Cheruvino is widely mentioned as being a significant brand of derailleurs produced in Japan in the 1950s. In particular, Frank Berto mentions it in his seminal essay 'Sunset for SunTour', and in the holy derailleur bible, 'The Dancing Chain'. That's about as authoritative as things get!

I, however, think that Cheruvino is a mythical brand. I think the story may go something like this:

  • The famous article in the May 1981 edition of New Cycling featured a brand called 'Cheruvino' on page 127.
  • Except for the word 'Cheruvino' this page is all in Japanese. However, for readers of Japanese, it clearly states that the brand is from Italy.
  • I believe that the derailleur shown is a Cervino model, which does indeed hail from Italy. I also note that 'Cervino' could easily become 'Cheruvino' when transliterated (is that a word?) to Japanese and back.
  • I think that western readers, who did not read Japanese (or who did not enjoy the benefit of the Google Translator app), mistakenly took this page as indicating the existence of a Japanese brand called 'Cheruvino'.
  • I have not been able to find any references to 'Cheruvino' that predate the article in the May 1981 edition of New Cycling - which lends a little credibility to my theory.
  • Hiroshi Nakamura in his survey of early Japanese derailleurs in Cycle History 11 does not make any mention of 'Cheruvino'.
  • There is a famous brand of exquisite hand-made Japanese bikes called 'Cherubim'. I do not think it has ever produced or designed a derailleur.

As always with history, the truth is a slippery fish.

see also New Cycling 05/1981 - '81 Derailleur Collection

see also New Cycling 05/1981 - '81 Derailleur Collection

  • Publisher: New Cycling
  • Date: May 1981
  • Derailleur brands: too numerous to list here
  • Derailleurs: too numerous to list here
New Cycling May 1981 - Derailleur Collection page 017 thumbnail