SunTour defined the best of the 1970s with their exquisite slant parallelogram designs - and, a little late to the party, Rino copied them enthusiastically. Then for the 1980s Shimano hit back with the idea that derailleurs should be radically 'aerodynamic'. SunTour's, rather sceptical, response was a little low-key smoothing of their existing basic design. In contrast, Campagnolo's response was to throw caution to the wind and go styling mad with ample, shimmering, curvaceous, flowing surfaces. Needless to say none of this had any detectable effect on anything as dull as a drag coefficient.
With their 1984 Elegant Rino decided to have their cake and to eat it. They followed SunTour in doing a bit of desultory smoothing on the knuckles and parallelogram, but allowed a touch of Campagnolo's extravagance in the design of the pulley cage. The result is rather impressive - a light, effective derailleur with a distinctively bonkers look.
There were two generations of Rino Elegant:
- The first generation had Allen headed pulley bolts inserted from the inside, which were invisible from the outside. The outer pulley cage plate was smooth and uninterrupted. The first generation Elegants were also rather well finished. The coloured variants (this is Rino after all) had coloured outer parallelogram plates AND coloured outer pulley cage plates. Very swish.
- The second generation had Philips head pulley bolts inserted from the outside - and so did not have the uninterrupted outer pulley cage plate. These second generation models were also not as well finished - orange-peel surfacing springs to mind. And the coloured variants only had coloured outer parallelogram plates. Rino Radaelli's accountants had clearly had a word.
This is a nice, unused, example of a green, second generation, Rino Elegant. Some of its features are:
- It has pulley bolts with visible Phillips heads on the outside and nuts on the inside.
- Both pulleys are the traditional Rino type.
- Derailleur brands: Rino
- Themes: Ultra-lightweight - short cage models, A riot of colour
- Country: Italy
- Date of introduction: 1985?
- Date of this example: unknown
- Model no.: unknown
- Weight: 178g
- Maximum cog: 28 teeth?
- Total capacity: 28 teeth?
- Pulley centre to centre: 55mm
- Index compatibility: friction
- Chain width: 3/32”
- Logic: top normal
- B pivot: unsprung
- P pivot: sprung
- Materials: largely aluminium