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  1. #1
    I should be studying...
    Reputation: frank daleview's Avatar
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    New question here. front deraileur question:

    Top or bottom swing? Why choose one over the other?
    Formerly known as iceaxe

  2. #2
    On MTBR hiatus :(
    Reputation: Speedub.Nate's Avatar
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    Often depends on your frame. Some frames will only fit one or the other. The need for top swing (low clamp) derailleurs stemmed from full suspension bikes, although many FS rigs use bottom swing (high clamp) derailleurs.

    If given the choice, I prefer traditional bottom swing units. The use fewer pivots, sturdier linkages, and better cage support.

    Compare the two types side by side and you'll instantly identify the top swing weak points -- the excessive reliance on stamped metal construction and multiple tiny pivots -- that cause them to bend and fail in mysterious ways while bottom swing units seemingly run forever.

  3. #3
    Baby Bear is in the house
    Reputation: r1Gel's Avatar
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    stamped metal

    Is the stamped metal construction on top swing derailleurs an inherent part of the design or is it just Shimano's way of cutting costs?

    Now that you've mentioned it, my Deore top swing looks cheap [not that it's high end ] compared to my ancient bottom swing MountainLX unit


    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    Often depends on your frame. Some frames will only fit one or the other. The need for top swing (low clamp) derailleurs stemmed from full suspension bikes, although many FS rigs use bottom swing (high clamp) derailleurs.

    If given the choice, I prefer traditional bottom swing units. The use fewer pivots, sturdier linkages, and better cage support.

    Compare the two types side by side and you'll instantly identify the top swing weak points -- the excessive reliance on stamped metal construction and multiple tiny pivots -- that cause them to bend and fail in mysterious ways while bottom swing units seemingly run forever.
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  4. #4
    On MTBR hiatus :(
    Reputation: Speedub.Nate's Avatar
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    From every one I've seen, the stamped construction is the only way they can make a top swing work. There's so little room between the seat tube and the chainrings that it'd be tough to insert something beefier.

    Compare your top swing to this photo of this high clamp Hone I recently got rid of on ebay. Note how the swing arms are forged, the pivots go all the way through, and the cage is held at both the outer and the inner plates. There's no comparison -- this beats a low clamp every time.

    speedub.nate
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  5. #5
    Baby Bear is in the house
    Reputation: r1Gel's Avatar
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    Is that Hone fd a dual-pull design, i.e., can be used for both top and bottom pull frames? I just might get one...

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    this beats a low clamp every time.

    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  6. #6
    Baby Bear is in the house
    Reputation: r1Gel's Avatar
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    thanks for the quick reply!
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  7. #7
    On MTBR hiatus :(
    Reputation: Speedub.Nate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rigel
    Is that Hone fd a dual-pull design, i.e., can be used for both top and bottom pull frames? I just might get one...
    Yup, dual pull.
    speedub.nate
    MTBR Hiatus UFN

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