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8 speed going away?

911 Views 14 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  scottzg
This was posted to a google group I subscribe to the other day--8 speeders, better stock up!

(Shimano 8-speed fans out there take note: 8 speed IS going away and Shimano is
unapologetic, even cocky, about it). The last time I had this
discussion (okay, argument) with Shimano-USA about a suddenly-extinct
component or group I was asked, "why do you people insist on
supporting outdated technologies? You should be trying to sell your
customers the new stuff! It's better, and it's in stock."
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In case you missed the memo...some other things are going away too.
Stuff like:
Sinbad pants
8 track tapes
floppy discs
Arsenio Hall Show

I just pray the mullet stays around forever
Steve- Like you, I'll miss 8s systems. The reality is that 8s will be here quite a bit longer, but sadly Shimano will no longer produce mid and upper level stuff for it. Outside the USA bikes 6s and 7s bikes are still being offered at the low end.

Newer isn't automatically better and I strongly disagree with the notion that 8s is obsolete and 9s better. Many serious off riders I know find the extra gears an obstacle to shift past rather than a useful step. They would gladly ride 6s if they could find it. Even on the road, I'd often rather have an 8s bike with a dishless rear wheel, then the current 10s and 11s offerings

Shimano's thinking is driven by OEM demand, where selling features, such as more gears, or lower weight trump actual performance or fitness for particular purposes. Those who ride and prefer "older, obsolete" systems are regarded as retro-grouches, and in any case the volume of after-market is too small to excite the marketing decision makers at the major component companies.

Maybe, sometime in the future someone will see potential in catering to those who actually ride, and bring out quality "retro" stuff like 8s, or light rigid forks, or other items that went out of fashion.
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where do you find dishless 8spd rear wheels??
reptilezs said:
where do you find dishless 8spd rear wheels??
To my knowledge they don't exist commercially. I've considered modifying a hub and cassette body, and using 8s with 10s spacing. It's a low priority project at the moment, but I'll probably do it sometime this year for my street/commuter bike just for the hell of it.

My point was that given that 10s spacing works, I felt that for some applications the narrowness it affords could be more useful for reducing or eliminating dish, than adding more gears.

The trend is to produce for an OEM market that wants to please as many people as possible with the least amount of products at any given price point. From a sales standpoint it would be more complicated to offer different products at similar prices, because too many dealers would be hard pressed to explain why a customer should buy product A vs product B.
FBinNY said:
I've considered modifying a hub and cassette body, and using 8s with 10s spacing..
that negates most of the advantages that people claim for 8spd though: thicker cogs and chains that are sturdier and wider spacing that means less finicky adjustment that holds up better in bad conditions. That and the fact that dishless vs 9spd spacing is much less important than an appropriate rim for your riding and a good wheelbuild.
Jeez.....9 speed has been out for how long? I switched in 2000, and it was out before then. I don't replace my cassettes any more often, my cables don't go out of adjustment any more, derailluers stay set just as long, shifters don't wear any faster.........yeah, nine years ago I resisted, but you'd realize by now Shimano has everything pretty well nailed down. Gets to a point where arguing against it is just silly. Like the mayor said, you ain't listening to cassettes much anymore, are ya?

Try it. Work with it. Take the same time you are messing with 8 speed, and get a 9 speed worked in properly.
Yes... because the execs at shimano know what's best for us.

I still break nine speed chains faster than eight's. I refuse to run nine speed on my geared bike, and still refuse to "upgrade" from the 5 speed thumbies that work so well.
No....because it works. BTW, I don't use Shimano. Well, FD and cranks. But nothing else. Shimano didn't tell me, I told me. Same with everything else I've switched to. Can't buy a '65 Twin anymore, either. Or a new Mustang like the '67 I had. Things change, get used to it. Wasn't all that long ago everybody XC was railing against disk brakes and FS frames, now just about everybody is riding long travel bikes and new stoppers. Funny how opinions change after giving it a try.
Disc brakes and FS frames are obvious improvements. 9 speed is not in my opinion. I'll keep riding my 8 speed stuff until I can't get any more of it, then I'll move on to 9. I have tried it, and still prefer 8 speed.
They weren't at the time. You weren't here then. It was a complaint-fest. Nobody but the downhillers wanted anything to do with disks, the XC guys railed against FS like nobody's business, long-travel forks were treated like red-headed stepchildren. That all changed when the majority actually got on a bike and rode. Were they perfect? Nah. Still aren't. And I still don't like FS for regular ol' XC riding, but I recognize that's me, and as of yet, no bike maker has made me switch. I may, I may not, dunno.

Point is, you can't stand still and expect the world to stand there with you, waiting for you to decide to come along. Might as well get used to it, and quit blaming the manufacturers for coming up with new ideas to keep the business rolling. Heck, pretty much every framebuilder makes frames for 4" or greater forks now, I don't hear anybody complaining about that. Or new tires, or whatever.
I was a retrogrouch for years, stayed with 7 speed XT thumbies using XTR 8 speed cassettes with the 13T cog removed the 12T changed to the other shift ramp pattern (P>Q, Q>P, I can't remember - one of those :skep: ). And then 2 years ago I tried the 970 series XTR shifters, cranks and derailleurs and I was finally sold on super fast, crisp reliable shifting with more than 7 speeds where you can get multiple gear up and down shifts. I am a convert. :thumbsup:
I don't ride gears, but for all the retros out there. Go to sheldon Brown's website; those guys carry 6 speed cassettes.
I never noticed better shifting between 8 and 9. My problem with 9 speed was thinner rings/chains/cogs, causing quicker wear.

And for the record, just because something was made years ago doesn't mean it was an inferior product.
I'd love a 11-34 8 speed cassette. I usually end up shifting 2 gears always. If it was sturdier and less contaminant-prone that would just be a bonus.

I'm surprised sunrace or ird or someone like that doesn't produce an XT-level 11-34 8 speed cassette. There's plenty of nice old 8sp shifters running around, and there's certainly demand.
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