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This derailleur, sold in the UK (as this example was) as the ‘GB Altenburger’ and in Germany as the ‘Altenburger Champion’ was designed as a racing gear. This was unusual for a derailleur that mounted on the chainstay - this position was generally reserved for touring equipment. On a number of occasions during the 1950’s, the Altenburger Champion was used by the German team in the Tour de France.

Compared to pull-chain derailleurs the Altenburger is a precise, rigid, parallelogram design. Compared to the Campagnolo Gran Sport it is extremely light and makes extensive use of aluminium.

It has its foibles; the pulley cage pivot, positioned as it is, it does not look as though it has a very high capacity, there are a number of casting flaws in this example, and, unlike the Campagnolo Gran Sport, it only has one adjustment screw - for the high gear position.

For some reason Altenburger did not push sales of this derailleur, preferring to concentrate on their very successful brakes. Nevertheless, it is a sophisticated piece of equipment for its time.


  1. Brand: GB, manufactured by Altenburger

  2. Country: UK, manufactured in Germany

  3. Date of introduction: 1955

  4. Date of this example: unknown

  5. Model no: unknown

  6. Weight: 196g including fixing plate, but excluding frame fixing bolts and missing cable clamp bolt

  7. Maximum cog: unknown

  8. Total capacity: unknown

  9. Pulley centre to centre: 40mm

  10. Index compatibility: friction

  11. Chain width: 1/8”?

  12. Logic: top normal

  13. Pivots: one sprung pivot

  14. Material: aluminium pulley cage plates and main parallelogram beam, other parts steel


GB Altenburger