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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anybody tells me the differences in performance between these two front derailleur?
When I brought my Top swing XTR, it was told me that it's lighter and more rigid, is it true?
 

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Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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4,730 Posts
Not In My Experience

The bottom swing design is usually stiffer and more durable overall. The weight is a toss up and varries from year to year as to which version is lighter. I have a few bottom swing derailleurs that are under 120g stock.
 

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The frame will generally dictate what type you have to use anyway. The better one is the one that is better built. Generally speaking top swing is better. Wider pivots and very short arms that push straight out against the seat tube = less flex and slop. Theoretically they should also be less damage prone because they have a lower profile with most of the mechanism tucked away behind the post rather than sticking out the side. However the design still has a lot to do. For example top swing XTR's have always been known to be extremely durable and will last forever with no slop because they have wider links and pretty large pivots that take a very long time to wear out. On the other hand the old 750 XT/570 LX models actually lasted less that bottom swing models because they were rather underbuilt as a lower end part. They were cheaply made and riveted with tiny pivots. The newer series fixed that and gave it all of the XTR level benefits.
 

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Derailleurless
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I'll have to defer to Hecubus' opinion.

I have a strong distaste for high swing (low clamp) front derailleurs after destroying a few XT's a few years back.

Side-by-side comparisons versus the traditional high clamp design revealed lots of stamped parts, a bunch of cheap rivet pivots, and underwhelming cage support. Contrast that to forged linkages and four long pivot pins on typical LX-quality high-clamp.

Based on Hecubus' statements, I'll have to assume the designs have been appropriately re-engineered and my scorn is no longer founded (pardon me, I haven't used derailleurs for a few years).

In any case, hold the two types side by side and note how truly different they are from one-another.
 
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