DISRAELI GEARS

Super Leader Compétition (1st style)

Super Leader Compétition (1st style) derailleur main image

The Super Leader Compétition was Charles Gauterot's design for a racing derailleur. Like his earlier Super Leader Route, it was beautifully made, with tight tolerances and high quality plating.

Unlike the ground breaking Super Leader Route, the Super Leader Compétition was a touch retro. It was one of the last French single pulley derailleurs to be sold as a serious racing tool. However it did have a number of innnovative features:

  • The pulley wheel was elegantly shrouded in aluminium that protected it both from catching in the spokes and from getting clogged with mud and road grime. These were very serious considerations at a time when many road races included long stretches of un-tarmacked roads. Right up until the 1950s the Tour de France could be considered more of a 'gravel' race than a 'road' race.
  • There is something fascinating going on with the chain tensioning spring. The spring itself acts on a pivoting arm which acts, in turn, on a long curved arm attached to the main body of the derailleur. The aim appears to be to manage the spring rate in some sophisticated, but utterly unneccesary, way. Genius!
  • Finally there are the various methods of attaching the derailleur hanger plate to the dropout. Charles Gauterot was clearly less than impressed with the humble, conventional, bolt and shaped, flanged nut - and most mechanics would share his views. These conventional nuts and bolts always loosen off and frequently go missing in action. We only tolerate them because they are cheap, simple, kind-of-work-almost-well-enough and, most crucially, they are not even used on 'good' bikes (like those ridden by the mechanics themselves). As Citizen Smith might have said (but probably didn't), 'snobbery is robbery'.

  • This example of the Super Leader Compétition has an extravagant hanger plate that includes a seat-stay clamp. This hanger plate is also featured in French Patent # 1,017,448.


    • Derailleur brands: Super Leader
    • Country: France
    • Date of introduction: 1950
    • Date of this example: unknown
    • Model no.: unknown
    • Weight: 265g including a very extravagant hanger plate
    • Maximum cog: unknown
    • Total capacity: unknown
    • Pulley centre to centre: none
    • Index compatibility: friction
    • Chain width: 3/32”?
    • Logic: low normal
    • B pivot: sprung
    • P pivot: none
    • Materials: steel
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