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Replace front derailleur (newbie)
#1
Hello all. I'm brand new here. I just decided to try and fix up my old bike. It's a crappy old Free Spirit 12 speed. The first issue is that the front derailleur is no longer working due to rust. I need to replace it.

I'm sure I can't just buy any front derailleur so what are the things I need to know to ensure that I buy a compatible derailleur? Are there measurements I need to take, etc? The old derailleur is a Falcon.

Any help is appreciated.
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#2
Well, when you starting out with very little knowledge about these things, I'd suggest browsing through Alex's videos to find one that might help. The next step would be to get that bike to your LBS and have them take a look at it.
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#3
This is (most probably) not an indexed dérailleur (it doesn't click to certain positions when shifting), so there are is one less thing to watch out for. Things that have to be correct are:
- mount option (some are attached to a tab that is soldered to the frame)
- seat tube diameter (for those that come with a clamp)
- maximum number of teeth
- minimum number of teeth
- (number of speeds in the rear)
I put the last one in brackets 'cause I don't really know how important this is in your setup. Most probably it will work but need to be trimmed more often when shifting in the rear since 10 speed chains are narrower (on the outside) than 6 speed chains.
You could try making the dérailleur work with lots of penetrating oil and patience. On the other hand, a new front dérailleur is not that expensive.
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#4
Joe, thanks for the info. I notice you refer to this as a 6 speed. Again, I'm not only a newbie here, I'm a newbie to bicycle repair in general. I'm also looking for a replacement chain and I don't see 12 speed chains listed. I do see 6 speed chains. Is it typical to refer to the number of speeds only by the number of speeds on the rear cassette? Please forgive my ignorance.
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#5
Sorry Joe gonna answer this for ya Tongue (you can correct me Big Grin). Yes it is typical and common.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#6
Thanks Bill.
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#7
As also a newbie-ish I think maybe I can help a little:

1. yeah if a speed is almost always referring to the number of sprockets (toothed rings) on the rear cassette.
2. max teeth is important in a derailleur. max teeth means the largest number of teeth on the largest ring of the front chainset. Max teeth on the derailleur must be bigger than the teeth on the chainset.
3. capacity is the range of the front chainset. if smallest ring has 28 teeth and largest has 48 teeth then the range or capacity is 20.
4. the rest of the stuff is covered above. Hope it helps
Dave
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#8
Some thing not mentioned so far on fd, is it top pull or bottom pull? ie. if the cable comes from above or below, can be critical, although a few are now either, incidentally, this make is of pretty cheap quality.
If you fit a new chain and your teeth on chainwheel or rear block are badly worn, you may find you have problems with the chain not seating properly and you could end up having to replace all your transmission.
If there is a lot of rust about on other parts, I would get this assessed before you spend good money on what could be a worthless project.
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