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Converting 8 Speed to 9 Speed

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Converting 8 Speed to 9 Speed

Old 10-01-18, 09:56 PM
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Converting 8 Speed to 9 Speed

I'm upgrading an eight speed MTB (3X8) to nine speed (3X9). One last item I am lacking is a nine speed (right/rear) shifter. As an eight speed, I have Shimano Alivio shifters which are mounted directly to the brake levers (see photos).

Is it possible to get a nine speed Shimano shifter to replace the eight speed, that is, a shifter that mounts directly to the the same brake lever?

Thanks for your help!

Shifter mounts directly to the brake lever


Indicator on shifter which is mounted on right (rear) brake lever

Last edited by MTBaddict; 10-01-18 at 10:02 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 10-01-18, 10:16 PM
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Shimano has had a number of lever integrated shifters over the years, some same and different gear count specs in any one year (with and without gear indicators). But what I don't have a memory of is which have the same interface with the lever's mount, across the gear counts. What I have done many times is to hack saw off the lever's mounting "tab" and use a separate clamp around the bars lever pod. The brake lever remains the same and only the shift lever is different. For those who want both sides to be the same I've done some as a pair. Andy
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Old 10-01-18, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
...hack saw off the lever's mounting "tab" and use a separate clamp around the bars lever pod. The brake lever remains the same
Yes, I was looking for a shifter with the same interface. Your idea about trimming the lever does sound somewhat appealing though, as I am not really interested in having a matching indicator and can pickup a single Deore shifter very reasonably. I really don't want to replace both shifters, brake levers, cables and housing right now.
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Old 10-02-18, 12:35 AM
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If I remember correctly the type of mounting you show was used on 7 speed and a number of 8 speed, but not all. They could be mounted to a clamp or integrated by mounting the the brake.

i don't recall any 9 speed triggers that had that clamp interface.

I'm assuming you want 9 speed to get more range.

John
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Old 10-02-18, 09:50 AM
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This is what I used on my 2 bikes-
https://www.amazon.com/SHIMANO-Speed...TF8&th=1&psc=1

IF you have Canti brakes, you need the "4 finger" version with the 4A Suffix. IF V brakes the 2 or 4 finger version will work.
The 4 finger version has a little plug you move to switch from one to the other.
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Old 10-02-18, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
This is what I used on my 2 bikes-
What you are showing is 7-speed. I'm going in the other direction, from 8 to 9 not 8 to 7.
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Old 10-02-18, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by MTBaddict View Post
What you are showing is 7-speed. I'm going in the other direction, from 8 to 9 not 8 to 7.
Well, click the link and pick9!
They come in 7-9 speed. I just happened to have a 7 speed handy when I took that pic to show people like you how the brakes are usable for Canti or V Brakes.
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Old 10-02-18, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
Well, click the link and pick9!
They come in 7-9 speed.
Okay, I see, and that would certainly work. I just wanted to keep it simple and not have to replace both brake levers and shift levers because everything is working and is in good shape. My only one true need is a 9-speed shifter rather than the 8-speed which is on it now. Maybe next time I am replacing cables and housing I will replace the levers as well with matching shift and brake levers.
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Old 10-02-18, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
I'm assuming you want 9 speed to get more range.
I have a stock pile of new 9-speed parts. The 8-speed drive train was worn so I put on a new 9-speed cassette, a new triple crankset with new rings, and a new 9-speed chain.
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Old 10-03-18, 05:19 AM
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When I upgraded my 7 speed I found that you can't do one piece at a time, you had to do the whole thing at once. All I wanted was better braking and replace old Cantis with new V-brakes. One incompatible component led to another, then another. I would replace the shifter/lever with individually mounted ones. You get more flexibility that way. And yes you should replace the cables and housing unless they were relatively new. My new brake levers came with cables, as did my shifters. I already had leftover housing of the proper types. It all made a big difference in how it worked.
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Old 10-03-18, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
When I upgraded my 7 speed I found that you can't do one piece at a time...
The bike already had 9-speed derailleurs (front and rear), 9-speed crankset, etc. The only 8-speed items were the cassette, chain and shifter. Yes, it is nice to do a more complete change over with matching components but there is substantial cross compatibility among Shimano components and (for this particular backup/commuter/city bike) I don't want to take perfectly serviceable components out service simply because the color or style doesn't match.
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Old 10-03-18, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by MTBaddict View Post
The bike already had 9-speed derailleurs (front and rear), 9-speed crankset, etc. The only 8-speed items were the cassette, chain and shifter. Yes, it is nice to do a more complete change over with matching components but there is substantial cross compatibility among Shimano components and (for this particular backup/commuter/city bike) I don't want to take perfectly serviceable components out service simply because the color or style doesn't match.
It had nothing to do with color or style. My original idea was to replace cantis with v-brakes. Well, cable pull on v-brakes is different and you need different levers. My levers were integrated with the shifters like yours were, so that meant new shifters as well. If I'm doing new shifters, I figure I should get the latest ones, which at the time was 10 speed Dynasys. But 10 speed needed a different derailleur, and of course a 10sp cassette and chain. My rear wheel was 7/8/9, so I first used 9 of 10 cogs on the rear. On top of that, I had built a new front wheel with a dynamo, but it was the rear rim that needed replacing so I did the rear too on the old hub. That wouldn't do so I bought a 10sp hub and shifted the spokes and rim over since it was the same spoke length.

All in all though the money I spent was mostly on the dynamo and light, not on the other components which were surprisingly cheap for XT. And now I have a bike that shifts flawlessly and easily with a light tough, brakes that'll stop on a dime, smooth wheels that are as straight as the day I made them, a quiet drivetrain because everything is compatible, and lights that are always on. All this on what was a beater bike. It's a wolf in pigs clothing, to mix metaphors.
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Old 10-04-18, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
It had nothing to do with color or style. My original idea was to replace cantis with v-brakes. Well, cable pull on v-brakes is different and you need different levers. My levers were integrated with the shifters like yours were, so that meant new shifters as well.
Funny, these integrated brakes + shifters (Shimano Alivio) have a feature that allows the brake leverage ratio to be switched such that they can be used with canti's, V's, and disc brakes.
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Old 10-04-18, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by MTBaddict View Post
Funny, these integrated brakes + shifters (Shimano Alivio) have a feature that allows the brake leverage ratio to be switched such that they can be used with canti's, V's, and disc brakes.
Mine were much older than yours, before the invention of v-brakes. I was out on this bike today and again, it shifts flawlessly, 10 speed Dyna-sys is a different animal from the 7/8/9 speed mechanism. The XT v-brakes work very well even in the wet weather we had this evening. The one thing I didn't upgrade was the crank and front der, except I more recently put a new 48 tooth chainring on as the old one was just worn out. And since I was doing it I bought one that was specifically 10 speed.

My point is still that once you start, you go on a never ending upgrade path, although re-reading your posts I see that you already have it all except the 3 parts, although that proves my point too, you are upgrading the leftover items.

Enjoy your ride whatever you decide.
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