Dura Ace FDR Cage Aluminum?
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  1. #1
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    Dura Ace FDR Cage Aluminum?

    I'm debating between using a Dura Ace 9150 or Ultegra 8050 Di2 front derailleur on a conversion from Mechanical to Di2, and remember seeing someone had a broken FDR Cage on a Dura Ace. I know it's marginally lighter than Ultegra, thought maybe Aluminum might be used to lower the weight and that might fatigue. If you have one, a quick check with a magnet would tell the story on either of the 2.

    I'm assuming its the same for 9070 or 9150 but could be wrong. Not sure there's any reason to get one over the other if I go the Dura Ace route.
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  2. #2
    Rub it............
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    Just go with the Ultegra. It will shift the same, weight a few grams more, and costs less.
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  3. #3
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    not much difference in weight for sure, like 28 grams on the current version. But I have seen some Dura Ace on occasion sell not much more than Ultegra on Ebay is why I ask, particularly 9070 vs 8050
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  4. #4
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    My Ultegra Di2 FD cage broke, just say'in.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    I'm debating between using a Dura Ace 9150 or Ultegra 8050 Di2 front derailleur on a conversion from Mechanical to Di2, and remember seeing someone had a broken FDR Cage on a Dura Ace. I know it's marginally lighter than Ultegra, thought maybe Aluminum might be used to lower the weight and that might fatigue. If you have one, a quick check with a magnet would tell the story on either of the 2.

    I'm assuming its the same for 9070 or 9150 but could be wrong. Not sure there's any reason to get one over the other if I go the Dura Ace route.
    I have no knowledge of this, but it would be very surprising if they used an aluminum cage. If they did use aluminum there would have to be some sort of wear surface because the Al wouldn't hold up worth a darn. And speaking generally, Al would be a poor material choice for this service.

  6. #6
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    I can't believe they'd make it out of aluminum. The carbon Campy ones are bad enough.
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  7. #7
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    If you have one, a quick check with a magnet would tell the story on either of the 2.
    Unless it's stainless. Then a magnet wouldn't tell you.

    I'm 99.99% sure it's nickel plated steel. There's no way it's aluminum. I can check mine tonight if you don't get an answer.

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    Pretty sure its steel. The only other material that has been used for the front derailleur cage besides carbon is titanium & we all know how that went (Sram). Aluminum would be a very poor choice indeed.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    I'm 99.99% sure it's nickel plated steel. There's no way it's aluminum.
    It's nickel plated steel.

  10. #10
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notvintage View Post
    It's nickel plated steel.
    Surprisingly no. Just checked mine. Not magnetic at all using a rare earth magnet. I checked two Ultegra di2 FDs and they're both highly magnetic.

    I still don't think it's aluminum though. Just doesn't look like it. Maybe titanium or stainless steel.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Surprisingly no. Just checked mine. Not magnetic at all using a rare earth magnet. I checked two Ultegra di2 FDs and they're both highly magnetic.

    I still don't think it's aluminum though. Just doesn't look like it. Maybe titanium or stainless steel.
    Interesting - thanks for checking! Titanium to make it lighter would make more sense on Dura Ace - like other's said I just can't imagine it being Aluminum with the loads it carries and the fatigue issues for something that thin, and I don't think aluminum could be plated in a way that is durable in that application either.

    I ended up finding a good deal on a FD-R9150 so it's on the way.

    Given a couple finds on Ultegra cages breaking also now, life is probably not a point of differentiation between the two, it's the price of the powered vs mechanical shifting and maybe people not pedaling fast enough when shifting up the rings.
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  12. #12
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    like other's said I just can't imagine it being Aluminum with the loads it carries and the fatigue issues for something that thin, and I don't think aluminum could be plated in a way that is durable in that application either.
    It can be. You have to copper or zinc plate it first then you can electro plate it with nickel or chrome.

    I ended up finding a good deal on a FD-R9150 so it's on the way.
    Congrats. You'll be fine.
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  13. #13
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    I've found a couple of sites that have confirmed the Dura Ace 9150 cage is nickle plated aluminum, here's one -

    https://glorycycles.com/shimano-dura...nt-derailleur/

    On a positive note, it shifts great and fast under a load with 53/39 chain rings, very happy with it if it lasts.
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