Digging through patent documents can sometimes offer hints at what we might be riding in a few years’ time. Often the wacky designs don’t see the light of day, but even then, it’s interesting to see what ideas the bike industry’s brains are working on. Here are a few that we’ve spotted lately.
The proposed derailleur on the right remains higher above the ground than a conventional derailleur.
Shimano’s three jockey wheel derailleur
We first spotted this one on Cycling News . It’s a patent from Shimano for a derailleur with three jockey wheels, apparently designed to offer more ground clearance with a wide-range cassette. There is an upper jockey wheel in about the normal place that guides the chain onto the cassette, but instead of one lower wheel to tension the chain, it has two. These wheels are positioned horizontally in front of the first one, keeping them higher off the ground. The chain wraps around the two tensioning wheels, which are mounted on opposite ends of a spring-loaded arm that pivots between the two. When the chain shifts into a larger sprocket, the arm rotates such that there’s a shorter path for the chain to go from the chain ring to the upper jockey wheel.
The key advantage is that it stays higher above the ground than a conventional derailleur cage. The patent also states that it can be used with a cassette with a wide gear range. Perhaps that means a wider range than Shimano’s current […]
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