I'm trying to restore an Eddy Merckx (saved from the bin) from ca 2002.

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It has mostly Campagnolo Record parts. Both the levers and front mech were badly broken when I got it. I found a pair of new Campagnolo Xenon 9 Speed Ergopower levers that shifts good on the rear.

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I cannot find any new front derailleur. What can I replace it with?

I'll use it for commuting and if possible I can absolutely live with mixing brands (eg. a Shimano front mech).

Any ideas?

Thanks a million in advance :)

Update: sorry for confusing with the word restore. For this bike I'm l looking to make a good and robus commuter. Not to make it back to original.

After reading up quite a lot I have found out that almost any Shimano front, made for two chainrings and 9 cogs back, would work just fine. Have not verified it though.

I'll see if I can find an ok campa on eBay otherwise try with a cheap Shimano.

  • Welcome to Bicycles @Ola. I most say that I don't understand how replacing a Campagnolo derailleur with a Shimano one constitutes *restoration. Esp when Campag parts are readily available online. But your best bet is to find a LBS that specialises in Campag. They'd prolly have an old FD lying about.
    – andy256
    Nov 5, 2016 at 20:57
  • Front derailers are pretty generic. You need one that matches, mounting-wise, and that has the same "pull" direction. Even if the indexing amount is not quite the same between derailer and shifter, most front shifters provide for "trimming" which will produce reasonable function, after you get used to it. Nov 6, 2016 at 2:01
  • Thanks for your replies. Andy: I haven't found anywhere to buy a 9-speed campa. Some are availabe on eBay but quite expressive. Daniel: on my xenon levers I think that will work. I can trim on the way up to the big cog buy not on the way down.
    – Ola
    Nov 6, 2016 at 5:45
  • If you're commuting on the flat, you can do what I did for a month - simply go without a FD mech. I just put the chain on the big chainring and rode like normal. If I bounced over gravel or pedalled really fast the chain might unship to the middle chainring, but it never fell off the outside. This is just a temporary workaround until you find the campy part you need for less-than-crazy money.
    – Criggie
    Nov 6, 2016 at 12:19
  • Secondly - what's wrong with the front mech? They're rather coarse mechanism, not overly refined or precise. Is it completely unserviceable?
    – Criggie
    Nov 6, 2016 at 12:20

2 Answers 2


The difference between 9 and 10 speed Campagnolo front derailleurs is a black piece of plastic inside the cage that can be snapped out. So, the big spender solution (22€ part to fix a bike that cost above 2000€ as new) is to get a 10 speed front derailleur and remove that piece.

  • I think this is the good answer. Also I believe the Xenon 9 Ergo left in question has the "Escape" mechanism, Campy's name for it when they went from lots of little clicks to a couple big clicks a la Shimano. If that's true it's going to work better with a Campy 9 FD despite maybe being able to be kludged with a mismatch. Nov 6, 2016 at 17:37
  • Yes, Xenon 9 is the first Escape Ergo. For the microadjustable Ergos any FD would work, I'm using one with triple chainring and old STX-RC.
    – ojs
    Nov 6, 2016 at 19:41

You could convert your entire front gears to shimano/sram, mixing Campagnolo with either of these can cause massive headaches. Whilst that would be cheaper in the long run, I would pay the money and go Campagnolo - its worth it. It would also eliminate the need for new shifters.

  • Could you explain how an entire set of Shimano/Sram would be cheaper than single front derailleur?
    – ojs
    Nov 6, 2016 at 13:08
  • I meant in the long term as stated - because then next time there would be no need for Campagnolo and cheaper Shimano/Sram could be used. Nov 6, 2016 at 13:24
  • 1
    How often do you break front derailleurs and how much exactly do you pay for them?
    – ojs
    Nov 6, 2016 at 14:01
  • I have had my Valkyrie Airborne for 14 years now and have gone through three front mecks - as you know with campagnolo is very costly. I would have saved money had I taken the plunge and converted to Shimano. Nov 6, 2016 at 14:13
  • I don't know your budget, but for me 22€ for a derailleur front every four years isn't that much. I don't know how often those generally break, though, I have never broken one in 15 years.
    – ojs
    Nov 6, 2016 at 14:49

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