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$1,000 derailleur system with 1930's technology

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$1,000 derailleur system with 1930's technology

Old 12-15-22, 10:41 AM
  #151  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Jan mentions these lower chain stay derailleurs as fitting the chain around three sides of the rear cluster. I wonder if that adds benefits, like durability. I would assume they skip less often under load, making them safer when you're climbing out of the saddle.
spend big dollars to avoid chain and cog wear.
all the "reasons" are silly.
a flight of fancy with Paul Components styling.
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Old 12-15-22, 10:58 AM
  #152  
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I hope I get to see a few bikes with the new Nivex derailleur in person before too long. Maybe someone will even let me ride one. I would be tempted to try one, but not on these conditions. I mess around with stuff, I modify things, try to different ways of making them work, and I'm not interested in something that already has all the bugs worked out.

Related to this thread, I can give some feedback about the Suntour S-1 derailleur that @gugie mounted to my Cera bike frame for me.

The S-1 was a chain-stay mounted derailleur that Suntour introduced just before they went out of business. They made several different versions. The one I have is a seven speed, long cage model. Unlike other derailleurs, it indexes at the derailleur, not the shifter. There is a cam mechanism on the derailleur that aligns the derailleur with the cog (if it's adjusted right). I shift it with a Suntour power shifter mounted on the shifter boss on the frame.

As I understand the Nivex derailleur, the action of the shifter is so light that the derailleur will feather itself. It doesn't have a spring moving it one way or the other, so the cable isn't under tension. It's only tight enough to not be loose. Anyone who's used a lever operated front derailleur (suicide shifter) knows the feeling. A slight tap with my finger and it shifts, and then it feathers itself and becomes silent within seconds. It's pretty sweet. The idea of a rear derailleur that shifts like that, well, I find that pretty appealing.

The Suntour S-1 is not like that. Like every other Suntour derailleur, there is a spring that keeps the derailleur in a normal-high position. The shifter cable pulls against that spring to get to the lower gears. The action of the derailleur is therefore a balance between the tension of the spring and the shifter; in order to work, the action has to be tight enough to hold the shift lever in place but loose enough that the rider can move the shift lever without much effort. So the action feels more or less like moving any other shifter, with the added wrinkle that the derailleur indexes itself. It took me a while to get used to the way it feels.

Initially, the derailleur was always a little noisy, as if not quite aligned with the cassette. I think it was just teething trouble, though, because it settled down after a couple weeks and I haven't heard any more from it. It proves to be a rugged and reliable system, shifts quickly and quietly in either direction. It will ghost shift if I let the action on the shifter get too loose, like any friction shifter. It is really an excellent derailleur. But it is not a special derailleur, or a fancy derailleur. There is nothing really remarkable about it. I'm perfectly happy with it, but it hasn't changed my life.

Wheel changes are not a problem as long as I remember to use the chain catcher attached to the dropout. It's basically like a porta catena system, but you put the chain on the chainrest with a stick before you take the wheel out. This system would work better with a through axle than with a QR.
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Old 12-15-22, 12:17 PM
  #153  
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2 cable RDs plane better and one cable RDs. Everyone knows that.
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Old 12-15-22, 11:58 PM
  #154  
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Something occurred to me today.

There are figures like Grant and Jan in some other hobbies/communities I’m heavily involved in and regardless of how I do or don’t feel about them, I’m certain that my corner of the bicycle world would be far worse off without their presence, attitudes and decisions (having seen it happen elsewhere).

Much more creativity, debate and excitement is generated by such figures than we may realize or give enough credit to.

Last edited by polymorphself; 12-16-22 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 12-16-22, 12:35 AM
  #155  
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Originally Posted by polymorphself View Post
Something occurred to me today.

There are figures like Grant and Jan in some other hobbies/communities Iím heavily involved in and regardless of how I do or I donít feel about them Iím certain that my corner of the bicycle world would be far worse off without their presence, attitudes and decisions (having seen it happen elsewhere).

Much more creativity, debate and excitement is generated by such figures than we may realize or give enough credit to.
Agreed, glad Grant and Jan are around.

But I still think $1k for a rear derailleur and shifter is a bit austentatious. And selling hatchets along with bike stuff is kinda odd.
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Old 12-16-22, 08:31 AM
  #156  
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Agreed, glad Grant and Jan are around.

But I still think $1k for a rear derailleur and shifter is a bit austentatious. And selling hatchets along with bike stuff is kinda odd.
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Old 12-16-22, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by polymorphself View Post
Something occurred to me today.

There are figures like Grant and Jan in some other hobbies/communities Iím heavily involved in and regardless of how I do or I donít feel about them Iím certain that my corner of the bicycle world would be far worse off without their presence, attitudes and decisions (having seen it happen elsewhere).

Much more creativity, debate and excitement is generated by such figures than we may realize or give enough credit to.
Yeah I dabbled in large format photography a while back and there were lots of neat, innovative products from small businesses going on in that little niche. Even if I don't spend much money at Herse or Rivendell they still entertain me to some extent.
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Old 12-16-22, 01:37 PM
  #158  
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
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I went shopping for titanium camp hatchets that would work in a jersey pocket after a particularly frustrating and dangerous run-in with a guy in an antique car.

