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  1. #1
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    Braze-on front derailleur with a clamp? Why?

    I'm building up a Klein Q-Pro and was curious why frame makers use braze-on front derailleurs, but require a clamp on them. Why don't they just spec. in, or offer, only clamp-ons? Another way to pose the question, why don't they just braze-on the lug, or leave it off and use a real clamp-on front derailleur?

    Perplexed,

    JT

  2. #2
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    braze ons cost more...

    It takes additional time and effort to weld, braze, or glue and rivet a "braze-on" mount to a frame. It's easier and cheaper to use a clamp-on type, but you have to be careful installing a clamp-on or you may mar the paint.

    Clamp-on adapters are made so that folks who already have a braze-on FD can use them on any frame. That's one small advantage of a braze-on FD, an adapter clamp can be purchased to make it fit anything. Some adapters even have vertical travel, so they function like a true braze-on mount, but they are not as pretty.
    Last edited by C-40; 07-28-2005 at 10:23 AM.

  3. #3
    Big is relative
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    To add to the previous post, they make it easier to set up a compact crankset IMO. Some braze-on hangers don't provide enough adjustment to move the FD down for the smaller big ring. Problem solvers makes a nice black one if want that look or are like me and are allergic to shimaNo. The shimano adaptors do work well.

  4. #4
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobiedog
    I'm building up a Klein Q-Pro and was curious why frame makers use braze-on front derailleurs, but require a clamp on them. Why don't they just spec. in, or offer, only clamp-ons? Another way to pose the question, why don't they just braze-on the lug, or leave it off and use a real clamp-on front derailleur?

    Perplexed,

    JT
    Shimano does not make all sizes of clamp-on FDs. With some seat tube sizes, the only choice is a clamp adapter and a braze-on derailleur. - TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurboTurtle
    Shimano does not make all sizes of clamp-on FDs. With some seat tube sizes, the only choice is a clamp adapter and a braze-on derailleur. - TF
    Clamp-on front derailleurs are commonly available in 35mm (1 3/8"). Do any manufacturers make seat tubes larger than this? If not, then surely it must be cheaper and easier to make a shim to fit a regular clamp-on derailleur special diameter seat tube than it is to make a special clamp-adapter for that diameter.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark McM
    Clamp-on front derailleurs are commonly available in 35mm (1 3/8"). Do any manufacturers make seat tubes larger than this? If not, then surely it must be cheaper and easier to make a shim to fit a regular clamp-on derailleur special diameter seat tube than it is to make a special clamp-adapter for that diameter.
    35mm is about as big as you can go and still have the front derailleur function properly and for the usual clamps and braze ons to fit.

    Special clamp is lighter than clamp and shim, and also prettier.

  7. #7
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    Clamp plus shims

    Quote Originally Posted by terzo rene
    35mm is about as big as you can go and still have the front derailleur function properly and for the usual clamps and braze ons to fit.

    Special clamp is lighter than clamp and shim, and also prettier.
    Interestingly, the new SRAM X-Generation front derailleur is only made in a 35 mm clamp version, and is delivered with shims to fit 31.8 mm and 28.6 mm seat tubes.

    SRAM Front Derailleur

  8. #8
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    Braze On vs. Clamp On

    Is there any detriment to using an adapter to convert a braze on FD to a clamp on? I have a braze on Red FD that I was thinking of porting to a new bike. The adapter is $20. I can buy a new Force FD for $60. I was thinking of going with Force anyway because while just a few grams heavier, the Force FD is stiffer than Red (pro teams with Red typically use Force FD for the stiffness).

    Does shifting suffer with the adapter?

  9. #9
    Roadie with unshaven legs
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    In theory there is more flex with an adapter in place. In actual use, you won't notice it. These days I tend to buy braze-on FDs and use adapters as I can always use it without an adapter if I move it to a different frame but I cannot do that with a clamp on FD if I'm going to try to use it on a frame with a braze-on mount.

  10. #10
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    I had one instance where the front derailluer wouldn't go close enough to the seat tube to avoid chain rub while using a brazeon/adapter clamp. I switched to a dedicated clamp on style, and there was enough difference to cure my chain rub problem. So if you have a choice, go with the clamp on derailluer, just keep in mind that if you swap components at a later date, it may mean you have to get a different FD.

  11. #11
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    nope, no problem at all with the adapter.

  12. #12
    kytyree
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squidward
    In theory there is more flex with an adapter in place. In actual use, you won't notice it. These days I tend to buy braze-on FDs and use adapters as I can always use it without an adapter if I move it to a different frame but I cannot do that with a clamp on FD if I'm going to try to use it on a frame with a braze-on mount.
    This is how I look at it as well so I buy braze-on and adapt them as needed.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurboTurtle
    Shimano does not make all sizes of clamp-on FDs. With some seat tube sizes, the only choice is a clamp adapter and a braze-on derailleur. - TF
    I can understand Shimano and Campy not making clamp-on FDs in all sizes, but they won't even make the braze-on adapters in all sizes. Granted you can get a third party clamp for much less, but come on, can't they give steel frame owners (28.6mm) at least *that* much love?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobiedog
    I'm building up a Klein Q-Pro and was curious why frame makers use braze-on front derailleurs, but require a clamp on them. Why don't they just spec. in, or offer, only clamp-ons? Another way to pose the question, why don't they just braze-on the lug, or leave it off and use a real clamp-on front derailleur?

    Perplexed,

    JT
    Why use a braze-on FD? So you can put one of these on your bike .

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metaluna
    Why use a braze-on FD? So you can put one of these on your bike .
    Thanks for posting this link! I was looking for this exact part!!!

  16. #16
    Roadie with unshaven legs
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclust
    I had one instance where the front derailluer wouldn't go close enough to the seat tube to avoid chain rub while using a brazeon/adapter clamp. I switched to a dedicated clamp on style, and there was enough difference to cure my chain rub problem.
    Let me guess, the seat tube was 35mm in diameter?

  17. #17
    AJL
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    Good timing for me with this thread. I was trying to figure out what type of FD mount I had. It obviously wasn't a clamp. It looked like it was bolted on. I look up FDs and they are all braze on or clamp, WTH? So now I know it must be an adapter. Thx
    “In an honest search for knowledge, you quite often have to abide by ignorance for an indefinite period.”
    – Erwin Schrödinger, 1948

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