Mountain Front Derailleurs


Mountain Front Derailleurs

While many cyclists have transitioned to single chainring set-ups for mountain biking (which do not require a front derailleur), there are still plenty of riders utilizing mountain front derailleurs. And if you happen to be one of these double chainring (or even triple chainring) hold-outs, has you covered with mountain front derailleur options from brands such as Shimano, SRAM, and Microshift.

Mountain front derailleurs move your chain side-to-side from one chainring to the other via a small cage that the chain passes through. A bar mounted shift lever controls the cage’s movement via cables, or wires in the case of Shimano’s Di2 electronic shifting system.

When the rider clicks the front derailleur shift lever it moves the chain from one chainring to the next. This “derailment” makes it easier to pedal when the chain moves onto a smaller chainring, or harder to pedal when the chain jumps up to a larger chainring.

When properly set-up, the chain will only touch either side of the front derailleur cage when the shift is executed. Any chain rub outside this instance indicates an improperly adjusted mountain front derailleur. A movable arm, typically a parallelogram mechanism, assures proper cage alignment, while a pair of limit screws keep the chain from being shifted to the inside or outside of the chainrings, better known as dropping your chain.

When shopping for mountain front derailleurs, make sure you know which type of drivetrain and the number of chainrings (which can be two or three), and the front derailleur mounting style. Some are secured to your bike’s frame via a band or clamp that’s bolted around the seat tube. Others bolt directly to a mount that’s attached to the frame. If you’re not sure about the answers to any of these questions, give one of’s Gear Advisors a call today at 951-234-7554. They can help guide you through the mountain front derailleurs selection process.