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My bike features a Shimano Acera 9x3 gear shift system. My front derailleur is off and I'd like to upgrade it instead of just adjust or replace it. Can I replace it with a front derailleur of the Alivio series?

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OK, they work with the same shifters and the same chain, but they are NOT all compatible with your frame. FD-M3100-M is front pull while your FD is down pull (at least it is mounted like that).

Most FDs are dual pull, that means both top pull and down pull is possible.

Altus FD-M2000-DS3 FD-M2000-DS6 (down swing)
Altus FD-M2000-TS3 FD-M2000-TS6 (top swing)

and

Alivio FD-M4000-DS3 FD-M4000-DS6 (down swing)
Alivio FD-M4000-DS3 FD-M4000-TS6 (top swing)

are dual pull. Your hard tail should be accommodate both swing (low clamp/high clamp) versions. You currently have top swing (low clamp).

So yes, you can go to Alivio, but be careful which piece you buy. There is not just one Acera and one Alivio.


Old answer:

Yes you could, but there is really very little to be gained. The function is the same (I assume both are supposed to be 9 speed, from your description) and the weight difference will be a few grams. Both lines are relatively low-end so not really an upgrade. And even if you upgraded to some old Deore XT(R?), there is very little to be gained by upgrading the front derailleur in general. They are quite crude instruments and the rest of the drivetrain remains the same (including the shifters).

All these are considered equivalent for the front drivetrain compatibility by the Shimano Compatibility Chart

FD-M4000-TS3
FD-M4000-TS6
FD-M4000-DS3
FD-M4000-DS6
FD-M4000-M
FD-M3100-M
FD-M3000-TS3
FD-M3000-TS6
FD-M2000-TS3
FD-M2000-TS6
FD-M2000-DS3
FD-M2000-DS6
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  • from another forum I got the information that my acera fd uses a down pull mechanism while the Alivio series fd uses an incompatible cable pull mechanism. meaning I could not replace Acera with Alivio. is that correct? – Raffael May 30 at 20:40
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    @Raffael It depends on the actual type. For example, the trekking and MTB FDs are not compatible. Those listed above certainly are compatible. You can trust the Shimano compatibility chart. Unfortunately, you did not indicate the exact FD you have and your photos are behind links. I will check which Aceras and Alivios are downpull. – Vladimir F May 30 at 20:44
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    For completeness, I've heard them called "top pull" and "bottom pull" depending which way the cable arrives at the front derailleur. – Criggie May 30 at 22:04
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    You are right, I wanted to write about that, the swing is less important. FD-M3100-M is front pull, that is more important that it is side swing although these are related. – Vladimir F May 30 at 22:21

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