I'm rebuilding an old bike and have an existing crankset with 52-42-30 chainrings. I'm looking for a front derailleur. Most of the triple front derailleurs I've come across say they don't support a 50 tooth chainring.
According to the documentation I've been able to find, the Claris triple front derailleurs are designed for 50 tooth chainrings and the mountain (Acera and others) are specified as supporting 48 tooth or lower depending on the models.
Sheldon Brown states
If you use a front derailer with a larger ring than it is meant for, the rear of the cage will get too close to the chainring before the front of the cage is close enough to provide crisp shifting.
What is the tolerance for this in practice? Can I use a derailleur designed for 50 tooth? Would a 48 tooth one be close enough, since I might be able to find a 48 tooth one at a better price?