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R6800 > R8000 Front Derailleur - Worth the upgrade?

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R6800 > R8000 Front Derailleur - Worth the upgrade?

Old 05-22-20, 07:49 PM
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WorldIRC
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R6800 > R8000 Front Derailleur - Worth the upgrade?

I've been reading that the R8000 Front Derailleur offers substantial shifting improvements over the R6800.

Thoughts on upgrading? Any other improvements to be had?

My shifters are R6800 and my chainset is FSA SL-K Light.
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Old 05-22-20, 07:51 PM
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Does your shifting require improvement?
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Old 05-22-20, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
Does your shifting require improvement?
Shifting is fine; but trim is always something I wish was better. Di2 obviously solves it but not an option today.
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Old 05-22-20, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by WorldIRC View Post
Shifting is fine; but trim is always something I wish was better. Di2 obviously solves it but not an option today.
Trim is in the shifter, not derailleur.
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Old 05-22-20, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Trim is in the shifter, not derailleur.
The R8000 is advertised as "accommodating wider gear pitch". Would this not mean a wider derailleur cage thus reducing the potential for trim issues?
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Old 05-22-20, 08:23 PM
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The cable tension setting seems interesting as well, no more specialized tools required. I figure its more reliable then messing with the barrel adjusters.
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Old 05-23-20, 05:09 AM
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I think it's worth noting Shimano made a pretty big change in the FD when moving from first to second generation 11 speed. Maybe they weren't so happy with first gen? The 8000 did seem to be easier to set up aside from corralling that last bit of cable on the top. FDs are relatively inexpensive so why not give it a try? Update with results is always appreciated
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Old 05-23-20, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
I think it's worth noting Shimano made a pretty big change in the FD when moving from first to second generation 11 speed. Maybe they weren't so happy with first gen? The 8000 did seem to be easier to set up aside from corralling that last bit of cable on the top. FDs are relatively inexpensive so why not give it a try? Update with results is always appreciated
​​​​​​
That was my thought. It's not an expensive investment but was wondering if anyone else did the same.
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Old 05-23-20, 08:17 AM
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A comment on my experience with the similar R7000 FD. I was really surprised by the increase in shifting effort
needed by the R7000 over the previous 6503 triple it replaced. Since my L hand has arthritic problems in the
thumb C-MC joint this was really apparent, where previously the 6503 shifted easily up the triple,
the R7000 requires maybe twice the effort for an upshift, granted 32->48 is a bigger one the 39->50 but it
is a bit annoying. I queried another cyclist who had an R8000 and he had a similar experience with some
increase in shift effort. For those with normally functioning hands, this may be de nada.

The trim capability is nice in theory but sometimes results in inadvertent downshifts to the 32.
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Old 05-23-20, 09:51 AM
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I was surprised at the effort needed to shift my 8000.
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Old 05-23-20, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by sch View Post
A comment on my experience with the similar R7000 FD. I was really surprised by the increase in shifting effort
needed by the R7000 over the previous 6503 triple it replaced. Since my L hand has arthritic problems in the
thumb C-MC joint this was really apparent, where previously the 6503 shifted easily up the triple,
the R7000 requires maybe twice the effort for an upshift, granted 32->48 is a bigger one the 39->50 but it
is a bit annoying. I queried another cyclist who had an R8000 and he had a similar experience with some
increase in shift effort. For those with normally functioning hands, this may be de nada.

The trim capability is nice in theory but sometimes results in inadvertent downshifts to the 32.
Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
I was surprised at the effort needed to shift my 8000.
Good to hear. Thanks for the warning
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Old 05-23-20, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by sch View Post
A comment on my experience with the similar R7000 FD. I was really surprised by the increase in shifting effort
needed by the R7000 over the previous 6503 triple it replaced.
Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
I was surprised at the effort needed to shift my 8000.
My experience has been the complete opposite. my r8000 requires a light touch. When it's working properly there should be a positive and precise 'snap' to the trim and shift action. It should feel very easy to press and not need increased effort. Something must be wrong with these set up's or installation or there is excess cable friction somewhere messing up the shifting.

My r8000 FD is snappy and shifts faster. It is better but only by a small margin. I don't think it's worth it to upgrade alone. 6800 is a still good FD.
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Old 05-23-20, 12:56 PM
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It's also possible one would only get all the benefit fro the 8000 if using the matching shifter.
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Old 05-23-20, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by trailflow1 View Post
Something must be wrong with these set up's or installation....
In my case I wouldn't be surprised. My mechanic is worth no more than I pay him.
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Old 05-23-20, 09:40 PM
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Perhaps, but I really studied the Shimano tech lit and took the install down 3x and redid it and had a real bike mechanic check
the work with no change........ The brifters are 7000 series as well.
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Old 05-24-20, 07:57 AM
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Overall, sounds like its not worth the upgrade or effort.

Maybe I should just get a Di2 bike
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Old 05-24-20, 09:22 PM
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The R6800 derailleur has a dual-position pin that is set based on the angle of the cable span between the end of the arm and the the exit point behind the bottom bracket. The wrong position for this pin can result in stiff upshifts or lack of movement for trim. Shimano makes a tool for determining the correct position of this pin, but an experienced mechanic can usually eyeball it.

R8000 replaces this dependency with an esoteric linkage and cable routing on the derailleur. Proper setup requires fastidiously following the rather non-intuitive instructions, plus a couple tricks of the trade. I won't say adjusting R8000 is easier, but it is more consistent. Once properly set up and adjusted, performance of R8000 is marginally smoother. I wouldn't necessarily recommend the upgrade. I've never met a 6800 FD that I couldn't make work perfectly. Before springing for an upgrade that might be equally or more confounding, try bringing it to the most reputable shop in your area and insisting their derailleur whisperer look at it.
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Old 05-24-20, 09:49 PM
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Setup procedure is significantly different between both. Both have very good shift performance when set up correctly. The cable tension adjustment on the newer toggle derailleurs is nice because you just do not need any inline cable tension adjustment, but it's not particularly better aside from the cleaner routing. It is not a wortwhile upgrade inofitself.
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Old 05-25-20, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
I was surprised at the effort needed to shift my 8000.
Well, for what it is worth: my 8000 shifters were working perfectly and were both smooth and easy to shift with minimal effort - front and back. After about a year, after the cables change (done in the bike shop), front shifting suddenly became MUCH harder and LBS mechanics were not able to make it shift as easy as before no matter what - and they've tried lots of things, including replacing cable again. After a few rides with such stiff shifting, the front shifter simply stopped working and was replaced under warranty. Replacement shifts nice and easy again.
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