Classic & Vintage - Benelux Rear Derailleur Questions
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Attached is a picture of what I think is a Benelux Mark 7. It is not complete, as you can see. The chain thingie that goes in the lower hole is missing - does this piece thread in or do you have to disassemble the derailleur to attach it? The flat spring looks a little intimidating to me and I'd rather not disassemble the whole thing if I can avoid it.
The claw and bolt at the top is also missing, but the bike that I'm thinking about putting it on has an integral hanger - can this derailleur be attached to the hanger directly, and should it pivot or be held fast at that point?
Hmmm,,,without the bolt that attaches to the claw putting it on an integral derailler is not likely. You need some sort of bolt that fits that hole on the derailler to make the attachment. I have 3 of Benelux "Mark 7" deraillers, all have the bolt/claw assembly.
12-01-07, 02:13 PM
What were you planning to use that with? I may be mistaken, but from the photo it appears to have a pulley cage suited for only a 2-speed freewheel and using a 1/8 " chain.
The Mk-7 was really rated for only a 13-24 freewheel and with only a 4-tooth difference in chainrings - giving a total chainwrap capacity of 15 t. They worked okay within their limits.
Mine has a claw hanger with a separate stop also bolted on, and this piece has an adjuster screw to orient it to the best distance from the rear cogs. But, I suppose you might get it to work on a bike using a simple upper bolt... if you can fashion the correct stop for the hanger to prevent it from simply pulling forward and flipping from chain tension. It did not have a secondary spring at the top bolt.
Above all, as you already noticed, yours is missing the threaded pull-chain to actuate the "plunger" within the spring housing.
12-01-07, 05:11 PM
So, I presume you need this to restore a bike from the 1950s. I'm not 100% familiar with the Benelux, but it's similar to the Simplex Tour de France of the same period, which I had. If you can find or fabricate a mounting bolt for your hanger, you still need to have the stop at the correct angle. There may be markings somewhere that tells you how many gears it can shift. Have a look here (http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/benelux-adj.html) for info on adjustment.
A Campagnolo Gran Sport would be period-correct and vastly superior, with the benefit of not crashing into the spokes if the cable slips or breaks.
Disclosure: I had a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed AW hub with a 14-16-18-20 1/8" cogset. Frustrated by having only of the gears and lousy shifting, I upgraded from a bandspring Cyclo to a Gran Sport, which worked like a champ.
I am thinking of redoing the Hetchins, and it looks (from the original pics) that this is what the bike was originally outfitted with. But - Stronglight is right, after looking (only for a sec) the 2Sp1/8 marking is perfectly clear. Looks like this one is only good for some parts.
The Hetchins is a '57, and I currently have it rigged with a Nuovo Record rear, record cranks and a single front chainring. I have a benelux rod that has been waiting for a benelux rear for quite some time now...looks like it'll have to wait some more.
At risk of hijacking my own thread, I have a steel Campy Record rear...and I dunno the timeframe for that derailleur. Is it period correct for this frame?
12-01-07, 08:26 PM
I don't think there was ever a steel Record. The chromed bronze Record was introduced late in 1963. The best you could do before that was Gran Sport. I always thought that my old Record shifted better than my Nuovo Record.
Well, then, I can't find it to argue...the garage is this large transitional battle zone in my little private war to get moved from one house to the other, and there are many boxes that aren't unpacked yet...but I found a gran sport with steel arms and bronze end pieces. No open "C". Other than that, just like catalog 14, and not found in catalog 15.
So I suppose that this one is close to right, no?
12-01-07, 11:09 PM
The Record had a different pulley cage design than the older Gran Sport. The pivot bolt on the GS was directly in line with and centered between between the two pulleys. This means that when you shifted chainrings and the chain pulled the lower pulley forward, it tended to screw up the gap between the upper pulley and the sprockets. During the 1960s, when the norm for cranksets gradually increased the difference between the sizes of the chainrings, this issue was really amplified. The Record moved the pivot forward and up a bit, so front shifts had less effect on the rear derailleur, and it could also handle larger cogs better. I use it with a 28t large sprocket and it handles this very well. I think this design was continued into the Nuovo Record too.
"... I always thought that my old Record shifted better than my Nuovo Record."
I can't explain why, but I too find the Record shifts better (at least onto larger sprockets) than the Nuovo Record. Perhaps just stiffer construction of the heavier metal than the later alloy cages helps to push the chain better? _ Or, maybe it's just my imagination because I just expect that a newer, lighter, seemingly more modern derailleur would shift better than the NR ever could. :o
I suspect that if you don't try to push the Gran Sport beyond the limits of its intended chainwrap capacity, it should work fine on the Hetchins. But, just remember that it came from an era when there was probably a difference of no more than maybe six teeth between the chainrings, and the largest rear cogs were 24 or 26 teeth. ;)
I'm pretty sure that if I use the benelux rod in the front that I won't see six teeth difference (there is no front derailleur brazeon shifter boss, and there is a rear shifter boss). The other option, I think, is to leave it a single front chainring. I can't tell from the pictures whether the original had a front shifter or not. Later, the owner sawed off the single shifter boss (sound familiar?) and clamped on a set of record shift levers. I had the frame guy restore it to the single boss, as it was way back when.
This is an Experto Crede, not fancy, no chrome, but with the curley stay option and the experto crede pattern lugs. The original build thread is here... (http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=197500). I'll try to finish that thread if I can get some sunlight tomorrow, and show the bike as it currently sits.
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