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Shimano Deerhead and half step question

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Shimano Deerhead and half step question

Old 08-03-15, 12:10 PM
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mstateglfr
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Shimano Deerhead and half step question

I am building up an older Diamondback MTB and the donor bike is an 86 Diamondback Apex which came with Deerhead shifting.

The front derailleur has a sticker that clearly says it is made for half step gearing.
The crank has 48-38-28 Biopace rings right now.

I cant test if the derailleur works with the chainring setup as its already taken apart. I see Deerhead FDs on regular triples all the time so it can shift fine with the normal 10tooth drop per ring?
It doesn't have the design of a typical triple FD where the inner plate lower is lower than the outer plate.



With everything, there are no guarantees on older rebuilds. Just trying to figure out if I potentially need to pick up a new FD or start looking for chain rings that make work for half step gearing.
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Old 08-03-15, 12:20 PM
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It will shift fine.
Ive had 3 if those apex bikes. All with the half step FD and 28-38-48 crankset.
Ive never had an issue
Properly adjust it and you shouldnt have any issues.
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Old 08-03-15, 02:47 PM
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I've run a half-step plus granny (46-42-28) setup with Shimano Deerhead mechs. It worked great.
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Old 08-03-15, 06:12 PM
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I think it's a matter of a different model, with, I would guess, the bumps inside the cage going higher up to pick up a chain on the 45/48 rather than the 38-42.


Holy Crap- I think I was actually right...

Check the lower oblique views.

Shiimano Deore XT Deerhead Front Derailleur: FD-m700 - Bike Recyclery

Shimano XT Deerhead Front Derailleur: FD-M700, 28.6 - Bike Recyclery



And it also looks like there was an "alpine gearing" version, as well as a version without windows cut out in the plates.
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Old 08-03-15, 06:36 PM
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as long as whatever derailleur you have matches the same curvature on the blade side as a "normal" half-step derailleur, you're fine. you could probably just use anything that's meant to shift a triple down to the minimum chainring that you are using.

addendum:

this is probably not what you want to hear, but from someone who supposedly had the quads to deal with a half-step gearing: it sucked. it might have been because i put it on a mixte with swept back bars, but i never felt like i was in the right gear, and riding uphill was bad. this is when i was young, and still had quads. this was a complete deerhead set up that i lifted from one bike, and put it onto another one. not sure if it was a special version or not; pretty sure it was the "plain" version. ymmv.

Last edited by smoothness; 08-03-15 at 06:41 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 08-03-15, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by MacGyverBurrito View Post
It will shift fine.
Ive had 3 if those apex bikes. All with the half step FD and 28-38-48 crankset.
Ive never had an issue
Properly adjust it and you shouldnt have any issues.
thanks, good to know its worked for others and i can hopefully ignore the tag that says its for halfstep. Id rather have the current 10 tooth change between rings.
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Old 08-03-15, 06:54 PM
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I would much rather have 10 tooth gearing vs the half step. easier to choose gears, at least for me.
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Old 08-03-15, 08:01 PM
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make sure you have a good chain..... I run a KMC 8.99 silver on my half step plus granny setup
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Old 08-04-15, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by smoothness View Post
as long as whatever derailleur you have matches the same curvature on the blade side as a "normal" half-step derailleur, you're fine. you could probably just use anything that's meant to shift a triple down to the minimum chainring that you are using.

addendum:

this is probably not what you want to hear, but from someone who supposedly had the quads to deal with a half-step gearing: it sucked. it might have been because i put it on a mixte with swept back bars, but i never felt like i was in the right gear, and riding uphill was bad. this is when i was young, and still had quads. this was a complete deerhead set up that i lifted from one bike, and put it onto another one. not sure if it was a special version or not; pretty sure it was the "plain" version. ymmv.
The theory is that you shouldn't have to have super strong quads- just shift a lot.

I mostly ride like normal, then use the half step to get into the right gear- so I'm generally not doing the "big up, little up-big down, big up, little up-big down" pattern accelerating.
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