Tom Martin wrote:
All this talk about low end On Topic Shimano derailluers got me thinking and reminiscing;
Back in the day, when I actually got paid to work on bikes in the retail environment, ie a bike shop, a customer of ours had this red Mercian tandem, all 531, Mavic, Campy, Stronglight, Cinelli, etc, all the Gucci components that you would expect to find on a racing bike from the '70's but adapted to a touring bike with racks and panniers for the husband and wife team. The only thing that was totally odd was the Shimano Eagle II rear derailluer attached to the hanger. We were asking why, what was the reason, should we change it- surely you must have had a mechanical and needed something- anything to complete the tour, and they said 'No, actually we like that derailluer- it is cheap, bombproof and easily found anywhere- even at a K-mart or sears. And it works really well'
We were flabbergasted. Couldn't believe it.
About 1970, I built up a Dawes Double-blue for touring in New England, rode it up to the hostel across from Chuck Harris's place at that time. It was set up with about a 14-24 block, and a 28-48 CW pair -- shifted by a Shimano Lark. Ben Olkun (sp?) at the old Bicycle Exchange in Cambridge, MA, had shown me the catalogues early, and somehow I learned that the Lark did a far better job than the common alternatives of its era: Huret Allvit, Simplex, etc. Worked fine, too. Your mileage may vary, but I recently managed to find an old Lark (and some Eagles?) and one of these days have to clean it up and see if it really works all that well.