Nov 04

HTRC Training Ride #5 – Rear derailleur scrutiny

Before Mark Walker’s HTRC Training Ride #5 we took the liberty to photograph several riders rear derailleurs with a view to allow readers to see what kit is being used…

(feel free to stroke images it’s not weird, honest) by fellow riders, and more importantly the condition of the derailleurs, and even more importantly the state of excess cabling on observed rear derailleurs, you may find the following observations very interesting…

Specimen 1 – Shimano Sora

As can be seen from the below image we have a smart, and shall we say from lower end of the market derailleur, in very good condition, perfect for winter riding, the owner of this derailleur is obviously conscientious, thrifty and looks after their kit, very good. However I wouldn’t like to cycle within 100 metres of this derailleur as looking at the length of the excess cable it would probably poke me right in the eye.

Suitability: 4/5 (Good price to replace)
Condition: 5/5
Danger to fellow riders: 5/5 (Not good)


Specimen 1 - Shimano Sora



Specimen 2 – Shimano Ultegra

As can be seen from the below image we have a smart, and shall we say from mid to high end of the market derailleur in very good condition, not ideal for winter riding due to excessive replacement cost. However the jockey wheels look like they are clarted in filth and grease, telling me that the owner should a little more time maintaining their kit rather than browsing through Cyclist Magazine drooling over the latest kit and whatever, nice straight length of excess cable though.

Suitability: 3/5 (Expensive replacement)
Condition: 4/5 (Clarted jockey wheels)
Danger to fellow riders: 0/5 (Very good)


Specimen 2 - Shimano Ultegra


Specimen 3 – Campagnolo Mirage

As can be seen from the below image we have a smart, very good condition derailleur, not ideal for winter riding due to rare replacement cost, Googling this derailleur for a replacement led to little market replacement. Unfortunately the excess cable is bent, leading to the full aesthetics of a nice looking derailleur being spoilt, the owner of this derailleur should read up on “Rear Derailleur Etiquette” by J R Hartley.

Suitability: 3/5 (Potential Expensive replacement if one can be found)
Condition: 4/5 (Bent excess cable)
Danger to fellow riders: 3/5 (The sight of bent excess cable may be so off putting to fellow riders they may feel inclined to jump off their bikes)


Specimen 3 Campagnolo Mirage


Specimen 4 – Shimano Dura-Ace

As can be seen from the below image we have a very smart, somewhat vintage top end derailleur, ideal for winter riding and proving that top end kit can last may years with lots of tender loving care. The excess cable is pretty straight and of a good length, very good indeed. The owner of this derailleur is probably a thrifty Yorkshire person possibly in the autumn of their years and still talks of days when Dura Ace Derailleurs cost less than a fiver they made them to last in them days (probably true).

Suitability: 1/5 (Very Expensive replacement)
Condition: 4/5 (Good)
Danger to fellow riders: 4/5 (Fellow riders may be shocked and distressed to see such a top end derailleur being used for winter training)


Specimen 4 Dura Ace


Happy riding.


Mike McAllister
Next week we’ll be looking at bike computers…