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Build with DA9 or 105 10 speed?

Old 01-21-11, 10:20 AM
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Fast505
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Build with DA9 or 105 10 speed?

I'm building up an old Centurion Dave Scott Expert frame (1987) for my oldest kid. My apologies to the purists, but I'm going with brifters. I have basically all the 9 speed stuff I need except that my right side DA shifter is broken (typical problem of a worn internal plate and no upshifting unless the outer lever is held in position). I also have in stock a 105 10 speed left STI lever and a cassette. I'm tempted to find the drivetrain parts I need to just go 10 speed.

So, my options seem to be to either repair or replace the DA9 right shifter or go 10 speed drivetrain. Looking for opinions/suggestions.

As far as i know, I need a right 105 STI shifter, 10 speed chainrings, and a 10 speed chain. I believe I can use the old Ultegra 6500 cranks and derailleurs, and I don't much car about it looking Fredish. My only concern is whether the 10 speed chainrings will work properly with a 6500 crank.

I'm tempted to rebuild the 7700 shifter, but finding the replacment part is a problem. I could buy a used one on ebay i suppose, but even these are going for $70+ and then there's no guarantees.
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Old 01-21-11, 10:59 AM
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If you decide 10 speed, you should be able to use the existing 9 speed chainrings with the 10 speed chain.
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Old 01-21-11, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by pennstater View Post
If you decide 10 speed, you should be able to use the existing 9 speed chainrings with the 10 speed chain.
Is this true? I thought that the 9 speed chainrings might be too thick for the 10 speed chain.
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Old 01-21-11, 11:51 AM
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Chainring thickness is not a problem at all. On dedicated 10-speed cranks, the rings are placed slightly closer together (put each ring is the same thickness as 9-speed AFAIK), but the difference in spacing is marginal and normally insignificant. I'd say stick with the 6500 crank and chainrings.

I would first see if you can find a right-hand shifter that will work with the 9-speed stuff. Tiagra would be the best new stuff, or you might get lucky and find a 6500 or 5500 on ebay. Then use whichever of the 2 left-hand levers you have matches the ergonomics/feel of the mis-matched RH lever the best.
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Old 01-21-11, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
Chainring thickness is not a problem at all. On dedicated 10-speed cranks, the rings are placed slightly closer together (put each ring is the same thickness as 9-speed AFAIK), but the difference in spacing is marginal and normally insignificant. I'd say stick with the 6500 crank and chainrings.

I would first see if you can find a right-hand shifter that will work with the 9-speed stuff. Tiagra would be the best new stuff, or you might get lucky and find a 6500 or 5500 on ebay. Then use whichever of the 2 left-hand levers you have matches the ergonomics/feel of the mis-matched RH lever the best.
OK, so it sounds like 10 speed chainrings alone will not alter the shifting characteristics because the spacing is established by the cranks. I hear people talking about the chain "floating" over the small ring when downshifting the FD. Having to get a 10 speed crank to complete the 10s drivetrain is too much.
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Old 01-21-11, 01:28 PM
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You can use all your 9-speed stuff with a 10 speed 105 shifter, and $40 Shiftmate.
https://www.jtekengineering.com/shiftmate.htm
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Old 01-21-11, 01:55 PM
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You could use the alternate cable routing to use the 9 speed cassette with the 10 speed shifter..

I've used a 6500 crank with a 6600 front derrailleur, but I did need a 10 speed chain on that derrailleur. This was done with 6600 brifters and 105 cassette, I had no shifting issues. I also ran with a 9 speed Tiagra setup, with that crank.

I have a buddy that used the 6600 shifters with a 9 speed cassette and the alternate cable routing, so I've seen it work. Sheldon Brown talks about it.
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Old 01-21-11, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Fast505 View Post
I hear people talking about the chain "floating" over the small ring when downshifting the FD. Having to get a 10 speed crank to complete the 10s drivetrain is too much.
The "floating" (aka skating) problems you were told about came during the transition from 8 to 9-speed. The narrower 9-speed chain would sometimes skate on the teeth of the smaller ring if the shift was made under high chain tension. Even then it was a minor issue.

Shimano and Campy both slightly reduced the gap between the rings on 9-speed cranks by offsetting the teeth of one ring to prevent this problem. Now with the narrower 9-speed gap, the switch to 10-speed doesn't seem to have caused any problems.

