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greenhorn
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some advice from the resident experts here. Let me tell what I did, and what is happening, and my thought to fix it.
I needed a winter/bad weather commuter bike. I took a Fuji Absolute, 7 speed cassette 21 speed with flat bars, swapped the flats for drop handle bars off a Giant with 8 speed cassette 24 speed. (This change was made so I could accommodate bigger tires for slush and gravel winter roads).I have logged 240 miles on this bike. The only problem I have is getting all the gears to adjust right. Either the top side is perfect and bottom side clicks, or the top clicks and the bottom is perfect. Never skips, but noisy. Could it be the 7 to 8 speed switch? My thought was to swap the original 7 speed cassette to an 8 speed cassette to match what the handle bars are off. That way the spacing would be more like the shifters.
Is this the right direction? Or have I missed something?
Any other thoughts are always welcome. Again, no problems with shifting or riding, I just can't get all the gears to be adjusted at any point, either the big gear or the small gear but never both.
 

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Total noob (& forum admin)
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The spacing between the cogs is different from 7 to 8 speed. So your shifter is trying to move the chain up or down the wrong amount. And it's not a huge difference, just enough to frustrate you. If your shifters match your cassette, this should no longer be an issue.
 

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so can the shifter just match the cassette and not the RD? which is more important to match? I wouldn't think the RD or even FD should matter that much since it just moves according to the pull.
 

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6-speed, 7-speed, 8-speed, 9-speed, 10-speed, 11-speed?

From this article, it would seem that the problem is in changing from the 7 to the 8, you probably would have been better off going with a 9 or even a 10.

Quoted from the above link:
Bicycle Gears: 6-speed, 7-speed, 8-speed, 9-, 10-, 11-, ...?

Component manufacturers like to sell you lots of new parts, even if you don't need them. This has led to much confusion as various parts are labeled as if they are incompatible with other parts even though they are actually usable with little or no problem. Also, design often is churned by spec hype, and "keeping up with the Joneses," as in more sprockets, lighter weight, higher-priced components must be better. "Jones" is also a slang term for a drug addiction!...

There are, on the other hand, some real compatibility issues.

The following parts only are "speed specific":

Indexed Shifters These need to have the spacing of detents ("clicks") to match the system they'll be used with. This usually goes along with the correct number of clicks -- though a shifter with an extra click also can work, as long as the spacing is OK. (Friction shifters have no compatibility issues, they work with everything.)

Cassettes It is really the cassette that determines how many speeds you have in back.

Campagnolo/Shimano 8-speed cassettes have different spacing, so you can't generally get good indexing using a Campagnolo 8-speed wheel with a Shimano shift system or vice versa.

With 7-, 9- and 10-speed systems, the sprocket spacing between brands is close enough that it rarely causes any difficulty in practice.

For perfect matching, you might substitute different spacers, use alternate cable routing, or use a Jtek ShiftMate pulley adaptor.

See my "Spacing Cribsheet " for more details on this. (go to the website for the hyperlink)

Chain As you go to more sprockets on the cassette, you need a narrower chain. However, using a chain one size narrower than standard rarely presents any problem. Thus, you can use a "9-speed" chain with a 7-speed or 8-speed system, or a "10-speed" chain with a 9-speed system. This is not the ideal approach -- shifting may not be quite as smooth -- but it's workable.

Narrow chains bring other problems, though. They are usually more expensive and -- with 10 or more speeds -- don't last as long -- even when used in the intended system.

The narrowest chains also are more trouble to maintain. A master link, the SRAM PowerLink, makes it easy to disconnect a chain for cleaning. The 7/8 speed SRAM PowerLink works with SRAM and Shimano chains, probably others too. The 9-speed PowerLink works reliably with SRAM chains, but it may lead to a Shimano chain's jumping forward. The 10-speed SRAM Powerlock (note different name) is good for one-time use only: You must install a new one every time you reconnect the chain -- but then, if the chain has worn significantly, it will cause a "clunk" every time it comes around, because this one link is shorter than the others! Shimano's 9- and 10-speed system is even more trouble: you must press in a special link pin, using a special tool, every time you reconnect the chain, and this, too will cause a "clunk" if the chain is worn.

