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  1. #1
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    Can I use an Ultegra 6600 front derailleur on my 52t front triple crank?

    Someone on CL has a Ultegra 6600 front derailleur and I still need one for my 52t front crank. I have a Ultegra 6500 triple front crank. I'm currently using a mountain bike front derailleur and it sort of works but its definitely not perfect by any means.

  2. #2
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    I wouldn't unless you are using down-tube shifters. The 6603 is meant for triples.

  3. #3
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    Ok thanks.

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    Even if it is a 6600 series triple, it probably won't work with your crank. I think you have a 42t middle ring and the 10 speed fd is designed for 39t. It won't clear the middle ring.

  5. #5
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    IF the middle and large rings are 52 and 42, then a Shimano 105 5503, 5603, or 5703 FD will work well, or a Tiagra 4603. If it is a 9-speed chain, then the best FDs would be the Ultegra 6503 or Tiagra 4503. If the middle ring is 39 teeth, then the Ultegra 6603 or 6703 would be the best.

  6. #6
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    Wow, awesome info, Chris!! I don't have the bike in front of me but it is a Shimano 6500 triple and I'm pretty sure it has the 30-42-52 gears. Now will those front derailleurs work with my Sram x5 index front shifter? I have been told that they should but last night, I tried a FD-3304 and it mounted fine however when I shifted from the 30 to the 42 gear, the cage moved all the way over to the 52 large gear. So that derailleur could not work and that made me slightly nervous about using shimano derailleurs since I was told that index shifting in the front was not nearly so brand specific.

  7. #7
    Collector of Useless Info
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    BBT- Be aware that the cable pull between the Shimano road group and the Shimano Mountain group is different for the front derailleurs. So, if your existing shifters work with your current MTB group front derailleur, then it most definitely won't work with a Tiagra, Sora, Ultegra or Dura-Ace front derailluer. I don't know about the relative cable pull between the SRAM X-5 and either group, however. Somebody needs to measure this- I've only roughly measured Shimano road and mountain front derailleurs- one gear position for a Road triple is about 5 mm of cable, and one gear in Mountain is about 7mm, for the same chainring spacing.

  8. #8
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    SRAM and Shimano front derailleurs are the same, so an indexed SRAM MTB front shifter (like the X-5) will not work well with any road front derailleur, nor will a Shimano MTB front shifter. Shimano make a trigger shifter designed for flat-bar road bikes, but it also doesn't work perfectly with road FDs, and has it's own special matching FD. The best solution that I've found for using a regular road FD with a flat bar is to use a SRAM grip shift, one of the ones that has multiple clicks, not just 3 (but some grip shifts only have 3 and so are not suitable). If you can find an old non-indexed thumb shifter then that also works well.

    However, even with an indexed MTB shifter, if you set up the cable tension just right so that it is set perfectly when in the middle ring then you should be able to use the lower cable stop on the FD to control the position when in the inner ring (you will then have lots of cable slack) and the upper cable stop on the FD to control the derailleur position when in the big ring (although you'll need lots of finger pressure to move into that gear because you'll be pushing against the upper stop). This setup is far from ideal, but it can be made to work.

  9. #9
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
    Even if it is a 6600 series triple, it probably won't work with your crank. I think you have a 42t middle ring and the 10 speed fd is designed for 39t. It won't clear the middle ring.
    I'd thought you could just move it up a little bit (would need to anyway because you've got a 52 rather than a 50 big ring) and it would work ok (but maybe not great? At least that's what I've been told. Obviously, if you're working with braze on that's a no go, that that's sort of the point of clamp on FD's, right?
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  10. #10
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    So what the heck was the original derailleur used on my bike. It is a Redline R540 unknown year but i am thinking 2008. The bike appears to have come with all Sram X5 components and a FSA front crank setup. I had to replace the front crank and replaced it with something i thought was pretty close, the Ultegra 6500. Apparently the bike had a 50t top gear on the FSA crank, I don't know what was on my specific bike. The large ring was missing when I got the box of parts since it was demolished. I'm not positive though on the teeth count on the large ring.

    At this point, would it consider making sense to find a replacement 130mm large chain ring for my Ultegra crank that has smaller teeth? Say a 46-48t ring? Then i should have much less problems using the MTB x5 shifter, correct?

    I just really like the shifters on the bike and would kind of get this bike setup like it was from the factory.

  11. #11
    just pokin' along desertdork's Avatar
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    Bikepedia shows that model came with an FSA 50/39/30 crank and "Shimano" FD. The original FD may have been a Shimano R443 non-series model that matches both the pull of flat bar shifters and the contour of the larger rings on road triple cranksets.

    But, another site (commuterbike?) had a brief review of the r540, and it showed a 48/38/28 FSA crankset matched to a bottom swing mtb FD. Maybe the specs were changed along the line.

    Regardless, Shimano R443 FDs are still to be found. Shimano's conservative tech docs show the R443 to be compatible with your 6503 Ultegra crank. If the cable pull is indeed compatible with your SRAM shifter, then it's probably the best choice.

    Of course, you could also use a trekking or mtb crankset with appropriate mtb FD, but that is more expense. Changing your current crank's outer ring alone won't help you.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by desertdork View Post
    Bikepedia shows that model came with an FSA 50/39/30 crank and "Shimano" FD. The original FD may have been a Shimano R443 non-series model that matches both the pull of flat bar shifters and the contour of the larger rings on road triple cranksets.

    But, another site (commuterbike?) had a brief review of the r540, and it showed a 48/38/28 FSA crankset matched to a bottom swing mtb FD. Maybe the specs were changed along the line.

    Regardless, Shimano R443 FDs are still to be found. Shimano's conservative tech docs show the R443 to be compatible with your 6503 Ultegra crank. If the cable pull is indeed compatible with your SRAM shifter, then it's probably the best choice.

    Of course, you could also use a trekking or mtb crankset with appropriate mtb FD, but that is more expense. Changing your current crank's outer ring alone won't help you.
    Bikepedia can't always be trusted for accuracy. My 2008 Specialized Globe had an entirely different (cheaper) Shimano crank & BB & different seat. The Specialized site had the seat wrong too.

  13. #13
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    But it sounds like that the Shimano R443 FD should work with my configuration. It sounds like that the R443 is compatible with the pull of the flat-bar mountain bike shifters which my bike currently has. The Sora FD-3304 that I tried to use is apparently a road bike specific part that isn't compatible with mountain bike style shifters which I discovered when I tried to use it. The Sram X5 shifter just pulled way too much cable to use the FD-3304.

    I think I'm going to try to hunt down an R443 FD.

  14. #14
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    Well I don't know why I didn't do this earlier, but I went and emailed Redline and asked about the front derailleur. They said that the bike came with an FD-R443 like desertdork said. Thanks Desertdork!

    I went ahead and ordered one on Ebay. 17.99 shipped. It will be nice having the proper front derailleur on the bike!

  15. #15
    just pokin' along desertdork's Avatar
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    You're welcome, but I should have added a warning to my prior post (and would have had I believed you'd be so quick to procure a FD).

    ...and that is: Make sure to get the correct clamp diameter. If you order a FD with a 31.8mm clamp but your seat tube is actually 34.9mm, you've got the wrong part. (though reverse will work with the use of a shim). So did you measure the tube or otherwise ascertain the diameter prior to ordering the FD?

  16. #16
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    Oh thanks for the warning but I already knew that my tube is 31.8 and the ebay auction was for a 31.8 bottom pull deralleur which is what I needed. I do have a 34.9 to 31.8 shim and a 34.9 braze-on clamp adapter.

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