Shimano - from Skylark to world domination

Brand: Shimano

Country: Japan

If Shimano was in two minds about derailleurs before 1967, that all changed with the Shimano Skylark. Shimano took the geometry of the Simplex Export 61, tweaked it slightly and avoided Simplex’s fatal mistake of manufacturing it in plastic. The result was the Skylark - and it went on to be a best seller.

Shimano referred to the Skylark as having a ‘Servo-Pantagraph’ design (or sometimes a ‘Servo-Panta’ design (?!?)). I never knew quite what this meant - a ‘servo’ system surely has to incorporate a feedback mechanism - but I have always guessed that it means that the derailleur has two sprung pivots. Perhaps the position of the pulley cage generates ‘feedback’ by repositioning the parallelogram. Perhaps it just means ‘buy me’.

Over the years (all 40 of them) Shimano has added features and then taken them away again:... More...