The article goes on to discuss the derailers and other aspects of speed performance.
 

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greenhorn
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128 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
All good info.
I was thinking just like Industry Hack.
Not sure I understood what Garilia meant by the Campagnolo/Shimano 8-speed cassettes comment. I haven't changed anything but the handle bars and shifters yet. I put drops and shifters on from a 8 speed, and now I notice the problem. But not sure what you meant by a 9 or 10 would be better than switching to a 8 speed. Wouldn't I need a new wheel to go to a 9 or 10? Wouldn't the spacing be worse too?
Is the Campagnolo/Shimano 8-speed cassette different from a 8 speed Shimano or Sram? Is the 8 speed the problem you see or is the brand the problem?
I was thinking that since the shifters were for 8 speed, the cassette needed to be 8 speed instead of the stock 7 speed.
 

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The 7 and 8 speed chains are different. If you really want this to shift right you are likely to have to change the chain rings as well as the chain. You can't use a 7 speed chain ring on the cranks and an 8 speed cassette on the back, even if the shifters are compatible. I think I remember that some rear wheels are set up for one or the other.

When I started biking, the tolerances on a bike were not that tight and things like this just were not much of a problem. As the shifters and gearing got better with better engineering and design, the tolerances got tighter, but the performance was improved. When you make a change in the drive train, its often far more than one that's needed now. It can also be frustratingly close to working, but it won't unless everything is right.
 

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Hack I was actually thinking of pulling some off an old ten speed just for the sake of simplicty. My shifters I think were up by the bars, but I rode both and it didn't matter. You had to feel the shift, not just hit a button. I don't think the word compatible was ever used.

Even now its not that bad, that is till you start changing things. Then it becomes a bear.
 

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I used to love the feel of finessing a friction shifter into place.
 

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spin... spin.. spin
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All good info.
I was thinking just like Industry Hack.
Not sure I understood what Garilia meant by the Campagnolo/Shimano 8-speed cassettes comment. I haven't changed anything but the handle bars and shifters yet. I put drops and shifters on from a 8 speed, and now I notice the problem. But not sure what you meant by a 9 or 10 would be better than switching to a 8 speed. Wouldn't I need a new wheel to go to a 9 or 10? Wouldn't the spacing be worse too?
Is the Campagnolo/Shimano 8-speed cassette different from a 8 speed Shimano or Sram? Is the 8 speed the problem you see or is the brand the problem?
I was thinking that since the shifters were for 8 speed, the cassette needed to be 8 speed instead of the stock 7 speed.
if you have 8spd shifters as said, change the rear cassette, chain and derailleurs from the bike the shifters came off of. then it will be all 8spd. 7and 8spd cassettes will fit on the same hubs....
Campagnolo stuff will not work with Sram and Shimano... Sram and Shimano will work with each other however.
there are things i may be slightly wrong about/ or people who can offer better solutions or simpler ones. but there are two things in this world i know without a doubt....
1. My Grandfather loves me
2. Campagnolo shifting and wheel components only work with Campagnolo, they have done this purposely. when i toured their facilities the ceo explained it was to insure that something as perfect as italian made bike parts would always work perfectly. i used to think it was to make money selling their parts... after using them i believe him. nothing shifts better and last longer. Sram and Shimano make some good stuff, but if you can afford it shifting a Campy Record set will amaze you!
 

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Wife has Ultegra on her Madone 5.2 SL, not near as crisp as the Campy Chorus on my bike. Can't imagine how the Record could possibly be any better (maybe lighter?).

Also FWIW, my best guess is that I have over 80,000 miles on my old Bianchi with Mirage and aside from chains and cables NEVER had any work done to it!
 

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