I'm running a 10-speed chain and cassette with a 9-speed Shimano Ultegra crank and have had no shifting difficulties whatsoever.
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Old 01-21-11, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Fast505 View Post
OK, so it sounds like 10 speed chainrings alone will not alter the shifting characteristics because the spacing is established by the cranks. I hear people talking about the chain "floating" over the small ring when downshifting the FD. Having to get a 10 speed crank to complete the 10s drivetrain is too much.
i would verify what shimano changed.

when campagnolo moved to 10spd they milled the mounting tabs of the outside ring. this moves the outer ring closer to improve shifting performance. it also allows you to "update" old cranks. i have a c-record crank running a 10spd ring and the c-c distance is identical to my 10spd chorus cranks.

i found the shifting performance much better with the 10spd ring. with the 8spd ring i had issues shifting to the large ring under load and it would occasionally over shift going to the small ring. with the 10spd ring the front shifting has been perfect.

with 9spd rings it should not be as bad, but if you are only a ring away, look into it.
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Old 01-21-11, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Fast505 View Post
I hear people talking about the chain "floating" over the small ring when downshifting the FD.
It happens, I've seen it. I didn't think this would be a problem until I saw it happen in person, but it does happen, occasionally. I've seen it on two bikes in three years in our shop. It certainly isn't a problem on all of these "mismatched" situations, but if it does happen you CANNOT get the front shifting to be reliable, the "floating" will occur intermittently no matter what you do, no matter what you adjust. In the two cases in our shop, switching to cranks designated as "ten speed" solved the problem immediately. It can actually be dangerous if it does happen, because when you shift to the smaller ring and the chain doesn't engage the chainring......it can hurt.

Last edited by well biked; 01-21-11 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 01-21-11, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by thirdgenbird View Post
i would verify what shimano changed.
Shimano off-set the teeth of the smaller chainring toward the big ring to reduce the gap. The crank arms remained the same.
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Old 01-21-11, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by well biked View Post
It happens, I've seen it. I didn't think this would be a problem until I saw it happen in person, but it does happen, occasionally. I've seen it on two bikes in three years in our shop. It certainly isn't a problem on all of these "mismatched" situations, but if it does happen you CANNOT get the front shifting to be reliable, the "floating" will occur intermittently no matter what you do, no matter what you adjust. In the two cases in our shop, switching to cranks designated as "ten speed" solved the problem immediately. It can actually be dangerous if it does happen, because when you shift to the smaller ring and the chain doesn't engage the chainring......it can hurt.
this was my experience as well. i should have clarified that by occasional, i meant 1-2 times a week. after the 10spd ring it has never happened.

the worst part was that the FD would not bring the chain back up. i had to pull a schleck and manually fix the chain.
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Old 01-21-11, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
The "floating" (aka skating) problems you were told about came during the transition from 8 to 9-speed. The narrower 9-speed chain would sometimes skate on the teeth of the smaller ring if the shift was made under high chain tension. Even then it was a minor issue.
This floating came about when 9 went to 10 speed as well. Mostly when FSA for example tried to market their 9 speed cranks/chainrings as 10 speed compatible.

They were not.

The chain would skate in between the rings, notably on campy 10 speed compacts and FSA compacts. This is VERY dangerous if someone shifted coming off a stop light to lose the entire drivetrain mid intersection.

FSA responded by redesigning their chainrings to bring them closer together. It is this *exact* problem which leads the chain to rub/hit the large ring in the smaller rear cogs on most 10 speed setups. It doesn't matter anyways, those gears are redundant.

Shimano 9 and 10 speed rings are speed specific. If you try and mount a 10 speed ring on a 9 speed crank shifting WILL suck. As an experiment, mount the inner ring on a double backwards. The chain will skate like a mother****er.

Originally Posted by well biked View Post
It happens, I've seen it. I didn't think this would be a problem until I saw it happen in person, but it does happen, occasionally. I've seen it on two bikes in three years in our shop. It certainly isn't a problem on all of these "mismatched" situations, but if it does happen you CANNOT get the front shifting to be reliable, the "floating" will occur intermittently no matter what you do, no matter what you adjust. In the two cases in our shop, switching to cranks designated as "ten speed" solved the problem immediately. It can actually be dangerous if it does happen, because when you shift to the smaller ring and the chain doesn't engage the chainring......it can hurt.
Spoken like someone who actually works on bikes for a living. Bravo.
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Old 01-21-11, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
This floating came about when 9 went to 10 speed as well. Mostly when FSA for example tried to market their 9 speed cranks/chainrings as 10 speed compatible.

They were not.

The chain would skate in between the rings, notably on campy 10 speed compacts and FSA compacts. This is VERY dangerous if someone shifted coming off a stop light to lose the entire drivetrain mid intersection.

