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I recently bought one for under $100. Very good condition. They are suppose to be compatible with old 8sp Shimano. Shifters and cassettes are still available for 8sp so I think it should work fine. I will find out though. And you can always use friction shifting.

My bike is in pieces so I cannot help more.
 

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I used to work for them and I have one on my old Litespeed. If you get one where all the parts are in tolerance, they work very well. Gary and Tony did a great job designing it, but from experience I know that they did not exactly inspect every part to come off the machines. They did not even have a surface plate when I was there and inspection was pretty much left to the machine operators. I think the bad reviews came from people with out of tolerance parts, because mine just bolted on and worked great right away. The hanger bolt is designed to be breakaway, so is rather light weight. I haven't had a problem, but you should probably keep your cables and drivetrain clean.

Mine is set up for 7-speed, but I don't see any reason why they would not work for 8 or possibly even 9 speed. It is the shifters that govern how far the derailleur moves for each shift.

I have a NOS red one that maybe I should sell. I also have a bag of shifter parts. Hmmm.

Outside!
 
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