[Classicrendezvous] Re:Gipiemme Front Derailleur(was more on gipiemme)

Date: Sun, 05 Nov 2000 09:30:55 -0500
From: Stephen Spielman <sspielman@goeaston.net>
To: "Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org" <Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Subject: [Classicrendezvous] Re:Gipiemme Front Derailleur(was more on gipiemme)

While the original question was directed toward Mark (who, incidentally is one of the best sources of cycling industry information that I know of....we are so lucky that he psots here and elsewhere and gives freely of his vast knowledge), I might be able to shed some light on this subject. While I am not familiar with the what Rivendell was selling, there was a short period of time when Gipiemme sourced some front derailleurs from Mavic...Here is why: For a number of years, Gipiemme sourced their derailleurs from Simplex. The models were identical to the ones offered by Simplex in every respect, except that the foil nameplates were changed to read "Gipiemme". All was well for a period of time, except that this was the period of time when front derailleur braze-ons were gaining in popularity. Prompted by this trend, Simplex designed braze-on front derailleurs....but naturally, they were not compatible with the increasingly standard Campagnolo-style fitting that we have come to know and love(?) today. Rather, the Simplex-style fitting was simply a threaded hole on the seattube to which the unique derailleur body bolted. It was actually a very nice design, very easy to align. Gipiemme offered these unique front derailleurs for a short period of time in the mid eighties, but there were very few frames offered with Gipiemme components in mind (Battaglin was a notable exception). So, Gipiemme must have felt the need to offer a front derailleur that was compatible with the standard Campagnolo-style fitting. Simplex most likely felt that they had a superior design, and would not make the other style of attachment. At some point, Mavic must have agreed (being no stranger to badge engineering themselves), because the Mavic front derailleurs appeared in the Gipiemme range alongside the existing Simplex-manufactured offerings. Of course this all lasted only a couple of years as this was the same time period when Shimano was introducing SIS. -Steve Spielman in Maryland