 Bianchi Nuova Racing, De Rosa SLX, Bridgestone MB-1, Guerciotti TSX, Torpado Aelle, LeMond Tourmalet 853, Bridgestone Radac

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
Liked 43 Times in 33 Posts
I don't do any serious mountain biking, but I've been using Grip Shift for quite a few years. It's simple, inexpensive and just works.
Eric S. is offline  
Old 11-08-16, 11:57 AM
  #14  
willydstyle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 654
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 146 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
You might consider these: https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-SL-M3...qid=1478609190 Under $30 gets you a set of two including cables


I have the M310 7-speed version on two of my bikes and they have been entirely satisfactory.
Isn't that the exact model that OP wants to replace?
willydstyle is offline  
Old 11-09-16, 05:08 PM
  #15  
EricSteven5
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
EricSteven5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 55

Bikes: 1998 Cannondale F900

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Update: Shop could not de gunk the Acera shifter.

These are messed up shifters currently on there: https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-SL-M3.../dp/B003ZMH6IO

I had them order a 9 speed Deore shifter. 2-3 day wait time. Hopefully holds up better than Acera. To be fair Ive put the Acera through some tough tours in foul weather.

Nothing higher than Acera for 8 speeds unfortunately. Maybe when this new cassette wears down I can put a 9 on.

Last edited by EricSteven5; 11-09-16 at 05:16 PM.
EricSteven5 is offline  
Old 11-09-16, 05:40 PM
  #16  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 12,009

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Timberjack, Expert TG, Samba tandem

Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2392 Post(s)
Liked 1,131 Times in 737 Posts
At $20 shipped for a new shifter I don't know if I'd be really heartbroken about it.

For the 9s shifter to work you might need to be clever like this: Mixing Brands of Shifters, Rear Derailers and Cassettes
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is online now  
Old 11-09-16, 07:58 PM
  #17  
Bezalel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: City of Brotherly Love
Posts: 1,561

Bikes: Raleigh Companion, Nashbar Touring, Novara DiVano, Trek FX 7.1, Giant Upland

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Going to 9-speed opens up more options. to get started all you really need to change is shifters, chain, and cassette.
Bezalel is offline  
Old 11-09-16, 08:47 PM
  #18  
EricSteven5
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
EricSteven5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 55

Bikes: 1998 Cannondale F900

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The cassette will be staying 8 speed until it wears out. Less than 1000 miles on the new cassette. The shop said they have a way so the new 9 speed shifter will only make use of the 8 cogs..?
EricSteven5 is offline  
Old 11-09-16, 09:38 PM
  #19  
Jeff Wills
Insane Bicycle Mechanic
 
Jeff Wills's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: other Vancouver
Posts: 9,552
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 681 Post(s)
Liked 323 Times in 213 Posts
Originally Posted by EricSteven5 View Post
The cassette will be staying 8 speed until it wears out. Less than 1000 miles on the new cassette. The shop said they have a way so the new 9 speed shifter will only make use of the 8 cogs..?
You can do that by replacing all the spacers between the cogs with 9-speed spacers and changing out any cogs with built-in spacers. Not tough, but I'd rather just switch to a 9-speed cassette.
__________________
Jeff Wills

Comcast nuked my web page. It will return soon..
Jeff Wills is offline  
Old 11-09-16, 10:06 PM
  #20  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 15,054

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2973 Post(s)
Liked 1,261 Times in 883 Posts
Shimano 9 speed and 8 speed systems have different cog to cog spacing. Not by a lot but enough so after a few shift it adds up and the remaining shifts are off a bit. So most will consider 8 and 9 speed systems to be not compatible, shifter and cassette wise. Andy
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Old 11-09-16, 11:40 PM
  #21  
EricSteven5
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
EricSteven5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 55

Bikes: 1998 Cannondale F900

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Shimano 9 speed and 8 speed systems have different cog to cog spacing. Not by a lot but enough so after a few shift it adds up and the remaining shifts are off a bit. So most will consider 8 and 9 speed systems to be not compatible, shifter and cassette wise. Andy
I have a loaded tour coming up and need this rig to be solid. I've read that 8 speed chains can take more load than 9-11, due to being thicker.. Is this true?

