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Hey everyone my 04 Trek has Ultegra rear which works wonderful but has a Tiagra front derailer that seems to lag and not always transfer when I want it to like the Ultegra does on the back. I was considering purchasing one off Ebay or something, is there a certain type or size that I am looking for to go on my bike it is a size 58.

Also is there much of a benefit to move from the Bontrager Race crank to Ultegra?
 

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I would upgrade the FD to a 105 (triple)*, if you get a good deal on an Ultegra great, but not necessary IMO. The thing that you need to know is the seat tube diameter (or if it is a braze-on type). Just doing a quick check on the TREK website, yields no answers. My guess is that it is a 32mm clamp, but I don't know.

As for the cranks, is there a reason to upgrade them? Are they stiff enough, do you not like the gear range - what result are you looking to get from having them changed?

*Any FD of the 105 quality level could be used, be it Shimano, FSA or Sram - Whatever, you can get the best price on. (the 2006 1500 is shown as a triple, the 2004 page would not load)

You could always move to a Compact Crank and lose the triple (and a little extra weight and a little better shifting). But, you would have to add a new BB to the list and you would no longer be limited to a triple FD, you could use a standard or compact.
 

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josh51699 said:
derailer that seems to lag and not always transfer when I want it to like the Ultegra does on the back.?
This sounds more like a cable and housing problem instead of a derailleur problem. Tried lubricating the cable and cleaning out the shifter?
 

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True, it may be a simple adjustment. The FD is usually the last part I tend to worry about, but the quality difference between an 04 Tiagra and an 06 105 (or comparable) could be sizeable. Especially, with his interest in possibly upgrading the crank as well.
 

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Fundamental issue

josh51699 said:
Hey everyone my 04 Trek has Ultegra rear which works wonderful but has a Tiagra front derailer that seems to lag and not always transfer when I want it to like the Ultegra does on the back.
You do recognize, do you not, that a front derailleur is NEVER going to shift as crisply or quickly as a rear. I have never seen or heard a FD system that doesn't occasionally miss a shift - the RD is very reliable and predictable in comparison. Whether you would see a big improvement going to Ultegra on the front is an open question because it would involve your shifters, cables, setup, chainrings, chain, and even your ability to properly operate the shifter.
 

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The 1500 Trek is a fine bike as is, but I can't see spending money on unnecessary upgrades. Clean it, maintain it, ride it, save your money for your next bike. If that Teagra FD is functioning properly it will shift as well as an Ultegra.
 

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why not . . .

. . . pick up a new or lightly used 105 (or fsa, but not campy) front derailleur (gotta get the right size: triple or double and seat tube diameter are key) on ebay, and take the bike to a good lbs and ask them to install/check it. That way, you'll get a new/better FD *and* the shop will deal with any adjustment/maintenance/cable issues that may be involved.

Its common for bikes to come with a better quality rear derailleur (which sees much more action) than front derailleur. Less common to have *two* steps in quality between the two (as you have: ultegra/tiagra). This solution covers all the bases, deals with the one sore spot you're having with this bike, shouldn't cost more the $100 tops, and keeps you happy on this bike for another year or two or three . . . until you're ready for a step up. Good luck.
 

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I have a 2004 trek 1200, its the same frame and all but the rear derailer is a 105 not a ultegra. I've just finished up changing all my componets over to the new 6600 double. the new crank is a ton smoother and looks nicer then the bontrager crank, and about a pound lighter (maybe not a pound but a lot lighter). I never had any problems with the front derailer, it would alwess shifted really well. So I think any shifting problems you are having is in cables or the adjustment, I wouldn't jump and go buy a new frount derailer just yet.

Steve
 

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My stock Tiagra triple FD shifted fine when new, but after 1000 was not nearly as crisp. Elected to get a 105 (rather than the extra $$ for Ultegra). With same cables & shifters, the 105 was a significant improvement.
 
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