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Which Front-Derailleur to replace 2007 Surly LHT's FD-4403 triple

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Which Front-Derailleur to replace 2007 Surly LHT's FD-4403 triple

Old 08-10-18, 10:17 PM
  #1  
abright
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Which Front-Derailleur to replace 2007 Surly LHT's FD-4403 triple

Hey Folks,

The front derailleur on my 2007 Surly LHT just snapped. It was an FD-4403 and apparently this is a common failure (the spring casing broke).

I'm looking to buy a new, reliable front derailleur ASAP as I've got a one-week tour planned for next week. So I'm looking for something that I can pretty easily pick up from a bike store in the area.

The 2007 LHT uses a 28.6mm clamp. My gearing is the original 48-36-26t.

One big question: I know that most of what I'll find locally will be made for 10-speed, but do you think I can swing 10-speed (I'm using bar-end friction shifters on front), even though my bike is 9-speed?

Second question, if I'm just looking for reliability, and I pretty much only use this bike for touring, what would you recommend of the following (likely candidates I've lined up):
*5703
*4703/4603 (I can't tell the difference between these)
*3503
*5504
*FD-R3030
*FD-R443 (this is a "flat bar" style shifter; I don't really know what that means, but will it work okay if I'm just using friction? and is it as durable as the others--for touring purposes?)

Many thanks for your help,
AB
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Old 08-10-18, 10:43 PM
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cpach
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Friction bar end, use a 9 speed mountain front derailleur designed for the 48t large cog; it'll work better. The difference in cable ratio will be fine with the bar end unless you get a 10 or 11 speed mountain front derailleur. For reliability I'd go Deore quality, although Altus honestly tends to work fine. Shimano Deore FD-M591 is still easy to source and would work ideally on your bike.
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Old 08-11-18, 06:36 AM
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I have FD-5703 front derailleurs on two bikes using triple front cranks and friction front shifting. They have been great for tens of thousands of miles. I have the braze-on versions with Shimano adapter clamps. Mine are used on 10-speed drivetrains but they will work fine with 9-speeds, particularly using friction shifters.

IIRC, FD-4603 was from a 9-speed group and FD-4703 was 10-speed. For friction shifting, the difference is immaterial.
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Old 08-11-18, 09:00 AM
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The FD-4603 had the older 10 speed cable pull so the will work with 7-9 speed brifters. The FD-4703 have the new 10 speed (11 speed?) cable pull and won't work with older 7-10 speed brifters. My wife runs an FD-4603 with 8 speed Claris brifters.

What I don't know is if the FD-4703 requires more or less cable pull. This has to do with using friction levers. It comes down to the OP's personal preference on how much the lever has to move to make a shift or to trim it. I'm running an older mtb front derailleur and it uses more cable pull, so the left downtube shift lever rotates more degrees than with a road derailleur.

John
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Old 08-11-18, 09:01 AM
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Equally replaceable triples?

Thanks to you both for your quick responses.

These both sound good. Looking way ahead over the projected life of the LHT, are both options equally supported by Shimano and equally easy to source on tours (should problems arise)?

Basically, what I'm wondering is whether choosing to go down the MTB or the Road route makes a difference for a 3X9 or 3X10 scenario. When the cranks, say, need replacing and I'll be looking to match them to whatever FD I choose, would I be equally likely to find a similar gearing set-up if I go the road or MTB route?

Thanks again,
AB
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Old 08-11-18, 09:31 AM
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now Trekking (chainsets) is the 48 t chainring, mid way between road 53, and mountain 42,44..
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Old 08-11-18, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by abright View Post
Thanks to you both for your quick responses.

These both sound good. Looking way ahead over the projected life of the LHT, are both options equally supported by Shimano and equally easy to source on tours (should problems arise)?

Basically, what I'm wondering is whether choosing to go down the MTB or the Road route makes a difference for a 3X9 or 3X10 scenario. When the cranks, say, need replacing and I'll be looking to match them to whatever FD I choose, would I be equally likely to find a similar gearing set-up if I go the road or MTB route?

Thanks again,
AB

Get the M591; durability, ease of finding a replacement if ever required due to much more common than road derailleurs, works better with 48T than road FD's do.
48-36-26 is more MTB (admittedly older MTB) than road.
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Old 08-11-18, 02:02 PM
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Thanks Very Much

Super, thank you all.

My LBS has the rec'd MTB front derailleur, the M591, (as well as a few of the other options), so I'm going to head in there on Monday for a test-fit.

Really appreciate your expertise.

--ab
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Old 08-11-18, 09:51 PM
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The only reason to use a road FD on a touring bike is if you are going to use indexed road shifters, basically. My experience is it's more important to match a triple to its designed chainrings than for a double hence the MTB FD, although usually you can get a road triple FD to work on a trekking/mtb crank with a 48t ring with indexed shifting.
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