DISRAELI GEARS

Shimano Crane (D-501)

Shimano Crane derailleur (D-501) main image

With the Crane, Shimano pulled out all the stops in an attempt to make a truly world-class derailleur. It was an all aluminium design with a dropped parallelogram - a world first. The finish was excellent with that anodised ‘glow’ that Campagnolo had perfected. The chromed parts were bright and polished. The pulleys had a two part bushing system so that bronze rotated on bronze. Even the springs seemed to have less of a tendency to lose their tension. All very classy.

Shimano were not backward in coming forward with the price - which set new records for a Japanese derailleur (even if it was still someway from Campagnolo’s extravagant pricing).

The only fly in the ointment was SunTour’s patent on the slant parallelogram. The Crane never changed gear quite as well as the much more lowly SunTour V series - despite Shimano’s puff about the efficacy of their ‘servo pantagraph’ design with its two sprung pivots.

This beautifully preserved example of the Crane represents the second incarnation of the design with an adjustable outer cable stop.


  • Derailleur brands: Shimano
  • Categories: Shimano - the Dura-Ace story
  • Country: Japan
  • Date of introduction: 1973
  • Date of this example: 1975 (two letter date code ZK)
  • Model no.: D-501 without hanger plate, D-500 with hanger plate (possibly also DR-100 in 1973, and DB-100 after 1975)
  • Weight: 222g
  • Maximum cog: 28 teeth (Sutherland’s 4th edition)
  • Total capacity: 28 teeth (Sutherland’s 4th edition)
  • Pulley centre to centre: 46mm
  • Index compatibility: friction
  • Chain width: 3/32”
  • Logic: top normal
  • B pivot: two sprung pivots
  • Materials: aluminium (including the cable clamp nut!)
Shimano Crane derailleur (D-501) additional image 01

Browse associated documents.



Mel Pinto catalog - 1970 to 1975

Mel Pinto catalog - 1970 to 1975

Mel Pinto catalog - 1970 to 1975 scan 1 thumbnail



Shimano Bicycle Parts - 1973

Shimano Bicycle Parts - 1973

  • Publisher: Shimano
  • Date: 1973
  • Derailleur brands: Shimano
  • Derailleurs: too numerous to mention - see individual pages
Shimano Bicycle Parts - 1973 Front cover thumbnail




A Complete Line of Shimano (1975)

A Complete Line of Shimano (1975)

  • Publisher: Shimano
  • Date: December 1974
  • Derailleur brands: Shimano
  • Derailleurs: too numerous to mention - see individual pages
A Complete Line of Shimano (1975) front cover thumbnail


Shimano Bicycle Parts - ’74

Shimano Bicycle Parts - ’74

  • Publisher: Shimano
  • Date: June? 1974
  • Derailleur brands: Shimano
  • Derailleurs: too numerous to mention - see individual pages
Shimano Bicycle Parts - 74 front cover thumbnail


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