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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I snapped a semi worn out (and super rusty) chain on my winter beater/crappy commuter bike. Winter was hard on my equipment

Its a 2005 Gary Fisher Tarpon (my first mountain bike) 3x8 with relatively new cassette/chainrings

Being the poor doctor of pharmacy student I am I had a buddy with a relatively new-used 9 speed chain that we threw on

I've been riding it for about 2 weeks but today I was thinking they aren't compatible :madman:

Granted I am not looking for the ultimate in shifting performance but something simple to get me from A to B.

Any problems in the near future from the mixed drivetrain?

My bike portion of the commute is 2.5 miles one way
 

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29ers Forever
2021 Rocky Mountain Altitude A70
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If you come across any problems in shifting (which if you haven't already probably won't happen) then buy a chain tool and remove a link or two from the chain. That should be fine.
 

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If you've already done two weeks on the new set-up without issues, what makes you think there will be issues in the future? Any problems would have shown up when you first put everything together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had some janky ghost shifting and some skipping under heavy load at first but since then the used components are playing nicely enough.

I thought I once read the width of the rings/cassette cogs were different from 7/8 speed vs 9 speed and it was a no-go to mix the two. But it seems to be working ok now.
 

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It should work fine. The initial problems were probably since the wear was unmatched between the components. By now you've forced them into matching.
 

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I thought I once read the width of the rings/cassette cogs were different from 7/8 speed vs 9 speed and it was a no-go to mix the two. But it seems to be working ok now.
8/9/10 speed freehubs are slightly wider than 7-speed freehubs. So the cassettes are different sizes too between 7 and 8/9/10 speeds. If I remember correctly, a 10-speed cassette is slightly narrower than 8/9 speeds, so you need to put a small spacer behind the 10-speed casssette. The spacing between the cogs is all different because they need to fit more cogs in the same amount of space, but the cogs themselves are the same width. So it's generally alright to use a narrower (ie designed for more gears) chain on a cassette with fewer gears, as you've found with your 9-speed chain on 8-speed cassette.
 

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8/9/10 speed freehubs are slightly wider than 7-speed freehubs. So the cassettes are different sizes too between 7 and 8/9/10 speeds. If I remember correctly, a 10-speed cassette is slightly narrower than 8/9 speeds, so you need to put a small spacer behind the 10-speed casssette. The spacing between the cogs is all different because they need to fit more cogs in the same amount of space, but the cogs themselves are the same width. So it's generally alright to use a narrower (ie designed for more gears) chain on a cassette with fewer gears, as you've found with your 9-speed chain on 8-speed cassette.
You only need the spacer on 10 speed shimano road cassettes if there is a cut out on the back of it. MTB don't need a spacer . For 7 speed cassettes the free hub body is shorter the 8 speed free hub body's . You can run 8,9 and 10 on a 8 speed body with no problem. You can also run a 7 speed cassette on a 8 speed body with a 4mm spacer behind it. Now for 11 speed road you need a 11 speed rear wheel but can run a 10 speed with spacers behind it if you need one.
 

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For a short time I had a 10 speed chain on my 9 speed and it worked. The 10 speed is more narrow then a 9 speed and 6,7 and 8 speed are all the same size but wider the a 9.
 

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I've used 9 speed chains on 8 speed cassettes for many years and they work well. I have never had any luck using new chains on old cassettes and I'd guess this is the cause if your drivetrain started slipping with the new chain.

Tim
 

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I'm using a 9 speed chain on an 8 speed cassette right now, with a 9 speed derailleur so it says..

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