Shimano Ultegra 6800 Front Derailleur

Single-minded.

Front derailleurs are pretty single-minded, so we were initially a bit bemused that Shimano insisted on making as many changes as it did to the latest generation of the Ultegra 6800 Front Derailleur. The 6800 model borrows design cues from its more expensive Dura-Ace cousin, which manifest visually as a much longer pull arm. This creates more leverage at the point of chain contact than a shorter pull arm, so shifts are faster and more responsive while requiring less cable pull and a shorter shift lever stroke.

  • Longer cable pull arm for precise, responsive shifting
  • Compatible with Shimano 6800 11-speed
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Very good shifting

    One thing that I desperately need with a front derailleur is the ability to go from small to big ring in a hurry after smashing up a hill. I had Campy Centaur and Shimano Sora before and often had to manhandle the shifter or just stop pedaling to get the chain over. Not with Ultegra. It's a crisp, reliable shift with not much effort. It's also easy to install. As one of the other reviews notes, you really should be sure to have a barrel adjuster on your cable to dial in the tension.

    My one gripe is that the long arm design does have a drawback. When you drop the chain to the small ring, the cable end will brush against your leg as you pedal unless you cut it really close to the bolt.

    Smooth, reliable.

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Ultegra front derailleur is smooth and reliable. I use it on a compact crank in the mountains around Salt Lake City. It handles the abuse.

    Unanswered Question

    Will the braze on fit a Cervelo S2 ?

    Shimano Works...

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    Building up a new bike and chose Shimano because of my previous experience with how well these parts work.

    SMOOTH

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    This derailleur is smooth like butter. Shifts precisely and timely with no delay. Doesn't skip a beat.

    For a Specialized Tarmac Sport 2015, which option should I use? Braze On?

    Anybody?

    Looks like you'll need a braze-on from pictures that I have seen.

    Smooth Shifting

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Once you get this front derailleur dialed in, it shifts like a dream. Huge improvements over previous Ultegra versions and a nice welcome to 11 speed road!

    Smooth shifts

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I can't speak as to the engineering changes from the Ultegra 6700 series to this new Ultegra 6800 series, but I can say it works great. I have the full Ultegra 6800 11 speed drivetrain with Shimano's polymer coated cables and the combination is as good as Dura Ace a couple of years ago. Chainring shifts are always awkward but with this setup it is a short throw and change is smooth. Another excellent system from Shimano.

    Smooth shifts

    Requires a tension adjuster

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times



    Turns out this derailleur requires a tension adjuster. Maybe there's one built-in to your your frame, but if you have a modern frame you probably don't have one. For whatever reason, the description here doesn't mention this requirement. Maybe it's because Competitive Cyclist doesn't stock barrel adjusters.



    Once you get the barrel adjuster installed, you'll be able to get enough tension in the cable for reliable, crisp shifts. Until then, you'll be wondering how the thing could possibly work.



    I have mine working flawlessly without any barrel adjusters.

    I think it's not mentioned because it is just kind of known. Every front derailleur I have ever installed on a road bike in the last many years has need a barrel adjuster of some sort. If your frame is externally routed, it probably has it built in. But an internally routed frame will need an inline adjuster installed somewhere between the shifter and where the housing goes into the frame.

    I can't say I've ever seen a description of a front derailleur that specifically says it needed a barrel adjuster. Just sayin

    Can this be used with the 6700 shifter? I...

    Can this be used with the 6700 shifter? I know shimano has some requirements with their newer sets.

    Nope. It's an 11 speed cassette and your shifter only works for 10.

    The 6700 and 6800 front shifter both are 2 speed so I thought that FD6800 should also work on 6700 parts in the back unless FD6800 front shifter uses a different cable or has a different gear shifting design than the 6700 model. Any thought?

    Best Answer

    It should "work". The new 6800 FD has a cable tension pin that can be adjusted on the FD its self. Depending on your bike and angle of the cable you need to set the pin properly. There is a wicked amount of tension in the cable with the 6800 FD. I am sure Shimano knows this when they designed their 6800 shifter. So while it will work, might not be 110% like we are used to with Shimano components.