Raleigh Bicycle Guide - Derailleur

Raleigh Bicycle Guide - Derailleur page 1 main image

This learned document was apparently supplied with a Raleigh Winner bicycle purchased on 1st November 1982. It is a less confident tome than the Raleigh Owners Handbook from a decade before - less designed, less comprehensive and less expensively produced. The adverts on page 9 and page 12 are spectacularly tacky, amateurish and, most crucially for an advert, unattractive.

The rear derailleurs that are covered (on page 19) are the Huret Eco, SunTour Volante, Campagnolo 980, SunTour Vx GT and Shimano Positron 400. With the honourable exception of the SunTour Vx GT this is a pretty motley selection - clear evidence of the impact of the ‘Yen Shock’ on European manufacturers like Raleigh. The appreciation of the Yen suddenly made the desirable Japanese derailleurs much more expensive - and so European dross (like the Campagnolo 980) and the more questionable Japanese products (like the SunTour Volante) came to the fore.

A good time for the Sales Managers of less than competent European component manufacturers, but not a good time for the bicycle mechanics who had to make these things work to the satisfaction of cyclists who had grown use to the effortless reliability of the SunTour V GT and Shimano 600.