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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:27 pm 
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There's a thread somewhere about a 9 speed cassette that broke after only a few miles, and lately I've read quite a few comments about 9s being "worse" than 8s, wearing out faster, breaking more easily, etc.

On my retro/mod parkpre which is almost finished (link in my sig), I plan to use a 2x9 drivetrain using a sram cassette and chain and microshift thumbies. Then just the other day I came across a set of VGC 8s suntour XC Pro thumbies, so now I'm half thinking of going back to 8s. I only need a cassette and chain to make it work.

Cost wise, it would be cheaper to go 8s, since I could sell my 9s parts for a fair bit more than the cost of the 8s parts. But the whole point of me deciding to go 9s was because decent 8s parts seem to getting hard to come by...

so what's everyone's opinion? is 9s really that bad? is it worth saving aprox. 100 quid and staying with 8s?

suntour thumbies are fully compatible with shimano drivetrains, right? same cable pull per click?

sorry for the ramble :oops:

thanks, Andy


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:26 pm 
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9 speed is more finicky in adjustment, more susceptible to mud and chains wear out faster.

Personally I've never seen a big advantage in an extra sprocket. Shimano's marketing department would beg to differ. :wink:

I have never yet finished a ride and thought it would be transformed by more gears. Lower gears on occasion yes; more no.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:26 pm 
MacRetro rider
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I'm thinking Suntour isn't fully shimano compatible in indexed form and suntour cassettes are as rare as hens dental records. If ease of spares is your issue I'd stick to shimano/SRAM compatability but unless you already have the 9 speed kit then Shimano 8 speed would be a cheaper route to go.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:45 pm 
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Thanks. I've asked about suntour/shimano 8s compatibility in the retro MTB chat section http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=230170 I've read a few things that say it does work, and if it does then I think I might go 8s as I can save a fair amount of money.
The original reason for going 9s was that I wanted to bring the bike "up to date" and make it easier to get spare parts in the future... 8s seems to be limited to lower end groups, and even 9s is being overtaken by 10s now.

I agree that overall gear range is more important than the number of gears, at least off road.

I think I'll give it a go, and if it works then stick with 8 :)

Andy


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:44 pm 
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I'm so retro I stick with 7speed. Admittedly only lower end stuff is available new nowadays but £10 for a shimano knockoff cassette suits me as it'll be ground down the same as a top end one by the gritty mud around here :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:01 pm 
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The only time I might get worried by mud is if I move back to the UK :D

otherwise the only time my bikes get wet or dirty is if they go through the occasional puddle :lol: :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:20 pm 
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I'm just trying 9 speed for the first time, and so far it's ok; I'm only 2 weeks in, mind...
I used the same Suntour thumbies on my old beloved Kilauea from '94 to 2006 and never once had a problem with indexing shimano. I still have them and they still work superbly.
The only problem with 8 speed is finding new XT cassettes...


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:00 am 
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When they went from 7 to 8 speed they added an extra sprocket and as a result the cassette got longer. When they went to 9 speed they moved them all closer together so they would fit in the same space. They also made the sprockets and the chain thinner. All this made it less durable than 7 or 8 speed. 10 speed again has to fit in the same space so is closer and thinner than 9 speed. The closer they are the less the mech has to move between gears so the more sensitive it will be to slight miss-alignment due to wear and tear or mud glogging it up. 9 and 10 speed are okay really, but this is retrobike so it's just a case of 'they dont make em like they used to'. It is true though, do we really need all these extra gears at the expense of durability? If Sram has 10 though, then Shimano has to have 10 and if Sram has 11............ Modern mountain biking is all about winning at Top Trumps init!!!


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:19 am 
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JamesM wrote:
When they went from 7 to 8 speed they added an extra sprocket and as a result the cassette got longer. When they went to 9 speed they moved them all closer together so they would fit in the same space. They also made the sprockets and the chain thinner. All this made it less durable than 7 or 8 speed. 10 speed again has to fit in the same space so is closer and thinner than 9 speed. The closer they are the less the mech has to move between gears so the more sensitive it will be to slight miss-alignment due to wear and tear or mud glogging it up. 9 and 10 speed are okay really, but this is retrobike so it's just a case of 'they dont make em like they used to'. It is true though, do we really need all these extra gears at the expense of durability? If Sram has 10 though, then Shimano has to have 10 and if Sram has 11............ Modern mountain biking is all about winning at Top Trumps init!!!
Very true!
And one speed trumps the lot!


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:17 am 
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Yeah, and that one speed is walking pace for a single speed on most of the hills. :)

Seems a lot of the attraction for some people in biking is the tech. They overlook things like longevity and ultimate usability in favour of complexity and the attendant knobs and whistles.

While I can see the benefit in remote lockout forks with good adaptability, I really struggle to see the logic in cramming more and more duplicated gears into the same small space.

Seems an awful lot of these bikes never get taken off road too. Bit like all those Range Rovers.


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