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Old 09-03-10, 04:23 PM   #1
bodhisattva87
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Front derailleurs - price vs. quality

I was adjusting my front derailleur yesterday (Shimano Deore LX FD-M570 from 2002 maybe?) and went to tighten the bolt that clamps the cable and the bolt wouldn't tighten! The threads were stripped. So, the derailleur needs to be replaced and I don't know what to replace it with. I just got back from the LBS and the guy I spoke with there handed me a $20 Shimano Alivio and told me that I could buy a more expensive one but it really would not make a noticeable difference (not the greatest businessman). Is this really true? I don't feel like spending a fortune right now but I ride a lot lately and would like a quality piece of equipment.

I ride an old Giant NRS XTC 2 with a few upgrades. I live in the foothills of Appalachia and make it out to the trails 3-4 times a week. I stick to XC riding for the most part.
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Old 09-03-10, 05:06 PM   #2
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Alivio shifts fine. The only real advantage to high end parts are weight savings.
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Old 09-03-10, 05:29 PM   #3
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I'm not really concerned with the weight of a derailleur. If I was going to get that picky about weight, I would buy a new bike.
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Old 09-03-10, 06:21 PM   #4
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Any respectable maker's front derailleurs pretty much shift the same and the advantage of higher line ones is weight and finish. The Alivio should work well.

BTW, you could replace the stripped bolt in your old fd for less than $1 at any hardware store. All you need is an M5x.8 mm bolt about 10mm long and perhaps the matching M5 nut if the original nut was damaged too. Possibly your lbs has a recovered clamp bolt lying around from a trashed fd and would even give it to you.
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Old 09-03-10, 07:02 PM   #5
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HillRider - You're the man. I'm looking at the Shimano tech sheet and it shows that nut you mentioned. Mine had threads in the actual metal piece that the bolt goes through. No nut. The threads in that metal piece are what is stripped but there is still a space behind it where a nut should go. Are those threads even supposed to be there?
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Old 09-03-10, 10:20 PM   #6
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You won't notice any significant difference. Front dereailleurs are mostly the same function-wise. Although the new Dura-Ace 7900 series FD is very nice in that the cage plate design virtually eliminates chain rub barring any horrible adjustment errors (so no need for a trim function on the shifter).
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Old 09-04-10, 08:27 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by bodhisattva87 View Post
HillRider - You're the man. I'm looking at the Shimano tech sheet and it shows that nut you mentioned. Mine had threads in the actual metal piece that the bolt goes through. No nut. The threads in that metal piece are what is stripped but there is still a space behind it where a nut should go. Are those threads even supposed to be there?
The threads in the arm itself are a new one to me as all of the Shimano and Campy front derailleurs I'm familiar with have a recess that takes a separate hex nut or a threaded insert.

Drill out the threads to clear the bolt and use a suitable nut. If the bolt you find is a bit long you can trim it to the correct length after fitting it in place.
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Old 09-04-10, 08:40 AM   #8
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besides weight the better ones have stiffer/wider linkages, meaning they will shift better under load. compare sora or 2200 to 105 the difference is there.
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Old 09-04-10, 09:45 AM   #9
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It's all about manufacturing costs,
Rivet pins thru a machine drilled hole are replaced by machined pins thru a bearing bushing inside more highly polished part,

the deraill cage gets a tempered steel
rather than one bypassing the heat treatment process ..
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Old 09-04-10, 10:34 AM   #10
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Problem solved. It turns out someone at my former LBS must have lost that threaded insert and decided to drill out the hole and tap it for a larger bolt. They also drilled out the little metal piece that clamps the cable down. I had to find a bolt that was the original size, grind down a nut so it would fit in that recess, and use a washer to compensate for the larger hole. If they were still around, I'd have all kinds of nasty things to say about that shop and why I'm never going back. But, they had to sell the shop a while back because they got caught selling stolen bikes. Obviously those guys weren't too bright.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 09-04-10, 11:56 AM   #11
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Problem solved. It turns out someone at my former LBS must have lost that threaded insert and decided to drill out the hole and tap it ... drilled out the little metal piece ... I had to find a bolt that was the original size, grind down a nut ... a washer to compensate for the larger hole...
This is an unbelievable amount of work to fix a $35 part.
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Old 09-04-10, 12:56 PM   #12
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This is an unbelievable amount of work to fix a $35 part.
Nah. Aside from a trip to the store, it really didn't take that long. 20 minutes max.
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