In 1981, Rino produced its second basic design - the Rino Crono. A pleasant (if slightly roughly finished) melange of the SunTour Vx and the SunTour Superbe. The cable clamp arrangement is pure Vx, but Rino have managed to incorporate some of the curved muscular look of the Superbe by rounding off the Vx’s sharp corners and using the Superbe’s outer cable stop. It’s a family affair!
In common with other Rino gears the parallelogram pivots have screw threads and slotted heads - so the derailleur is fully demountable.
Rino have worked their magic on the weight, using aluminium for some of the larger bolts. The Rino Crono weighs in under 185g - and this was probably the best-changing derailleur that was manufactured anywhere in Europe at the time.
I am aware of four aesthetically different versions of the Rino Crono, each with a different treatment of the outer parallelogram plate:
- The first version (which I think is the earliest) has a recessed logo with the words 'Rino Crono' in raised lettering on a stippled background. This logo is extremely similar to that on Rino's previous models - except with the addition of the word Crono.
- The second version has a logo with the same 'Rino Crono' lettering and the same stippled background, but this is all surrounded by a machined rounded off rectangular area. This logo in a 1981 advert.
- The third version has the words 'Rino Crono' raised against a plain backgroud with a raised machined line above and below the lettering.
- The fourth version is very similar to the third, but just has the word 'Rino'. The word 'Crono' is left off. Some people claim that this model is called the 'Supercrono'
Laid out like this, these four versions seem to develope in a logical chronological order. But don't be too confident - I suspect that Rino ran several of these aesthetic variants in parallel.
There are also a number of variations in small parts:
- 'Earlier' Rino Cronos seem to have an inner parallelogram plate with a closed loop at the tension pulley.
- 'Later' Rino Cronos seem to have an 'S' shaped inner parallelogram plate no closed loop at the tension pulley.
- 'Earlier' Rino Cronos seem to have a domed Allen bolt at the b-pivot.
- 'Later' Rino Cronos seem to have a conical Allen bolt at the b-pivot.
- 'Earlier' Rino Cronos seem to have a domed and engraved Allen bolt at the p-pivot.
- 'Later' Rino Cronos seem to have a conical Allen bolt at the p-pivot, with no engraving.
- 'Earlier' Rino Cronos seem to have adjustment screws with heads with a rectangular cross section.
- 'Later' Rino Cronos seem to have adjustment screws with heads with a more rounded cross section.
- It's possible that, at some point, Rino Cronos seem to have adjustment screws with Allen heads.
But, as with many European derailleur manufacturers, there is another fly in the, seemingly rational, ointment. This is that the timing of 'earlier' and 'later' is not the same in each case.
This is a very clean example of a black Rino Crono. Some of its features are:
- The outer parallelogram plate and logo are the second variation described above.
- The b-pivot Allen bolt is aluminium and has a conical head.
- The p-pivot Allen bolt is aluminium and has a domed head that is engraved.
- The inner pulley cage plate has the earlier shape with a closed loop at the tension pulley.
- The adjustment screws have the earlier heads with a rectangular cross section.
- Derailleur brands: Rino
- Country: Italy
- Date of introduction: 1981?
- Date of this example: unknown
- Model no.: unknown
- Weight: 183g
- Maximum cog: 24 teeth?
- Total capacity: 24 teeth?
- Pulley centre to centre: 48mm
- Index compatibility: friction
- Chain width: 3/32”
- Logic: top normal
- B pivot: unsprung
- P pivot: sprung
- Materials: aluminium (including the hanger bolt and the allen key cap over the main pivot spring)