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  1. #1
    Anphaque II
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    Question Shifting Quality: 8 Speed vs 9 Speed vs 10 Speed vs 11 Speed Cassettes

    Are there any shifting quality differences between said cassettes?


    I heard an opinion today regarding said cassettes in that when they started adding gears beyond 8, it apparently affected shifting quality via moving the cogs closer together, etc.

    If so (To any degree) can someone expand on this?

    Does an 8 speed or a 9 speed shift smoother than a 10 speed or an 11 speed?


    Thanks for any input .
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  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I'd say that there's a much bigger difference in quality between a nice, new cassette and chain and a crappy, worn-out cassette and chain. I think cheaper cassettes below a certain point tend to wear faster, or have less tolerance for wear, but I don't think that there's anything inherent about an 8-speed cassette that would make it shift less smoothly.

    FWIW, I currently have a bike with a 6-speed freewheel, two with 9-speed cassettes, and one with a 10-speed cassette. I had 8 on one of the 9-speed bikes for a while. I get good shifting out of all of them, although on both the mountain bike and the 'cross bike (the two 9-speed bikes,) I notice a lot of degradation when mud starts getting sprayed into the cassette, or all over the bottom bracket. Go figure. On the road bike, which I generally only ride in cleanish conditions, shifting usually only gets bad if I screw up the tune or buy a new chain and discover I'm due for a cassette too.

  3. #3
    Old and Fixed, Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    I'd say that there's a much bigger difference in quality between a nice, new cassette and chain and a crappy, worn-out cassette and chain.
    ...................................This........... ............

    You often read that people buy the latest groupset and say that shifting is much better when in reality they replace old worn our parts with new parts..

    In my experience, there isn't much difference in shifting between 8,9 or 10 speed however I feel it's easier to keep an 8 speed in tune since the tolerances aren't as tight.
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  4. #4
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hickey
    ...................................This........... ............

    You often read that people buy the latest groupset and say that shifting is much better when in reality they replace old worn our parts with new parts..

    In my experience, there isn't much difference in shifting between 8,9 or 10 speed however I feel it's easier to keep an 8 speed in tune since the tolerances aren't as tight.
    I agree with what's been offered thus far, but IMO/E all things being equal (as in, comparing new 8, 9, 10 spd drivetrains) the more cogs, the tighter the tolerances. Drivetrains being mechanical, those tight tolerances mean (for example) keeping the 10 spd drivetrain cleaner and in a better state of tune than say an 8 or 9 spd.

    JMO, but I think the best compromise was/ is 9 speed drivetrains, but I wouldn't base a buying decision on that opinion, because with minimal care the current 10 spd groupsets perform well. What's more important is matching gearing to the terrain and fitness of the rider.

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