Front Derailleur Cable Breakage: Round Two

Shift at Small Chainring
Shift at Small Chainring

This cable guide / pulley may work better than the one described there, because it puts the cable a bit closer to the original location.

To recap, the problem is that the cable bends around the small finger at about 8 o’clock on the derailleur arm. After a few zillion shifts, the concentration of stress at that point breaks the cable, strand by strand, until it snaps at the most inconvenient moment.

The small brass disk (about 0.43″ dia) has a groove machined around the perimeter that’s roughly the size of the shifter cable.  The hole (Number 8 or 9 drill) is a slip fit for the 5 mm bolts, but it’s off-center enough that the cable passes roughly where it would without the disk.

A notch in the side of the disk rests on the finger, guiding the cable over the finger without (I hope) bending it at that point.

The cable just wraps around the screw under the original stainless-steel washer, which pretty much crushes the poor thing flat.

Shift at Large Chainring
Shift at Large Chainring

Here’s another look with the derailleur pretty much over the large chainring. You can see the disk and groove in action.

This was another quick-and-dirty lathe project, with everything done to eyeballometric accuracy. If it works better than the previous half-assed effort, I might actually get around to making a third one and recording the dimensions.

One thought on “Front Derailleur Cable Breakage: Round Two

  1. I tend to have the same prob, though with a standard geometry MTB.
    Front derailleur cable breaks strand-by-strand at the retaining clamp every 2 to 3 months of daily urban communting (about 15 miles per day).
    It was the case with a 10 yr old top-pull LX derailleur and it’s still the same with a new top-pull LX derailleur…
    I do use the front gear a lot (stops and traffic lights…) but this just seems too much.
    My only explanation is the frame geometry, which may be forcing the cable to make too much of a bend out of the clamp, so a slight softening of the bend with a cable guide like yours might be the solution.

    Please do keep us posted on the effectivness of your solution.

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