I have a 2008 CAAD9R5 and would like to switch out the standard front double with a compact double. QUESTION: Do I also need to swap out the front derailer with one specifically designed for a compact?
You shouldn't, and Shimano/Sram shouldn't really make any difference (yes I'm aware Sram markets their FD as being designed to accommodate both standard and compact cranks). As long as you remember to re-position your FD to compensate for the smaller chain ring you should be just fine. I haven't met anybody who says FSA's compact-specific FD really made a difference (but then again my circle of cycling friends certainly isn't all-encompassing!).
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