I believe that the very last Rino derailleurs to be unleashed on the world were rebranded DNP Epoch-1s. The DNP Epoch-1 was, itself, a faithful copy of a SunTour Cyclone 7000. So there is not much of Rino's DNA even close to this derailleur. However this mongrel parentage means that it is a relatively well designed and solidly engineered object - if a little heavy.
There is a bit of a trend here. FiR also offered rebranded DNP Epoch-1s as their lower-end models - although FiR up-specced even these with Allen key cable clamp bolts and classy finishes.
This example is the long cage version - which, I have been told, may be called the Rino Elite - although I do not have any documentary evidence for this.
I have two thoughts about this particular derailleur:
- Firstly it came to me encrusted in rock hard muck, with well used pulley wheels and looking as if it had just enjoyed a full fifteen rounds with Mike Tyson. Despite this it has cleaned up rather respectably and exhibits exactly no play - which is a tribute to the quality of its construction and finishes. That chrome just gleams.
- Secondly it is not a derailleur that I ever expected to see. An 85mm cage usually indicates that this is a mountain bike (rather than 'racing triple') component. Rino was such a 'roadie' brand - I don't think I have ever seen a Rino equipped mountain bike (although I have seen a Rino thumb shifter). By 1989 the Italian component industry was in full-blown panic in the face of the mountain bike boom (and related road bike bust) so anything was possible - FiR, after all, offered the very similar FiR Nettuno?. But even so, a Rino mountain bike derailleur seems a touch desperate.
- Derailleur brands: Rino, manufactured by DNP
- Country: Italy, manufactured in Taiwan
- Date of introduction: 1985?
- Date of this example: unknown
- Model no.: unknown
- Weight: 302g
- Maximum cog: 32 teeth (a guess based on DNP)
- Total capacity: unknown
- Pulley centre to centre: 85mm
- Index compatibility: 6 speed
- Chain width: 3/32”
- Logic: top normal
- B pivot: sprung
- P pivot: sprung
- Materials: aluminium knuckles and outer parallelogram plate, the rest is steel