DISRAELI GEARS

Campagnolo 990 silver (0102068)

Campagnolo 990 silver derailleur main image

The Campagnolo 990 was a low cost model that was a direct development of, and replacement for, the unlamented Campagnolo 980. The older Campagnolo 980, despite being launched in 1980, looked like a 1970s model, with straight lines and sharp edges, and completely without any of the spurious curvaceous styling cues popularised in the aero-craze that swept the derailleur world following Shimano's launch of the 1981 Shimano Dura-Ace AX.

Some time around 1983, Campagnolo decided that they needed to update the Campagnolo 980's design, and so they changed the shape of one component part, and only one component part - the outer pulley cage plate. They added extravagant curved aero flanges. In functional terms, it is highly unlikely that these flanges reduced the aerodynamic drag or improved the gear change in any way. When it comes to aesthetics, they can only be described as a gruesome abomination. Most particularly, they jar alarmingly with the rectilinear, angular, sharp-edged knuckles and parallelogram plates.

It's such a lazy, ugly, cynical object that you just have to love it.

I believe that this is a mid-life example of a Campagnolo 990, dating from around 1986. Some of its distinguishing features are:

  • The entire derailleur is finished in slightly textured silver paint. I would confidently guess that this had been applied, at some point, by an enthusiastic owner, were it not for two confusing factors. Firstly there is, amazingly, no paint on the heads of the parallelogram pivot pins or on the main parallelogram spring, and secondly I have seen two other examples with this type of finish. Perhaps there is an extremely fastidious fan of the Campagnolo 990 somewhere who is meticulously painting batches of them silver.
  • The outer parallelogram plate is embossed with the signature logo.
  • The stop on the b-knuckle, that controls the swing, juts forwards .
  • The adjustment screws have slotted heads, but there is no plastic slice preventing them from loosening.
  • The cable clamp nut has a concave, counter-sunk top.
  • The pulley wheels are dark grey.


  • Derailleur brands: Campagnolo
  • Categories: Campagnolo - the bad and the ugly
  • Country: Italy
  • Date of introduction: 1986?
  • Date of this example: 1986?
  • Model no.: 0102068
  • Weight: 197g
  • Maximum cog: 26 teeth (bike shop folklore)
  • Total capacity: 26 teeth (bike shop folklore)
  • Pulley centre to centre: 46mm
  • Index compatibility: friction
  • Chain width: 3/32
  • Logic: top normal
  • B pivot: unsprung
  • P pivot: sprung
  • Materials: aluminium
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Browse associated documents.



Campagnolo - catalogue n. 18 bis

Campagnolo - catalogue n. 18 bis

Campagnolo - catalogue n. 18 bis page 01 thumbnail
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