I would like your pro advice with a bike upgrade.

Please refer for details: Specialized Hardrock Disc SE 26 (2014) Specs Why the upgrade?

  1. 5-year-old shifters, displays are cracked up and yellow.
  2. Because I keep replacing my front shift cable, I service my left shifter often. In doing so, I ground up one of the screw heads - now unserviceable.

Other considerations:

  1. Rear cassette is showing signs of wear, and I plan to replace the stock 7 speed with a 9 speed cassette instead.
  2. Can the existing 7 speed rear derailleur, Shimano Tourney, handle a 9 speed cassette?

New shifter:

  1. Easily serviceable. Better screws than Tourney.
  2. A smaller display, so that wear doesn't show, unlike Tourney.
  3. A shifter-brake combo is preferable.
  4. Shimano 7 or 9 speed, trigger type.

My conception: new 3x9 shifters, new 9-speed rear cassette, same old Tourney rear derailleur.

Do you replace your front shift cable often? I shift a lot, is this why mine keeps wearing out? I'm on my 4th/5th shift cable, it shreds itself near the pinch bolt.

Please advise on the best course of action. I appreciate your help!


  • Remember Tourney is the lowest grade of component available retail in the Shimano line. Its not great. I have used a 6 speed tourney rear mech in an 8 speed config, and it shifts acceptably though a better mech would be lighter, more accurate and generally nicer.
    – Criggie
    Dec 21, 2019 at 22:50

1 Answer 1


Two issues with what you are proposing:

The splined freehub body that the cassette slides onto on the hub were narrower on a 7 speed drivetrains than later 8, 9 or 10 speed drivetrains. See this Sheldon Brown page.

You might have a 8/9/10 speed compatible hub with a 7 speed cassette and 4.5mm spacer. If that's the case you can upgrade to 9 speeds. If not you either have to get a new rear wheel, hack the cassette (link to details on the Sheldon Brown page) or stick with 7 speed.

The 7 speed Tourney derailleur will nominally work with a 9 speed cassette and shifter, because Shimano rear derailleurs use the same actuation ratio (ratio of cable pull to lateral cage movement) for 7 through 9 speed MTB derailleurs. However, you will be compromising a 9 speed system with a lower quality Tourney derailleur. Do the upgrade properly with front and rear shifters and derailleurs.

Don't forget that you'll need a 9 speed specific chain.

Your current 3 chainring crank should work OK but the shifting might not be the best. Of course a crank from a 3x9 speed group will be lighter and shift better.

  • Thank you, from the complexity of the task at hand, I've decided to replace my shifters, retaining the original drivetrain. Dec 22, 2019 at 6:43

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