Should I scrap the 8 and go with a new 9 speed cassette? I'm not even sure a 9 will fit with the original late 90s mtb rims on there
EricSteven5 is offline  
Old 11-10-16, 12:09 AM
  #22  
Bike Gremlin
Mostly harmless
 
Bike Gremlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Novi Sad
Posts: 4,176

Bikes: Custom made on Scott Speedster frame, Custom made on a 1996. steel MTB frame (all but frame changed at least once in the past 20 years).

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 994 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 31 Posts
Originally Posted by EricSteven5 View Post
I have a loaded tour coming up and need this rig to be solid. I've read that 8 speed chains can take more load than 9-11, due to being thicker.. Is this true?

Should I scrap the 8 and go with a new 9 speed cassette? I'm not even sure a 9 will fit with the original late 90s mtb rims on there
9 speed shifter can be made to work - decently well with an 8 speed cassette - alternate cable routing. Wrote how to here:
7) Bicycle rear shifter compatibility - Cycle Gremlin

8 speed chain is cheaper. It is a bit wider, but 9 speed chain won't break from pedalling. 8 speed drivetrain has more space between adjacent cogs, more cable pull per gear change, therefore, it is less sensitive to RD misalignment and any play in shifter cables, or housing. I'd stay with 8 speed Acera, over 9 speed Deore any day. Especially in terms of shifters. Used Acera shifter for full 3 years all year round cycling, some 5000 km per year minimal, without problems. After 3 years the bike got stolen, shifters were fine.

Last edited by Bike Gremlin; 08-24-20 at 04:59 AM.
Bike Gremlin is offline  
Old 11-10-16, 04:39 AM
  #23  
sarahbruce
Senior Member
 
sarahbruce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Lady Lake Florida
Posts: 184
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 59 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by EricSteven5 View Post
I have a loaded tour coming up and need this rig to be solid. I've read that 8 speed chains can take more load than 9-11, due to being thicker.. Is this true?

Should I scrap the 8 and go with a new 9 speed cassette? I'm not even sure a 9 will fit with the original late 90s mtb rims on there
Hopefully your new 9 spd shifter works out for you. If I wanted the most reliable and bomb proof option, I would have to go with this-
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...6DP1WV7KS3D6GA

8 speed indexed thumb shifter gets great reviews and is very simple! If you are doing touring then you probably don't really need any kind of rapid fire shifting and thumbies can be very quick once you get used to them anyways.
Bruce
sarahbruce is offline  
Old 11-10-16, 08:57 AM
  #24  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 15,054

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2973 Post(s)
Liked 1,261 Times in 883 Posts
Originally Posted by EricSteven5 View Post
I have a loaded tour coming up and need this rig to be solid. I've read that 8 speed chains can take more load than 9-11, due to being thicker.. Is this true?

Should I scrap the 8 and go with a new 9 speed cassette? I'm not even sure a 9 will fit with the original late 90s mtb rims on there


As Slaninar said the working differences between 8 and 9 speed are about wear more then load capacity. But there are other aspects not mentioned that can be at play.


What ergonomics does the shifter have? What gearing range and steps do either 8 or 9 speed have? Will others be riding with you and what set up do they have?


As far as the grade of the system goes- I prefer Deore over Acera for the der aspect. One thing I would consider is to install XT level pulleys, their bushing/bearing design do last longer then Deore or Acera do. Andy.
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Old 11-10-16, 09:05 AM
  #25  
Wilfred Laurier
Seor Member
 
Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,051
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 633 Post(s)
Liked 278 Times in 203 Posts
I don't know if they still make it, or where you could buy it, but the Sram Attack shifters were available in Shimano compatible 8 speed the last time I looked. These are not the same as the MRX shifters that were supplied on millions of entry-level bikes since the early 90s - these are a design that was sold by Sachs for a couple years before Sram bought them, and they are excellent.

I believe you said above that you have gripshifters and like them, well I think the standard gripshift design is crap-ola, but the Attack design is very very good.
Wilfred Laurier is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.