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Old 11-02-09, 11:52 AM   #1
Don in Austin
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Road bike triple front derailleur help

OK, I just bought and assembled a Dawes Lightning DX road bike. I am aware its not top of the line, but for my purposes -- I am primarily a hybrid rider -- it suits my needs fine except for the front shifting. It has Microshift brifters with 5 half-steps for the front chainrings. The front rings are 52, 42, 30. The derailleur it came with was crap, not even laid out right with the cable stretched and binding across the body of the unit. I put a Shimano Deore on that I had lying around which might even be a MTB piece for all I know.
Its a lot better but its not good. What I need a recommendation for is a 1 1/4" post mounting, bottom pull, 52, 42, 30 Microshift compatible unit. I don't mind spending a little money. I figured when I bought the bike I would want to change something on it. Hell, I have changed things on all my bikes from the Cannondale to the pawnshop Schwinn.

I don't think I need instruction in setting it up as I have three other bikes plus my wife's and my buddy's, all of which I have had no problem tweaking the triple front shifters on. The Schwinn MTB that sold new for about $189 I have set up to shift flawlessly front and rear -- even at maximum cross-chain.

Thanks...Don in Austin
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Old 11-02-09, 12:11 PM   #2
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The Deore FD that you tried is a mountain bike model, so is wrongly shaped for that chainring combination, and requires a different amount of cable pull to work right. I believe that Microshift stuff is completely compatible with Shimano, so I would get a Shimano road triple front derailler. The model you get should depend on the number of gears you have on the back (this affects chain width, so the width of the front derailleur cage needs to match it) - if you have 8 rear cogs then get Sora; if 9 then get Tiagra, or old 105 (5500 series), or very old Ultegra (6500 series); if 10 rear cogs then get new 105 (5600) (avoid both newer Ultegras - 6600 and 6700 because the middle-big chainring size difference they are designed for is not right, and a different cable pull is needed for the latter).

Last edited by Chris_W; 11-03-09 at 02:17 AM.
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Old 11-02-09, 04:04 PM   #3
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Look for a Shimano 8-speed or 9-speed triple FD. Avoid 10-speed FD's and D-A FD's because they are designed for 13 or 14 tooth drop from big to middle ring. 10-speed FD's are too narrow for 7, 8, & 9 Speed chains.

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Old 11-02-09, 06:25 PM   #4
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What kind of derailleur did it have on it?
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