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I'm working on an old (2007-ish) Specialized Hard Rock Sport, and failed to take any pictures of the cable routing before dismantling it.

I don't know what kind of front derailleur I have either, it's labeled a Shimano Alivio but I can't find a model #.

Bike

The cable comes up from underneath, as pictured here.

bike2

And then I believe it runs over the groove it's resting alongside here.

bik3

And then I assume it seats in the groove to the left of the bolt here? But honestly if you told me I had it backwards and upside down I'd believe you.

2 Answers 2

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I would agree - this is a bottom-pull derailleur, and the wire should lie in that curved groove. Then it will be clamped under a pinch bolt which is the silver screw pointing at your left crank in the top photo.

You should be able to action the mechanism with a lot of hand pressure, so as the curved ramp rotates down, then the chain cage moves to the right taking the chain to a larger chainring.

One trick - look under the bottom bracket and ensure the wire's routing looks right. There should be a plastic cable guide there, with one leg that goes to the rear derailleur and one that curves up behind the BB. These two channels should be cleaned and lightly greased to help the cables slide.

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Below you'll find a marked-up photo of yours that shows a couple of things. I do not believe the inner cable fits into the groove of that pinch plate. If we are talking about the same groove--the one associated with the shaped piece inside the pinch bolt. The groove is an artifact from bending an aspect of the plate into shape and not associated with the inner cable. Also note the leverage tab I've designated "LT." It's important for proper shifting that the cable goes over the end of that tab before entering the pinch bolt area. If it's not, shifting will be difficult, especially to the large ring, and excess cable tension will be required to shift at all.

op derailleur

The following photos show an Acera front derailleur that is also bottom pull. The pinch plate is shaped differently than yours but the anatomy of the area is the same. The final photo shows the correct cable route over the leverage tab and through the pinch plate and bolt. Note the model number of the derailleur stamped in the black piece below the limit screws. There or, most often, stamped into the inner aspect of the inner cage plate is where front derailleur model numbers can be found. You may have to swing the plates out from the clamp to view the stamping on the inner plate.

derailleur anatomy

This photo is another angle on the pinch bolt area. Note the groove between the two red dots. Machining artifact and not related to cable routing. groove

cable route

cable route2

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