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Which front derailleur upgrade

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Which front derailleur upgrade

Old 03-31-19, 06:50 PM
  #1  
daoswald
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Which front derailleur upgrade

My hybrid is a 2014 Cannondale Quick CX3 with a hodgepodge of Alivio and Altus components, though I suspect the front derailleur is lower end than Altus.

I'm not real satisfied with my FD shifting. It's a little imprecise, and I think that a better FD might make a difference.

My crankset and chainset is a Shimano tapered 28/38/48t configuration. My rear drivetrain is Alivio 8 speed.

There are so many mountain bike and hybrid oriented drive trains out there -- it seems more complicated than road bikes, but maybe it's just a matter of being more familiar with road bike drivetrains. Anyway, I'm trying to figure out what to get.

I'd like something either Alivio or Deore LX level, compatible with a 28/38/48t chainset, compatible with my 8sp rear drivetrain, using a clamp-style attachment, bottom pull (I think that's what it's called -- the cable routes under the bottom bracket). If I'm going to upgrade from the low end front derailleur that came with the bike, I would prefer going to Deore for a few dollars more.

My shifters are Acera 3x (left) and 8x (right) rapid-fire.
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Old 03-31-19, 08:27 PM
  #2  
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I assume you adjusted everything properly?
Outside the box here... but what about going 1x?

Bad frontshifting is based on shifter, FD, and chainrings. So to get really good frontshifting you look at lot of trial and error. And it will never be ad perfect as 1x and you can't shift under load.

If you like to stick with FD, the Shimano sideswing derailleurs are supposed to be good.
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Old 03-31-19, 09:20 PM
  #3  
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I own a couple bikes with triples, and I'm fine with sticking with that configuration. The chainrings are in good shape, and the shifters are ok too. I've gotten pretty good at tuning triples. I just don't like the low end flimsy Shimano derailleur that came stock with the bike, and would like to upgrade to one that is more refined. Deore level Shimano is my goal. My question is which one will work for me given the specs mentioned in my original post above.

Lets assume tuning has nothing to do with my question, and that I'm not interested in swapping out my rear mech to accommodate a cassette large enough to give me the gear range I get with this triple. I live in hilly terrain and use this bike with panniers a lot. That 28/34 granny is great. So changing the whole drive train to go to 1s in front is an impractical suggestion when the question is specifically which deore level FD will work with a 28/38/48 chainset, bottom pull, Acera rapid fire shifted 3x8 with clamp style derailleur mount?
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Old 04-01-19, 05:33 AM
  #4  
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You first asked for Alivio or Deore, and you could do an Alivio FD-M4000. Whatever you choose, you'll probably want to stick with something compatible with 3x front drivetrains, and I'm not sure if any modern Deore FDs are. They may be...I'm just not aware. Officially, you'll have to go far back in time to find a higher level FD compatible with 8s. I have found that it doesn't matter too much, but if you want to strictly follow the guidelines, 8s is a number of generations old by now. Only Tourney and Altus still support 8s today (and even Altus is moving to 9s). I would recommend staying with the same swing style. A "top swing" will have the band clamp at the very top of the cage (actually, above the cage in most cases), and the cage swings outward from that. A "bottom swing" will have the band clamp nearer to the bottom of the cage. You can switch and get similar performance, but you might run into interference with a bottle cage mount if you switch styles.

I will say that I get good front shifting on my 3x setups with fairly low-end FDs. My nicest one is an Acera FD-M3000 and the cheapest one is a Tourney level FD-TY500 or something like that. FDs are very simple devices. They don't tension the chain or help to index it (such as a RD jockey wheel does)...they simply shove the chain to the right or pull it to the left. I've found that cranksets with well-designed shift ramps and the indexing that you set with the barrel adjuster have more of an impact on front shifting than the actual derailleur itself. It also helps to mount the derailleur down so that the cage just clears the largest chain ring. If you're sure its tuned right, I'd probably look at the condition of the shift ramps and pins on the chainrings first, before replacing other parts.

