DISRAELI GEARS

GB Altenburger

GB Altenburger derailleur main image

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.


  • Derailleur brands: GB, manufactured by Altenburger
  • Country: UK, manufactured in Germany
  • Date of introduction: 1955
  • Date of this example: unknown
  • Model no.: unknown
  • Weight: 196g including fixing plate, but excluding frame fixing bolts and missing cable clamp bolt
  • Maximum cog: unknown
  • Total capacity: unknown
  • Pulley centre to centre: 40mm
  • Index compatibility: friction
  • Chain width: 1/8”?
  • Logic: top normal
  • B pivot: one sprung pivot
  • Materials: aluminium pulley cage plates and main parallelogram beam, other parts steel
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