Gian Robert Campione (1st style)

Gian Robert Campione derailleur (1st style) main image

Man, they must have big Christmas Crackers in Italy - because this disturbingly shiny plastic Gian Robert Campione is clearly designed to take its place inside one. It would fit perfectly alongside the the badly molded man on the parachute, the polystyrene ‘gold’ and ‘diamond’ ring and the already blunt nail clippers with the shiny chrome just waiting to peal off. It is crying out to be wrapped in a piece of paper sloppily printed with the kind of joke that only your granny (and Bob Monkhouse) could enjoy. Just looking at it I can almost taste the bread sauce.

Frank Berto claims that Gian Robert introduced their plastic Campione in 1964. I think that the original model had a plastic pulley cage and round pulley wheels (and weighed even less than this version). Classicrendezvous has some photos of this ‘all plastic’ model. I think that the example in this collection is a slightly later variant with a steel pulley cage and toothed pulley wheels. I am slightly confused that this plastic Campione has the (later) toothed pulley wheels, while its supposed successor the steel Campione has the (earlier) round pulley wheels. Did Gian Robert run both plastic and steel versions in parallel?

Whatever the chronology, this derailleur is an object lesson on the pitfalls of weight obsession. It is one of the lightest derailleurs in this collection - but engagingly nasty nonetheless. One of my favourites.

  • Derailleur brands: Gian Robert
  • Country: Italy
  • Date of introduction: 1964
  • Date of this example: unknown
  • Model no.: unknown
  • Weight: 161g including hanger plate
  • Maximum cog: 28 teeth? (Gian Robert claim an improbable 32 teeth)
  • Total capacity: 26 teeth?
  • Pulley centre to centre: 43mm
  • Index compatibility: friction
  • Chain width: 3/32”?
  • Logic: top normal
  • B pivot: unsprung
  • P pivot: sprung
  • Materials: largely plastic (polypropylene), with a steel pulley cage