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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought my first bike an 08 RM Soul, the front derailleur is an Altus (cheap I know) and I was wondering what my upgrade options would be. Preferably I would like something compatible with the other drive train components.

The derailleur seems to skip a lot, I can do about 3 or 4 rotations of the crank before it seems to catch. I will be bringing it to the LBS to see if then can tune it to work better but I am not holding my breath since it is such a cheap component.

Relevant info:
Brake Levers Shimano ST-EF60 EZ Fire
Shifters Shimano ST-EF60 EZ Fire 8spd
Gearing (FR) Shimano Altus
Gearing (RR) Shimano Deore
Cranks & Chainrings Shimano FCM09 42/32/22

Link to bike...http://www.bikes.com/main+en+01_102+bikes.html?BIKE=179&name=Soul#2

Thanks in advance,
Richard
 

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Front shifting performance is more sensitive to shifter adjustment (especially to get on and off the middle ring) and the detail in the chainring shift ramps and pins than derailleur quality. You'd actually have a bigger bang for shifting buck with new chainrings. Not sure if those Shimano cranks have replaceable chainrings or if they are riveted on.

The biggest difference between front derailleurs is in weight as you go up the price scale.
 

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Unless it is set up badly it is more likely to be the chain rings on the front causing it not to catch and shift up but Deore and LX are the next ones up.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
rockyuphill said:
Front shifting performance is more sensitive to shifter adjustment (especially to get on and off the middle ring) and the detail in the chainring shift ramps and pins than derailleur quality. You'd actually have a bigger bang for shifting buck with new chainrings. Not sure if those Shimano cranks have replaceable chainrings or if they are riveted on.

The biggest difference between front derailleurs is in weight as you go up the price scale.
I am very new at this, I have only had the bike a week and a half and I have ridden it everyday since, yesterday I needed a larger range of gears as I hit some hills, etc; perhaps what I am noticing is typical behavior?

Additionally I think with that particular crankset the chainrings are not removable.

I will bring it to the LBS and see if it improves after their experienced hands tune it, otherwise I guess I will use it til it breaks and then worry about upgrading. I have not been prevented from doing anything due to this, I kind of expected things to work better. I have a fairly high opinion of Rocky Mountain's, but perhaps not for their starter bikes, or drivetrain selection anyway anymore.

On a plus side I always learn more when things don't work out the way I would like them to.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone.
Richard
 

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You can't do front shifts under load, you really do need to let off pedal pressure to let the chain find it's way up or down between rings. Also the front shifts can be sluggish of you're at either extreme of the rear cassette.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was a bit more cautious on my ride home this evening and everything was about as smooth as I would expect. I didn't realize shifting under load/uphill would be like that, but now I know. It was a bit disheartening to know I bought a bike I consider better than most department store bikes but it didn't seem to be behaving like it. I guess I am a bit overly critical at times, oops.

Thanks again, I really appreciate the assistance, the joy and comraderie I have already experienced in only my second week of riding is pretty awesome.

Richard
 

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It takes a while to develop the finesse of shifting, knowing what gear combos work best and which ones should be avoided, even braking without skidding and modulating front and back brakes to maximize stopping fast without crashing. Each brand and model of drivetrain have their own quirks, so you just need to size up your bike's personality and get used to each other.
 
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