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Old 07-25-09, 12:11 PM   #1
grrider
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Need front derailleur replacement

I still ride a 1980 Schwinn Traveler that I purchased new in June , 1980. On my last ride I discovered the front derailleur had gotten pretty mangled by the chain. It is a Shimano FE. I thought I could go on-line or all the former Schwinn store and easily get a replacement, but it seems things aren't that easy. Can anyone suggest a replacement? Will the Shimano 105 work? The Shimano 105 literature says to use only with a Shimano super-narrow type chain. Is that what I have? From visual inspection and the owner's manual I have gleaned the following:Front sprockets have 40T and 52T. Derailleur is bottom pull. Existing derailleur is 1-1/8" clamp-on.
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Old 07-25-09, 12:41 PM   #2
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A photo would really help here so we know more about your set-up. Anywho - the admonishment for using a narrow chain is meaningless here. And the Shimano 105 FD is likely an unnecessary expenditure of money when something much less expensive would serve you just as well. But if your dead-set on a 105, it would work fine.

Stay clear of Schwinn-branded parts. They are garbage these days. As for the diameter of the clamp, I'm assuming that 1-1/8th inch is 28.6mm. Whichever FD you go for you need to be sure it comes with this clamp. Many don't and you'll need to find one for this diameter. Read the fine print, or tick the choice of clamp sizes for a 28.6mm one. 28.6mm used to be the standard of the industry. But with the mountain-bike boom of 1983, all that flew out the window.

Once you have the new FD in hand, make sure you have a new cable and cable-housing to go with it. If you have not already done so, replace all the cables & housing. This should be done every year or so. Here are some instruction for installing a new FD on a bicycle. It is very important that these be followed to the letter:

http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=75

and

http://bicycletutor.com/adjust-front-derailer/
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Old 07-28-09, 06:35 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. Here are a couple photos. I asked about the Shimano 105 because it was on sale at Nashbar for $34.99, was for 10-speed and had a 28.6 mm option. I also have a 30 % discount to use there. I would gladly consider other options. I looked at the links you sent and they left me with a question. Do I need to take the chain apart to mount the FD or do they all allow for opening to get the chain inserted?
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File Type: jpg FD1.jpg (97.8 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg FD2.jpg (98.1 KB, 11 views)
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Old 07-28-09, 06:42 PM   #4
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You will most likely need to separate the chain. Modern chains come with a link you can pull by hand, or at worst by pliers. How long has that chain been on your bike?

Last edited by Panthers007; 07-30-09 at 09:30 PM. Reason: Oops!
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Old 07-28-09, 07:04 PM   #5
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I wouldn't replace that derailleur... from what I can see in the pictures you should be able to easily repair it. Front derailleurs are the least demanding component on the whole bicycle. They require very little accuracy to work correctly... you could pretty much do the same shifting by bumping the chain with a stick.

That said... almost any derailleur will work with your setup as long as the chain is narrow enough to clear the side plates. That 105 unit would prolly work... the biggest problem would be that it would likely force you to trim the FD frequently to eliminate annoying chain chatter from the wider chain tapping the narrower side plates.

I'd go with a wider (and older) 7 speed unit if I replaced it at all. Keep an eye on eBay... I got my last 105 FD unit on there brand new for $17 shipped.
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Old 07-28-09, 07:29 PM   #6
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Should be able to find a basic FD for around $10, even less used.
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Old 07-30-09, 09:18 PM   #7
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Chain is original
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Old 07-30-09, 09:21 PM   #8
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I may remove the FD and try to flatten the bent side. I suppose a small machnie screww and a couple screws and some Loctite might do the trick. If not, I can go with a new FD.
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Old 07-30-09, 09:33 PM   #9
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If you actually have ridden the bicycle a lot, and are using the original chain, you should be looking for a new chain and cassette/freewheel.
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