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I am planning to upgrade cassette, rear derailleur, chain rings and front derailleur of 2016 Cannondale Trail 6 I am looking for 11-36 or 11-38 10 speed rear and 2 speed front. Which model I need to select the cassette, derailleur and chain-ring set? I understand I have to change the shifters too. Shimano XT range would be appropriate? My ride is offroad and onroad mixed daily and long rides (~60 KMs) weekends. Any 10 speed cassettes will fit on my 8 speed free hub? Or considering additional expenses, I am even considering 1X10 combination. with 33/32 T front with neat profile with no front derailleur . I feel when I ride with middle ring front and all the combinations on current 8 speed rear, is good. I guess my current middle ring could be 34. Will I miss the highway riding comfort with single ring in front? For lower spectrum I should be okay with 36T low end at rear

  • Hi, welcome to bicycles! We try not to make product recommendations because this year's answer - even if there's no disagreement - may not be applicable in the future as models change and parts are no longer available. That said, if you pick a component level comparable to what you have on your bike and stick to matching components from that line it should work. – DavidW Oct 31 '19 at 13:52
  • All that said, you will definitely need to change your shifters too (you're going from 3x8 to 2x10) and you may even need to change your crank to get 2x working optimally. (Of course I've also known people to keep their 3x crank and front derailleur/shifter and simply never use the lowest position, but you don't have access to as many gears that way, plus if you accidentally shift too far you will drop your chain.) – DavidW Oct 31 '19 at 13:55
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    The free hub body width for 8, 9 and 10 speed cassettes is the same. – Argenti Apparatus Oct 31 '19 at 16:52
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    Current Shimano M8000 XT range is 2x12 speed and is a huge jump up from the mixed Acera drivetrain the Trail 6 has. If you want a new 10 speed system that's a step up Deore M6000 will be fine. Note you can look up what size cassettes the derailleurs will accommodate on that page. – Argenti Apparatus Oct 31 '19 at 17:17
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    In addition to @ArgentiApparatus' comment: Shimano 11 speed cassettes also fit that freehub body. (With 12x things get more complicated: Shimano need another freehub, while SRAM has cassettes that fit the old freehub body as well as ones that need the xD standard.) – anderas Nov 5 '19 at 12:12
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You will need to change the rear shifter, also best to install new cables (inners and outers) to get the most out of the upgrade.

No need to stick with your existing brand. Microshift do a range of well priced products that would suit that bike very well.

In Shimano, XT quality is probably spending too much for that bike, Deore is practically the same quality the same just a bit heavier and a few less features (e.g. brake levers on Deore miss out on the tool-less reach adjust and miss the bite ajust)

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The latest Shimano Specifications Chart reveals which model numbers fit your parameters. Be aware that there are other model numbers which would work but are unlisted in this link as they are older models. These can be accessed by using the Shimano Product Info Archive and then selecting the appropriate PDF file. Anyway, in general, double front Chainwheels come sized with 40-28T/38-28T/36-26T/34-24T ring combos and the top low sprocket on a Shimano 10 speed cassette is 42T which should be used in combination with a 10 speed rear derailleur having a GS sized cage. Your current freehub will accommodate a ten speed cassette. Additional considerations are that you will need a ten speed chain and possibly a new bottom bracket compatable with your choice of chainwheel.

Brand new components will run into the hundreds of dollars (probably not more than $300 at time of this writing in October, 2019). Higher tier XT components will be more expensive than SLX or Deore will be of course. Looking for used components either online or at a nearby bicycle coop will save some money. There are some incredible values to be found out there, I can personally attest to that. Along with the cost of componentry, there is a good deal of labor involved in a drivetrain upgrade. Even if it's your own time and labor you intend to put into this project, it's worth considering. I try not to overlook the time and effort required to find the appropriate parts and make sure they're compatible.

All of these "considerations" are why many will advise that shopping for a bike that is already equipped with what you seek ends up being a better value than upgrading expensive components.

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  • considering additional expenses, I am even considering 1X10 combination. with 33/32 T front with neat profile with no front derailleur . I feel when I ride with middle ring front and all the combinations on current 8 speed rear, is good. I guess my current middle ring could be 34. Will I miss the highway riding comfort with single ring in front? For lower spectrum I should be okay with 36T low end. – Anand Nov 5 '19 at 5:35
  • @Anand I've stubbornly held to the notion I needed the range of a front triple. Ojectively assessing where and how I ride, I now realize this couldn't be further from the truth. With a 3x9 setup (42-32-22T up front), I rarely come off the big chainring up front and seldom use the 11T sprocket in back, so a 1x set up is what I'm going to next. I think it's not unreasonable for me to have 36T up front and pair it with 11-42T ten speed rear. Plenty low that'll give me and perhaps increase the frequency i use the high end. – Jeff Nov 6 '19 at 0:22

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