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Old 06-15-09, 11:35 AM   #1
Brillig
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Suggestions on new front derallieur?

Quick background: Blew apart my RD (taking hanger with it, but that's another story). Was running a 105 triple. Two facts conspired to make me think about a change: 1) Happened to have an extra, small cage RD hanging around and 2) had an opportunity for an extremely good price on a new compact crankset/BB (FSA Gossamer).

So I pulled the trigger on the compact crankset, now all that's left is I have to replace the front derallieur.

For anyone with experience with this, does it behoove me to get the FSA FD that purports to be specifically designed for the compact crankset (C-16 I think is the model)? Or am I fine with good ol' reliable regular Shimano double FD. Price is about the same.

(And no, a regular double is not an option. Too many steep hills around here, only studs and mashers use regular doubles around here and I am neither).
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Old 06-15-09, 01:54 PM   #2
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Geez, all you had to do was find a long-cage RD.

Doesn't matter how much you save on a downgrade - it's still a downgrade.
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Old 06-15-09, 02:05 PM   #3
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Geez, all you had to do was find a long-cage RD.

Doesn't matter how much you save on a downgrade - it's still a downgrade.
Vote #1 for "triple is better than compact". Thank you very much.

Back to the subject, the advice I'm getting from other sources is that compact FDs are a marketing term and I'd be better off with a quality double FD from Shimano. Any seconds?
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Old 06-15-09, 02:17 PM   #4
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Depends on whether you can ride a standard double. Compacts are a (IMO bad) compromise between a standard double and the wide gearing of a triple. If you can climb with a standard double you can take advantage of the better shifting. (Shifting between the two rings on a compact is like shifting between middle and granny on a triple.)

And I wasn't referring only to the compact/triple question. I would never choose FSA over a decent Shimano set.

As for your original question, might as well use the FD recommended by the crank manufacturer, though you might try the triple FD before buying just to see if it will work well enough for you.
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Old 06-15-09, 02:26 PM   #5
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Depends on whether you can ride a standard double. Compacts are a (IMO bad) compromise between a standard double and the wide gearing of a triple.
It seems like a good compromise for me. I never use the lowest two gears of the triple which means I'll have pretty much the same usable gear range as the triple. Plus I always end up between rings with the triple based on my normal shifting style and cadence, I'm hoping to cut down on the constant shifting of the front ring.

And it's costing me very little to make the experiment and if it doesn't work, I'm right back to the triple for the cost of a new RD.
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Old 06-15-09, 02:39 PM   #6
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You're probably not taking advantage of what is IMO the best feature of a triple: the ability to use a close ratio (narrow) cassette. I mount an 11-23. What are you using, 12-27?

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I'm hoping to cut down on the constant shifting of the front ring.
The shift between the top two rings of a triple is as good as anything else on the road. Even with quite wide cassettes I watch my riding companions constantly shifting between rings in even mildly rolling terrain. But by all means experiment.
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Old 06-15-09, 02:47 PM   #7
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You're probably not taking advantage of what is IMO the best feature of a triple: the ability to use a close ratio (narrow) cassette. I mount an 11-23. What are you using, 12-27?
11-23

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The shift between the top two rings of a triple is as good as anything else on the road. Even with quite wide cassettes I watch my riding companions constantly shifting between rings in even mildly rolling terrain.
Yes, shifting is smooth. Just want to do less of it on the front if possible.

I'll see how it goes. I might not like it but I like the opportunity of finding out first hand without blowing much cash.
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Old 06-15-09, 03:05 PM   #8
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Well, let us know, please.

Good luck.
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Old 06-15-09, 10:49 PM   #9
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you could buy a double crankset and put on a 50 tooth chainring. but anyway, get a standard double or even triple front deraullier. i have an ultegra tripple FD and i use it on my upgraded double crankset. as long as the shifters and deruallier and any other parts are like 8-10 speed sti stuff they can all pretty much be used interchangeably- sorta. and the new 7900 can ONLY be used with 7900 stuff.
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Old 06-16-09, 06:25 AM   #10
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you could buy a double crankset and put on a 50 tooth chainring. but anyway, get a standard double or even triple front deraullier. i have an ultegra tripple FD and i use it on my upgraded double crankset. as long as the shifters and deruallier and any other parts are like 8-10 speed sti stuff they can all pretty much be used interchangeably- sorta. and the new 7900 can ONLY be used with 7900 stuff.
Well, I still have the 105 triple FD. You're saying I can use that with the new crankset? Can you adjust it to only have two stops or do you just have to be careful to not accidentally try to upshift twice?
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Old 06-16-09, 10:30 AM   #11
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Well, I still have the 105 triple FD. You're saying I can use that with the new crankset? Can you adjust it to only have two stops or do you just have to be careful to not accidentally try to upshift twice?
How many stops it has is a function of the shifter, not the derailleur.
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Old 06-16-09, 12:33 PM   #12
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I use an ordinary Ultegra double front derailleur with my 50/34 compact. It shifts just fine.
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Old 06-16-09, 12:47 PM   #13
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Well, I still have the 105 triple FD. You're saying I can use that with the new crankset? Can you adjust it to only have two stops or do you just have to be careful to not accidentally try to upshift twice?
Yes, it may work well enough.

Yes. The clicks are in the shifter but the range of travel is determined by the limit screws. Hit the limit and the shifter won't move farther, even if there is a click or two still lurking in there.
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Old 06-16-09, 03:35 PM   #14
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I'm glad I posted. I'm going to stick with my existing FD and give it a try.

Thanks all.
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