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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:33 am 
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Most of my MTB knowledge is stuck in the mid 90's, so I need a few pointers to modern stuff, as I'm thinking of building up an older frame with more modern parts. So here are a few random questions, in no particular order:

1. are all modern MTB transmissions 10 speed?
2. sram or shimano - which is better value?
3. are there any decent non-disc rear hubs (frame is V brake only) with a standard 9mm QR?
4. what's with all the different types of rear mech?
5. Any suggestions for a decent quality, decently priced front fork that can be lowered to 80mm travel?

I'm sure I'll think of more questions as I go along!

thanks, Andy


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:35 am 
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foz wrote:
Most of my MTB knowledge is stuck in the mid 90's, so I need a few pointers to modern stuff, as I'm thinking of building up an older frame with more modern parts. So here are a few random questions, in no particular order:

1. are all modern MTB transmissions 10 speed?
2. sram or shimano - which is better value?
3. are there any decent non-disc rear hubs (frame is V brake only) with a standard 9mm QR?
4. what's with all the different types of rear mech?
5. Any suggestions for a decent quality, decently priced front fork that can be lowered to 80mm travel?

I'm sure I'll think of more questions as I go along!

thanks, Andy

1) no, you can still get 7,8,9 & 10 speed
2) both work and have ranges going from low to high end
3) yes, Hope Pro 3 for instance
4) more info needed about what you mean
5) Rockshox Reba, 2nd hand


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:57 am 
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Thanks for your reply. I know that 7/8/9 speeds are still available (I run 7s on my 93 KHS), but I'm thinking about a modern bike too, and wasn't sure where MTB stuff was up to (I know the current road stuff, but not MTB)

All current shimano stuff from deore level upwards appears to be 10 speed.

I see two types of rear mech - 'normal' and 'shadow'. also two types of shifter (at XT level) - traditional and I-spec.... and I didn't even look at the sram website yet!

thanks, Andy


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:15 am 
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foz wrote:
Thanks for your reply. I know that 7/8/9 speeds are still available (I run 7s on my 93 KHS), but I'm thinking about a modern bike too, and wasn't sure where MTB stuff was up to (I know the current road stuff, but not MTB)

All current shimano stuff from deore level upwards appears to be 10 speed.

I see two types of rear mech - 'normal' and 'shadow'. also two types of shifter (at XT level) - traditional and I-spec.... and I didn't even look at the sram website yet!

thanks, Andy

Most of the shimano range only just moved to 10 speed, and nine speed versions are still available. CRC had some v cheap offers on XT 9 speed parts. Not sure about SRAM but think they're the same. Don't mix and match SRAM and shimano shifters and mechs.

If I recall correctly, shadow rear mechs have lower profile so they stay closer to the frame I.e. less likely to get caught / hit on obstacles.

As said above Rebas come as 100mm but you can take a spacer put to reduce to 80mm. Fantastic forks.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:21 am 
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OK, thanks. sram and shimano cassettes have the same spacing between sprockets, right? So only mechs and shifters must me matched?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:33 am 
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foz wrote:
OK, thanks. sram and shimano cassettes have the same spacing between sprockets, right? So only mechs and shifters must me matched?


Yep. I always use SRAM cassettes and chains.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:05 am 
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Another vote for the Reba here. I absolutely swear by them.

With regards to the Shimano vs SRAM debate, I have several very bad experiences with the mid-range SRAM mechs and shifters from a few years ago, so I would never buy or recommend mid-range SRAM. Not too sure about the high-end stuff either.

As for hubs, there's a non-disc version of the XT M770 hub, which will take most common cassettes.
I've heard bad things about the bearings on modern XT hubs (the cups are said to be too soft and therefore wear rapidly), but have yet to experience any trouble with my own 770s.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:22 am 
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Hi there!

Having recently gone through pretty much the same scenario as you, here's my lowdown on what I've found out in the last year..

10-speed is dominating, 9-sp (which I use) is still the standard for a lot of bikes, but getting hold of 3x9 shifters (3-ring front rings, 9-sp cassette) is getting much harder. Most people seem to be shifting to a 1-2 speed chainrng these days..
Don't buy a '10sp front mech' if running a 9sp rear, a 10sp front mech still only has three shift positions, but is designed for a 10sp chain, which is narrower gauge, and therefore rubs.

5-bolt chainrings are hard to find(!) ever since Shimano switched to 4-bolt..

SRAM top-end stuff (X-9/X-0) is lighter and better value than Shimano, but a little more delicate, so it depends on what terrain you're going to be riding!
Most SRAM shifters use a different pull ratio (1:1) compared to Shimano, same as on the road, so hence why they're not compatible..
Also like the road kit, you have long/medium/short cage. Generally speaking these are for 3/2/1 speed chainrings respectively, but there is some overlap.

Shimano chains still break with very little effort. SRAM chains rock, and use a quick-connect system, which means no more need for chain tools! :)

Wheels can be specced these days with a disc hub and a v-rim, which means a) you can switch them over between disc & non-disc bikes and b) you can keep your wheels if you change frames later, and easier to sell if you want to change the wheels. Yes, you will be carrying some extra weight, but it may be worthwhile. There's little to no price difference between a disc and non-disc hub, as discs are more prevalent, the costs come down!

Forks: Never used a Reba, but I have used Magura, they do a range for light to heavy use (I have a set of Odurs and a set of Menjas), and are VERY light, but tough forks, 80mm travel available and with the added bonus that their stanchion lengths for the short-travel forks are also short, so it doesn't mess with your geometry!
Most of all, many of them come with remote lockout - lockout is essential in my book..

Air forks - they work nowadays!
Scandium - it's the new titanium!

And one bad point about modern MTB's.. Bottom Brackets - you'll need a new thread for this.....


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:41 am 
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more useful info - thanks very much!

Does anyone know if all shimano road and MTB 10s parts are interchangeable? I would assume they are, but confirmation would be good. Since 9s seems to be disappearing from the road, I imagine it will from MTB too so 10s is probably the way to go unless there's a huge price difference!

good thinking on the hubs too - I might as well use disc hubs with a V-compatible rim, then they'll work on anything. Thinking of rims though - tubed or tubeless?

I knew I'd get more questions than answers from this thread :shock:


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:19 pm 
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Hi, As far as I know there is no problem with interchangable parts within Shimano - to a degree..
Obviously the road cassettes are much lower range, so if you're combining with an MTB chainring you may struggle on hills, and the rear derailleur may be undersprung, as (in the case of a long-cage) it's designed for a broader gear-range.
I have heard that the shimano road shifters will not have sufficient pull to actuate an MTB mech accurately, but MTB shifters on a road mech are okay.

The mechanisms are the same though, so you could theoretically use Ultegra mechs, or carbon road cranks on an MTB, they will just be potentially fragile, but again - depends on what terrain you're riding! The advantage is light weight.. No point in going for an all-Saint drivetrain if you're not going to be caning the hell out of it day in day out!

The other problem you may encounter is tubing - if you're using a very old frame the seat-tube may need a shim to fit the front mech band around, the mechs only tend to be 31.8 or 34.9 nowadays for brand new kit.

I don't know about tubeless tyres. That's one area I haven't ventured into!!
Not sure that there are that many v-rims which would be tubeless compatible though in an MTB-width, as they are mainly used for downhill, which is almost exclusively disc-brake territory..


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