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Compact crankset FD question

Old 07-03-13, 12:00 PM
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Compact crankset FD question

I have the sugino xd-2 in 46/36/24 on my LHT, and the 9-speed deore front derailleur that I threw on it doesn't mesh well. I know this full and well now, after a tour through the foothills of the Appalachians. What fd should I use? Rivendell recommends a deore xt or a shimano cx70. Do these work for triples? What about a 105 derailleur meant for doubles? I have a 5500 in mind. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 07-03-13, 12:21 PM
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You shifting with a friction lever like the bar end set? or did you convert to STI Brifters?


I use old Shimano FD from when the MTB cranks were 110 , 74bcd 48 ~24t (though I got in new at the time.)

bike has a 48,36,24 triple.. old sun tour bar-cons /


Reading the terrain ahead and not expecting the FD to shift up from 3rd to 2nd in the middle of the hill , helps.

BTW, Compact MTB cranksets refers to the 22, 32, 44 t types now,
the sizes you refer to Shimano now calls 'Trekking' .
might web search for their current Trekking FD.

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-03-13 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 07-03-13, 12:51 PM
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I've got a Sugino triple crankset on my touring bike using a Shimano Utegra 9-speed triple FD, and it shifts very well. My crank is a 50-36-24 if I recall correctly.
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Old 07-03-13, 07:05 PM
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You definitely need a triple derailler for a triple crank. The rest of the story depends on your shifters- "mountain" for mountain, "road' for road, either derailler for friction shift. I`ve heard that the low end FDs are supposed to be more versatile than higher levels, but can`t say from personal experience because I`ve never had a high end FD. Currently using 90s Shimano Exage (mid level mtb) on two bikes and an 80s Sachs, all with friction shifting, small ring of 24 or 26, big rings ranging from 46 to 50.
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Old 07-04-13, 06:33 AM
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I have ultegra bar end shifters on the bike. I read on Jan Heine's blog ( https://janheine.wordpress.com/2013/0...h-sti-triples/ ) that a normal shimano triple fd wouldn't work with a smaller size triple. He recommends a 'smooth cage' derailleur, but I can't seem to find one that would work with a triple.
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Old 07-04-13, 09:16 AM
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Since you have bar end shifters, an older mtb derailler will work fine, or try one of the combos that readers mention having good luck with in the comments section. It looks like at least a half dozen specified all the pertinent parts on their bikes.

I read the article. Interresting, but he must have very high expectations about shifting performance to say that so many much used combinations don`t work. Either that or the state of the art crank/derailler/shifter systems are so magical that I`m REALLY missing out by staying with my Fred and Barney drivetrains. Since he`s apparently had success with double deraillers on triple rings, I stand corrected on that account. Also went and looked at my FDs. I hadn`t ever thought about it before, but the ones that seem to work best for me do in fact have flat or nearly flat cage plates and the one on my folder has that dent he was talking about. It shifts the front well (generic rings and arms in standard Shimano road triple tooth counts), but is so finicky about trimming that I cuss it every time I shift the rear on that bike!
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Old 07-04-13, 09:28 AM
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I'm still using the Old Campag Euclid & Victory Liesure ( deeper back plate ) I got on close-out in the 80's.


... having friction bar end shifters.. and am not expecting the FD to shift like a light switch..
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Old 07-04-13, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by davidmikesell
I have the sugino xd-2 in 46/36/24 on my LHT, and the 9-speed deore front derailleur that I threw on it doesn't mesh well. I know this full and well now, after a tour through the foothills of the Appalachians. What fd should I use? Rivendell recommends a deore xt or a shimano cx70. Do these work for triples? What about a 105 derailleur meant for doubles? I have a 5500 in mind. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
Originally Posted by davidmikesell
I have ultegra bar end shifters on the bike. I read on Jan Heine's blog ( https://janheine.wordpress.com/2013/0...h-sti-triples/ ) that a normal shimano triple fd wouldn't work with a smaller size triple. He recommends a 'smooth cage' derailleur, but I can't seem to find one that would work with a triple.
Normally Shimano mtb-specific FDs will not function well with Shimano road shifters. I doubt your (9s?) Ultegra bar-ends in index mode will shift the Deore FD exactly right. The Sugino crank and Deore FD are fine together, that's not the problem. IF you operate the Ult shifters in friction mode, then they SHOULD shift the Deore FD fine. Note that if the FD is rotationally-misaligned, at improper height, damaged (bent), mis-adjusted in either cable tension or travel limits, chainrings are slightly bent, or combinations of these conditions, then an otherwise fully-compatible drivetrain may not function properly. FD issues are not uncommon, especially on touring bikes that are more often assembled by DIYers with sub-optimal component combinations.

