50. How To Install a Front Derailleur

Removal and installation of a standard clamp-on front derailleur.

IMPORTANT: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.
How To Install a Front Derailleur
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Today we'll learn how to replace a standard band-type clamp-on front derailleur. We'll cover the E-Type bottom bracket mounted derailleurs in a future tutorial.

Tools

For this job you'll need a 5mm hex key for the derailleur's mounting bolt, and a phillips(+) screwdriver to adjust the derailleur's limit screws and remove the derailleur cage bolt. If you are removing the chain you may need a chain tool depending on your type of chain. You’ll also need wire cutters and either a 9 or 10mm metric open end wrench or a 5 or 6mm hex key to remove and install the front shift cable.

Front Derailleur Removal

The first step is to shift your chain onto the smallest front chainring. Then pull off the shift cable's end cap and loosen the cable pinch bolt. Remove the cable from the derailleur.

Now you'll need to remove the chain from the derailleur. Some chains have a special connector pin that need replacing if removed, so if you don't need to remove the chain for cleaning or replacement you can simply undo the derailleur cage's tail screw and flex the cage open to release the chain. Rest the chain on the bottom bracket shell to keep it out of the way.

If you are removing the chain, disconnect a link and pull the chain through the derailleur cage. Now you can undo the derailleur's mounting bolt all the way counter clockwise to remove the derailleur from the frame.

Front Derailleur Installation

Before installing the new front derailleur, apply some waterproof grease to the mounting bolt. Then place the clamp around the frame and tighten the mounting bolt just enough to keep it in place. At this point you still need to be able to move it by hand.

Now adjust the derailleur's height and angle. For height adjustment, the bottom edge of the outside derailleur cage should sit approximately 2mm above the top of the teeth on the largest chainring. For the angle adjustment, rotate the derailleur until the cage is parallel with your chainrings. Then fully tighten the clamp's mounting bolt.

If your chain is still on the bike, undo the tail screw on the derailleur cage and flex the cage to pull the chain through. Then re-install and tighten the tail screw again. If you have removed the chain, re-route the chain through the derailleur cage and reconnect it. Search the site for tutorials on how to use a chain tool or a quick release chain link.

Front Derailleur Set-up

Now preset the low-limit (L) screw so the small chainring appears halfway between the derailleur cage when viewed from above.

Thread the shift cable back into the derailleur, pull it tight and tighten the anchor bolt so the cable flattens. Then find a bare stretch of cable and give it a good pull to make sure the cable is seated and has no slack. Then loosen the cable, pull it tight again and re-tighten it.

Now you're ready to adjust the front derailleur as shown in previous tutorials. If necessary, trim the cable so there is about 2 inches remaining. Then slide on a cable end cap and crimp it in place.

Tags

Discuss this topic in the Derailleur Forums

01/16 Single-speed to 8x geared conversion shifter problem

Hi all
new to the site; I'm sure this is something that has come up before, but I'm currently trying to do a single-speed to 8x geared conversion, with a downtube shifter.
I've got the dropdown hanger for the rear derailleur bolted into the drop-out (after reading advice from this site...thanks!), and the rear derailleur mounted.

The chain runs through the derailleur and smallest gear (and the front cassette) fine, and I've attached the cable into the derailleur OK. The derailleur adjusts position when I use the shifter, but the chain doesn't move with it. I can manual... Read more >>

01/04 Broken Campy Shifter Help?

Morning!  The shift paddle on my Campagnolo Centaur 10-speed left-side/front lever broke yesterday on my road/commuter bike.  Needless to say, I'm pretty upset with myself, and I'd like to get the bike back on the road ASAP with as little cost as possible.  To that end, a few questions:

1. Can I replace it with any Campy 10-speed lever?  eBay has some Centaurs, but there are a few sets of Chorus levers that are offered at lower prices.

2. Is it worth trying to get repaired?

3. Are there other options I should consider?

Thanks a ton!
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12/26 Failure to shift from 4th to 5th gear

I have a Giant Cypress DX purchased in Sep. 2015.  I am relatively new to bicycling, just started about 2 years ago.  I now little, if anything, about bicycles.  
I recently removed the rear wheel while cleaning the chain and rear cassette.  It was in 3rd gear when I removed the wheel.  When I put the wheel back on I put the chain on the 5th gear instead of the 3rd gear on the cassette(counted in the wrong direction).  I rode the bike and it immediately jumped to 5th gear on the shifter, which is where the chain actually was.  Since then when shifting from 4th to 5th gear it usual... Read more >>

11/24 Shifter/Cable Slack

Hello,

I am having some issues with a SRAM Apex rear shifter and the rear derailleur. I have pulled the shift cable tight and through the holding bolt of the rear derailleur and the barrel adjuster is turned all the way in clockwise. Shifting to easier gears works well, but shifting to the harder gears does not. The shifter clicks but the cable does not stay seated in the spool and remains slack when shifting to harder gears from easier gears ( see picture).
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11/15 Derailleurs

