Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
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Yes it matters if you are using an indexing shift system. The cable should be run up inside the derailleur and over the top of the fixing bolt so the end of the cable points outward.
Most Shimano front derailleurs have a small tab at about the 9:00 o'clock position next to the fixing bolt. The cable should be run over the outside of this tab and then over the top of the fixing bolt, not between the tab and the bolt.
If you are using friction shifting, say downtube or barend shifters, none of this matters.