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  1. #1
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    Differences between front derailleurs?

    So I'm new to all this. I'm curious about front derailleurs. sorry for the noob questions.

    I can see the difference on the rears with higher quality ones, but for the front What would the main differences be.

    They all look the same to me.

    Any info would be awesome,
    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    As long as it is compatible with your frame, then the only differences is really weight and bling factor. Not a whole heck of a lot going on with advancements of front derailleur technology. That is also why it is so easy to mix/match different manufacturers front derailleurs w shifters.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 006_007 View Post
    As long as it is compatible with your frame, then the only differences is really weight and bling factor. Not a whole heck of a lot going on with advancements of front derailleur technology. That is also why it is so easy to mix/match different manufacturers front derailleurs w shifters.

    Yeah that kind of is what I was thinking. The difference i could only see was with how they looked and the weight. I just wasn't sure.

    Can any bike use a top swing or bottom swing? is that a specific thing only certain bikes can use.

  4. #4
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    Differences between front derailleurs?

    Quote Originally Posted by 208Ryder View Post
    Yeah that kind of is what I was thinking. The difference i could only see was with how they looked and the weight. I just wasn't sure.

    Can any bike use a top swing or bottom swing? is that a specific thing only certain bikes can use.
    No. Some frames are top swing (low clamp) only, some are bottom swing (high clamp) only, some can use either. Some use direct mount--no seat tube clamp (and 3 different types).

    Add in top (cable) pull or bottom pull, and a few other options and you have a bunch of different FDs. SRAM has 43 different XO FDs.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    No. Some frames are top swing (low clamp) only, some are bottom swing (high clamp) only, some can use either. Some use direct mount--no seat tube clamp (and 3 different types).

    Add in top (cable) pull or bottom pull, and a few other options and you have a bunch of different FDs. SRAM has 43 different XO FDs.
    How do you know what your bike can use?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 208Ryder View Post
    How do you know what your bike can use?
    If you already have a FD, just look at what's on there now. If you are building from scratch, call the frame manufacturer or look on their website or google the frame FD specs.
    If this all fails you have to look at the frame and figure it out the old school way. There will be a cable stop for the FD cable. If it is high up on the seat tube, you need a top pull. If the cable stop is on the bottom of the seat tube or on the BB shell (or anywhere else down low), you need a bottom pull.
    Now you have to figure out top vs. bottom swing. With the crank and chainrings installed, you can figure out where your derailleur should be mounted. You have to figure out where there is clearance for the clamp and figure out how it needs to swing. Take plenty of measurements. I could pretty much tell just by looking at the frame which way it needs to swing without having clearance issues.You also need to measure the seat tube diameter to know what clamp diameter you need.
    If it is a direct mount, there will be mounts for it on the frame near the BB. You will have to measure the distance between the mounting bolt holes to figure out the style you need. The rest of the measurements above apply to swing and pull.

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