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I'm replacing the drive train on my '96 klein pulse comp. The original 8 spd stx-rc components are finally worn out, despite a lot of miles. Would you put on a 9 speed cassette or stick with 8 speeds, which seems enough to me. I understand 9 speed may be a little more prone to problems in mud due to closer tolerances, but I don't have direct experience.
 

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Not worth it for me...

I have a cache of 8 speed parts and will be riding them as long as possible. The only parts that are 8 speed specific are shifters and cogs. You can get away with 9 speed derailleurs and cranks. The hub spacing is the same. 8 speed chains are readily available but you can use a SRAM 9 speed if you had to. I think the 9 speed front derailleur is a bit harder to setup with 8 speed so it's probably best to try to find an 8 speed front. eBay is probably your best source of deals however there are a lot of people willing to pay top dollar so you have to be patient. Good luck.
 

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Homebrew said:
I have a cache of 8 speed parts and will be riding them as long as possible. The only parts that are 8 speed specific are shifters and cogs. You can get away with 9 speed derailleurs and cranks. The hub spacing is the same. 8 speed chains are readily available but you can use a SRAM 9 speed if you had to. I think the 9 speed front derailleur is a bit harder to setup with 8 speed so it's probably best to try to find an 8 speed front. eBay is probably your best source of deals however there are a lot of people willing to pay top dollar so you have to be patient. Good luck.
I'd stick with 8sp. 9sp is more prone to problems for that one extra cog. I've got a 9sp front derailleur with 8sp drivetrain. Works fine. But then I've got gripshifters so I can adjust the front as needed.
 

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another 8 spd fan

I agree with the other two replys. I had an 8 spd LX hardtail go 2240 miles before a chain stretch/cassette wear failure, no other failures in that interval (except headset seal, cracked). Then I learned that 1000 miles is the suggested chain replace inverval. That bike was then stolen and I got a 9 spd Deore FS. Put 3200 miles on it before the pivot went out. Same to less extreme types of riding, as stuff broke I replaced it with mostly XT, here the replacement list. It's on it's; 5th chain, 4th cassette, 3rd bb/crankset, 2nd FD, 2nd cable/housing, 2nd rear hub.

Apparently 600 miles is the rule of thumb for chain replace on 9 spds. you get 1000 miles to a chain stretch/cassette wear on them (I had that happen three times). The cogs are just to thin. The new cassette/BB standards also need some work. I'm still using a sq taper until one of the new standards actually sticks around 5+ years, with some good reviews (my first gen LX spline sucked, and now it's being phased out).

My current rig is a cro-mo hard-tail frame I picked up off ebay and outfitted with mostly LX 8 spd off ebay and from used parts shops (I highly recommend Recycled Cycles in Seattle if you're in the area). Shifters are the only real 'not currently made' part for 8 spds, and then only in upper end stuff. I did have some 'loose feel' using a 9 spd LX RD on 8 speed, you can probably fix that with some new RD cogs if needed.

I'm hoping that SRAM will be smart enough to pick up on this market niche with their new triggers. Shimano appears to be focusing on profit through replacement parts. Sorry if this post is to long.
 

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Some of your comparisons are not accurate. Things like headset seal, FS pivot, bb/crankset, FD, cable housing, and rear hub are all irrelevant to wether it's a 9sp or 8sp.

The reason that you had to replace stuff sooner on the 9sp is probably more likely due to the fact that it had Deore components, whereas the 8sp had LX.
 

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tlg said:
Some of your comparisons are not accurate. Things like headset seal, FS pivot, bb/crankset, FD, cable housing, and rear hub are all irrelevant to wether it's a 9sp or 8sp.
I mentioned these only because they broke, I had to cut off the LX crank. It may have been my fault on that, but it had less than 1000 miles on it at the time, and the chainrings were not to the 'must replace' level yet. The XT R hub has at least 2500 miles on it and works quite well. The original post mentioned STX, which now is Deore, and these were Deore level components, except the headset. The pivot is mentioned since its the reason the bike is retired at the moment.

The reason that you had to replace stuff sooner on the 9sp is probably more likely due to the fact that it had Deore components, whereas the 8sp had LX.[/QUOTE]

Deore were only the starting parts, the 2nd and 3rd cassette were XT, the current one is SRAM 7.0. I doubt I'll be putting that bicycle back together as a 9 speed, if I ever get it to a GT dealer for a new pivot. The original chain on that rig only lasted two weeks (not just my fault on that, it's in the hall of shame), the others were SRAM PC 59, and one PC 69. The XT F and R deraillures I have on it right now are excellent (the R deraillure was a non-broken part upgrade, it's not a newer 'low normal'). The shifters are still the original Deore, and don't click as loud anymore, but still work just fine. I'm just miffed that my tires are outlasting my drive traines. Also, I'm not doing regular chain replace since the price is close per mile, and the for first two I was oblivious to the 600 mile rule of thumb.

These are just my experiences. They've made an 8 spd fan out of me. There have been A LOT of changes to the bike parts line up since STX was made.
 
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