Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 FD-9070 Front Derailleur $399.95
Dropping chains is old hat.
If the infamous 'Chain Gate' incident is permanently scorched onto the front of your brain, bringing wariness every time that you shift on a climb, you're not alone. Well, in a sense, you would be alone if the whole world rode the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 FD-9070 Front Derailleur. It's not like rub or dropped chains was ever not taboo, but now, with Di2 technology, they're as distant of a memory as wing nuts and dual-rod gear changers. Now, the only question that begs to be asked is, when will 21st Century mechanical front derailleurs be acceptable at L'Eroica? We're guessing soon.
Starting at the question that's on the tip of everyone's tongue, is it lighter than 7970? The answer is yes, but only by around ten grams. However, if you're like us, 9070's enhanced shift precision is more important than comparing lightweight to lighter weight. But, as long as we're making comparisons, you'll immediately notice that 9070 is far more compact than 7970, and the cable routing is simplified and cleaner. In fact, Shimano based the shape and connection points in tow with the Ultegra 6770 front derailleur. And along these lines, we find that the relatively confusing setup and wire cluster of 7970 has been replaced with Shimano's newest generation of its E-Tube electronics system.
Now, with your PC computer, you're able to make derailleur adjustments and setting alterations without even picking up a wrench. So, while you're manually rotating the cranks, E-Tube allows you to direct and adjust the cage in order to locate the perfect position. Of course, E-Tube also performs a complete system and problem diagnosis, pinpointing any possible human error as a result of improper setup or riding. This removes the slightest hint of shifting inaccuracy, essentially keeping your shifting system running on-point at all times, even if you don't possess a fiber mechanical aptitude.
We've forgotten to mention that the front derailleur has always been our favorite component of the Di2 series. Take yourself back to the first time that you tried, note that we said tried, to throw the chain. If your experience was like ours, you couldn't even get it to rub. Well, 9070 sees a continuation of this feature, only with more precise actuators. Accordingly, the cage movement is faster, more silent, and increasingly more accurate compared to 7970. Additionally, the front derailleur sees an enhanced return of the function that made the aforementioned memory possible, automatic trimming. Essentially, this feature adjusts the position and angle of the front derailleur, on-the-fly, in order to prevent the mere thought of chain rub. More importantly, this function also eliminates the possibility of dropping the chain under heavy shifts up or down the chainrings, regardless of how cross-chained that you may be. And given that we, literally, witnessed in awe a Tour being lost by this very scenario, we place this feature very, very high on our list of 9070 front derailleur pros.
The Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 FD-9070 Front Derailleur is available in one size and one color. Please note that this model is only available as a braze-on front derailleur, however, 31.8/28.6 and 34.9mm clamp-on adapters are sold separately.
Confused about how to build your Di2 Kit? Read our Learn Article.