[CR]Re: history rewritten on Versus TV

In-Reply-To: <938974.25667.qm@web55907.mail.re3.yahoo.com>
References: <938974.25667.qm@web55907.mail.re3.yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2007 07:40:34 -0700
To: Tom Dalton <tom_s_dalton@yahoo.com>, Classic Rendezvous <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
From: Jan Heine <heine94@earthlink.net>
Subject: [CR]Re: history rewritten on Versus TV

Do you have an e-mail address for Bob Roll? Then I'll gladly tell him that derailleurs were invented in Great Britain around 1900 - before Tullio Campagnolo was even out of diapers - popularized in France by Joanny Panel in the 1910s, adopted by French cyclotourists through the 1920s and finally permitted in the Tour de France in 1937. Racers back then mostly used the Osgear Super Champion.

Tullio Campagnolo's "back-pedal" derailleur was invented sometime in the 1930s, but used widely by racers only during the second half of the 1940s.

The parallelogram derailleur seems to have been invented that year by Nivex, and Tullio introduced his first Gran Sport in 1949, which indeed created the shape that most derailleurs use to this day.

As an aside, all the above-mentioned derailleurs shifted better than the 1970s Campagnolo Super Record, and even that one wasn't so bad. (The SR used a geometry that was developed for the much smaller gear ranges of the 1950s, so by the 1970s, it had a hard time to cope with 52-42 and 13-tooth or even 12-tooth small cogs.)

Bicycle Quarterly did a full road test of a large variety of the old derailleurs, and found that many worked surprisingly well...

Unfortunately, most mainstream cycling journalists consider history and historic bikes just as a scenic backdrop, rather than a serious subject for research and study.

Jan Heine Editor Bicycle Quarterly 140 Lakeside Ave #C Seattle WA 98122 http://www.bikequarterly.com
>During last night's TdF coverage on versus, there was a tiny morsel
>of vintage bike content. In a brief segment about equipment
>innovations there were a couple of shots of what appeared to be an
>old Molteni team bike, with SR equipment. It was pretty thrashed
>and used to represent that arcahic old friction shifting with
>it's 1st gen SR rear der and knobbly shifters. To their credit,
>Versus identified derailleur gears as the most significant
>technological chane to hit the Tour during it's history
>(pharmaceuticals aside, I suppose). Seems like a good choice to me
>anyway. Then I had to shudder just a bit, when Bob Roll attributed
>the invention of the derailleur to Tullio Campagnolo. Now, as far
>as I'm concened, Tullio invented the light bulb, the Diesel engine,
>and the integrated circuit, but I'm pretty sure he did not invent
>the derailleur. In fact, I'm pretty sure that he did not even
>invent the parallelogram body that Campagnolo first used on the GS.
>It's my understanding that there is some Juy guy who can take credit
>for some major invention related to derailleurs, though having not
>yet read "the book," my knowledge is very spotty.
>Can someone with more credibility that me (that's a pretty open set
>of folks) please shoot Bobke an email at Versus TV and set him
>straight? Jan, you're the first person to come to my mind on this
>Tom Dalton
>Bethlehem, PA USA
>Yahoo! oneSearch: Finally,
>search that gives answers, not web links.