Bicycle Mechanics - FD clamp-on vs. braze-on with adapter
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02-10-12, 09:18 AM
Hi. Can anyone tell me if there is any practical reason to prefer a Shimano clamp-on FD vs. a braze-on FD with a clamp-on seat tube adapter? I'm looking to upgrade my 3x9 FD (piece-of-junk Sora) to a Tiagra, 105 or Ultegra but finding one with an integrated 34.9 mm clamp has been challenging. Thanks for any insight!
The only advantages of a clamp on FD vs. a braze-on with adapter are weight, lower cost, and a clean line cosmetically. On the flip side braze +adapter has a bit more adjustability, and can be transferred to another bike with different diameter tubing for only the cost of a band.
I think that it it weren't for OEM demand for clamp-ons, the factories would make only braze-ons and sell bands greatly simplifying their manufacturing processes. 4 models of FDs + 3 bands vs. 12 permutations of FDs.
02-10-12, 10:12 AM
Thanks. That's what I suspected.
02-10-12, 11:06 AM
One additional thing you can do if you fit a band/braze-on
is to adjust the angle relationship
of the FD and the seat tube. so a bit of wedge shims between the 2 works..
and you can add one of K-Edge's slick chain catchers on the same bolt .
02-10-12, 11:22 AM
Hmmm. Hadn't considered the chain catcher. Thanks.
02-10-12, 02:45 PM
Once you have the adapter, derailleur upgrades and updates are cheaper since braze-on derailleurs cost less than clamp-ons.
A second benefit is that you can remove the derailleur for cleaning and reinstall it in exactly the same place if you don't unbolt the adapter since height and angle are defined by the adapter.
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