Before 1900

Gradient 3 speed main image Loubeyre La Polyceler main image Whippet New Protean derailleur main image

There are numerous, slightly obscure, 19th century patents that can claim to describe derailleur systems , but three stand proud:

  • Jean Loubeyre’s 1895 ‘La Polyceler’.
  • Edmund Hodkingsons 1896 to 1899 ‘Gradient’.
  • Charles Linley’s 1899 Whippet New Protean.

All three can claim to be real working systems, all three were produced commercially (at least to some extent), all three failed to catch the public’s imagination and none of the three can really properly claim to contain much of the design DNA of the modern derailleur. Perplexing.

Browse the derailleurs from before 1900...

Where you see a red link, this is for a derailleur model which I do not (yet?) have in my collection - but for which I do have some kind of real and relevant documentation.

Browse the documents from before 1900...