Make sure the FD and rings are right, then try the bar end shifters in friction mode again - it should work. If it doesn't, then you need to a. adjust FD properly, or b. get a new FD (Sora (stock on LHT/DT), Tiagra. IRD Alpina-d or Microshift), or c. straighten chainrings, or d. replace chainrings (sometimes it is almost as cheap to get a whole new crankset), and/or take your bike to the LBS to get it fixed. Even with the right parts, some folks can't get bikes to work right, and FD/front shifting is especially tricky. If you want indexed shifting with the current shifters, then you'll need a new FD.

Despite what Heine wrote in the linked article, new Complete LHTs and DTs are equipped with Sora triple FDs (FD-3403), which are not "smooth", and hardly anyone has issues with them.
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Old 07-04-13, 04:55 PM
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davidmikesell, The front shifter has an indent roughly mid travel that, depending who offers an opinion, may or may not corrospond with the middle chain ring of a road group's FD. I'll actually find out in a week or so who's right. The front shifter is essentially a friction shifter and the mid travel indent can be tuned out by changing the position of the adapter plate. I was going to do this on my T bike, but the indent is not distracting.

I would only use a triple FD to shift a triple and if you want one from a road group the Tiagra is pretty popular with those with integrated shifters.

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Old 07-04-13, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333
I doubt your (9s?) Ultegra bar-ends in index mode will shift the Deore FD exactly right.
I doubt he`ll find the index mode on any bar end front shifters. They`re friction only
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Old 07-04-13, 08:26 PM
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^^^ Thank you for pointing out my mistake.
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Old 07-05-13, 12:39 AM
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I've used an IRD Alpina triple for the last few years and find it the best shifting triple I've ever used. I run an SLX crank with 46,32,22 rings with barend friction shifter. I tried an XT fd but there wasn't enough room between the down tube and rear tire.
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Old 07-05-13, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by davidmikesell
I have the sugino xd-2 in 46/36/24 on my LHT, and the 9-speed deore front derailleur that I threw on it doesn't mesh well. I know this full and well now, after a tour through the foothills of the Appalachians. What fd should I use? Rivendell recommends a deore xt or a shimano cx70. Do these work for triples? What about a 105 derailleur meant for doubles? I have a 5500 in mind. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
A lot of what has been written about component compatibility has to be thrown out because Shimano went all stupid in Dynasys. I don't know for sure if they have messed up the front mountain derailers, given that they have totally screwed up the rear ones, I wouldn't put it past them. That said, I've never had good luck trying to make a mountain front work with any kind of road shifter other than downtubes. I couldn't get a Deore to work with barend shifters on my wife's bike eons ago and just went with a road front. It's an easier set up.

I would also point out that going to the top of the Shimano line on front derailers isn't necessarily the way to go either. Whether it's mountain or road, the top end Shimano front derailers are more finicky than their less expensive offerings. The Tiagra, for example, has a wider gap between the outer and inner plates and the outer plate's "sculpting" is less aggressive than the 105 and higher derailers. This translates into a more forgiving setup with a wider ranges before the derailer starts to rub. The 105 derailer has to be set "just right" and you have to be careful about gear combinations to avoid chain rub. The mountain bike derailers have similar problems.

I haven't tried to use a Sram mountain front with a road shifter (I use STI), but I certainly prefer them with mountain shifters (again, maybe not Dynasys). From the X4 to X9, they are all very good front derailers. Far better than any Shimano front I've used in ages. They might be worth trying with a barend shifter.
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