DISRAELI GEARS

Shimano Eagle GTO black (D340)

Shimano Eagle GTO black derailleur (D340) main image

The Eagle was Shimano’s attempt to wrest control of their brand back from Schwinn - at the time the most powerful bicycle manufacturer in the world. The Eagle met all Schwinn’s requirements, particularly the bashguard and the ‘cable saver’ sprung cable clamp, but it was Shimano’s own model.

The GTO version was the long cage, ‘no brand’ version, with subtle writing on the hanger plate and on the bashguard. In 1972, if you were a twenty-something American bicycle consumer you would associate Japan with natty Sony colour TVs and affordable high quality Akai cassette decks, all goods things. But if you were a fifty-something purchasing executive in an old-school bicycle manufacturer you might still associate Japan with Pearl Harbor or with Kamikaze attacks on US aircraft carriers - and might prefer the origins of the Eagle to remain invisible - if so the GTO version was for you.

This particular, rather ‘well used’, example is an unusual black version. Stylistically it is the hideous spawn of the unnatural union between a stealth bomber and a block of Emmental cheese. Don’t fret though, all those holes only reduce the weight to a stonking 402g.


  • Derailleur brands: Shimano
  • Categories: Shimano - from Skylark to world domination
  • Country: Japan
  • Date of introduction: 1972
  • Date of this example: unknown (no two letter date code, and has ‘333’ marking on pulleys)
  • Model no.: D340 or 52504001
  • Weight: 402g including hanger plate
  • Maximum cog: 34 teeth (Sutherland’s 4th edition)
  • Total capacity: 38 teeth (Sutherland’s 4th edition)
  • Pulley centre to centre: 75mm
  • Index compatibility: friction
  • Chain width: 3/32”
  • Logic: top normal
  • B pivot: two sprung pivots
  • Materials: steel (and plenty of it)
Shimano Eagle GTO black derailleur (D340) additional image 01
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