Jump to content

Upgrade from 8 speed to 9 speed


Recommended Posts



Is there a sound non-emotive reason to upgrade from 8-speed to 9-speed? (MTB)


I currently have the following components:


SRAM X5 8-speed shifters.


Alivio Crank


Alivio FD


SRAM X7 RD (recent, used to be X5)




I know I'll have to replace the FD, crankset, shifters and chain to upgrade.


But will this be worth the expense? I DO compete in races BUT NEVER to finish in the top 20. It is an experience and not a race for me.




Only reason I am considering this is to get better quality components. The Alivio and X5 are the top end of 8 speed.


If i go to 9 speed I can upgrade to Saint, SLX, XT, XTR, etc.


Will these expensive components last longer than the 8 speed entry level ones?


I don't want to be "all the gear but no idear"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, there's no reason to do so. Until 8-speed cassettes are extinct, I'll ride 8-speed.  8-speed drivetrains last longer than 9 speed which lasts longer than 10-speed. And it is far, far cheaper.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dracena: I'm also on 8spd and was considering the move. After doing my homework I saw that all I needed to do was just change my chainset to the correct gearing I wanted.


I'm going from a 48-38-28 to a 42-32-22. I do a lot of mountain goating on my daily commute and some days I just want cruise along in granny gear.


I also found that replacing my cassette with a descent one made a massive difference.


Also remember that you can use any "9spd" d?railleur on 8spd.



But I've also decided to stick to 8spd as its the most economical option for me.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've got 2 bikes: 1 is an 8 speed with alivio and acera components. My newer bike is 9 speed X0 all round. Obviously the X0 is a bit nicer BUT I dont even notice the difference between 8 and 9 speed gearing. Also the shifting with acera/alivio is really not that much worse than X0 if its tuned properly. Stick with 8 speed until you wear your cassette out. All you will need to change in any case is the cassette, shifters and chain. FD and crankset will be fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Agree with you here mtb_Josh on keeping it tuned. Got a cheap floor stand for the bike and took the time and effort to learn how to set my gears.


Can say that if your bike is not tuned, it dose not matter how many gears or what components you are using - its still going to suck.


cbrunsdon2010-06-14 05:26:51

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You would only need to replace the shifters, chain and cassette.

The Crankset and FD will be fine.

As it is on my one bike I have an 8 speed cassette and an old suntour thumbshifter, works great.


I have a set of new X7 shifters if you're interested for later


Link to comment
Share on other sites

i beg to differ on the crankset, I changed from 8 - 9 speed & found the small chainring too far away from the middle blade & the narrow 9spd chain then skates on top of the teeth of the small chainring & then the worst happens.


because of all the skating it then splits the outer link on the chain & your chain snaps voilently or at least thats what happened to me.


its an expensive excersize & only helps for a little bit more of granny if you want. I enjoy my 9spd but dont enjoy the hassles its given me to get there.


youll need:


1. 9spd shifters

2. 9spd derailer ( also compatible with 8 spd )

3. 9spd cassette

4. 9spd crankset ( small chainring is closer to middle chainring than on 8spd )

5. Front derialer will work regardless - its 8 & 9 spd compatible


so as you can see its quite a hefty lump on the pocket, however what ive found is that if not exactly dialled in 9 spd is a little more forgiving & doesnt skip like 8 spd as the cassette gaps are narrower than 8 spd.


soooo they both have their advantages & like i said this is just what ive found out ( the hard way ) by trial & error
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see the OEM rear d?railleur is 9spd thats fitted to 8spds.


But on the chainset I have the approach of you anyway have to replace it. Its not like its a component that lasts forever.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Settings My Forum Content My Followed Content Forum Settings Ad Messages My Ads My Favourites My Saved Alerts My Pay Deals Help Logout