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I've mistakingly bought a pile of rubbish instead of a road bike (was going to be my first one), however, I'm determined to make the most of it and treat it like a project for me to work on. Currently it's right hand shifter is a 9 speed one (campagnolo), a broken rear derailleur (shimano) and an 8 speed cassette... with only 7 of the cog things actually present... (key words and knowledge in this area are pretty poor for me so I apologise.) I'm going to replace the derailleur, does this need to be a specific one? And then the main question... Is it possible for me to swap to a 9 speed cassette from the 8 speed? Would this make the shifters work effectively, to save the cost of replacing them?

  • The shifter and rear derailleur have to match or you won't have indexing (the amount of cable pulled on each shift won't match the amount required to move the chain to the next cog) - Campagnolo and Shimano aren't compatible. Also, depending on brand, you might find a 9speed cassette won't fit the freehub. – JHCL Aug 23 '16 at 14:13
  • Okay dokey, thanks a lot! What about the cassette, does this have to be of a particular brand or one that fits and with the right number of teeth? – Will Aug 23 '16 at 14:42
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    Beware of throwing good money after bad. If you've got a lemon, don't spend any more on it than you absolutely have to. Every dollar on that is a dollar not available for your dream bike. Ride this monster for at least months, maybe a year, and you'll have a good idea about what you want in a new bike. – Criggie Aug 23 '16 at 20:06
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    Mixing and matching drive train components from different manufacturers can be made to work (with varying degrees of 'work') but is not a job for a novice. If you have a local bike coop, you might be best to visit them. Also consider tracking down an old 7 or 8 speed bikes for donor parts. New parts (matching Cassette/deraileur/shifter, and you would not do that without replacing cables and chain) will cost a aweful lot. – mattnz Aug 23 '16 at 20:10
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    I think it starts with the derailleur. If it can be made to work then you can follow the advice given by @Criggie. If not, use Nathans answer as background knowledge and go to a bike shop. Also consider using this bike as a trade for a second hand bike from that LBS. If you do persist with this bike you'll certainly learn a lot! – andy256 Aug 24 '16 at 3:43
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Everything here depends on what rear hub you have, specifically what type of freehub body it has (the part that the cassette mounts on). Given that it seems to be a frankenbike, it could be a lot of things.

Also, given that it's a frankenbike, it would be wise to first double check that your shifter that says 9-speed is still set up for 9-speed, since Campy can be upgraded. So check that it has 9 positions (8 clicks).

The first thing to do is identify what type of rear freehub your hub has. Campy and Shimano each have different freehub spline patterns, and each have at least a couple different generations of freehub lengths dictating how many cogs will fit, and, in Campy's case, derivations of the spline pattern.

If you have any Shimano-compatible freehub, you can't set up the bike with any kind of normal drivetrain and would need to resort to some kind of compatibility hack. There are actually a couple pretty reasonable choices there, unless you got really unlucky and it's a 7-speed Shimano freehub. Namely you could upgrade the shifter to 10-speed and buy a 10-speed Campy rear derailer and 10-speed conversion cassette, or you could upgrade the shifter to 10-speed and then use the "Hubbub mod" with a Shimano RD and 9-speed cassette, which is a much cheaper plan.

If it's a Campy-compatible hub, you need to figure out what generation of freehub body it has. Campy 9 speed cassettes don't fit on their 8-speed freehub bodies. Campy used to sell upgrade 9-speed freehub bodies for their 8-speed hubs, but I believe they haven't been made for a while and may be fairly unobtainable now. If it's a 9 or 10/11 speed freehub body, you just need a Campy 9-speed cassette and rear derailer.

Note that buying a bunch of Campy parts to make your Campy shifter work may be far from the most economical plan, especially depending on the condition of the Campy-compatible wheel if that's what you have.

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    Good answer, but I'd like to add two options. If the shifter is 9-speed and you have Shimano freehub, you can buy a Shimano derailleur, 8-speed Shimano cassette and use the Hubbub mod. Or, buy a Campagnolo derailleur (9, 10 or 11 speed), 9-speed Shimano cassette and you will have shifting that is at most less than 0.5mm off. – ojs Aug 23 '16 at 17:41

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