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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
1. Campy Croce d' Aune The linkage pin enables this derailler to do something that no other derailler can that I am aware of. It causes the pulleys to move further from the cogs as it the derailler moves to a lower gear. If it wasn't for the heavy weight this would be THE derailler.

Honorable mention

Mavic 851 SSC. Simple. Light. Cool Looking. Shifts nicely. Sean Kelly (and the KAS team I presume) used to ride this (on his Vitus 979) and I think LeMond won a Tour with it (like 85ish)My chain did wear the cage significantly in one spot though and the original pulleys seemed to wear out prematurely.

Deraillers I don't have experience with but always thought were cool.

Campy Nuovo Record.
Older Campy C Record.
Last Gen Friction Only Superbe Pro.

what do you think? Is there something I missed(like the ultralight Galli? on the worlds lightest bike (9ish lbs).
 

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Honorable mention

I agree with your first 2 choices. But for an honorable mention I always had a soft spot for Suntour Sprint rear derailleurs (especially the two-tone version).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I actually used to have a Suntour sprint. It was about half black and half silver (not sure if that's what you mean by 2-tone). It was a good solid derailler but I wouldn't put in honorable mention of "coolest of all time". The suberbe pro I speak of was cool bc one of the pulleys was covered with a solid piece of polished metal (which wasn't done back then). And the finish on the whole derailler was really polished (a step above the sprint).
 

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Friction_Shifter said:
I actually used to have a Suntour sprint. It was about half black and half silver (not sure if that's what you mean by 2-tone). It was a good solid derailler but I wouldn't put in honorable mention of "coolest of all time". The suberbe pro I speak of was cool bc one of the pulleys was covered with a solid piece of polished metal (which wasn't done back then). And the finish on the whole derailler was really polished (a step above the sprint).

Superbe Pro RDs were works of art. Too bad shimaNo drove them out. It would be interesting to see what we would be riding today.
 

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86 C record

Lemond won the tour on mavic in 1989. In 86 & 90 he won on Campy C-record.

The first generation C-record was the coolest der. made. Aero design. Ball barring pully wheels. Campy at it's best! Then Campy fell. Syncro. The 1986 C-record group is my favorite of all time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
and they weren't no stinkin sealed cartridge balls. gotta love the ability to overhaul your pulleys....grease, cones, the whole 9 yards (the croce has those also). thanks for the info on when LeMond won on what....I miss those old broadcasts with John Tesh music! I was pumped to go ride after watching those late 80's TDF's.
 

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Suntour V

Friction_Shifter said:
1. Campy Croce d' Aune The linkage pin enables this derailler to do something that no other derailler can that I am aware of. It causes the pulleys to move further from the cogs as it the derailler moves to a lower gear. If it wasn't for the heavy weight this would be THE derailler.

Honorable mention

Mavic 851 SSC. Simple. Light. Cool Looking. Shifts nicely. Sean Kelly (and the KAS team I presume) used to ride this (on his Vitus 979) and I think LeMond won a Tour with it (like 85ish)My chain did wear the cage significantly in one spot though and the original pulleys seemed to wear out prematurely.

Deraillers I don't have experience with but always thought were cool.

Campy Nuovo Record.
Older Campy C Record.
Last Gen Friction Only Superbe Pro.

what do you think? Is there something I missed(like the ultralight Galli? on the worlds lightest bike (9ish lbs).
The coolest derailleur ever was the Suntour V. It weighed less than the Campy Neuvo Record, shifted way better, and cost about 1/5 as much. How cool is that? Back in the mid-70's I considered it the ultimate statement of bike knowledge and self confidence for cyclist to put a Suntour V on their Reynolds 531 bike, ideally along with Weinmann 500 brake calipers . I only saw this 3 or 4 times.
 

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One of my ulitimate bike set-ups from the AERO period of the 80's.

Dia Comp AGC brakes.
Sugino Aero Mighty cranks
Suntour Superbe Pro derailers
Araya Aero rims
Concor Profil saddle

This aero stuff really worked unlike the Shimano ax groups that were too much of a gimmick.
 

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Friction_Shifter said:
1. Campy Croce d' Aune The linkage pin enables this derailler to do something that no other derailler can that I am aware of. It causes the pulleys to move further from the cogs as it the derailler moves to a lower gear. If it wasn't for the heavy weight this would be THE derailler.
The rod mechanism of the Croce d'Aune derailleur was a half-assed way to do the same thing that Suntour slant parallelogram derailleurs has already been doing for 2 decades (patented in 1964). When the patent expired on the slant parallelogram, all the major manufacturers adopted (including Campagnolo) because it is a far superior method to accomplish the same thing.

