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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anybody gone to the dark side and added a front derailleur?

I have a crankset that will allow me to swap dual rings back on. I have a frame that accepts direct mount and side swing/front pull derailleurs. You can get XTR level front shifters and derailleurs for 80% off.

Would you ever put one back on?

I ask because I miss my front derailleur (a little). I never found them that hard to tune, and being able to drop the equivalent of four gears at the rear was awesome living out here in new england where the terrain goes up and down, rather than gradual shifts in grade. Plus, with a smaller ring you get an increase in antisquat, which can help you climb steep grades (IMO/experience it does), then you can shift back up at the top and lower pedal feedback/antisquat for the ride down. I'd be running a 10-42, and do not need additional range, but want a big change in gear ratio with a single shift.

What do you think?
 

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Up In Smoke
Dirt Roadë
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Sounds like a great deal on the XTR, I haven't put it back on yet but I'm strongly considering it on my trail bike. The trails in my area are fast and hard packed so I'm frequently running out of gear. Its not a big deal, but I do miss it. You've got your reasons, don't wait for our approval because most probably wont approve.
 

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Would you ever put one back on?
I've got two proper MTBs. Cube Fritzz 180 and Mondraker Crafty RR+. On Cube I've got an FD and you'll have to pry it out of my cold, dead grasp. Crafty, on the other hand, is 1x specific. I bought it partially on the hype train for the 1x, partially because I thought I could jerry-rig one if need be.

It turned out, that in spite of me trying, I can't get an FD there.

I love how the Crafty handles. I really do. I'm a clyde ( 6'5" ) and with Forward Geometry it is a great bike. But I absolutely despise the 1x. So now I am in a deadlock, which is most likely end me selling the Mondraker, in spite of me liking it otherwise.

Knowing myself. I'll probably sell the bike and get something else. And mount a triple on it to overcompensate.

What do you think?
Don't get me started...
 

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Loud tyres save lives
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I currently have 2x10 on my fat bike and 1x11 on the plus bike, if the latter could take a front derailleur I wouldn't hesitate to stick one on as like you I miss being able to get that bigger jump up and down in one click on the front derailleur. The front derailleur works well on the fat bike for me, the cassette is much cheaper and gives better range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you do put one on, make sure your RD has the wrap capacity to handle the increased gear range.
I would do a 26/32 setup or 28/34 and currently have a mid cage rear derailleur.

My cassette would likely be an XD 10-42, as it's sooo much lighter than my current XT 11-40 setup, though the XT would pair well for obvious reasons with the dual ring setup.

I think the mid cage should do fine with such a narrow spread on the front, but can't really say for sure.

The other question I have would be what chain to run. I purchased a PC-X1 from SRAM to run with my new X1 cassette. I can't find anything that says it is or is not compatible with front derailleurs, but I also suppose that has more to do with the ramps and pins on the rings rather than the chamfers on the chain. I doubt very much that the geometry between the x1 is different than the 1170, but don't have any real world evidence. I usually try and match my cassette and chain brands, but in this case the front is going to be mismatched no matter what.
 

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My Trek Remedy 29 came orginally with 2x11, but when I bought it used it had been converted to 1x11. I'm not young/strong enough, so I put it back to 2x11 and am a happy camper. I run 26/36 in front. 26/32 isn't a lot of range.

AM.
 

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Hitching a ride
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I have the fd on the Shimano 11 speed bikes that will still take them. Reason being, that if these were pure race bikes I'd be 1x, but often I just want to fart along in the small ring and see the countryside. My cassettes are also cheap, and I do have that 3 gear equivalent shift you talk about. With the 10t difference in rings and Shimano front shifting technology, it works perfectly and I like it a lot.
 

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I didn't go back to a FD but I did add a granny gear back onto my crank for as a long climb gear. Didn't want all the extra baggage that comes with a FD (FD, cable & shifter)

So now when I know there is a long 5 min+ (most are 30-50 min) climb I hop off press the chain in and rotate the crank back a half rotation. When I'm at the top ready to descend I pull it out & do the same. It's quite nice to have all those climbing gears rather than just 1 or 2.

If it's just a short climb I'll grind it out with the big gear, got to strengthen those legs!
 

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I would do a 26/32 setup or 28/34 and currently have a mid cage rear derailleur.

My cassette would likely be an XD 10-42
So that's a 6 tooth difference on the crank and 32 on the cassette for a total of 38 teeth.

Medium cage XT8000 derailleur has a max wrap capacity of 39 teeth and max cog of 46 so you should be good.
 

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Running 2x11, 24/34 in front and 42 big in the back. It's a great set-up. Excellent climbing gears with no big changes in rear gear sizes as I move down the cassette. Moreover, FDs are notoriously reliable.

The only hitch is that I have to run the dropper lever above bar. But that's not a huge deal.

Most high-end bikes today are incompatible with FDs.
 

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slow
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I've had no problems with front derailleurs in the 42 years I've been using them. The weight of the other chainring, derailleur, and shifter is often significantly offset by the weight of an extended range cassette, and the cost of replacing a standard range cassette is usually significantly less than replacing an extended range cassette.
I have been considering putting the front derailleurs back on the 1x9 bikes I converted last year because the taller gears on my 2x10 bike usually have me grabbing it for rides that include a few miles to and from the trailhead.
 

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I've had no problems with front derailleurs in the 32 years I've been using them.
+1

This sentence from above just baffles me, "Didn't want all the extra baggage that comes with a FD (FD, cable & shifter)" baggage? It's a simple shifter, a short cable, and a front mech. It's a really convenient way to move that chain from one ring to the other without getting your fingers greasy!

One of my sons did the dual ring, no FD thing, but he insists on running a narrow/wide chainring due to previous incidences of tossing a chain at an inopportune time. I don't ride as fast as he does.

AM.
 

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I recently added a dropper post w/ the left side thumb lever. I now find myself occasionally pressing the dropper lever for a shift - problem is my bike has a 1x drivetrain. No desire or need for additional gear range but after running 2x for many years having that dropper lever there must trigger some muscle memory.
 

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I would do a 26/32 setup or 28/34 and currently have a mid cage rear derailleur.

My cassette would likely be an XD 10-42, as it's sooo much lighter than my current XT 11-40 setup, though the XT would pair well for obvious reasons with the dual ring setup.

I think the mid cage should do fine with such a narrow spread on the front, but can't really say for sure.
I'm very happy with my SRAM 2x11 set-up:

Shifters: (2016) SRAM X0 front, (2017) X01 rear
Front Derailleur: Shimano XT M8000
Rear Derailleur: SRAM GX "2x11", 11-speed long cage
Cassette: SRAM XG-1199 10-42
Chain: KMC X11SL
Cranks: Cannondale SISL, 26/36 CNC Rings (FSA)

I think I'll try Garbaruk 10-48 the next time I go to the Alps though...
 
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