This Shimano XT Traditional Triple Front Derailleur FD-M781 isn't that far removed from the front derailleur on your first mountain bike (we'll assume that you've been at it as long as we have). It's what we call a traditional or high clamp or bottom swing. Confused yet? The traditional design includes the new direct mount, though it carries the M781D designation. This derailleur uses Shimano's Dual Pull lever arm so cable routing can come via the top or down tubes. And like its top swing brethren, this XT Triple Front Derailleur has a cage radius and plate shapes that are optimized for use with their 24/32/42t Dyna-Sys triple crankset.
The Shimano XT Traditional Triple Front Derailleur FD-M781 is available with a multi-clamp that works on 28.6, 31.8, and 34.9mm seat tubes. The traditional high-clamp/bottom swing design works well for hardtails and full suspension bikes with pivot locations above the bottom bracket shell. It works with a maximum 42t chainring size.
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I have this mounted on my Tallboy LTC. When I look down at it from my seat, all I can think is how bomber and durable it looks. It functions even better than it looks, with a solid Clang! every time I shift. It's a good feeling not having to second guess or "manually"push your chain from one ring to the next.
Probably one of the better derailleurs made, in terms of function. Front derailleurs aren't a real finicky bunch, but XT fronts always seem to shift nice and powerfully, and don't take too long to get in just the right spot when you're installing.
Does its job
But could be lighter...oh thats what the XTR is for
Shimano claims that the newly designed cage is narrower and puts the chain on the selected chain wheel every time. So far, I have no complaints.