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Hey all - I've recently started doing all my bike work myself. I've got a few questions:

1) I have an entry level road bike with Sora shifters and a Tiagra rear derailleur - both 9 spd. - but an 8 spd. cassette. I just replaced the chain for the first time, but apparently not soon enough - it skips when I stand. So, I'm going to buy a new cassette. I was thinking I'd switch to a 9 spd. cassette since they're easily available. (Of course, I found I could special order an 8 spd. from Jenson or buy one off of eBay.) But it seems, from my searching around on this topic, that there's a significant difference between 8-spd. and 9-spd. I'm assuming I could keep the shifters and derailleur, but I would have to get a new 9-spd. chain. Is there more than that? Would I have to get new cranks as well? Am I missing anything here?

2) The tools I'll need to get: a chain whip, a cassette lockring tool... is that it?

Any other advice you could give would be much appreciated! Thanks!

-Spiff
 

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The Sora shifters are 8-speed

Spaceman Spiff said:
Hey all - I've recently started doing all my bike work myself. I've got a few questions:

1) I have an entry level road bike with Sora shifters and a Tiagra rear derailleur - both 9 spd. - but an 8 spd. cassette. I just replaced the chain for the first time, but apparently not soon enough - it skips when I stand. So, I'm going to buy a new cassette. I was thinking I'd switch to a 9 spd. cassette since they're easily available. (Of course, I found I could special order an 8 spd. from Jenson or buy one off of eBay.) But it seems, from my searching around on this topic, that there's a significant difference between 8-spd. and 9-spd. I'm assuming I could keep the shifters and derailleur, but I would have to get a new 9-spd. chain. Is there more than that? Would I have to get new cranks as well? Am I missing anything here?

2) The tools I'll need to get: a chain whip, a cassette lockring tool... is that it?

Any other advice you could give would be much appreciated! Thanks!

-Spiff
Your shifters won't shift a 9-speed cassette. Besides not having enough clicks in the shifter, the spacing between cogs is smaller on a 9s cassette than an 8s. To go 9-speed you'll have to replace the shifters with Tiagra (so far the only Shimano STIs that are still available in 9s). Otherwise, buy an 8s cassette to replace your old one.

Cassette replacement is easy, you just need the right tools. The chain whip and Shimano lockring tool are all you need. Here's some instructions:http://parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=48.
 
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