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

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Hello. I'm new to this message board - thanks for reading this.
I'm almost at my witts end with adjusting my wife's mountain bike. It's about 15 years old, Specialized brand 21 speed. Original Shimano shifters seem to be locked up - I've read that the grease hardens over the years. I tried loosening them up with Brake Clean spray, but to no avail.

I found a new pair of Shimano Shifters online (Amazon Prime) with very good reviews, so I decided to completely replace the ones that were on the bike.

The installation was easy, but adjusting the shifters - front ... Read more >>

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The other day I bought a mountain bike secondhand and have been researching it's problems trying you find the best solution. I managed to reattach the rear brakes after the cable had come out of a couple holders on the frame. I put air in the tires and took it for a test run only to find that the gears, which I fully expected to give me trouble, not only don't work so great, they actually won't shift at all. Both shifters (twist shifters built into both handles) click when turned, and visibly affect the cable tension, which does seem loose to me (though I know nothing about bikes). I used the ... Read more >>

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Hi guys,

I've followed these instructions
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Properly-Adjust-The-Front-Derailleur-On-You
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What happened to my shifter?

Thanks for the help in advance... Read more >>

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Hi Guys!
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Hope I phrased it in an understandable way! its hard to write it out without pointing at stuff Smile... Read more >>

05/26 Derailleur locked up

EDIT: RESOLVED

Hi,

I wonder if anyone can help with an issue I'm having with my rear derailleur.

I'm not really sure how to describe this but you can see here http://tinypic.com/r/2cwogbb/8 (direct images not working...). Basically when changing gears, the mech (which has recently been professionally fitted) locked up in the stretched out position and now I can't get it back. It has happened a few times before and released itself, but no joy this time.

Sorry if this is discussed el... Read more >>

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04/24 Rear Derailleur Suicide Into Spokes.

[Image: bike.jpg]
http://tinyurl.com/qdrsr3z

[Image: ke2.jpg]
http://tinyurl.com/mnroxc2

My bicycle had been shifting erratically on its own.  I downshifted and immediately after downshifting a loud CLUNK jammed my tire.  This is what the damage looks like---is this ... Read more >>

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here is a stock pic of the bike

[Image: MTX116BK.jpg]



*UPDATE*
I have found what one... Read more >>

04/21 Removed front derailleur.

i have  Hunter Shadow from years ago, probably the 80's, not a high end bike from Hunters in California.
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03/31 Rear Derailleur.. I have no idea what I'm doing

Hey guys, I'm a total novice when it comes to working on bicycles and I read through a lot of posts and I watched some youtube videos but I am really confused on how to get my derailleur back on.  I was trying to get my back tire off to change the tube and some how the derailleur inadvertently "fell off".  Also, a small metal piece fell off with(I did not see any screws land anywhere), which I have no idea where it goes or what it is for.

I don't know hardly any of the biking terminology so it has made it even more difficult for me to understand what I need to do to get it back... Read more >>

03/20 Block spacer

My new 10 speed Shimano 105 block came with a skinny aluminum spacer, which was intended to fit behind the block.  Does this always need to be fitted or is it for special circumstances?  I also have new 10 speed specific wheels and the chain does clear the spokes without the spacer.  The new chain is not smooth under pressure, could taking out the spacer be a solution?   Thanks.... Read more >>

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Dear friends, I wanna buy a bike that will provide me both road and trail usage. and it should be also economical. There are lots of level of quality between shimano accessories such as Tiagra, Xtr.. and also same thing for Sram. Could you advice me the correct hierarchy between models acc to price. And advice a bike for both road and trail usage.Thanks in advance.. http://bikebest.net/versus/... Read more >>

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