This is probably mostly going to be of interest to builders, but some of you major geeks might also appreciate it.
So long story short, direct mount front derailleurs rule for a lot of reasons. I won't go into it again here, but you can read my incoherent ramblings here, and here, and here. Suffice to say they rock.
I've been fabricating my own mounts (click here for a photo) but making them is pretty time-consuming and annoying. So when I saw that Paragon was making direct mounts (for $6 or something), I ordered a few to see how they'd work.
I'm moderately happy with them. The good points, first:
-They're built to Paragon's usual nice finish standards
Now, the gripes. There are several.
-The "1 1/8 miter" mounts that I ordered aren't mitered for 1 1/8" tubes. Weirdly enough, they don't seem to be mitered for 1" either, or any other normal size. I'd say they're about 1 1/16" miter. That sucks, because I don't usually want to spend a bunch of time filing or milling a part that's supposed to be plug/play. Lame.
-They're way heavy. 38g before choppage (I'll explain in a second). My homestyle mounts are almost 20g lighter. Now, 20g isn't the end of the world, but there's just too much material on these mounts, IMO. This is probably because Paragon isn't interested in making 2-part stuff that requires any welding as an intermediate step. More's the pity - a piece of plate PLUS a small piece of tubing is really the best solution here, IMO.
The weight issue is partly solved by cutting off the (unnecessary) rear portion of the mount - this brings the weight down to about 25g - still heavier than the Walt-made model, but more reasonable. See the initial photo for a before/after comparison of the mounts.
The mitering issue I assume will be solved by Paragon doing it right on the next batch. In the meantime, for many of y'all builders out there, this is still a worthwhile item, just be aware that you'll need to do some mitering work, and also that it's not idea for very offset or curved seat tubes - this is best for plain-jane setups, really.