Unusually, the Shimano Capreo (F700) groupset was aimed at good quality, small-wheeled folding bikes. In a fit of outrageous pretentiousness Shimano informed the world that the name 'Capreo' was derived from 'Capreolus' the latin word for a fawn. In Shimano's own words the name 'images a small wheel bike which runs through the street speedily like a fawn'. Some marketing dude clearly needed to ease up on the wacky baccy.
The groupset's stand-out feature was that the rear hub had a special freehub body and a special sprocket cassette that could take a 9 tooth top sprocket. This allowed you to get a decent top gear, even with 20" or smaller wheels. Consumers were sternly warned not to use Capreo components on bikes with wheel sizes over 20''.
A choice of two rear derailleurs were offered - a short cage SS model and an extra long cage SGS model. This was slightly odd, because the groupset only offered one choice of chainset - a 45T single ring model and only one choice of freehub cluster - 9-26T. What exactly was the SGS derailleur supposed to be for?
The rear derailleurs were claimed to be built-from-the-ground-up to handle a 9 tooth top sprocket. You can appreciate that a tiny top sprocket might require a slightly different pulley cage design, or some other minor tweak to the geometry.
But to my jaded, cynical, eye the short cage derailleur looks alarmingly like a Shimano Tiagra (4400 SS) - but with different colouring and branding. I can't see a micron of difference anywhere in the geometry. I will concede that the long cage derailleur is clearly not a Shimano Tiagra (4400 GS), but looks like the parallelogram of a Shimano Tiagra (4400) married to the extra long pulley cage of a Shimano Deore (M510). Shimano's exploded view almost confesses to this.
And the final madness is that Shimano claimed that both Capreo (F700) derailleurs had the same maximum top sprocket (26T) and the same total capacity (17T). Given that a Shimano Tiagra (4400 SS) has a 27T maximum sprocket and a total capacity of 29T, this can't be right in engineering terms. In marketing terms Shimano clearly wanted consumers to only use Capreo derailleurs with the Capreo freehub cluster - which had a maximum sprocket of 26T and a total difference of 17T.
This is a rather nice example of the short cage Shimano Capreo (F700 SS).
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