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Please suggest a derailleur for me!

Old 08-22-20, 11:01 AM
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uoficowboy
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Please suggest a derailleur for me!

I am most of the way through bringing my bicycle back to life. Recently replaced front and rear brakes, brake cables, bottom bracket, crankset (Shimano EFC4703EX090), cassette (Shimano ICSHG4009132), and chain. While trying to tune up my front derailleur I noticed that it just seemed not to be springing back no matter what. I detached the cable from it and it just seemed to move loosely with no springiness. So I took off the cage and have attached what I found. It looks like there used to be a nub that the spring would push against, but it has clearly broken off. You can pretty clearly see where a piece of metal snapped off of the derailleur.

I'm thinking the Shimano Tiagra 3x10 derailleur, part number FD-4703-B, might be a fit? I need a clamp band derailleur and I'm running 3x9. That derailleur is designed for 3x10. The derailleur that is busted is also a Tiagra. The seattube diameter is about 29.2mm. But it's not clear to me if you can use a 3x10 front derailleur with a 3x9 setup. Thoughts?

Thank you!

Broken nub on right a bit above my thumb
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Old 08-22-20, 11:06 AM
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That broken nub is a common problem on an otherwise good derailer. A 10 speed should work. You might also consider the Sora or even Claris. A bit of a secret about Shimano’s front derailers: more expensive isn’t “better”. The cheap ones are really better mechanisms that are easier to set up and have a wider range. Alternatively, look into Microshift. I’m currently running one on my touring bike that handles a 46/34/20 (not a typo, yes, it is a 20 tooth cog) shift without issues.
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Old 08-22-20, 11:22 AM
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So are the more expensive Shimano Derailleurs just lighter? My bike's already super heavy so I don't care about adding or removing 50 grams.

I've been googling and Ebaying and this is my list so far of Shimano road triple derailleurs:

3x9
FD-4403 is tiagra, probably what I have (no longer made)
FD-5504 is 105 (no longer made)
FD-4703-B is Dura Ace (no longer made)
FD-R3030 is sora (currently made)
3x10
FD-4703-B is Tiagra (currently made)

What would make sense? The old ones are all still available on Ebay. I'm thinking I skip the FD-4403 so I don't get another broken nub...

Also what band clamp size do I want? I see the FD-4703-B is sold in two sizes - 28.6/31.8mm and 34.9mm. Do I just want to get the size closest to my seat tube? (29.2mm) Or do I want to get closest but not larger than? Or closest but not smaller than?
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Old 08-22-20, 11:30 AM
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...I have used both the 105 and the DA you mention, but in older versions. Mostly, you need to pay attention to the band clamp diameter (some of them are not universal), the cage drop capacity (not everything will handle the chain drop variations on a 3x10), and whether the front derailleur you are choosing is compatible with your indexing shifters. (This might be universal by now, I do not have a lot of expertise in 3x10 setups, because I stopped at 8 or 9 in the back. )
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Old 08-22-20, 11:33 AM
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The Tiagra 4700 series front mech you refer to is only compatible with the 4700 shifters. Shimano in all its wisdom has once again changed the pull ratios and mechanical fixing points of the cables. It has now more in common with the 11 speed road gear sets than the old 4600 10 speed did. So you will need to hunt down a series 4600, 3500 or 2400 triple front mech. Or in fact any triple front road mech that pre dates the 4700 series.

Last edited by Bob the Mech; 08-22-20 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 08-22-20, 11:45 AM
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Why all the 3X10 stuff when you have a 9 speed cassette?
https://www.performancebike.com/shim...36399?v=378228

Last edited by Bill Kapaun; 08-22-20 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 08-22-20, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
Why all the 3X10 stuff when you have a 9 speed cassette?
https://www.performancebike.com/shim...36399?v=378228
The only 3x10 thing I have is the crankset. I read that you can use 3x9 and 3x10 cranksets interchangeably and I was not able to find a 3x9 crankset that I liked.
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Old 08-22-20, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob the Mech View Post
The Tiagra 4700 series front mech you refer to is only compatible with the 4700 shifters. Shimano in all its wisdom has once again changed the pull ratios and mechanical fixing points of the cables. It has now more in common with the 11 speed road gear sets than the old 4600 10 speed did. So you will need to hunt down a series 4600, 3500 or 2400 triple front mech. Or in fact any triple front road mech that pre dates the 4700 series.
That's good to know, thanks!

How do I know if a part is older than the 4700 series? I do not have a good grasp on how Shimano part numbers work. Can you suggest 4600, 3500, or 2400 part numbers that would work?
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Old 08-22-20, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by uoficowboy View Post
That's good to know, thanks!

