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I have a Sora 2x9 front derailleur, and a Tiagra rear derailleur. I want to upgrade the Sora component. Do I need to be concerned about anything other than getting another 2x9 front derailleur? Thanks.

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    Yes, chainring size. Also, seat tube size and whether it's top or bottom pull (possibly, I'm not sure whether either of those have that an an option).
    – Móż
    Dec 1, 2015 at 1:37
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    Also braze-on vs. clamp attachment. I think the Sora is clamp only but I'm not sure. Dec 1, 2015 at 2:06
  • And aside from top or bottom pull there's the angle of pull. Some are designed to expect the cable to feed in from the left, others from the right. Dec 1, 2015 at 2:23
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    There isn't really a point to upgrading the front derailleur normally -- it doesn't really improve shifting or anything much as you go up in model ranges, just gets a bit lighter. This is why you see a lot of bikes use a lower tier front derailleur (save some money and use it somewhere else).
    – Batman
    Dec 1, 2015 at 4:00

1 Answer 1

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You need to be make sure the new front derailleur is compatible with your existing shifter and cable. If your shifter is Shimano, it's best to stay with a Shimano part for this one, to ensure compatibility.

I understand where you're coming from and the front derailleur shifting can be frustratingly marginal. If it's that frustrating you might look at going to 105 or even Ultegra, depending on the parts and price you find.

The (assumed) sketchy front shifting could also be a function of worn/bad cables and housing, and even shifter. It's probably worthwhile to replace that shift cable and housing as part of your upgrade. Or even try the shift cable and housing replacement first before upgrading the derailleur. Someone may have installed a less-than-optimal cable and housing for your particular derailleur.

If you really feel like going for it, you could get a new shifter too. But that's a slippery slope... of course you'd have to replace both shifters to match, etc.

In the meantime, you could find someone else who's really good with derailleur adjustments to try adjusting it one more and see if you get lucky... Just not whoever adjusted it last time! Worth a shot... The derailleur clamp positioning on the seat tube may have shifted enough to cause crappy shifting. If that's happened, the adjuster screws may not get the job done, and the clamp may need to be loosened and repositioned to get the cage in the right spot in relation to the chainrings and chain. Someone who is really good with these will usually spot that, as well as cable/housing issues.

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