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Old 02-22-14, 06:31 PM   #1
AB@WDW
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FD-2303 vs. FD-2403 vs. FD3503

The bike: 2002 Specialized Allez, 3x8 mostly Sora components. 52-42-30 crankset.

The issue: FD spring retainer nipple sheared off.

The question: Assuming price is the same, would you go with the 2303, 2403, or 3503?

2303 - pro: designed for my chain and my crankset; con: possibly lower quality, harder to find.

2403 - pro: designed for my chain; con: possibly lower quality, specs say max 50t ring and 20t difference.

3503 - pro: possibly higher quality; con: designed for 9 speed chain (not what I have), specs say max 50t ring and 20t difference.

Discuss.

-Andy
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Old 02-22-14, 06:46 PM   #2
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Actually any of those operate well - the 9sp may be very slightly narrower. It's a bit more money but you could swap out to a 50t chainring.
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Old 02-22-14, 07:12 PM   #3
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What do they cost?
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Old 02-22-14, 07:38 PM   #4
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I've found the 2403 and 3503 for around $25. Haven't found a clamp-on 2303 yet.I really hate replacing good parts, so I'm disinclined to switch my 52t to 50t.-Andy
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Old 02-22-14, 08:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AB@WDW View Post
I've found the 2403 and 3503 for around $25. Haven't found a clamp-on 2303 yet.I really hate replacing good parts, so I'm disinclined to switch my 52t to 50t.-Andy
It seems there must be other options for your 52 tooth ring , I'm shure someone will give it soon , finding it ,well that could be a challenge .

Best of luck
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Old 04-04-14, 04:32 PM   #6
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Bump.

I've found the original part, fd-3304, on eBay for $20. But I'm reluctant to get it because the research I've done reveals that this failure of the spring nipple is pretty common.

What do you think, will the 2403 or 3503 be okay with my 52t ring?
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Old 04-04-14, 04:42 PM   #7
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2T difference shouldn't be a problem.
On my 2 bikes. the FDER's are designed for 22-32-42/44 and I'm running-
22-32-36 & 22-32-38.
The later shifts fine, while the former needs a bit of "help".
Quite ugly I may say-
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Last edited by Bill Kapaun; 04-04-14 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 04-05-14, 08:53 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
2T difference shouldn't be a problem.
On my 2 bikes. the FDER's are designed for 22-32-42/44 and I'm running-
22-32-36 & 22-32-38.
The later shifts fine, while the former needs a bit of "help".
Quite ugly I may say-
Might need less "help" if your FD wasn't like 2" too high off the large ring.
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Old 04-05-14, 09:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by IthaDan View Post
Might need less "help" if your FD wasn't like 2" too high off the large ring.
It's as low as it goes in order to clear the other 2 rings.
Don't think I haven't tried.
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Old 04-05-14, 09:57 AM   #10
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2002 Allez - that means the one you have lasted 12 years.

My general philosophy is: If I already own parts or can acquire them real cheaply, I'll bolt up almost anything and see if I can make it work to my satisfaction. If I'm buying new parts, I'll hold out for ones that match.

My GUESS is that any of the 3 front derailleurs you mentioned will work. If they don't, however, it will be something goofy like the inner cage dragging on your middle ring or the mounting collar catching a water bottle stud.
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Old 04-05-14, 11:43 PM   #11
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for me i go claris 2403 ask LBS to test if there is problem for 52 t ......
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Old 04-13-14, 11:51 AM   #12
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Thanks for the help everyone. I went with the 3503. So far it seems to work just fine without any unnecessary chain rub. I did have to mount it pretty high to get the inner cage plate to clear my 42t middle ring, so my 52t big ring became a non issue (bonus point to Retro Grouch).

Retro, you make a pretty good point about the original part lasting 12 years, except that I didn't mention that it broke several years ago. Hey, I live in Florida, I don't NEED a front derailer. I only want one to prevent the occasional phantom shift (those are no fun!), and to help my top end a bit when I'm having fun coming down the highway overpass (the biggest hill around). :-)

Also, I chose not to go with the original part because the part of the derailer that broke is a non-moving part where the fixed end of the spring is fixed to the body of the FD, and is under constant load from the day it's assembled in the factory and the replacement could very well have been sitting on a shelf for the last 12 years and still break on me next week.
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Old 04-13-14, 12:40 PM   #13
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Okay here is the deal with front SHimano derailleurs for triples. I know a lot about them because that is all I run (triples and Shimano) on all my bikes currently excluding my mountain bikes.

There are mainly 2 different chainring setups with Shimano triples. 52/42/30 and 50/39/30. The front derailleurs are not really compatible with each other.

The 52/42/30 front derailleurs have a much skinnier inner cage plate.

The 50/39/30 front derailleurs have a much wider (lower) inner cage plate.

If you put a 50/39/30 front derailleur on a bike with 52/42/30, the inner cage plate will hit the 42t chainring way before you get the derailleur low enough to get proper 1mm clearance between the outer cage and 52t chainring. Will it shift? Maybe but it won't be smooth at all.

If you put a 52/42/30 front derailleur on a bike with a 50/39/30, the inner cage plate will have wayy too much clearance between the 42 and the inner cage. Shifting will be crappy even though the front derailleur appears to fit. I know that because I have always wondered why my good bike with the 50/39/30 shifted like crap with a really nice Ultegra derailleur and Ultegra shifters. Turns out that I had a 52/42/30 front derailleur on there so there was too much clearance on the inner chainrings and shifting suffered badly. Replaced the Ultegra derailleur with a cheap Sora that had the proper cage profiles for the 50/39/30 and my shifting has improved tremendously even though my part is much "lower"/Sora quality than the Ultegra!

From the OP's last post, it surely sounds like he bought the incorrect derailleur, one designed for the 50/39/30 chainrings and as had to mount it way too high to clear the inner chainring. It will "sort" of work but be ugly and be far from proper.

Best advice is to get a front derailleur that has the skinnier inner cage plate designed for the 52/42/30 crankset.

In a nutshell, if you have a 52/42/30 or even a 50/42/30 (custom setup), using a derailleur designed for the 50/39/30 will not work well and should be replaced. Easy way to identify the derailleur is if it says "Max 50t chainring" or look at the inner cage profile looking for the larger plate. If either of those are true, then do not use it on a 52/42/30 crainkset unless you want less than optimal shifting.

OP, I recommend you get the proper derailleur for smoothest shifting and the best possible experience.
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Old 04-13-14, 12:54 PM   #14
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Left, skinny inner cage profile for 52/42/30 (middle ring size is the most important). Right, wide inner cage profile for 50/39/30.
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Old 04-19-15, 09:37 PM   #15
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I want to copy and paste the last two posts into my signature for everyone to see, as I've just wasted the better part of the last two days trying to sort this exact problem out.
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