How do I know if a part is older than the 4700 series? I do not have a good grasp on how Shimano part numbers work. Can you suggest 4600, 3500, or 2400 part numbers that would work?
The older front mechs look different to the new one at the arm that holds the cable clamp. Also the part numbers are stamped into the back of the mech cage 😀 Google images of both to get a grasp of the visual difference.


Shimano Tiagra FD-4603-B (band on) or FD-4603-F (braze on) triple front mechs. Do the gear cables exit your you SIT levers at the hood's or run under the bar tape with the break cables. If the gear cables exit at the hoods this is a pre 4700 series STI lever and will be compatible with the 4603 above. Or Shimano Sora FD-3503-B or FD-3503-F.
​​​​​​Your original Tiagra 9speed front mech should be a FD-4403-B or -F triple depending on frame fitting. As you see the part numbers ascend from older to newer variants...

Hope this makes things a little clearer. It's a funny old game trying to figure out compatibility.

Last edited by Bob the Mech; 08-22-20 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 08-22-20, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob the Mech View Post
The Tiagra 4700 series front mech you refer to is only compatible with the 4700 shifters. Shimano in all its wisdom has once again changed the pull ratios and mechanical fixing points of the cables. It has now more in common with the 11 speed road gear sets than the old 4600 10 speed did. So you will need to hunt down a series 4600, 3500 or 2400 triple front mech. Or in fact any triple front road mech that pre dates the 4700 series.
Originally Posted by Bob the Mech View Post
The older front mechs look different to the new one at the arm that holds the cable clamp. Also the part numbers are stamped into the back of the mech cage 😀 Google images of both to get a grasp of the visual difference.


Shimano Tiagra FD-4603-B (band on) or FD-4603-F (braze on) triple front mechs. Do the gear cables exit your you SIT levers at the hood's or run under the bar tape with the break cables. If the gear cables exit at the hoods this is a pre 4700 series STI lever and will be compatible with the 4603 above. Or Shimano Sora FD-3503-B or FD-3503-F.
So my brifters are about 13 years old. The gear cables leave the hoods and do not go under the bar tape.

I took a look at the parts you suggested but they're not super available. Here's what I've found:

3x9
FD-4403 is tiagra, probably what I have (no longer made) https://www.ebay.com/itm/233688645207 $58
FD-5504 is 105 (no longer made) https://www.ebay.com/itm/233688645207 $58
FD-7703-B is Dura Ace (no longer made) https://www.ebay.com/itm/164345166146 $90
FD-R3030 is sora (no longer made) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01D8CP470/ $45 UK

FD-3503-B is sora
3x10
FD-4703-B is Tiagra (currently made) - NOT COMPATIBLE
FD-4603-B is tiagra (no longer made) https://www.ebay.com/itm/274460327791 $65 UK

It seems with the newer ones they mostly are available as braze ons, for some reason. I found there is the Shimano SM-AD11 adapter that would probably fix that.

But right now I'm thinking I'll pick up the FD-5504 from Ebay for $58. That listing calls out the 5504 as a replacement for the 4403 (which is what I'm guessing I have). It's unclear if I will need adapter shims though as my seat tube measured 29.2-29.4mm (measured it twice and got two different numbers). Does this seem reasonable?
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Old 08-22-20, 04:58 PM
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5504 is good old 105 9speed and will do the job. And you say you will need a band on adapter. These are available in 28.6, 31.8 and 34.9. Your broken front mech will have the it's clamp diameter size stamp on the inside of that clamp. Match adapter to that it you can. Or as you've said it will need shims.
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Old 08-22-20, 05:06 PM
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generally a bronze bushing is more costly to include than an accurately drilled hole.
folded and stamped pieces are replaced by cold forged .. somebody may actually assemble dura ace,

rather than CAM production..
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Old 08-22-20, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by uoficowboy View Post
So my brifters are about 13 years old. The gear cables leave the hoods and do not go under the bar tape.

I took a look at the parts you suggested but they're not super available. Here's what I've found:

3x9
FD-4403 is tiagra, probably what I have (no longer made) https://www.ebay.com/itm/233688645207 $58
FD-5504 is 105 (no longer made) https://www.ebay.com/itm/233688645207 $58
FD-7703-B is Dura Ace (no longer made) https://www.ebay.com/itm/164345166146 $90
FD-R3030 is sora (no longer made) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01D8CP470/ $45 UK

FD-3503-B is sora
3x10
FD-4703-B is Tiagra (currently made) - NOT COMPATIBLE
FD-4603-B is tiagra (no longer made) https://www.ebay.com/itm/274460327791 $65 UK

It seems with the newer ones they mostly are available as braze ons, for some reason. I found there is the Shimano SM-AD11 adapter that would probably fix that.

