I need to replace the front derailleur on my friends bike, this one is old and rusted, its a shimano FD M191. I've read a bit about what I need to know before I buy a new one but I just wanted to be sure before I make the plunge. Please excuse my newbiness...

The current one has a down pulling cable fix and serves 3 cogs, from what I gather these are the only factors that I have to ensure my new derailleur caters for. Is this correct? Can anyone recommend me something sub $30 that would work, and is there anything else I need to consider?


  • 1
    You need to look at the mounting e.g. clamp (diameter is important) or direct mount
    – mattnz
    Jul 14, 2019 at 22:55
  • sheldonbrown.com/front-derailers.html - and bike.bikegremlin.com/1297/… will be helpful.
    – mattnz
    Jul 14, 2019 at 23:50
  • Go to a bike shop and see what they have in their scrap parts bins. Jul 15, 2019 at 0:09
  • 1
    is the old one completely unserviceable? A bit of rust can be polished off, and most mechanisms can be improved by a good clean and lube. Some gentle filing can clean up damage too.
    – Criggie
    Jul 15, 2019 at 0:23

1 Answer 1


There are several criteria when selecting a front derailleur. Top, bottom and now side cable pull. Some Shimano models are both top and bottom compatible. The mount type, seat post clamp mount (correct diameter or have an adapter), bottom bracket mount or direct mount. The derailleur must be compatible with your crankset size. This is usually specified by a maximum number of teeth. It must also match the number of ring gears on the crank (double or triple). It must also match the chain 8,9,10 etc, speed. There is some overlap on 7 and 8 speeds that will work with both.

  • 2
    A front derailleur is a lot more versatile than the rear. I've happily used a 5 speed front mech to shift a 9 speed chain on a triple crank from a 7 speed.
    – Criggie
    Jul 15, 2019 at 0:21

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