1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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  1. #1
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    Can someone point me towards a front der. upgrade?

    Alright, I've recently purchased a Cannondale F7, and the first thing I want to upgrade(besides my bent wheel) is the front derailleur. I have a shimano altus, and I'm looking at getting either an LX, XT, or maybe X7 or X9. Is one of those options commonly considered the better bang-for-the-buck model? Also, the stock derailleur is top pull. Do I have to get another top pull to replace it with? If I wanted a bottom pull, would I just need new shifters/cables? I'm planning on upgrading my shifters eventually anyway...

    Anyway, sorry for the ignorance, I literally just got into this. If someone could just say "here's what you need, and here's a link to it...", that would be great. I'm just looking for something a little smoother and more reliable than the Altus. I'd like to upgrade once and forget about anything except necessary adjustments. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    I have 1x8 on both of my bikes. If you dont know what that is, its one gear up front and 8 in the back. You save weight, but you will need to invest in a chain guide/tensioner. One of the advantages for me is Im lazy, but with the 1x8 you dont have a lot of choices, but you have enough. Its kinda in between single speed and geared. For my riding style I love it. If you are interested in more info, feel free to send me a personal message(pm)

    This is just an option. If you are looking for a front deraillur, make sure your replacement has the same "swing' you will have either top swing or bottom swing, also referred to as top pull or bottom pull. Any deraillur LX or higher will do you good as long it is adjudted/tuned right
    Buy My 2010 Mint COndition Transition Covert LARGE 150mm Full suspension. 2000 firm see classified add

  3. #3
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    the best upgrade for a front der is getting rid of it =)

    honestly, altus front ders are fine (or maybe im just used to workin in a bike shop that sells all entry level stuff...)

    Anyways, whats wrong with it?
    "Never mistake motion for action."

    "If I can bicycle, I bicycle."

  4. #4
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    easily the least effective most unnoticeable "upgrade" is the front der.

    you have to get the same pull as what you removed.. so yeah, another top or dual pull.

  5. #5
    Single(Pivot)and Happy
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    If you are looking for a front deraillur, make sure your replacement has the same "swing' you will have either top swing or bottom swing, also referred to as top pull or bottom pull.
    Wrong. "Swing" and "Pull" refer to two completely different things. A top swing derailleur swings above the clamp. A bottom pull derailleur has the cable entering from below. You can have a top pull/ bottom swing, etc. Bottom swing derailleurs are commonly referred to as "traditional".
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  6. #6
    What's "social pace?"
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    if you really want a new front derailleur you can probably score an XTR one off some local guy for like $10. heck, i think I have a few somewhere that someone just gave me. what the cool kids are running is the XTR front with the x0/x9 rear and triggers.

    the one you have should be fine, though. you will notice much more of a difference from upgrading the shifters.
    the pull of the derailleur is usually determined by how cables are routed on the frame. many fd's these days can do it both ways. You can't usually just switch it because the cable mounts are usually brazed onto the frame tubes. On my c'dale it's rigged for bottom pull and there's not much I can do about that except run it 1x9 and forget the whole thing, which is what I'm doing.

  7. #7
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    If your ride came with an Altus FD you may also want to look at upgrading your rings. Oh, and I like my XT FD, it shifts much faster than my old Deore.

    Anthony

  8. #8
    local trails rider
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    Why do you want to upgrade it? They are cheap and they rarely make much of a difference.
    Quote Originally Posted by tomsmoto
    easily the least effective most unnoticeable "upgrade" is the front der.

  9. #9
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    I wanted to upgrade it because it's a pain in the butt to get it to shift into the top gear. You have to hold the shifter to get it to go. Maybe the shifters are the culprit?

    The 1x8 or 1x9 idea is interesting. I thought about that myself, but didn't realize people actually do it. As it is, I leave my bike in top front gear almost all the time anyway...

  10. #10
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    you leave your chain in the biggest gear?? very bad idea. if you leave your chain in the biggest ring in the front and say you come to a big hill and you down shift to the biggest (easiest) gear in the back, you are now cross chaining. this = no good for your chain.

    and for the front der problem, its simple adjustments. read up on high and low limit screws. I would tell you to loosen the high screw a little but I dont want to be responsible for your chain comin off if you do it too much.
    "Never mistake motion for action."

    "If I can bicycle, I bicycle."

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the tip. That makes sense, and I probably wouldn't have thought about that myself. Anyway, I'm about to go peruse ebay since front derailleurs are cheap. Does it make much difference between Shimano and Sram? Also, I'm assuming the LX and X7 are comparable, while the XT and X9 are probably in the same league. Does that sound about right?

  12. #12
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    do you just have money that you absolutely need to waste? theres really better things you could spend your money on.. like damn near anything else.

  13. #13
    What's "social pace?"
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    it sounds like an adjustment issue, not an issue of parts. look into that before tossing around money otherwise your new part could very likely do exactly the same thing.

  14. #14
    The Martian
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    I've never had front derailleur issues and never considered upgrading one. I have an Altus (I think) on my 3yr old Trek hardtail and an LX on my brand new $2k full suspension. Honestly they both work just as consistently.

    Personally, unless there is something wrong with your current FD that's not an adjustment issue, it's a worthless upgrade (cheap though it is). I'd just as soon have the Altus as my LX, but I do notice the difference between my Deore RD and my XT RD.

    If you just absolutely must upgrade it I wouldn't go any "better" than LX: still reasonably cheap, functions well, reasonably light (ie: not a boat anchor). Save the rest of the $$ for upgrades you are going to actually notice (seat, wheels, bars/grips if necessary, tires, MAYBE your RD (wait until you break it), etc).

    Edit to add: Having difficulty switching into 3rd is either an adjustment issue (check your limit screws, etc) or a rider issue (cross chaining, etc). I do find I have to hold a bit longer to get my bikes to shift up since I have to wait for it to catch instead of going down where it just falls into place (darn gravity). It's not excessive unless my derailleur isn't adjusted well and the chain isn't catching correctly.

  15. #15
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by jason miller
    Iit's a pain in the butt to get it to shift into the top gear. You have to hold the shifter to get it to go....
    Sounds like an adjustment thing: maybe you need a little more cable tension or open up the limiter screw a bit.

    Also, shifts in the front are big steps and they will never be as fast and smooth as shifts in the rear.

  16. #16
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    The only reason I've ever needed to "upgrade" a front derailleur was from a fixed BB mount unit to a seat-tube clamp unit. I was running a larger big ring, and the BB mount der's have no vertical adjustment, so I had to buy a new one to clear the big(ger) ring.

    $15 for a used XT in the parts bin of my local shop. Fine. Whatever. It's a front derailleur. I ride single speed now.

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