Shimano - spring forward, fall back

Shimano Eagle GS derailleur (D330) main image Shimano 400FF (DC400F) main image Shimano Light Action derailleur (L532 SGS) main image

Throughout much of its history, Shimano has had an abiding fascination with spring-loading the cables that operate its derailleurs. This entails either including a sprung cable stop or a sprung cable clamp.

Shimano's hard working Marketing Department has justified this in a number of ways:

  • As a way of protecting the cable and extending its life - the 'Cable Saver'.
  • As a way of allowing the rider to 'Pre-select' a gear while the bike and chain are stationery - with the derailleur springing into action when the pedals start turning.
  • Or as a way of providing a seductive 'Light Action' that makes it easier and more pleasing to shift gears.

I never really bought into the first two explanations - but I thoroughly agreed with the third one.

These derailleurs with sprung cable mounting systems were surprisingly nice to use with a pleasing, supple, fluid, change.