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Am I the only one that hates front derailleurs?

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Am I the only one that hates front derailleurs?

Old 06-03-08, 10:18 PM
  #26  
Cody Broken
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As a bike mechanic I am exasperated by low-end bikes with 21+ speed drive trains. That wide a gear range is for climbing steep hills and riding very fast. How many non-cyclists buying their first bike are going to ride like that?

Most people (again, non-cyclists) are utterly baffled by concepts of chain line and gear ratios. I try to explain it in the simplest terms and customers' eyes go blank.

Entry level bikes should have no more than two chain rings. I believe 21+ speed drive trains often frustrate beginner riders and give them yet another excuse to quit riding.

Edit:
Another thing that chaps my hide is cheap index shifters. Indexed shifting requires precise operation and cheap components rarely perform precisely for very long.

I am going to think of something else to whine about...

Last edited by Cody Broken; 06-03-08 at 10:26 PM. Reason: Ranting
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Old 06-03-08, 10:23 PM
  #27  
Tabor
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Originally Posted by Cody Broken View Post
Entry level bikes should have no more than two chain rings. I believe 21+ speed drive trains often frustrate beginner riders and give them yet another excuse to quit riding.
I have been commuting for 11 years, I build my own bicycles from the frame up, and I build my own wheels. It isn't that I don't understand how the chainline works. It is that I don't like front derailleurs. BTW, I am currently rocking an Ultegra groupo, this isn't cheap crap.
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Old 06-03-08, 10:25 PM
  #28  
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Sometimes I just say screw all the derailers...

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Old 06-03-08, 10:51 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Tabor View Post
I have been commuting for 11 years, I build my own bicycles from the frame up, and I build my own wheels. It isn't that I don't understand how the chainline works. It is that I don't like front derailleurs. BTW, I am currently rocking an Ultegra groupo, this isn't cheap crap.
I was not talking about you. I was spewing wildly about my own experiences with excessive gearing and cheap components. I did not mean to offend you. I actually agree with you. But as a bike mechanic I have to deal with them daily.

Okay I hate front derailleurs. I think shoving a metal plate into the side of a moving chain is an idiotic way to change gears. The gearing redundancy introduced, complexity of set-up, and general crudeness of front derailleurs offend me.
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Old 06-03-08, 11:06 PM
  #30  
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Cody Broken, no offense taken. I thought you were alluding to my complete disrespect for a straight chainline.

EDIT- And yes, front derailleurs are ridiculous. Why don't I just shift my bashing the chain with a brick, or wedging a crow bar under it?
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Old 06-03-08, 11:15 PM
  #31  
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I build up a lot of bikes for commuters in our shop and see the same reaction when you try to explain gear theory and explain chain line... many of our customers have opted to go single speed if they have flattish commutes and many of the bikes I build up have a 1 by x drive or internal gear hubs with a decent gearing range which appeals to a lot of people.

This seems to be a direction many manufacturers have taken in making urban bikes too as a double or triple is not always needed.
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Old 06-03-08, 11:40 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Tabor View Post
Cody Broken, no offense taken. I thought you were alluding to my complete disrespect for a straight chainline.
Chainline, Shmainline!
Originally Posted by Tabor View Post
EDIT- And yes, front dérailleurs are ridiculous. Why don't I just shift my bashing the chain with a brick, or wedging a crow bar under it?
LOL

Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
I build up a lot of bikes for commuters in our shop and see the same reaction when you try to explain gear theory and explain chain line... many of our customers have opted to go single speed if they have flattish commutes and many of the bikes I build up have a 1 by x drive or internal gear hubs with a decent gearing range which appeals to a lot of people.

This seems to be a direction many manufacturers have taken in making urban bikes too as a double or triple is not always needed.
I totally agree. It is so exciting and satisfying to build a bike. If wishes were fishes I would build custom bikes for people from new and/or used parts and know that every one of them would be ridden!

