I did have a front headset-mounted hanger in the spares box and being a 1 1/8th threadless steerer (the joys of 1999!) I can stick that on there and the front actually has bags of room anyway, unless I go to an even bigger tire. It's the rear that has space issues hence the short hanger ordered.I've just bought one of these from SJSC. https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/brakes/tektro-power-hanger-brake-enhancer-for-cantilever-brakes/. Not fitted it yet but could it help address the space issue?
^ There will be some trial and error, but that looks well thought out. For the front cable hanger, I would recommend a fork mounted one rather than a headset mounted one.
Just noticed that the frame is for a down pull FD meaning you can easily switch to the Claris FD
MTB mechs are designed around 42T / 44T. When it get's to 46 / 48T it makes more sense to go for a Road mech. Again, no magic formula, just trial and error with the frame you have.
Curious why would fork-mounted be better, is it just for easier mounting without messing with the headset? And thanks for the FD tips, good to have options! Was probably going to leave the LX one on there unless I can't get it working nicely for a 2x chainset. I think 44t would be the biggest I'd go with this as I don't use the small cogs much in the 46t on my CX bike as it is.