10 Weird and Wonderful Derailleurs and how they Changed Cycling!
If your bike has gears, the chances are it also has derailleurs. These mechanical marvels which move the chain when you move up or down a gear may be a small part of the bicycle, but the myriad designs reveal a lot about the history of cycling. Over the nearly 40 years I’ve spent working in bike shops, I have collected about 1,400 rear derailleurs. Here are just 10 of the most influential, interesting or just plain weird.
God Save The Track Bike!
On Saturday, April 28th, tens of thousands of fans descended on a large asphalt parking lot on the western edge of Brooklyn. The occasion: Red Hook Criterium #11. Some were there for the crashes, some for the skinsuit clad superheroes (and supervillains), but all were there for the party surrounding the raucous spectacle of fixed gear criterium racing. By the end of the night, many an athlete had left pieces of themselves on the brutal tarmac, especially once the skies opened and rain pelted the already-technical course with 10 laps to go in the men’s final. A select few left with the glory of a successful race.
Gone is the stoicism and pseudo-ego of a road race. Why isn’t the field tenser? The course is dark, soon to be saturated with rain from the storm cell currently hovering over Manhattan. No brakes, no freewheel. Maybe the whole concept is so absurd one simply has to be relaxed. Delusion? Maybe.
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