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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Currently on a 1995 Connondale R600 with Ultegra 8 speed with STI shifters. I recently replaced the rear Shifter/Brake lever with a Sora 8 speed(it was a freebee) as the old one broke.

I was considering how to go about eventually upgrading when my rear cassette wears out. My original intent was to just replace my Sora shifter with a ebay pair of Ultegra STI, 8 speeds but then I began thinking why not upgrade to what is more main stream or common if the cost is not that much higher.

Is 8 speed growing rare yet?
Is 10 speed here to stay and reliable yet?
Is there a 1st generation of 10 speed that had reliability issues I need to avoid?
Am I going to need a completely new rear wheel due to cassette width ?
If so, will the 10 speed wheel fit in my frame?
I am assuming if I go 10 speed, will I also need to replace the front derailer?
Maybe I should just continue to keep my 8 speed alive.

I took a 12 year break from cycling so I am a bit behind on the technology. I was pretty happy with 8 speed but I guess more is better.
 

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Beersman1 said:
1.Is 8 speed growing rare yet?

2. Is 10 speed here to stay and reliable yet?

3. Is there a 1st generation of 10 speed that had reliability issues I need to avoid?

4. Am I going to need a completely new rear wheel due to cassette width ?

5. If so, will the 10 speed wheel fit in my frame?

6. I am assuming if I go 10 speed, will I also need to replace the front derailer?

7. Maybe I should just continue to keep my 8 speed alive.

I took a 12 year break from cycling so I am a bit behind on the technology. I was pretty happy with 8 speed but I guess more is better.
1. quite rare, except at the lowest level of components (like Sora)

2. Here to stay, until 11 or 12 comes along

3. no big reliability issues, and it's been around for several years, so the 1st generation is pretty well passed.

4. probably.

5 most likely. Dropout spacing hasn't changed since 8-speed came in

6. front der would probably still work -- but not rear

7. Probably wisest; wear it out, and by that time you may have regained enough enthusiasm for the sport to justify purchasing a whole new bike. The kinds of upgrades you're contemplating could cost you half as much as a new bike.

A tip: keep your chain clean and well-lubed, and check it for wear (elongation) frequently. A worn chain wears out cassette cogs must faster. 8-speed chains are pretty cheap (the cheap ones (http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?category=600076&subcategory=60001099&brand=&sku=12652&storetype=&estoreid=&pagename=Shop%20by%20Subcat%3A%20Chains)work as well as the more expensive ones), compared to cassettes, and are easy to find, too.
 

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Is 8 speed growing rare yet?
Yes, it is by any standards a dinosaur
Is 10 speed here to stay and reliable yet?
10 speed is here to stay, in fact just as reliable and more gears to choose from!
Is there a 1st generation of 10 speed that had reliability issues I need to avoid? Not that I know of.
Am I going to need a completely new rear wheel due to cassette width ?
Your wheelset may me 8,9, and 10 speed compatable, but not if it is the original factory wheelset.
If so, will the 10 speed wheel fit in my frame?
Yes, but you will need a new derailleur
I am assuming if I go 10 speed, will I also need to replace the front derailer?
This is the point when I tell you to sell your old ride, you wont regret it
Maybe I should just continue to keep my 8 speed alive.
Kill your 8 speed, I have gained on my descent speeds, average speeds, and overall enjoyment on the bike since I got rid of my old 8 speed bohemouth. With all the things you need to buy, simply buy a new bike..or a newer used version.

I just finished letting my 1996 cannondale with 600 go for a 2007 CAAD 9 with Sram Rival. I now have a renewed enjoyment for cycling. You really can't even compare the 2 in terms of performance.
 

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Beersman1 said:
Is 8 speed growing rare yet?
If you want it, you can get it. Nashbar still sells 8 speed cassettes, in a wide range of sizes, and for like 19 bucks or so. Shifters are hard to find. But, if you've got DT shifter bosses, you can always switch to less expensive Dura-ace DT shifters...

Beersman1 said:
Is 10 speed here to stay and reliable yet?
Is there a 1st generation of 10 speed that had reliability issues I need to avoid?
Am I going to need a completely new rear wheel due to cassette width ?
If so, will the 10 speed wheel fit in my frame?
I am assuming if I go 10 speed, will I also need to replace the front derailer?
The cost of buying all the components you'll need to go up to 10 speed is probably more than your bike is worth. That doesn't mean yer bike sucks, it just means that you might be better off sticking with what you've got, replacing the rear derailleur (just get a 9 speed ultegra for $50 bucks) and getting the new cassette. When yer shifters go bad, get a set of DT shifters from e-bay. you'll be out a total of maybe $150.

Or, buy a new bike with 10 speed components.

If yer happy with 8, 2 more isn't that much better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the awesome replies. I am happy with 8 speed, however I was also happy with my hard tail MTN bike before I went full suspension.

My next major bike expense I think will be for more of a commuting bike. It is great right now commuting on my Connondale, but when the foul winter weather kicks in, I will want something more rain friendly. Since I started bike commuting I have lost 30 pounds and only put gas in my jeep once a month. That will pay for my new bike.
 

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wear that cassette out, and when it does strip the components, sell them for what you can and use the frame to build yourself a fixie. Fixies KICK A$$.
With the money you're saving by not having to gass up your Jeep, get yourself a nice carbon or aluminum bike with 105 10 speed or ultegra 10 speed. Buy a pair of fenders for the winter and a book on bike maintenance (if you don't know it all by now) and a set of tools.
The tools won't be too expensive, and most of them you'll already have.
that way you can have a nice trainer/commuter/all around bike without braking the bank, and you'll be amazed at the difference. Or perhaps not, but shiny new things are always awesome.
Think that if by commuting you're saving around 150 bucks a month worth of gas (a wild guess here, you can surely do the math much better than me), in 10 months you'll have saved 1500 dollars... and in a year it'll be 1800... Lots of very respectable bikes can be had for that kind of money!
 
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