The Samlip Tiger is a fairly faithful copy of a early 1970s Shimano Skylark. It is notable for two things:
- It is, surprisingly, the only South Korean derailleur that I can recall.
- It has a lushly chromed outer parallelogram plate, but all the rest is zinc plated. This gives well-used examples a very particular look, with the gleaming outer parallelogram plate set like a jewel in the oxidised, blackened, crud encrusted, whole. But it's nothing that a few minutes in a mild bath of vinegar can't sort.
It is an unassuming item, but it is strongly and accurately made and looks as though it will give long and reliable service.
I have no good information about the dates of production of the Samlip Tiger. I know of two unverified theories:
- One correspondent has suggested that it was produced during 'ten-speed boom' in the USA in the first few years of the 1970s. At this time there was a great shortage of derailleurs, leading a number of brands to enter the market. This seems a little early to me for a copy of a 1972 Shimano - but not impossible.
- Another correspondent has suggested that the Samlip Tiger was a response to the massive rise in the value of the Japanese Yen in the last years of the 1970s. This made Japanese derailleurs impossibly expensive in many markets - giving local companies a real opportunity to profitably compete. However, by this time the Skylark had changed - with the springs on its adjustment screws replaced by a plastic piece to keep them tight - so one might have assumed that Samlip might have adopted this on their copy.
Despite my reservations about springs, I tend to the second of these views. So I have plumped for a date of 1980.
This is one of two Samlip Tigers in this collection. The difference between them lies in the cable routing geometry and, specifically, the position of the cable adjuster. On this, pleasantly pristine, example the adjuster is placed slightly behind the inner parallelogram pivot.
I am not quite clear what this position does to the operation of the derailleur - so I can't easily speculate which of the two versions came first.
- Derailleur brands: Samlip
- Country: South Korea
- Date of introduction: 1980?
- Date of this example: unknown
- Model no.: unknown
- Weight: 298g including hanger plate
- Maximum cog: 28 teeth (a guess based on an equivalent Shimano model)
- Total capacity: 28 teeth (a guess based on an equivalent Shimano model)
- Pulley centre to centre: 54mm
- Index compatibility: friction
- Chain width: 3/32”
- Logic: top normal
- B pivot: unsprung
- P pivot: sprung
- Materials: steel