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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I'm thinking about refreshing the drivetrain on my '96 Fisher for light trail and beater duty. It has STX front and rear derailleurs, a Shimano chain of unknown vintage, an XT cassette, Sugino crankset, and XT shifters. The derailleurs and chain definitely need to be replaced, but I would definitely like to preserve the cassette, cranks, and shifters if at all possible. Given the level of use that this bike will see, would new Shimano Alivio or SRAM X.5 components work, or should I be looking for vintage XT level stuff? I'm trying to stay under $100 for this refresh since I'm planning to get a new bike in the spring.

Here are some pics:









Thanks! :thumbsup:
 

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I would be wiiling to bet that a good wrench could make everything that you have work fine . Get rid of the Avid roller thingy . The zee bends in the rear derailuer housing really degrade rear shifting . Try to find a wrench that is older than twenty years old . Just sayin . Good luck .
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Haha, you and zebrahum really hate my Avid Rollermajig. I'm not sure how old the mechanic was, but I went to one of the highest-rated (MTBR/Yelp) shops in the area, so I'm inclined to trust their work. I'll pick up a new housing this weekend and remove the roller, but assuming that the derailleurs are shot, what's it going to take to get some decent shifting?
 

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Assuming the d's are shot , get new ones like the ones in you o.p. . I however find it hard to believe that they are shot , they look great in the pics. Some Jagwire housing and fresh cables would make a noticable improvement . FWIW , shifters make a bigger difference in shifting quality in many cases .
 

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agreed- new cables. If the shifters are acting funny, often just spraying the guts with some degreaser fixes them. Have them: check the chain for stretch, your hanger for being straight, and high wear on your cassette and chainrings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How would I figure out if the derailleurs are still good or not, separate from replacing the cable and housing?

Regarding the shifters, they are still very tight and crisp, I think. It really seems like the derailleurs and chain are hesitant to shift cogs or require an "overshift" to jump over.
 

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Never trust a fart
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Giddy, sound like all you need is some new cables. Old corroded dirty cables will screw up shifting each and every time. Cables are cheap and then you can determine if you need derailleurs or not. But I would say not. Unless the derailleurs are bent or actually broken - zero chain tension, excessive play in the pivots, ect- they are probably still fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
frdfandc said:
Unless the derailleurs are bent or actually broken - zero chain tension, excessive play in the pivots, ect- they are probably still fine.
I will certainly give new cables a shot, but the shop specifically mentioned "too much play in the pivots to do a proper adjustment" after I took it in for a tune-up. These derailleurs (STX-RC rear and STX front) were entry-level back in the day (probably the equivalent of modern day Deore), so they might be more prone to wear than the better stuff.
 

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If your shifters are working ok, you can simply replace the dérailleurs. For the front, you want to go with an 8 speed (Alivio is fine) but the rear can use any Shimano 9 speed dérailleur just fine (and yes, Deore is basically the replacement for STX/STX-RC). Have the cassette examined closely, if the chain needs replacing...it might too (same goes for chainrings).

Beyond that, as others have suggested some new cables and housing will help out greatly. Good Luck
 

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GiddyHitch said:
would new Shimano Alivio or SRAM X.5 components work
You can't use Sram X.5 (or X7, X9, etc) with Shimano shifters.
The STX stuff was OK, but it wasn't the greatest so if your LBS says the derailleur is shot, it probably is. Alivio is low-end, but low-end drivetrain components today are quite a bit better than they were 10 years ago. It should certainly do better than an old worn out STX, but I'd first look around for deals on a deore or deore LX just to see if you can find something a little better. If you haven't purchased bike parts recently (it sounds like you haven't) you'll find that there can be significant price differences on the same parts depending on where you buy them, so always search for deals.
New cables and housings are a great idea for any old bike. You don't have to spend a lot on them, but stay away from the absolute bottom-of-the-barrel stuff.
The rollamajigs actually do help on some bikes (especially with chainstay-routed cables, which you don't have), but if you get new cables and derailleur,I wouldn't put it back on unless you had shifting problems with the new stuff.
Measure your chain to see if it's stretched, if it is, your cassette and chainrings may be damaged. If it's just old and rusty, just put on a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Thanks for the heads-up on the derailleurs, guys - that should help my hunting on eBay, PricePoint, Jenson, etc., and give me something to do during the rainy months.

And the reason why I can use a 9 speed rear on an 8 speed cassette is that the cog spacing is the same and I just have to set the high and low screws so that the derailleur doesn't try to shift to a non-existant cog? Why couldn't the same be said of a front? Sorry guys, this is just coming back to me in bits and pieces.

Do you guys subscribe to the measure 12 links, and if it measures,

under 12-1/16", the chain is fine
1/16-1/8", chain should be replaced
over 1/8", chain and cassette should be replaced?
 

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GiddyHitch said:
Thanks for the heads-up on the derailleurs, guys - that should help my hunting on eBay, PricePoint, Jenson, etc., and give me something to do during the rainy months.

