Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A New/Old Front Derailleur

This may be one of those posts that only a bike geek can appreciate... and an old bike geek at that. I mean a geek about old bikes, not an old geek, although... well, you get my point.

Anyway, I just recently bought the derailleur you see to the left there. It's a Campagnolo Record front derailleur from around 1973 or so, and I'm really happy to have found it. You may be asking why it is I'm excited about an old bike part. Well, there are a couple of things that make this item special.

First, in the early 70s, Campagnolo (Campy for short in the US, Campag in the UK) components were widely thought to be some of the best, if not the best, available. Sure, you had and still have aficionados of other brands of components, but all in all, Campy was seen as the cream of the crop. By today's standards, it might be seen as somewhat primitive, with none of the shaping and sculpting of the cage side plates that help modern derailleurs do their magic. But for the drivetrains of the day, in the hands of an experienced rider, this was as good as it got.

Second, it's in great shape for a derailleur of this age, and for the price I paid. Basically, it looks like it has never been used, which is rare for something this old.

Finally, and most importantly, it's the "correct" front derailleur for my lovely 1973 Schwinn Paramount P15-9. I bought the bike this past summer, and it has almost all of its original parts, with the notable exception of having a SunTour MounTech front derailleur from the 80s. I figured one day I'd get around to replacing it, but when I found this one being sold by someone on an internet list I read, I jumped on it. Now about the only part that isn't really "correct" on the Paramount is the rear rim, a Japanese Araya, rather than the original Weinmann. I'm not that worried about that, honestly, but if the right rim came up for sale, I'd get it.

Now all I have to do for this bike is get the period decals for it, which luckily are still available from Waterford Precision Cycles, the heir to the Paramount line, sort of. Oh, and I think the lugs should be outlined in red paint, but I don't know that I'll deal with that.

Oh, and I know the clipless pedals aren't the right pedals, and I have both the original Campy SL quill pedals and a set of the Campy SL track model that I prefer.


CresceNet said...

Hello. This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my site, it is about the CresceNet, I hope you enjoy. The address is . A hug.

Anonymous said...

I love it when you get your bike geek on. See you next month. --Beth

fridrix said...

What about a basket or a horn?

Tim said...

A basket or a horn? I'll take that under advisement... lol.