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· Still On Steel
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This partly overlaps Hillman's "8 speed to 10 speed conversion" question, but I didn't want to hijack his thread.

I have a steel Specialized Allez with 1992 (or possibly early 1993) full Dura-Ace. I want to retro out the bike with downtube shifters, aero levers, Brooks saddle, etc. With 8sp parts getting increasingly harder to find, I figure I might as well upgrade to at least 9sp, and possibly 10sp, at the same time. (Never mind that 9sp and especially 10sp is getting pretty far away from "retro.")

First broad question is, what will I need to replace to make the change from 8sp to 9sp? Shifters, brake levers, cables, cassette, and chain are all obvious ... but what about the front and, especially, the rear derailleur? Will 9sp DT shifters work with a pre-1994 8sp rear der? Finally, will I need new chainrings?

Second broad question is, in addition to the above, what ELSE would I need to go to 10sp?

This will be my back-up bike, so I'd like to keep the changeover costs as low as I can. That's why I'm thinking 9sp is as far as I should go: I'll need to buy fewer parts. But I'm not sure exactly what a change to 9sp will require; and the more stuff I have to change, the more sense it would make to go to 10sp.

Any and all help will be much appreciated!
 

· Registered
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704 Posts
Idle thought - if your shifters do friction as well as index, you can pretty much run what you will at the back end. I once ran a 9 speed rear wheel in my originally 7 speed 1989 Holdsworth, with the DT shifters on their friction setting. Had to spring the rear end open some - good old steel frameset! - but it worked fine.

If you go ten speed, you'll have to change rings, chain, cassette, rear derailleur, shifters, and possibly the front der too, if you want index - though I've heard you can get away with 9 speed derailleurs.

I've got an 10 sp Ultegra/compact drivetrain on my new toy and wish I'd stayed with 9 speed - Campag or Shimano! ( a swap could be arranged... ;) )
Hope that helps
Dereck
 

· NeoRetroGrouch
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6,493 Posts
Dereck said:
Idle thought - if your shifters do friction as well as index, you can pretty much run what you will at the back end. I once ran a 9 speed rear wheel in my originally 7 speed 1989 Holdsworth, with the DT shifters on their friction setting. Had to spring the rear end open some - good old steel frameset! - but it worked fine.

If you go ten speed, you'll have to change rings, chain, cassette, rear derailleur, shifters, and possibly the front der too, if you want index - though I've heard you can get away with 9 speed derailleurs.

I've got an 10 sp Ultegra/compact drivetrain on my new toy and wish I'd stayed with 9 speed - Campag or Shimano! ( a swap could be arranged... ;) )
Hope that helps
Dereck
"I've got an 10 sp Ultegra/compact drivetrain on my new toy and wish I'd stayed with 9 speed..." You can't get the rear to shift well? That's the only difference. - TF
 

· Premium Member
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20,696 Posts
The simple answer is all Dura Ace shifters/derailleurs are backwards compatible by one gear. 9 speed shifters will shift 8 speed rear derailleur(and cassette) just fine. It is engineered to work with both. 9 speed shifters and a 9 speed rear derailleur will still shift 8 speed if you use the alternate B cable attachment

The geometry of the 8 speed and 9 speed rear derailleurs are different but 9 speed shifters attached to either 7400 series 8 speed or 7700 series 9 speed rear derailleurs will shift perfectly.

I case you not aware, Shimano sells downtube Dura Ace shifters in both 9 and 10 speed
 

· Still On Steel
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2,396 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dave,

Thanks, that's very helpful. I do need one or two clarifications, however.

1. You say, "9 speed shifters will shift 8 speed rear derailleur(and cassette) just fine. It is engineered to work with both." I interpret this to me that WRT to drivetrain, I could slap on a set of 9sp DT shifters and I'm done, if I leave the bike as 8sp. Correct? If so, I'm wouldn't be opposed to taking that simple approach and leaving the bike as 8sp.

2. You later say, "The geometry of the 8 speed and 9 speed rear derailleurs are different but 9 speed shifters attached to ... 7400 series 8 speed ... will shift perfectly." Does this mean only a 7400 8sp rear der and an 8sp cassette? Or does it also mean an 8sp rear der and a 9sp cassette?
 

· Premium Member
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Allez Rouge said:
Dave,

Thanks, that's very helpful. I do need one or two clarifications, however.

1. You say, "9 speed shifters will shift 8 speed rear derailleur(and cassette) just fine. It is engineered to work with both." I interpret this to me that WRT to drivetrain, I could slap on a set of 9sp DT shifters and I'm done, if I leave the bike as 8sp. Correct? If so, I'm wouldn't be opposed to taking that simple approach and leaving the bike as 8sp.

2. You later say, "The geometry of the 8 speed and 9 speed rear derailleurs are different but 9 speed shifters attached to ... 7400 series 8 speed ... will shift perfectly." Does this mean only a 7400 8sp rear der and an 8sp cassette? Or does it also mean an 8sp rear der and a 9sp cassette?
1. If you attach 9 speed down tube shifters to an 8 speed rear derailleur and 8 speed cassette, it will shift 8 perfectly.
2. I meant to say 8 speed rear derailleur and 8 speed cassette.
3. If you use a 9 speed cassette, you'll need the 9sp rear derailleur,chain and sd shifters.
 

· Still On Steel
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2,396 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks again, Dave ... that now agrees with what AI1943 said, which is why I wanted up to clear up my confusion.

At this point, with this bike no longer being my primary ride, I think I'll just get the 9sp DT shifters, leave the rest of the 8sp drivetrain as-is, and call it good. I have two 8sp cassettes that are still servicable, so I should be set for a long while ... maybe forever. But I'll still have the option to get a 9sp rear der, cassette, and chain later on.

My thanks to everyone who chimed in.
 
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