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9 speed upgrade - install it myself?(7 posts)

9 speed upgrade - install it myself?blw
Mar 28, 2003 6:20 PM
I just bought the components to upgrade from 8 to 9 speed.
I would like to install it myself. I got the Ultegra STI with an Ultegra rear derailler and cassette. Any help would be appreciated. Any place to look for help? I have replaced rear cassettes before, and overhauled hubs. Any thing I should especially be aware of or be cautious about? I am worried about making sure the rear derailler is adjusted correctly. I've done minor adjustments with the rear, but nothing with the limit screws. Is there anything to worry about with the shifters or routing the cables and housing? Any estimates on how long it might take? A lot of questions, but I do appreciate any time and effort to help.
Thanks for your time!
re: 9 speed upgrade - install it myself?russw19
Mar 28, 2003 7:15 PM
If you have all the tools and the time to do it, then do it yourself. It's the best way to learn your bike. However if you screw it up, the bike shop may charge you a bunch to right your wrongs. Check out Park Tools' website... they walk you thru about every repair you will need to know. They have a section called "Tool School" and it's really good. By the way, if you are new to working on your own bike, they sell the tool school book and it is a very good investment.

As for changing over the cassette, it's as simple as taking off the old one and putting on the new one. Just make sure you line it up right, but Shimano has one big fat spline that has to go into the fat spline slot... you will see it, it's obvious.

As for the derailleur, put it on and attach the cable. Then prestretch the cable. Then put your new cassette on and put your wheel in your frame. Set the limit screws so that your upper jockey pulley lines up with the center of your largest and smallest cogs by using the set screws. Once you get everything set up, you can fine tune, but that is the initial setup.

Cut your housing (if you use new housing, and I would recommend it just because now's a good time to change to new housing and cables, cut your housing to the same length the old stuff was... if it was right, it will still be the same. By the way, what was your old rear derailleur? You may not need to change it as 8 speed derailleurs work with 9 speed shifters.

Anyways, try reading the info on and that should give you a good start.

re: 9 speed upgrade - install it myself?blw
Mar 28, 2003 10:53 PM
Thanks for your help. I went ahead and bought a new rear derailler. It wasn't that much more and figured now was a good time to do it all. I made a quick review of the park tools sight and it seems to be a good start, but I didn't notice anything about prestretching the cables. How do you "prestretch" the cable?
re: 9 speed upgrade - install it myself?russw19
Mar 29, 2003 11:49 AM
Cables are braided stainless steel... so they stretch out a bit after a few rides. That's why good bike shops give you a 30 day tune up on your bike.... once your cables stretch, the shifting is out of adjustment. The cable tension that makes your index shifting work is too slack, and your brake cables will do the same.

So, mount your cables and tighen down on the anchor bolt on both your brakes and derailleurs. For the derailleurs, shift to the small rings and cogs, then grab the cable with your hands and pull on it. Hold it for like 30 seconds or so. That will prestretch them a bit and then you will need to retension them so your index shifting works correctly. If you prestretch them you won't have to go back and readjust your shifting after your first 30 mile ride.

With brakes, set the cables a little bit tighter than you normally like your brakes. To the point where the pads touch the rims (this only works if your wheels are true, otherwise they may still rub after this because your rim is wobbling) and just squeeze the lever as hard as you can a few times. When you are done, the cable should have stretched just enough that your brakes are in adjustment and they will stay that way too.

This is just a little trick of bike shop mechanics so that your index shifting on your $3000 bike doesn't come out of adjustment on your first ride and you think your shop sux cuz they can't get anything right.... but it works. Give it a try.

re: 9 speed upgrade - install it myself?..Yes!davet
Mar 28, 2003 9:17 PM
If you go to the Park Tools website, repair help, rear derailluers:
it will teach you everything you should know to set-up and maintain your rear der. Follow the instructions, in order, and you will have a sweet shifting bike!
Of course install it yourself!Spoke Wrench
Mar 29, 2003 4:55 AM
The highest tech tools the job requires is a cable cutter and a chain tool. If you don't already own them, at some point you'll want to get them anyway. At worst, a bike shop will charge you $50.00 for a tune up in the extremely unlikely event that you just can't get it right. That's the same amount that I'd charge you if you brought in the pieces for me to install so I don't see any downside.
Mar 29, 2003 7:26 PM
It's not really very difficult at all. Take your time and follow the directions that come with the components. The manufacturers instructions are actually pretty good for the most part. If you've never done it before, I'd say set aside 3-4 hours.

Next thing you know, those LBS $50 tune ups will be a thing of the past.

Good Luck,