And it is encouraging to see more diversity and thoughtful design from bike manufacturers lately.
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Old 06-04-08, 02:14 AM
  #33  
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I was so frustrated for years with the stock triple on my '03 Marin (crappy and cheap SR Suntour 28/38/48, with nexave derailer/ index shifters) I considered going 1x8. I could NEVER dial out the rub no matter how much fiddling I did with adjustment screws, cable tension, position etc. Half the time the only thing keeping the chain on the middle ring while on the big cogs WAS chainrub. Earlier this year I replaced the chain, then the also cheap and crappy cassette (11-32 Sunrace with a bad third cog that would walk the chain off onto the fourth cog if I backpedaled even 1/4 revolution) and after I sheared off a chainring bolt trying to index the wobble out of the middle ring, I finally broke down and ordered a Sugino 26/36/46 crankset (nicest thing I could find for a square drive BB, plus it looks alot niftier). Put it all tgether, re-installed and adjusted the FD, and ha-leh-loo-ya everything was beautiful. Which is good for me 'cause my commute is only 5.8mi. but it's pretty hilly, and some of the hills in my usual stomping radius can be killers.
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Old 06-04-08, 05:42 AM
  #34  
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I commute on a triple, 9 speed. I hardly ever move off of the middle ring, so effectively I treat it like a 1x9.
I use a bar end shifter for my rder, and for the fder, I have a downtube shifter - easy to forget about, and easy to trim if need be.
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Old 06-04-08, 06:18 AM
  #35  
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the shift isn't as smooth as the rear for sure unless you move pass the $500 price mark. from my experience, the front derailleurs shift can take the chain off link if pedal backward on certain bike. the rear shift only makes rider go into wrong gear. i actually prefer not to have the front derailleurs but it is hard to find bike without. personally, 5 speed is enough variation. for an experienced and strong rider as long as there is at least one granny gear for big uphill climb.
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Old 06-04-08, 07:39 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Cody Broken View Post
As a bike mechanic I am exasperated by low-end bikes with 21+ speed drive trains. That wide a gear range is for climbing steep hills and riding very fast. How many non-cyclists buying their first bike are going to ride like that?

Most people (again, non-cyclists) are utterly baffled by concepts of chain line and gear ratios. I try to explain it in the simplest terms and customers' eyes go blank.

Entry level bikes should have no more than two chain rings. I believe 21+ speed drive trains often frustrate beginner riders and give them yet another excuse to quit riding.

Edit:
Another thing that chaps my hide is cheap index shifters. Indexed shifting requires precise operation and cheap components rarely perform precisely for very long.

I am going to think of something else to whine about...

Great post. Simple is good. Most don't need triples or doubles--I'd like to see more shops offer assortments 1x9's or good 1x10's. Then you can put a ring over it and keep some pants from getting greased. Triples overlap. Also, if it isn't adjusted properly, the chain will fall off and you've got a problem. The extra rings are just good spots for greasy dirt to accumulate.

Bring back the 3 speeds or 1x9's in force!
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Old 06-04-08, 09:39 AM
  #37  
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My FD isn't indexed, so I never have to adjust anything, I just use the shifter to push the chain onto the ring I want, no problems. I don't know why they bother with indexed FDs. Rears, sure. Fronts, it's a waste of time.
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Old 06-04-08, 09:43 AM
  #38  
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I have no use for my little chainring. Especially when the bike shipped, it had a 32T on the back, 28T on the little ring in the front. That's just asinine.

I now run a 28T as my biggest cog in the back, and even so I have only ever dropped below the 38T middle front a few times, like when I'm trying to clog up a hill against a headwind through 6 inches of snow at the end of a tiring ride. And even then, I really wouldn't have to, I just got lazy and bailed.

I DO run the 48T in the front, especially in the summer, and if I replace the chainrings again I think I might go to a 52 up front, I could use a little more high end.
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