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For an upgrade I'm trying to decide whether to change to 9-speed or 10-speed cassette, chain, derailleur, shifter and crank.

On the european Shimano website there are not many words about 9-speed components in the Deore XT Group and a european reseller has marked many items as "discontinued".

When choosing 9-speed today will I probably have trouble finding new components in about five years? Has Shimano officially discontinued 9-speed?

  • 9 speed is Alivio and Acera these days. I'd expect you'd be fine for at least 5 years if you're ok with these part levels. – Batman Dec 22 '15 at 1:12
  • If you are going to upgrade to XT, why not to go with the latest 8000 11-speed one? – Klaster_1 Dec 22 '15 at 2:42
  • @Klaster_1 Hub compatibility? – paparazzo Dec 22 '15 at 7:43
  • @Frisbee Shimano 11-speed MTB cassetes use the old driver body, no need to change it. – Klaster_1 Dec 22 '15 at 8:52
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Shimano has a pretty good track record of wear parts availability for older groupsets. I am using 8-speed myself, and there are several European mail order stores as well as local shops that have spare cassettes and chains. I would expect that 9-speed spare parts aren't going away either.

The problem with off-road groups is that rear derailleurs are not compatible between 9- and 10-speed, so you need to change shifters, derailleurs, cassette and chain if you need to switch later.

EDIT: To clarify, even though 9-speed XT groups have not been sold in a while, XT-level 9-speed wear parts are still available. For 8-speed it looks like spares above Deore/Tiagra level are no longer available.

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    Good answer, but with the caveat that Shimano has NOT discontinued 9-speed components, and should continue to offer them, but at lower-tier group levels. – JonR Dec 21 '15 at 23:42
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    Cassettes and chains are still available. – Carel Dec 22 '15 at 8:02
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    There are also other Shimano-compatible brands with 9-speed offerings. – Danielle Madeley Dec 22 '15 at 21:42
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If the freehub will take 9 or 10 then why would you not go 10?

Why would you upgrade to 9 when you can as easily upgrade to 10?

Cassette Spacers 2013

  • Because going for 9-spd is cheaper – Eric Smekens Dec 22 '15 at 9:28
  • @EricSmekens Not upgrading is even cheaper – paparazzo Dec 22 '15 at 9:29
  • 9-speed has larger tolerances and may or may not work better when dirty and knocked slightly out of adjustment. – ojs Dec 22 '15 at 19:57
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    There are a lot of high-end Downhill/Freeride bikes that ship with 9-speed. Just checking, and the latest/expensive model of Commencal comes with 7-speed. Sometimes there is just no need for those extra speeds. And maybe in this case, 9 in enough, and go for 9. – Eric Smekens Dec 22 '15 at 21:47
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    I believe Yngwie Malmsteen has the answer: youtube.com/watch?v=QHZ48AE3TOI&t=10s – ojs Dec 22 '15 at 22:15

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