More Front Derailleur Options for Snow Bikes, Courtesy of Problem Solvers

Let’s face it, small parts such as adapters, spacers, cables, etc. are usually not parts that you would lust over, spend hours on forums debating, or waffle between brand allegiance as you try and spec out your next bike. Yet, as anyone who has attempted to build a bike only, to be thwarted due to one tiny incompatibility can attest, it’s usually the small stuff that can make or break the bike’s completion.

No one knows this better than the folks as Problem Solvers, which is why they have dedicated themselves to providing “compatibility solutions for Bike People.” PS continue to build on that notion with their newest product, the direct mount front derailleur adapter. Originally, the direct mount front derailleur adapter was just that; a way to install a direct mount front derailleur to a bike with out a direct mount.

Then PS realized that the new adapter had greater implications, and the possibility for “smart-ass laser-etched graphics.”

Intrigued? Read on after the break!

Don't step on the front derailleur. Got it?

Anyone who has ever built a Surly Pugsley, or similar Fat bike with a 100mm bottom bracket, knows the limited amount of front derailleurs that are compatible with the design. Namely, the need of an E-type front derailleur that mounts under the bottom bracket shell due to the increased distance of the crankset from the seat tube. You would think that the new adapter would be great for increasing the number of compatible derailleurs for such bikes, however the limited clamp sizes currently offered will limit its use. Offered only in a 34.9 clamp, with included shims for 31.8 seat tubes, the adapter is one size too big for bikes such as the Surly Pugsley, which have a seat tube slightly bigger than 29mm. Shimano still offers SLX through XTR E-types, but not everyone wants to have to deal with mounting the derailleur under the bottom bracket shell,  so it would be nice if the direct mount adapter could provide an alternative for steel frames.

Obviously, anyone with an aluminum fat bike with the proper sized seat tube, will benefit from the new adapter, but it will allow smaller frame builders an easier option for front derailleurs (no need for an E-type front derailleur “peg”).  More importantly, if you wanted to run say, a Sram XO 2×10 or 3×10 front derailleur, the adapter route would be the only way to go. The adapter is only compatible with the Shimano “High Direct” Mount standard, which both Shimano and Sram make. Currently the only offerings from Sram, are the two XO models, which will be available in the near future, and could signal more to come in the future.

Not only does the new adapter allow for more front derailleur choices, the adapter will also allow for more vertical adjustment than an E-type derailleur, if you want to get crazy with the gearing on your snow bike.

Two models of the adapter are available, one with spacing for a 73mm bottom bracket shell, and the other for the 100mm bottom bracket fat bike frames which both will retail for $40. Pick one up online at Problem Solvers, or check out your local bike shop!

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