But right now I'm thinking I'll pick up the FD-5504 from Ebay for $58. That listing calls out the 5504 as a replacement for the 4403 (which is what I'm guessing I have). It's unclear if I will need adapter shims though as my seat tube measured 29.2-29.4mm (measured it twice and got two different numbers). Does this seem reasonable?
It's a shame as I've three front braze on mechs that will suit your needs but I'm 6000 miles away
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Old 08-22-20, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob the Mech View Post
5504 is good old 105 9speed and will do the job. And you say you will need a band on adapter. These are available in 28.6, 31.8 and 34.9. Your broken front mech will have the it's clamp diameter size stamp on the inside of that clamp. Match adapter to that it you can. Or as you've said it will need shims.
I pulled off my current adapter - on the inside it says S-(diameter symbol)28.6. So sounds like I have a 28.6mm one. And the 5504 is 31.8mm. Can I just use any 31.8 to 28.6 shims? Something like these? https://www.performancebike.com/shim...198030/p578001
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Old 08-22-20, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by uoficowboy View Post
I pulled off my current adapter - on the inside it says S-(diameter symbol)28.6. So sounds like I have a 28.6mm one. And the 5504 is 31.8mm. Can I just use any 31.8 to 28.6 shims? Something like these? https://www.performancebike.com/shim...198030/p578001
Yep that's ideal. Looks like we've found a solution to your problem What bike are you fitting it all to out of idle curiosity.
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Old 08-24-20, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob the Mech View Post
Yep that's ideal. Looks like we've found a solution to your problem What bike are you fitting it all to out of idle curiosity.
A 2007 Jamis Aurora that should probably have been thrown in the recycle bin. But I've seen too many miles with the bike so I feel a strange sense of loyalty to it.

I ordered up the new derailleur and shims and hope to have this bike up and running this coming weekend!
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Old 08-24-20, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by uoficowboy View Post
A 2007 Jamis Aurora that should probably have been thrown in the recycle bin. But I've seen too many miles with the bike so I feel a strange sense of loyalty to it.

I ordered up the new derailleur and shims and hope to have this bike up and running this coming weekend!

2007 Jamis Aurora in brown and white by any chance Just Googled it for the specs. Hey, it's a bike and it works...most of the time Yeah we do get attched to these things. My wife thinks I love my 531C Reynolds more than her...I'm of the mind that a bike should only be disposed of if it's been trashed and ends up looking like a stamped on trumpet...or someone offers me silly money for it

Keep me in the loop on how the repair goes.
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Old 08-24-20, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob the Mech View Post
2007 Jamis Aurora in brown and white by any chance Just Googled it for the specs. Hey, it's a bike and it works...most of the time Yeah we do get attched to these things. My wife thinks I love my 531C Reynolds more than her...I'm of the mind that a bike should only be disposed of if it's been trashed and ends up looking like a stamped on trumpet...or someone offers me silly money for it

Keep me in the loop on how the repair goes.
Yeah it's brown and beige. Honestly always thought it was a pretty unattractive bike which I consider a plus. Less likely to get stolen!

I'm out $510 in parts so far in this restoration (on a 13 year old bike that cost $800!) - which is why I probably should have just ditched it. Oh and the saddle is shot so I need to spend another pile on that... And while removing the front derailleur I found that the bottom of the top tube has a huge rust spot - so that will have to get dealt with soon too LOL.

I'll update once it's up and running
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Old 08-24-20, 06:05 PM
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[QUOTE=uoficowboy;21659126] I'm out $510 in parts so far in this restoration (on a 13 year old bike that cost $800!) - which is why I probably should have just ditched it. Oh and the saddle is shot so I need to spend another pile on that... And while removing the front derailleur I found that the bottom of the top tube has a huge rust spot - so that will have to get dealt with soon too LOL./QUOTE]

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Old 08-24-20, 06:17 PM
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According to these spec's, it originally came with a Deore RDER.
https://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/...spx?item=16479
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Old 06-07-21, 12:41 PM
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Front mech for 3x9 shimano with a 52 big gear

Originally Posted by Bob the Mech View Post
It's a shame as I've three front braze on mechs that will suit your needs but I'm 6000 miles away
Hi Bob, I'm having similar problems with my FD 4403 brazed-on. Still have the mechs available? Could you send one to the Netherlands? Or otherwise I can use a friend's address in the UK... Would be very nice to get my bike back on the road...
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Old 06-08-21, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by renze View Post
Hi Bob, I'm having similar problems with my FD 4403 brazed-on. Still have the mechs available? Could you send one to the Netherlands? Or otherwise I can use a friend's address in the UK... Would be very nice to get my bike back on the road...
Renze, sold two to a gent who was converting bikes to triples for touring and I swapped the other for a XT MTB front mech for a project of mine a couple of months back. I had them in a spares box for about 8 years and they all went in a matter two weeks. Don't need a triple in the Netherlands Joking aside...sorry my friend all gone.
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Old 06-08-21, 01:10 PM
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Haha, thanks for the quick response! It was always gonna be a long shot!
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