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Upgrading from the Tiagra 4403 front derailleur.

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Upgrading from the Tiagra 4403 front derailleur.

Old 07-12-10, 10:51 AM
  #1  
TimothyF
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Upgrading from the Tiagra 4403 front derailleur.

My 4403 broke. I have never liked how it shifted and how many adjustments I had to make. I wonder what my options are for upgrading?

The 4403 is a Tiagra clamp-on 31.8

The bike is a 9 speed: 52/42/30.

What are your recommendations? THX!
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Old 07-12-10, 10:54 AM
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I doubt the Tiagra was the shifting problem. Nothing wrong with a Tiagra part. But if you want to move up a little, next up the line is a 105. Derailleurs are really dumb devices, they just move to the right or left based on how far the cable is moved. The "brains" of the operation are in the shifter itself. I am always amazed how well even the bottom end Shimano stuff shifts anymore.

Last edited by wrk101; 07-14-10 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 07-12-10, 10:58 AM
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Guess, as above, you can get one picked from a higher price point group,
105 perhaps? sounds like you need the Triple version.

Shifting a Derailleur bike used to be a skill you learned,
then Index systems came in, and the mechanism , parts,
began to be some other place to lay Blame..

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-12-10 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 07-12-10, 12:02 PM
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Any triple FD from Shimano will work fine. As the above said FDs are really stupid things that does the simple bidding of the shifter. No point in wasting $$$ for high end. stuff when a $10 FD2203 will shift just as well. The key is setting it up...
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Old 07-12-10, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyF View Post
My 4403 broke. I have never liked how it shifted and how many adjustments I had to make. I wonder what my options are for upgrading?

The 4403 is a Tiagra clamp-on 31.8

The bike is a 9 speed: 52/42/30.

What are your recommendations? THX!
FD-5503 a.k.a 105 triple front.
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Old 07-12-10, 12:18 PM
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A 9-speed Shimano triple road derailleur should work best. I recommend that you stay with the Tiagra.
Have you tried replacing the shifter cables and housings?
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Old 07-12-10, 12:52 PM
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Yes, the cables I know were replaced after a riser bar/extension was installed.

A piece that held the spring inside the 4403 broke or sheared off leaving no tension for shifting.

Thanks for the tips.
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Old 07-12-10, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyF View Post
My 4403 broke. I have never liked how it shifted and how many adjustments I had to make. I wonder what my options are for upgrading?

The 4403 is a Tiagra clamp-on 31.8

The bike is a 9 speed: 52/42/30.

What are your recommendations? THX!
How did it break? Did the tab holding one end of the spring break by any chance?
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Old 07-12-10, 07:25 PM
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Unless you want to start using a 10 speed chain, you'll want to avoid any 10 speed front derailler. The only 10 speed that would work anyway is the 5603 as the Ultegra deraillers need a 13T gap between middle and big rings to work. Your best bet is to find a NOS 105 or Ultegra 9 speed derailler or use a current Tiagra or Sora.

This will do: https://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ducts_id=30484
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Old 07-12-10, 08:35 PM
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Make sure the der you plan on getting will handle a 22t range of gear changes. Lots of them won't. bk
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Old 07-12-10, 09:42 PM
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the current Tiagra (FD-4503) and Sora (FD-3403) both specify a maximum tooth differential if 20 teeth. The current 2200 (FC-2303) specifies 22 teeth.

The previous versions all allowed 22 teeth.
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Old 07-12-10, 11:01 PM
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An un broken 4033 will be an improvement, the rivets and bushing fit
and polish goes with the pricier models, but really,
front derailleurs are pretty basic. [paralelogram shoves a moving chain sideways ]

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-12-10 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 07-13-10, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
Make sure the der you plan on getting will handle a 22t range of gear changes. Lots of them won't. bk
While they may only specify 20 teeth, that's mainly because the cranksets in that group only have a 20 tooth spread. I'm using a 5603 FD with a 52/42/30 crank and it works great.
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Old 07-13-10, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyF View Post
My 4403 broke.
How did you break it?

Originally Posted by TimothyF View Post
I have never liked how it shifted and how many adjustments I had to make.
I wonder what this means.
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Old 07-14-10, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
How did you break it?
Beat it with a hammer till it changed its shape. I have no idea how it broke. It guess it was a tab or something that held one end of the spring. I never knew what it looked like before it broke, but clearly it sheared off and the derailleur doesn't work.

Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
I wonder what this means.?
Don't go too deep here. I was simply wondering if a higher grade component would provide better shifting with less need for the seemingly constant tuning I had to do with the 4403. What I read from the helpful replies was no, it doesn't really matter. Chalk it up to operator error and I will replace with a similar component.

Thanks for the advice and links.
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Old 07-14-10, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyF View Post
Don't go too deep here. I was simply wondering if a higher grade component would provide better shifting with less need for the seemingly constant tuning I had to do with the 4403.
Since you aren't being clear, it's just hard to tell what your problem is.

By "tuning", do you mean "trimming" (moving the derailler to avoid chain rub)?

My Tiagra brifter for the front derailler has half-stops that allow small adjustments in the derailler to keep the chain from rubbing.

If you are having "excessive" chain rubbing problems, you may be "cross chaining" too much. That is, you may be using the large (front) chain ring with the largest rear sprocket and the smallest chain ring with the smallest sprocket. It isn't unexpected that there would be "uncorrectable" chain rubbing in these cases. And needing to trim front deraillers is typical for triples.

If this is your problem, the solution is not cross chaining. It generally is unnecessary to cross-chain because these gears are often duplicated elsewhere.

A gear chart might be helpful.

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/
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Old 06-30-19, 08:16 PM
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Old thread, I know. Same thing happened to me regarding the loss of spring tension on front derailleur. A little tab holding the spring in place finally gave up and broke off. Derailleur no longer moved as no spring tension to move it. I searched for the Shimano 4403 (number is moulded on inside of derailleur cage,) and see Planet Cyclery had the same item in stock. I was looking to replace with the same unit to avoid 'issues' and such. This broken one lasted 18 years. Another 18 for this new one and I'm happy. BTW, price was $14.95. I can live with that. Steve
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Old 05-04-20, 11:01 AM
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Sorry to bring up a dead thread, but most of the information is oooooooooooold. Looking to also replace a FD-4403 where the spring broke. Don't know much about bikes besides you sit on them and pedal, so any information would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-04-20, 11:40 AM
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Hi, did you read comment #17 ? Not even a year old. Info still valid.
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Old 05-04-20, 11:44 AM
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Yup I did, but having a hard time finding a not-used FD-4403. I really don't want to buy a used one since the spring breaking seems to be common for this model.
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Old 05-04-20, 11:52 AM
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OK, hard time? Did you check with the specified vendor providing mine?? I listed it in #17
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Old 05-04-20, 12:05 PM
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That I did, and they only have 5 by Shimaro.
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Old 05-05-20, 08:53 AM
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It's looking like the Shimaro Sora R3030 would be an alternate replacement for the FD-4403?
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Old 05-05-20, 11:53 AM
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Your call. I have no opinion regarding the model you reference. I just went with the same Shimano model as the OE one lasted so long.

Did you plug the manufacturer and model name into the search box on the vendor's website? Can't go wrong.
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