I recently refurbished a 24 speed MTB with new cables, new chain and a proper clean. No matter how much I tried I could not get the shifting to be as smooth as a 9 speed system. It had a certain clunkiness to it that wasn't present in Shimano 8 speed systems from 20 years ago. I have experienced this before with 'Alivio' and other modern 8 speed parts which made me wonder, do these 8 speed parts actually work properly?
Also, if anyone knows, are they deliberately engineered to be borderline clunky so that there is a reason to buy the better 9 and 10 speed parts?