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I recently purchased an '04 Trek 4100. I havent rode in years.Well Im looking to upgrade the front drailleur from the stock Shimano top-swing C051 to a Shimano Deore LX unit. I guess my is which one should I use another top-swing unit or a link-type. Not sure I know what the advantages or dis-advantages are to either. Im also considering a rear drive train upgrade from 7 speed to 9 speed soon.

Thanks,
Sinkhole

'04 TREK 4100
DRIVETRAIN:
SHIFTERS: Shimano EF29
FRONT DERAILLEUR: Shimano C051
REAR DERAILLEUR: Shimano Acera
CRANKSET: SR XCC100 48/38/28
CASSETTE: Shimano HG40 14-34, 7 speed
PEDALS: Nylon platform
 

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Sinkhole3000 said:
I recently purchased an '04 Trek 4100. I havent rode in years.Well Im looking to upgrade the front drailleur from the stock Shimano top-swing C051 to a Shimano Deore LX unit. I guess my is which one should I use another top-swing unit or a link-type. Not sure I know what the advantages or dis-advantages are to either. Im also considering a rear drive train upgrade from 7 speed to 9 speed soon.

Thanks,
Sinkhole

'04 TREK 4100
DRIVETRAIN:
SHIFTERS: Shimano EF29
FRONT DERAILLEUR: Shimano C051
REAR DERAILLEUR: Shimano Acera
CRANKSET: SR XCC100 48/38/28
CASSETTE: Shimano HG40 14-34, 7 speed
PEDALS: Nylon platform
Looking at that parts list, it is pretty much bottom of line. If you don't plan on riding much, or just occasionally, all parts you have are fine. If you want to upgrade to a 9 speed system, it will cost plenty. You have to make sure bike is worth it at that point. Since it started life as a 7 speed, I would say probably not. Changing out the front derailleur, unless there is a problem with it, will make absolutely no difference. Save your money. I would ride the wheels off it for awhile and see if you want to get back into it. Then it would be time to upgrade bike frame, etc.
 

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Front derailleurs are one place you're ok to skimp: they're brute force components and the lighter weight and/or higher priced ones don't necessarily tend to shift any better or last any longer. I would honestly be happy with a Deore level front mech, regardless of what the rest of the drivetrain is comprised of.

If you have top swing currently, you may not be stuck with it as long as you have clearance on your seat tube (i.e. no water bottle bosses or frame gussets). I prefer bottom swing (high clamp) over top swing (low clamp) units because of their beefier construction. There are a lot more pivots, and a lot of stamped metal parts on a top swing derailleur that can lead to bent cages and premature wear. Bottom swing, on the other hand, uses two nicely forged arms and four straight-through pivots and, for me at least, seem to last forever.
 

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Hi Nate,

I think you have the two types reversed in your above post. Bottom swing derailleurs have less pivots but top swing derailleurs are more compact and take up less height on the seat tube.
 

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CharT said:
Hi Nate,

I think you have the two types reversed in your above post. Bottom swing derailleurs have less pivots but top swing derailleurs are more compact and take up less height on the seat tube.
Oops, yeah, I said that wrong. I'll edit my post. Thanks.
 
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