Describing how the shifting is imprecise or unsatisfactory may also help us help you target the right course of action.
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Old 04-01-19, 08:02 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
You first asked for Alivio or Deore, and you could do an Alivio FD-M4000. Whatever you choose, you'll probably want to stick with something compatible with 3x front drivetrains, and I'm not sure if any modern Deore FDs are. They may be...I'm just not aware.
The higher end trekking series groupsets - Deore T6000, Deore LX T670 and Deore XT T8000 all have 3x front derailleurs; but they are designed for 10 speeds at the rear. So that could in theory mean that as they are intended for narrower 10 speed chains, the performance with an 8 speed chain could be sub-optimal. I have no experience with them to say for sure though.
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Old 04-01-19, 06:47 PM
  #6  
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You can even get current SLX 3x FD

if we assume adjustment is correct (and assumptions may be dangerous...) using a much higher group FD will help (this also assuming the shiftramps on the chainrings are good). The shifter is less important in front, the FD is where the quality needs to be. This assuming the shifter is not worn out.

Conversely, for a RD, the shifter is the more important part.

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Old 04-02-19, 05:52 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by daoswald View Post
My hybrid is a 2014 Cannondale Quick CX3 with a hodgepodge of Alivio and Altus components, though I suspect the front derailleur is lower end than Altus.

I'm not real satisfied with my FD shifting. It's a little imprecise, and I think that a better FD might make a difference.

My crankset and chainset is a Shimano tapered 28/38/48t configuration. My rear drivetrain is Alivio 8 speed.

There are so many mountain bike and hybrid oriented drive trains out there -- it seems more complicated than road bikes, but maybe it's just a matter of being more familiar with road bike drivetrains. Anyway, I'm trying to figure out what to get.

I'd like something either Alivio or Deore LX level, compatible with a 28/38/48t chainset, compatible with my 8sp rear drivetrain, using a clamp-style attachment, bottom pull (I think that's what it's called -- the cable routes under the bottom bracket). If I'm going to upgrade from the low end front derailleur that came with the bike, I would prefer going to Deore for a few dollars more.

My shifters are Acera 3x (left) and 8x (right) rapid-fire.
A Deore model would be an improvement. I generally like low end parts but low end front shifting is bad. Ditch the A level parts and get Deore at least.

The co-op or shop will have a bin of old but working front derailleurs. An old Suntour XC Pro (non microdrive) will be cheaper and better than even the modern Deore.

Last edited by DorkDisk; 04-02-19 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 04-03-19, 07:33 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
Outside the box here... but what about going 1x?
How hard is this? My bike has a similar groupset (hodgepodge of Acera and Alivio, but 9 speed) and I virtually never use the front mech. The SRAM 1x groupsets are prohibitively expensive, so I figured that was it. Is it as simple as doing a FD delete and picking a front chainring/chain/cassette that match desired gear range?
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Old 04-03-19, 07:51 AM
  #9  
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All other things being equal, a new cable & or new housing could help reduce friction. That would at the very least help with making shifts feel better. New cables would do very little for worn pins & bushings though. If you actually wore it out, good job! Front derailleurs rarely get used enough to reach end of life status.

Like the others, I've also had nothing but good luck with Deore front derailleurs. Though I did learn the hard way that you've gotta use a triple for a triple crankset. The double derailleur I used had too much flex and the chain bound up between the rings and the cage occasionally. Everyone here probably already knew that.

Just adding my voice to the choir.
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Old 04-03-19, 08:17 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
If you actually wore it out, good job! Front derailleurs rarely get used enough to reach end of life status.
But they can still get damaged or broken.
Mine seized up so badly during winter commuting as I wasn't using it, that it took a good deal of WD-40 and a few hammer blows to get it moving again. Now it's working but rattles over bumps, so it's due for replacement. Probably going to get Deore too.
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