EGS Up Cage derailleur main image EGS Up Cage derailleur main image EGS Up Cage derailleur main image

I remember EGS as being two distressingly enthusiastic Frenchmen who showed a fantastical twist grip gear changer at trade shows in the late 1990’s. Their twist grip was called Synchro Shift, and it was amazing because a single right hand shifter operated two cables and controlled both the front and the rear derailleur. It shifted, in a complex pattern, through 14 of the 27 gears and gave a reasonably coherent set of ratios without duplications. EGS had plastic and CNC machined versions of this wonder, and the product seemed to work on the test rigs on their stands at these shows. Everybody, including me, rightly or wrongly assumed that the Synchro Shift looked great but would break immediately when it encountered the ‘real world’.

After a few years (1998?) they also showed an exceedingly weird CNC machined derailleur called Up Cage. I remember this oddity as being popular with French downhill racers and nobody else.

Then EGS disappeared never to be heard of again.

Scouring the web I now think that EGS stands for Excellent Gear Systems. The company was formed by Franck Savard and Christian Gauthier in April 1996. Franck Savard was possibly the inventor of these wacky devices. Franck and Christian may possibly be the enthusiastic Frenchmen I remember.

EGS was based at Châtellerault near Poitiers, close to the Futuroscope theme park that was (is?) a popular point on the route of the Tour de France. By the time of its bankruptcy in 1999, EGS claimed to have sold 200,000 Synchro Shifts, to have 73 bicycle brands speccing their products and to have distributors in 15 countries.

EGS also claimed to have made not only the Synchro Shift twist grip range and the Up Cage derailleur but also a brake system called Twin Motion (which I am informed was a double action brake lever) and some kind of cassette hub called The Flash Hub. I have never seen the hubs - so they may be vaporware.

Following the bankruptcy Shimano bought all the patents at a bargain price, and, according to the Bike Europe, the EGS development team were ‘infected with melancholy’ by this outcome. The Poitiers facility was possibly taken over by IRCOS (see Stronglight), but IRCOS itself went bankrupt in 2000 - so the ‘infection of melancholy’ probably spread well beyond the design team.

Using the Internet as a world wide ouija board, EGS mysteriously still maintains a web site from beyond the grave.

EGS Up Cage derailleur thumbnail

EGS Up Cage 1998?

see also French Trademark # 96,640,472 1996

see also French Trademark # 96,640,472 1996

French Trademark 96,640,472 - EGS thumbnail

EGS - web site 2000?

EGS - web site 2000?

EGS - Web site image 1 thumbnail
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