And the reason why I can use a 9 speed rear on an 8 speed cassette is that the cog spacing is the same and I just have to set the high and low screws so that the derailleur doesn't try to shift to a non-existant cog? Why couldn't the same be said of a front? Sorry guys, this is just coming back to me in bits and pieces.

Do you guys subscribe to the measure 12 links, and if it measures,

under 12-1/16", the chain is fine
1/16-1/8", chain should be replaced
over 1/8", chain and cassette should be replaced?
8 and 9 speed are not the same spacing, but that isn't important here. The shifters determine 8 or 9 speeds and the spacing, not the derailleur. So with your 8 speed shifters, any Shimano 9 speed rear derailleur will work perfectly on a 8 speed cassette. Front derailleurs are a little different. Because the 9 speed chains are narrower, the cage on the 9 speed derailleurs are narrower too. So while a 9 speed front derailleur will work, you will get more chain rubbing in certain gear combos. It's better to find a 8 speed front. If you can't find a 8 speed, use a 9 speed chain (which will work fine on 8 speed cranks and cassettes) with a 9 speed front derailleur.
 

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GiddyHitch said:
And the reason why I can use a 9 speed rear on an 8 speed cassette is that the cog spacing is the same and I just have to set the high and low screws so that the derailleur doesn't try to shift to a non-existant cog? Why couldn't the same be said of a front? Sorry guys, this is just coming back to me in bits and pieces.

Do you guys subscribe to the measure 12 links, and if it measures,

under 12-1/16", the chain is fine
1/16-1/8", chain should be replaced
over 1/8", chain and cassette should be replaced?
As previously stated, the spacing is different on 8 and 9 spd cassettes.
Yes, you just need to adjust the limit screws on the new 9spd rear der.
Yes, I subscribe to your measuring parameters.

There are some really good deals to be had out there right now.
I have seen ridiculous low prices on LX rear derailluers, due to the fact that LX has been discontinued in shimanos MTB line, and moved over to a touring groupo.
Pricepoint, jenson, wheel world etc etc all have the stuff on clearance. Just gotta hunt for the best deal.
I'll get back to you on the front derailluer. Maybe someone else will chime in on that.
 

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You probably don't need a new Front Derailleur. I have bike I got in 1994 with full STX. I replaced the rear derailleur several times in the past 15 years, but am still running the same front derailleur.
 

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GiddyHitch, who told you that STX-Rc was entry level stuff? Not even close. There was tons of big S stuff of lesser quality at the time. For the record, because I'm old and remember:

XTR
XT
LX
STX-rc
STX
Alivio
etc...

I have a Deore DX rear D from 1992 that still works OK.

Get a new chain, new cables and housing........

and the Avid rollamajig works fine if it is set up well. If you don't get the housing length perfect it won't.

Set up the shifting yourself. Read up here, it's not hard.

Drew
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
GiddyHitch said:
Do you guys subscribe to the measure 12 links, and if it measures,

under 12-1/16", the chain is fine
1/16-1/8", chain should be replaced
over 1/8", chain and cassette should be replaced?
So I just measured my chain and it's only about 1/32" over 12 inches - I must have replaced it not too long before I quit riding. Should I still replace it since it's been sitting so long (7 years)?

AZ.MTNS said:
Its might have been posted , if you run a 9 speed chain you can run a 9 speed f.d. 9 speed chain is fine on 8 speed cassette .
Oh nice, that will certainly make it easier to find a front derailleur ... though I wonder if they even make the 9 speeds in the 31.8mm size.

trailville said:
You probably don't need a new Front Derailleur. I have bike I got in 1994 with full STX. I replaced the rear derailleur several times in the past 15 years, but am still running the same front derailleur.
When I was cleaning my bike down after todays ride, I yanked on the front derailleur a bit and there must have been about 1/16" of play in either direction at the pivots. I'm just going to replace the rear and put a new cable on for the time being though, methinks.

clark said:
Start with this x.9 eight speed twist shifter with micro adjust on the front
The bike originally came with SRAM Grip Shifts, and I'm pretty sure I don't want to go back. ;)

dru said:
GiddyHitch, who told you that STX-Rc was entry level stuff? Not even close. There was tons of big S stuff of lesser quality at the time.
I meant entry level for real mountain biking. You didn't really want to be riding around with any Alivio or Altus stuff on your bike at the time if you could help it. Though I wonder how the current Alivio stuff stacks up against the old STX/LX/XT stuff of yore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
After a week of research and riding, I've decided to proceed with my drivetrain overhaul, the old girl deserves it after so much faithful service and hopefully a lot more to come.

Here's the plan:

FD - Shimano LX M580 @ $15
RD - Shimano LX M581 @ $40
Chain - SRAM 971 @ $25
Cables - Jagwire Ripcord @ $25

Total = $105

Are the Ripcords worth it for me over the Hypers? I won't be able to run full length housings due to the cable guides on my frame.
 
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