Shimano 105 triple front derailluer 9 speed FD-5504
This is a brand new Shimano 105 STI 9 speed front derailleur; part # is FD-5504. It is designed to work with a 52-42-30 triple crank set and others, clamp diameter is 31.8 mm (1 ¼), you can also clamp this derailleur on seat tube that is 28.6mm (1 1/8) with the use of a front derailleur shims (this part is not included with this derailleur but almost all bicycle stores stock them). It is bottom pull .
These are hard to come by as Shimano stopped making all upper end front derailleur’s, 105 and above in 9 speed in 2007 and the new 10 speed ones only work with 10 speed drivetrain , making it a pain to upgrade parts on a 9 speed system.
This 105 triple front derailleur is new old stock (NOS), made in 2003, these originally where shipped from Shimano in bulk packaging for bicycle production so there may be a little scuffing here or there, from the way they where packaged by Shimano. These are brand new. this is the way they look when they are installed on new bicycles at the factory. If you want a perfect jewel like finish you should buy a new derailleur in aftermarket packaging and should probability be looking at the Dura-ace level of components where the finish is close as close to prefect as Shimano can make it in a production environment.
these are compatible with all models of shimano road STI 9 speed shifters, and work with many chainring combination's that the new ones will not work with .
these are an excellent replacement / upgrade for the Shimano 9 speed Tiagra triple FD-4403 that has the spring tab failure problems , just make sure you need a 31.8 clamp size .
Now here are the technical details.
This 105 derailleur is designed to work on front chainrings with a minimum tooth difference of 10 teeth between the large and middle ring, and a total max tooth difference of 22 teeth between the large and small rings. For example a 52-42-30, 52-39-30, 48-36-26, etc.
Now why is this so important? Because Shimano in their infinite wisdom has decided that for 2009 all of the road triple front derailleur’s they make, both 9 & 10 speed will have at the least a minimum requirement of an 11 tooth difference between the large and middle ring, for example a 53-39-30 or a 50-39-30 works great , but when you try to use one of these new derailleur’s on a 52-42-30 set up or other chainring combinations with a 10 tooth difference the lower part of the cage on the front derailleur runs in to the middle chainring .
this 9 speed derailleur will also work with an 8 speed drive train and shifters , but you may have a little more chain rub in the cross gears then you would if you had a 8 speed derailleur, this is due to the 8 speed chain being a little wider then the 9 speed chain , the cage on an 9 speed derailleur is also just fractionally narrower then cage on an 8 speed derailleur . if you are replacing a lower quality 8 speed derailleur you will probably see much better shifting with this 105 9 speed because there is a lot less flex and play in this derailleur due to better materials and tighter production tolerances ,and that translates to more precise shifting .
Shimano Road front derailleur's are designed only to be used with road shifter's , Shimano mountain front derailleur's are designed only to be used with mountain shifters , the pull ratios on the front derailleur's are different and will not work if you mix them up. Shimano also makes a R400s & 700s series of special front derailleur's that are not compatable with their road or mountain shifters and can only be used with special R400s & 700s shifters .
Really want to use a flat handlebar with a road drivetrain ?
if you want to use a Shimano road front derailleur with a flat handle bar , your options for getting mountain shifters to work with a road front derailleur are; The custom shift converters that I machine, these allow Shimano road front derailleur's to work with Shimano rapidfire mountain shifters , I sell the converter with the derailleur as a package for 45.00 , I list these by request , if you would like to purchase one contact me and I will post a listing for you .
other options are; Sram grip shifter's that have micro adjust on the front shifter, classic friction thumb shifters and Paul's flatbar Bar-con converters .
To find out if this clamp size fits your bike you will need to either look at the front derailleur that came on the frame , most are stamped with a size on the inside of the clamp of the derailleur OR measure the outside diameter of the seat tube where the derailleur clamps to the frame.