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10/28 Derailleur model

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I can't figure out the model of the rear derailleur
It's Shimano, but I don't know which one
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By-S838OebDHOEVuZFpWdm9uNHM/view?usp=sharing
Has anyone an idea?
Thanks... Read more >>

10/09 Chain skip

I've  a 9speed DA that is fine going up & down the gearing, but put a load on 1st, 2nd & sometime, the chain skips. I cannot get my indexing right to get rid of it, any thoughts?... Read more >>

09/18 Campagnolo shifter help

I inherited a bike with an Eddy Merckx frame about a year ago.  The bike has some Campagnolo components, including rear shifters which have an issue.  I'd rather repair the shifter than replace it because the bike as some sentimental value, and the longer I can go without replacing parts the better.

The thumb shifter usually locks when I try to shift, but if I hold the brake lever over to the right with my index finger the thumb shifter functions again.  My mechanic told me that a spring in the shifter needs to be replaced and that it can be hard to identify a compatible sprin... Read more >>

09/08 Tightening SL-M570 Thumb Lever

I have a Shimano Deore SL-M570 shifter (circa '00) that has a lot of up and down play in the thumb lever for the front derailer. Unless I press the thumb lever upward toward the body of the shifter, the loose condition causes it to miss the pawl to shift from the second to the third chain ring. If I open up the bottom cover on the shifter, it would appear that it can be tightened by the hex bolt that is visible, but there is a small metal plate underneath it, with two tabs that stick up on two sides of the bolt, apparently preventing it from turning ( Read more >>

09/07 Grip Shifter Replacement

Let's start off by saying I'm not mechanically inclined but like to fix on my own when able. I have, I'm guessing, a 15-20 year old 15 (3x5) speed Magna Outreach and the right 5 speed grip shifter (SRAM MRX 170-51) is broken internally and apparently 5 speed shifters are rare nowadays. My question is, will any shifter do or does it have to be compatible with the rear derailleur? I currently have a Shimano SIS rear derailleur. The reason I ask is, the old shifter has gear 1 almost 180 degrees away from gear 5. On the only 5 speed SRAM grip shifter I can find on the internet (SRAM MRX Comp), ... Read more >>

09/06 Chain Coming off Randomly / Front Derailleur

HI Guys,.. Got a real nice Trek 7.4 from craigslist the other day and the bike does ride like a dream... at least from what I'm used to (Wal-mart!)... But it does seem to have a gremlin that I can't figure out.  The chain will randomly come off the front gear set to the inside.  I've checked the inner limit setting and it's set so that there's just barely  any clearance between the chain and the derailleur when both front and back gears are set to the lowest gear.  It won't do it everytime,.. I don't see how it's even coming off, but it's happened 3 times in 2 days and it's driving me nuts... Read more >>

09/06 Rethreading chain - after derailleur dismantling (is it necessary to break the chain?

Novice question probably - so please be kind Smile

Unable to shift to small cogs on rear derailleur...so, I decided to do some cleaning of the derailleur as it was all gunked up. All good so far (except the shifter at the front still seems to be clicking to nothing - so perhaps I need to investigate the chain tension) but I've now created another problem with the chain.

Having dismantled the pulley and jockey wheel and cleaned them, and removing the chain... Read more >>

08/26 Blocked front derailleur?

I just changed the Altus lever (ST CT-15) on a mountain bike that had been sitting in my basement for a while.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By-S838OebDHLVNvTDA2aGNFaWc/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By-S838OebDHa3JCcERhZHRZU0U/view?usp=sharing
Using the lever, I can't have the front derailleur move up or down (left or right) for an unknown rea... Read more >>

08/08 A Front Derailleur mounting and matching problem.

Hello,

I have a Scott Sub (hybrid) from 2008. The stock components (mostly Shimano mountain bike components) were old and wearing out so i decided to strip the bike and replace pretty much everything with new and upgraded components. I decided to change the drive train to road bike components (a 10-speed rear cassette and a two-chainring set up front) and went about purchasing them.

Put everything on with the last major part being the front derailleur and it was here I ran into a problem. I’d bought a Tiagra front derailleur, FD-4600-B, and when it came to attachin... Read more >>

08/05 Shifter wont click

I have a 2012 Sram Red Groupset. I was replacing the cable for the front derailleur yesterday and i must have done something because now its fucked. Now when I put the cable in and attach it to the front derailleur it will not click into the correct position. The front derailleur will still move up onto the larger ring but after I take my finger off the lever it goes back into the smaller ring. Does anybody have any experience with this? what happened? adn how do I fix this?... Read more >>

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