50. How To Install a Front Derailleur
Removal and installation of a standard clamp-on front derailleur.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I'm re-bearing, lubing, and overhauling my wife's 1969-70 Gitane Grand Sport Mixte, and I'm showing here the 'status' of the re-build... Expenses so far: ! $40.00 if I split the cost of tools in half!
Overall she's happy with the improvements in bearings and lube, and she's 'buying' the improvements in the braking system that hasn't arrived yet... but..
As only a wife can do... She says: "You know, I like the location: (Stem Shifters) of what you have on 'YOUR BIKE', and wish I had the same on: "My Bike"...... I have to reach too far to change gears..... Read more >>
Looking the bike over for needed parts, this one is the most obvious...right (rear) shifter pod's indicator lens is gone. It's an older 18 speed Gary Fisher Tassajara with Shimano Deore shift components...dual lever (rapid fire?).
Left pod is numbered 3 2 1 from left to right. Any suggestions on what to look for as a replacement? Plan on replacing both cables, etc. while I'm at it.
Thanks in advance!... Read more >>
Hi I have a Orbea Onix T105 Road Bike which is 10 speed but would like 11 speed, is it a nightmare to do or do i just buy 11 speed cassette and switch it over ?... Read more >>
Hi, I just buy New Shimano XTR m980 shifters, I took it off from the box and tried to shift up and down. I realized that it's so hard to downshift the right shifter. Other things work amazing.
Would anybody tell me how fix that?... Read more >>
I've just gotten my 1980s road bike running again. I'm loving it, except that after over a decade of integrated gear levers, I'm finding the old-school stem-mounted friction levers quite awkward. I've just become too used to being able to change gears while braking, which feels essential for manoeuvring in real-life city traffic.
I'm wondering how realistic a task it would be to upgrade them to use combo style levers. I know I'd probably have to replace the entire gear system, but I think it'd be worth it. But do indexed gear systems take up more space on the a... Read more >>
I bought a set of Aluminum with Ball Bearing Pulleys for my early 80's Peugeot. But before I could receive them, my Wife's 1970 Gitane pulleys broke/crumbled on a ride.. Both Gitane & Peugeot use similar Simplex systems.
They were the ONLY 10 Tooth 6MM pulleys I could find.
When I got them this past weekend, I put them on the Gitane, but found the shim type pulleys were 10.5MM thick, and the aluminum BB pulleys were 6.5MM wide. Chain rubs against side mounts. I found M6 Stainless Steel washers, and put one on each side of new pulleys.. Chain clears the s... Read more >>
Currently going through a DIY upgrade of my road bike. Already made the mistake of trying to turn a 9 speed into a 10 speed but am too stubborn to go back and it's kind of fun to learn how it all works. I now have an Ultegra 6700 10 speed cassette and need to pair it with a new 10 speed shifter. I have been reading about actuation ratios and want to make sure the shifter is compatible. Would a Shimano 105 5700 STI lever fit with this 6700 series Ultegra cassette? Also would I need to upgrade my rear derailleur which is a 105 9 speed or could it do in a pinch?
Thanks... Read more >>
I recently purchased a new 2013 BMC Race Machine with a full Red grupo. Despite everything I had read about the Red Yaw FD and its ability to handle the entire gear range without trimming, I experienced chain rub. So, I decided I would simply take the time to learn how to adjust the FD myself.
I made several mistakes, and I would love any and all assistance:
1. I neglected to tighten the inner limit screw so that the FD was over the big ring, prior to releasing the cable. My understanding is that, having done this, it will be very difficult fo... Read more >>
OK, so a while ago I noticed to get into the lowest gear (largest sprocket) on the rear I had to apply extra pressure onto the shift-lever.
Now my bike does not even get past fourth gear, this is whilst it is on supposed 1st gear (on the shifter). At the moment it only has a range of 3 available sprockets to use. Also, on the gear shifter, it only goes from 1, to 2, then only just onto 3 (it feels extremely weak, rather than 'clicking' like the front gear shifter does), the rear shifter is not able to go into 4.
I decided to open up the rear shifter and see if there was anything w... Read more >>
Hi, whenever I've got a 6 speed mountain bike, but whenever I switch into the lowest gear, the chain slips off of the freewheel into the frame and is a paint to pull out again. When I put the bike up into the stand, it switches to lowest gear fine without coming off at all. It seems the pressure of my feet on the pedals makes it slip off. Just wondered if you had any suggestions? thanks.... Read more >>
I am trying to upgrade my 50/34T 105 chainset to an Ultegra 6800 46/36T system with all the appropriate 6800 components
Unfortunately there is not enough adjustment on the braze on front derailleur to enable me to achieve the recommended 1 - 3mm gap between the top of the big ring teeth and the bottom of the derailleur. The closest I can get is 4.5mm due to the smaller diameter of the 46t chainring.
I am not sure how critical this is but if it is critical to the smooth working of the system then the only solution I can see is to buy a new 50/34T Ultegra chainset which I don't reall... Read more >>
My son Supercycle 1800 has Falcon FIS 6 speed thumb shifter, which is stuck in 2nd gear and its lever is also broken.
I would like to replace it but could not find anything which worth cost, especially which is with in my rice range ( as the bike itself is not expensive)... Most of the time cost goes up because of shipping cost to Ontario, Canada.
I was wondering if someone could tell me what is compatible with Falcon Derailleurs? As that will help me pick alternates for thumb shifter..
Thanks in advance... Read more >>
my brand new mountain bike's shifting is very bad. the chain keeps moving between gears by its own and it doesnt shift right when i want it to. i must keep holding on the shift down hand a bit so that the chain stay in place.
i thought messing a bit with the limit screws would solve it but i think i have over done it and made it worse.
what should i do?... Read more >>
I've read quite a few posts in other forums about these derailleurs breaking apart while riding. I have one on my 83' le tour luxe in great condition and was interested in finding out more about it. I haven't seen any reference in posts to exactly where the derailleur was breaking apart at. Has anyone had any experience with these and what is breaking apart on them?
Thanks!... Read more >>
New to the forum and it looks like a lot of helpful info here.
Now that that's out of the way,
I have a problem locating a part for my down tube shifter. It's a flat washer that has a small hook or tab on it that sits inside the shifter. The hook part has a crack and is starting to break off. Does anyone know where I can get a replacement part for it?
Thanks... Read more >>