Bicycles Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who build and repair bicycles, people who train cycling, or commute on bicycles. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to use an 8-speed shifter with a 7-speed cassette. I saw this question, but I am unsure if this would work, since I believe the spacing is the same between a 7- and 8-speed, but the length is not.

share|improve this question
If the spacing is the same, then you could, but if you shift too far you'd pull the chain right off the cassette. If it goes into the wheel, goodbye wheel (possibly). – Jack M. Apr 9 '12 at 20:17
Why do you want to do this? – zenbike Apr 10 '12 at 3:04
I have a 7 speed cassette, but the shifters are bad, and looks like there is more variety with 8 speed shifters instead of replacing the wheel or hub. – Carson Reinke Apr 10 '12 at 20:10
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can do that, the spacing is the same.

As already pointed, you're going to have a "phantom gear" on your shifter.

If you let gear number 2 on the shifter correspond to gear number 1 in the cassette, you should take care not to press too hard on the lever when you are already in gear 2, since this should overstretch the cable or the lever.

If you let the normal order until gear 7, and have an 8th gear on the lever as an "empty" or "ghost" gear, there is no danger to overstretch anything, but the shifter cable might become too loose, to the point of the housings coming out of their stops.

Anyway, the gear spacing is the same, and there would be any necessary damage in any part, except one of the positions of the shifter not being used.

Also, this could be a good alternative to upgrade the shifter, and only some time later to upgrade the rear wheel.

At last, have in mind that these systems are not in production anymore (as far as I know).

Hope this helps

share|improve this answer
Sorry, could you clarify on what you mean by "not in production anymore"? Are you referring to Shimano manufacturing? – Carson Reinke Apr 10 '12 at 20:09
@CarsonReinke yes, I think at least for medium-to-high-end components, everything is 9 or even 10 speed, be it Shimano or SRAM... – heltonbiker Apr 10 '12 at 20:49
Shimano still makes 8 spd integrated brake lever shifters. Claris line. – Fred the Magic Wonder Dog Aug 28 '15 at 21:41

It will work but as JackM. states make sure you limits are adjusted precisely.You also have to decide if you want to risk over shifting on the low gear or high side.

share|improve this answer
I stand corrected – mikes Apr 10 '12 at 0:39

You can't over shift if your rear derailleur is adjusted correctly (the high and low limit screws will prevent it). You will just have a phantom gear – like they say.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.