On the bike that kills front derailleurs we installed a Shimano Sora 9-speed compact crank. Brand new. Fresh start. The bike now shifts perfectly, according to the owner, who retrieved it and test rode it a few days ago. We're on to new crises now.
Our illustrious leader got his Shimano Ultegra rear derailleur to shift successfully on a SRAM 12-32 cassette, launching us on a little spree, defying compatibility recommendations. A customer venturing into hill climbs from her familiar realm of triathlons got the 12-32 treatment. The Zipp 404 wheel on which we put the cassette functions very well on her Surly Pacer and extremely adequately on her Serotta. Who woulda thunk it?