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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the midst of my feverish summer bike build, I've come across a couple snafus in regards to a couple components I have for the bike. The first deals with the wheelset and groupset I bought...The wheel has a nearly brand-new SRAM 9spd cassette. However, the groupset I bought is a Shimano 105 10-speed. Is it doable to "fudge" the drivetrain a little, like to set the rear derailleur to only use 9 speeds? I realize I'd lose one gear in the shifter, but is this going to be problematic in the long run?

Secondly, I've got some nice condition old-school cantilever brakes, from the old Shimano Mountain LX line. The brakes came with a standard straddle cable. However, one of the cables snapped, so in my search for a replacement, I found the newer style, with a rigid half (seen here). Is the second style cable going to be compatible with the first style brakes? If so, I noticed on Jensonusa that there's about 6 billion angle/length combinations...How do I figure out which one I need? If the second style cable isn't compatible, it's no big deal...I've got a perfectly intact straddle cable that I can measure and buy replacements with...I've even got the weird carrier nut thingy.

Thanks!
 

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You'll not have proper shifting ratios on a 9 speed cassette. Suck it up, get a 10 speed cassette and thank yourself.
 

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Let's start with the easy part. You cannot use a 10s system with a 9s cassette because the spacing is different. But you can fit 10s cassette on a 9s hub because the overall width is the same.

So replacing the cassette is the obvious solution, and try to sell the one you have to recoup some of the cost. If you prefer to do things the hard way, there are adapters made that change the cable pull at the RD from that at the lever, so you might be able to do a workaround.

As for the brakes, if you want to use the new style straddle link you'll probably need to change the carrier also. Assuming that the brakes take a cable head on one side, and have a pinch bolt on the other you're probably better off sticking to the traditional rig with a universal straddle wire, carrier and main wire. Sheldon Brown published an informative article on setting these up here.

If you're stuck for a yoke wire, you can use a standard brake wire, which is oftentimes the same price despite being more than 10 times longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Alright, sounds good. Might hafta invest in an Apex cassette or something good for climbing then.

Anyway, installing my 105 brifters (yeah, I said it)and reading about the cable routing, the instructions say to run the cables through some downtube cable stops. However, the brifters didn't come with cable stops. Is that something worth contacting Performance (where I bought 'em) about?
 

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Up until the last few years, frames had down tube lever bosses brazed on and the shift lever sets came with adapters to convert the boss to a fulcrum (cable stop). Eventually frame builders have figured out that nobody's going back to down tube levers, and are brazing fulcrums for the handlebar shift systems (I won't use the B word). Consequently the lever sets no longer include the now obsolete adapters.

Check your frame to see if you need the adapters, and if so, they can be had fairly cheap. (I have a few hunderd pairs of Campy ones).
 
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