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All right girls and boys, I've put about a hundred miles on my new Jake this week. I'm riding from my house 4-6 miles to a trailhead (depending on time and mood), what I'm finding is how much I really like riding singletrack on this bike! Currently, the bike is geared 34/48 on a compact double front and a 12/26 rear. I have Ultegra 9-speed brake/shifters. The one thing that I'd really like to have is a little more gear for the trails (I basically singlespeeded all the single track in 34/26). I live and ride in the Raleigh, NC area (lots of steep up and downs here), with parents and in laws in the mountains of NC and Va (lots of extended technical climbing). I'm looking forward to exploring many fireroads and trails in the mountains this year. I weigh 215-220 ready to ride. My question is whether or not an old XTR M910 8 speed derailleur (32 tooth max) that I already have and an 8 speed XT or XTR 12-32 (if available) would be suitable for what I want to do with the bike this year. I'm sorry if this is a stupid question, but if I can use something I already have would be cool. Thanks!
c
 

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shimano 8 and 9 speed shifters do not pull the same amount of cable per click, so you have to buy a new cassette, but you can use your xtr rear derailleur.
 

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yeah that should work

i had an 8 speed STI lever controlling an Xt RD and a mtn cassette.

the thing youll notice is that the gear jumps are higher. instead of having a more "straight block".

jb

Oh, and remember to change your chain to an 8 speed chain. Or else do a search for being stupid part two or something, i posted about what its like to run an 8 spd chain on a 9spd group and trying to dial in the RD.
 
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