Shimano XTR FD-M981 Dyna-Sys Traditional Front Derailleur - Triple $99.95
If you were riding mountain bikes when XTR hit the scene in 1991, then you'll remember that there was only one style of front derailleur. It looked quite similar to this XTR Dyna-Sys Traditional Triple Front Derailleur FD-M981. You might hear it referred to as a high-clamp or bottom swing type as well. It's called traditional, and were it not for the cutting edge 980 XTR styling, it might look old fashioned. However, we've always suspected that traditional derailleurs were more durable than their low clamp counterparts. So at the risk of being old fashioned, we always appreciate parts that offer top level function and durability to boot.
Shimano builds this derailleur to be used with the XTR Trail Triple Crankset and the XTR 10-speed HG-X chain. So while it could be used with a double, it wouldn't be optimum. The cage is specifically shaped to meet the needs of the triple, and it has a maximum compatible chainring size of 42 teeth. The limit screws are angled outward to facilitate adjustment for convoluted rear suspension designs as well.
The Shimano XTR Traditional Triple Front Derailleur FD-M981 has a multi-clamp design that allows it to be used with seat tubes in any one of three different diameters -- 28.6, 31.8, and 34.9mm. A plastic shim is used to accommodate the two smaller sizes. The cable lever arm is compatibility with top- or bottom-pull cable routing.