DISRAELI GEARS

Taganrog (1st style)

Taganrog (1st style) derailleur main image

The Taganrog derailleur is a bit like the final year project of a capable engineering student with a love of derailleurs. The Taganrog is very accurately machined, with the look of a product of a CNC machine - but I suspect that there were more humans than computers involved in its manufacture. However, technically irrelevant, but commercially important, factors like the surface finishes are not as refined as you might expect of a more formally marketed product.

All of this is consistent with it being manufactured in the Beriev aeroplane factory, but as a kind of illicit private operation. You can see more information about this here.

The derailleur, itself, is an upmarket aluminium version of the 1970s Shimano Skylark - kind of like a Shimano Crane without the drop parallelogram. Some features that I note are:

  • It has two sprung pivots, and an overall geometry just like a mid 1970s Shimano Skylark.
  • The adjustment screws are on the bottom edge of the outer parallelogram plate, just like a mid 1970s Shimano Skylark.
  • It is made of aluminium, with large headed b-pivot and p-pivot allen bolts, rather like a mid 1970s Shimano Crane.
  • The cable clamp fitting and the cable adjuster are extremely derivative of those on a mid 1970s Shimano Crane.

But...

  • The pulley cage and has a mid-century modernist look.
  • The sprung plate at the b-pivot has a kind of similarity to to an early Mavic 800.
  • Most examples are hard-anodised in an undyed 'antique bronze' finish.
  • The lack of tacky branding is surprisingly refreshing.

And finally...

  • I have, above, blithely said that Taganrog derailleurs have two sprung pivots like a Shimano (or Simplex) design. However, the b-pivot spring on a Shimano or Simplex derailleur drives the p-pivot towards the rear of the bicycle, contributing to chain tension. In contrast, all three of my Taganrog derailleurs are set up so that the b-pivot spring drives the p-pivot forwards - towards the front of the bicycle. The purpose of this is, as yet, unclear to me.


This particular example has had a hard life. I acquired it completely covered in a gruesomely thick layer of gloss black paint - probably regular house paint rather than enamel. Before I subjected it to a good dose of paint stripper I tried to chip off some of this paint in various areas to determine what was underneath. Under the paint there appeared to be only a brushed natural aluminium finish - with no sign of Taganrog's signature hard-anodised undyed 'antique bronze' finish. I don't know if this brushed aluminium finish is original or not - but there is a chance that it is. I do also have my suspicions about the originality of the ostentatious, brass coloured, cable clamp nut and the rather long adjustment screws - but in the absence of any other evidence I have left them as I found them.

Based only on my gut instinct, I think that this is a relatively early Taganrog derailleur. Some of its features include:

  • The outer parallelogram plate has been milled with a 'weight-saving' channel.
  • The p-pivot allen bolt is hollow, but the b-pivot allen bolt is solid. Both are made of steel and have heads with rather smooth curved surfaces.
  • There is a complex steel casting at the b-pivot that engages with the braze-on hanger.
  • None of the parallelogram pivots are removable, all are rivetted.
  • The p-pivot spring fits differently from my other two Taganrog derailleurs.
  • I has a brushed aluminium finish - which may or may not be original - see the discussion above.


  • Derailleur brands: Taganrog
  • Country: Russia
  • Date of introduction: 1985?
  • Date of this example: unknown
  • Model no.: unknown
  • Weight: 227g
  • Maximum cog: 28 teeth?
  • Total capacity: 28 teeth?
  • Pulley centre to centre: 46mm
  • Index compatibility: friction
  • Chain width: 3/32”
  • Logic: top normal
  • B pivot: sprung
  • P pivot: sprung
  • Materials: largely aluminium
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