The Croce d'Aune derailleur did not fail because it was too heavy - it failed because it was a poorly functioning and overly complicated design.

And the Croce d'Aune rod mechanism and the slant parallegram are not the only to accomplish this. The slant push-rod mechanism of the Mavic Zap and Mektronic derailleurs did this as well, as did the slant linear bearings of the White Industries derailleur (there's probably others as well). Even the Huret Allvit's bottom pivoting parallelogram did this to some extend. While Simplex's dual spring pivot derailleur and Huret's Duopar dual parallellogram didn't explicitly move the jockey in a diagonal path, it did allow the jockey pulley to move up and down under spring force to track the cogs better. The dual spring pivot design, as pioneered by Simplex, has also been borrowed by Campagnolo and Shimano in their current derailleur designs.
 

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I second (or third) Superbe Pro

I have three generations of the same and the last is a work of art. The other two ain't bad either and all work great
peace
 

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Mark McM said:
The rod mechanism of the Croce d'Aune derailleur was a half-assed way to do the same thing that Suntour slant parallelogram derailleurs has already been doing for 2 decades (patented in 1964). When the patent expired on the slant parallelogram, all the major manufacturers adopted (including Campagnolo) because it is a far superior method to accomplish the same thing.

The Croce d'Aune derailleur did not fail because it was too heavy - it failed because it was a poorly functioning and overly complicated design.
I'll disagree with the "poorly functioning" part of that conclusion. I have one, and with Simplex retrofriction levers, it's a really nice shifting derailleur. It's sort of Rube Goldberg-ish, sure, but it's kinda neat, and shifts great.

Campy's poor reputation for shifting in the late 1980s had little to do with their derailleurs, most of which shifted well. It was the idea behind Syncro that did it. The idea was, they'd make one lever with multiple inserts, to match the detents to the spacing of every freewheel and cassette out there. Actually a neat idea, really, as it would have allowed riders to not be bound to any one manufacturer for drivetrain parts. The problems were:

1. Most freewheel manufacturers, especially the Europeans, had spacing variations that threw off the indexing. And a lot of wrenches and riders couldn't be bothered to stock all of the various discs that were needed. Now, with only two real spacing standards left, Campy could come out with Shimano-spaced inserts for Ergo levers, and they'd work great.

2. Americans hated the way Syncro indexing worked. You had to overshift the lever slightly, and release it when the shift was done. Kind of like you do with a friction lever. If you got lazy , and stopped pedalling, moved the lever to the click, and then started pedalling again, it wouldn't always shift. Shimano's system could be shifted pretty much however in the hell you wanted, and it would work. I've ridden Syncro bikes, and as long as you shifted them the way they were supposed to be shifted, they worked just fine.

--Shannon
 

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I agree completely....

Reynolds531 said:
The coolest derailleur ever was the Suntour V. It weighed less than the Campy Neuvo Record, shifted way better, and cost about 1/5 as much. How cool is that? Back in the mid-70's I considered it the ultimate statement of bike knowledge and self confidence for cyclist to put a Suntour V on their Reynolds 531 bike, ideally along with Weinmann 500 brake calipers . I only saw this 3 or 4 times.
Only wish I had said it first.....
 

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Reynolds531 said:
The coolest derailleur ever was the Suntour V. It weighed less than the Campy Neuvo Record, shifted way better, and cost about 1/5 as much. How cool is that? Back in the mid-70's I considered it the ultimate statement of bike knowledge and self confidence for cyclist to put a Suntour V on their Reynolds 531 bike, ideally along with Weinmann 500 brake calipers . I only saw this 3 or 4 times.
I had a Serotta with a 531c frame, Sun Tour V, weinman brakes and sew-up tires back in 1976. He built the frame himself in the back of his father's hardware store. It broke my heart when that bike was stolen.

em
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The Ruth Goldbergesque Croce d' Aune is fully taken apart except for the linkage pin connection at the main derailler body. There is a small c clip that I didn't want to mess with for fear of breaking or losing. Adjustable ball bearing pulleys. The other is a Mavic 851(with suntour sealed pulleys). Let's hope it goes back together OK. When I took the Mavic apart it was sort of a pain connecting pulley cage to the main body. After trial and error and luck I got it connected but the pulley cage spring tension may be slightly less than ideal.
 
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