Precision Billet

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Based in Santee, San Diego California, Precision Billet was a CNC shop run by Gary Hickman.

It introduced its Proshift derailleur in 1994, and was still very much in the derailleur business in 1998. Unlike some of the other US CNC shops, Precision Billet seems to have had real ambitions to manufacture serious volumes, with figures like 10,000 units often mentioned. Precision Billet seems to have ceased manufacturing bicycle components sometime before 2006.

Frank Berto ascribes the demise of the various CNC derailleurs, such as the Precision Billet Proshift, to Shimano’s 1996 introduction of the XTR groupset. Personally I think that there is only so far that natty anodising can take you - consumers quickly found that the CNC derailleurs did not change especially well, were easily damaged and were ferociously expensive. Manufacturers equally quickly found that they could make better money and provide a more useful service by concentrating on other more niche components.

Still, it was a wild and colourful party while it lasted.