Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 88 Post(s)
I suppose it's possible it might work, but it would more serendipitous than not. Indexed shifting systems are designed as a package: shifters, derailleurs, cluster. A specific amount of cable pull from the shifter moves the derailleur precisely the right distance to move the chain from one cog to the next. If the cog spacing is off, or the derailleur geometry different enough to cause a difference in how far the cable pulls the derailleur, it won't work, or at a minimum it won't work well.
It sounds like your shifters and cluster are relatively modern, but the "Crane" derailleur dates from the mid -1970s. There's no guarantee its geometry will work with indexing, and it lacks the floating upper pulley that allows the chain to center itself on the cog. But you have it already (apparently) so it can't hurt to try. I suspect you'll end up replacing it with a modern derailleur to get the indexing to work satisfactorily.