FSA responded by redesigning their chainrings to bring them closer together. It is this *exact* problem which leads the chain to rub/hit the large ring in the smaller rear cogs on most 10 speed setups. It doesn't matter anyways, those gears are redundant.
As I remember it, FSA had a lot of problems with their 9-speed cranks too so poor shifting with them isn't a surprise. As I said, I'm using a 10-speed chain on a 9-speed Shimano Ultegra crank with absolutely no shifting problems and it never skates.

Originally Posted by operator View Post
Shimano 9 and 10 speed rings are speed specific. If you try and mount a 10 speed ring on a 9 speed crank shifting WILL suck. As an experiment, mount the inner ring on a double backwards. The chain will skate like a mother****er.
Well, sure, Shimano made the change from 8 to 9-speed by offsetting the small chainring's teeth to the outside to close the gap. If you reverse the small ring you will make the gap even larger than it was with 8-speed. As I mentioned twice already, I'm having no problems with a 10-speed chain on a 9-speed crank even shifting under high chain tension.
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Old 01-21-11, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
As I mentioned twice already, I'm having no problems with a 10-speed chain on a 9-speed crank even shifting under high chain tension.
I'm willing to bet it would shift better with a 10 speed crankset and rings.
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Old 01-22-11, 12:06 AM
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Have you tried flushing out the shifters with WD 40?
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Old 01-22-11, 06:31 AM
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On the shifters, I have tried the flush. I was able to bring the left shifter back this way. The right has the classic shifting problem I described and which is described in more detail on this excellent site: https://www.norvil.net/pedal/service/...osti/index.php

I have rebuilt numerous Campy levers and the Shimano levers don't scare me. I would definitely give it a whirl if I had the replacement part.

On the scating/floating. I had this problem with a 9 speed drivetrain with a 7/8 speed Ultegra 600 crank. It was rare and only mildly troublesome so I'm not terribly concerned at the moment.

So, my plan based on all thios excellent input is to try the 10 speed shifters, 10 speed cassette with the 9 speed crank/rings and see how it goes. I do have a 10 speed 105 FD. Wondering if I should use this instead of a 9 speed 6500 FD.

I will report back with my results. Thanks.
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Old 01-22-11, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
I'm willing to bet it would shift better with a 10 speed crankset and rings.
I've got exactly that on another bike, a Campy 10-speed Chorus crank and rings used with a matching 10-speed chain. The 9-speed Shimano crank with the 10-speed chain shifts every bit as well. I ride these two bike alternately and the front shifting quality is indistinguishable.
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Old 01-22-11, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
I've got exactly that on another bike, a Campy 10-speed Chorus crank and rings used with a matching 10-speed chain. The 9-speed Shimano crank with the 10-speed chain shifts every bit as well. I ride these two bike alternately and the front shifting quality is indistinguishable.
The point is, the floating or skating or whatever you want to call it does happen on some bikes with nine speed cranks/10 speed everything else. Again, we've seen it. It's great that your bike shifts well with this setup, but the OP can't count on this being the case with his. The truth is, it won't hurt anything for the OP to try it and see how it works, with the cautionary understanding that if it is a problem, it can actually be dangerous to ride it this way.

On the two bikes where I've seen the problem, one was a nice, late model bike purchased on ebay that was supposed to be specced with ten speed everything, including the cranks. The customer had actually injured himself because of the front shifting problem and had come to us to see if we could sort it out . We were a bit stumped, but noted the model number on the FSA cranks and called FSA. The tech support person told us that these were "nine speed" cranks and should not be used with 10 speed drivetrains. We installed an FSA crankset designed for 10 speed drivetrains and the customer has never had another problem with it. Apparently the seller on ebay had switched the original cranks before he sold the bike.

The other case involved 9 speed Ultegra cranks used with an otherwise 10 speed drivetrain. Identical results.

With all of this said, it doesn't surprise me that it often works okay to mix and match like this, and I honestly couldn't tell you why it works okay sometimes and other times it's downright dangerous. It CAN be a problem, no doubt about it. Hopefully it won't be a problem for the OP.

Last edited by well biked; 01-22-11 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 01-25-11, 03:47 AM
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It's interesting to hear about all these experiences with skating chains. I'd like to add one more. I had a Truvativ Rouleur triple crankset, from about 2007. It was rated as 9/10-speed compatible. The chainrings were pretty rubbish and I wanted to customize the gearing, so I replaced the rings with some from TA Specialites, also rated as 9/10 speed. This resulted in FREQUENT skating between the middle and outer rings. I filed off the outside of the mounting tabs for the large ring to bring it a bit closer, maybe about 0.3mm, and now the skating is extremely rare, but has happened a few times. I did the filing by hand, trying to get it even using some calipers, but I'm not sure it is not that even; however, it has worked decently for more than a year now so I'm not too worried.
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