If your bicycle has seat tube that uses a 34.9mm clamp size front derailleur, DO NOT PURCHASE THIS DERAILLEUR, 34.9mm is larger then 31.8mm and it is physical impossibly to make it fit .
The 105 5504 9 speed triple front derailleur
*Made for 9 speed drive trains
*Works on older 7&8 speed systems.
*It is uses the down pull cable design.
*It works with all Shimano road shift levers.
*works with classic 52-42-30 front chain ring set up's and others that new Shimano derailleurs can't .
*Fits frames with 31.8mm seat tubes and can be used with shims to fit 28.6mm seat tubes (shims not included)
Brand new, old stock Shimano 105 9 speed triple road front derailleur.
This is a brand new Shimano 105 9 speed road 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 a bottom pull Derailleur with means the cable pulls down from the bottom of the frame , pretty much all road bicycles are set up this way .
This derailleur is quite rare now 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.
Now here are the technical details and why this derailleur is so special
Shimano made a change in 2009 on the design of all their front derailleurs, so that they only work with very specific chain ring combinations that have a 11 tooth difference between the large ring and the middle ring , using the newer triple Shimano derailleurs on older chain ring combinations results in poor to nonexistent shifting .
This 105 triple 9 speed front derailleur is much more versatile , designed to work on front chain rings with 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 chain ring combinations 52-42-30, 52-39-30, 48-36-26, etc, work fine with this derailleur.
You can see the difference between this derailleur and the new ones if you look and the shape of the inside cage, the new ones are much bigger and lower , this means they hit the middle chain ring when you try to use them outside of specifications they are narrowly designed for .
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. Shimano coated these with corrosion protective oil / grease coating that has in some cases has become dried out , you may have to use a little solvent to clean it off if you care and want the chrome finish to shine to it's full potential .
If you want a perfect jewel like finish you should buy a 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 also make an excellent replacement for Shimano Sora FD-3304 & Tiagra FD-4403 derailleurs that have the spring braking issues as the 105 FD-5504 is a stronger design.
If you want to look at the gritty details of Shimano derailleur specifications they are on their web site at http://techdocs.shimano.com/techdocs/index.jsp
More derailleur knowledge
this 9 speed derailleur will also work with a 7 or 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 7 or 8 speed derailleur, this is due to the 7/8 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 7or 8 speed derailleur . if you are replacing a lower quality 7 or 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 Shimano road shifter's (STI) , 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 .