I went and looked for pictures of the original Nivex, and they were all-sheet metal designs. They didn't really fit on a nice bike. I feel like RH could have probably made this look more like a Huret Jubilee and less like a Paul if it was a priority.
Maybe someone will do it as an aftermarket project.
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Old 12-16-22, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I went and looked for pictures of the original Nivex, and they were all-sheet metal designs. They didn't really fit on a nice bike.
The Nivex was released in the 1930ís and most (all?) of the derailleurs of the period had similar pressed-metal construction that doesnít age well and looks like crap to modern sensibilities. Look at a Simplex Champion or Cyclo and the Nivex is less cheap-looking, if anything. There was no sculpted artwork of a derailleur like a Nuovo Record or Jubilee as an option in 1938.
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Old 12-16-22, 04:27 PM
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You can't claim your product is made of "over 50 custom parts" and claim its a production unit. Are you making production quantities for the masses, or small batches for people who have more money than common sense? Pick one, market and price accordingly ($1000 with no shifter is plain stupid. For that matter $1000 with the shifter would still be stupid).
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Old 12-16-22, 07:43 PM
  #161  
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Dura-Ace R9100 mechanical shifters and derailleurs are $920 total. Just for comparison. And maybe for my research purposes....... bet they shift pretty well.
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Old 12-17-22, 07:06 AM
  #162  
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I just got an e-mail from RH, there's now a Nivex T-shirt and, at $28, much cheaper than the rear derailleur. Sadly, only in black.
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Old 12-17-22, 08:25 AM
  #163  
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Originally Posted by nesteel View Post
You can't claim your product is made of "over 50 custom parts" and claim its a production unit. Are you making production quantities for the masses, or small batches for people who have more money than common sense? Pick one, market and price accordingly ($1000 with no shifter is plain stupid. For that matter $1000 with the shifter would still be stupid).
Sure you can. I think he means that over 50 parts are not standard/normed parts and needed new tooling. Now that he has the "custom" tooling for his specific parts, he can make production quantities of these 50 odd-ball parts and a production derailleur.

But it is a strange claim nonetheless since it would be surprising if he could order all the parts for that thing out of a hardware store catalog and assemble them into . . . That.

And i would imagine that any derailleur has about that many type specific parts.

Now, His Suppleness claims you can rebuild the thing, but you need his "custom" parts. So it is a rather restrictive kind of rebuilding. If he really was committed to rebuilding, he would be boasting about how many non-custom, standard parts were in the thing. Sort of like how Riv boasts about the captive hex nut in their seat lug.

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Old 12-17-22, 08:59 AM
  #164  
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Janís new Nivex is really interesting. I was geeked when he announced this project about 2 years ago (I think).
I picked up a Schwinn hybrid framset for cheap and bodged it for 650b wheels (relocated canti posts) and intended to add the derailleur boss.
i contacted Jan (or one of his minions) through Instagramme and got a price estimate a couple months ago ó OUCH! Out of my price range.

seems like a lot of the initial comments were made with out having followed what Jan has been working on over the last 15 years. In particular with his relationship to the Herse family and his respect for French randeneuring and Japans passhunters. I hear he can be a bit of a wiener, but I still respect what heís accomplished in the beautiful/useful niche part of cycling.

cheers!

ps - I did look into the Suntour version, but itís indexed to 7 spd in the derailleur. I donít think it offered a friction mode. My Schwinn is the lugged version of the previously pictured Schwinn. The one pictured is TIG welded, probably Chinese made. I suspect my lugged version is Taiwan made, with a typical hanger.

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Old 12-17-22, 09:47 AM
  #165  
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Originally Posted by mrv View Post
seems like a lot of the initial comments were made with out having followed what Jan has been working on over the last 15 years. In particular with his relationship to the Herse family and his respect for French randeneuring and Japans passhunters. I hear he can be a bit of a wiener, but I still respect what heís accomplished in the beautiful/useful niche part of cycling.
I don't know about that. It's hard not to have followed it. He is a salesman among many other things, and he has been broadcasting his sales pitch with fervor.

I think a lot of the comments here were actually informed by that and growing feelings that he is so seriously into it (and himself) that he can be hard to take seriously sometimes. Really do we need another scientistic post about rolling resistance and tire suppleness? Does he really believe himself when he calls an obviously derivative derailleur completely new, while at the same time he has bought the Nivex trademark? Did anyone else notice that?

At the same time, I am in awe of the guy. Does he need any sleep? Between his riding, his company, his books, his totally brand new derivative derailleur, he is certainly productive.

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Old 12-17-22, 10:35 AM
  #166  
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
I just got an e-mail from RH, there's now a Nivex T-shirt and, at $28, much cheaper than the rear derailleur. Sadly, only in black.
So in the end it was all a scheme to sell t-shirts? Very clever!
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Old 12-17-22, 10:38 AM
  #167  
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Originally Posted by Frkl View Post
I don't know about that. It's hard not to have followed it. He is a salesman among many other things, and he has been broadcasting his sales pitch with fervor.

I think a lot of the comments here were actually informed by that and growing feelings that he is so seriously into it (and himself) that he can be hard to take seriously sometimes. Really do we need another scientistic post about rolling resistance and tire suppleness? Does he really believe himself when he calls an obviously derivative derailleur completely new, while at the same time he has bought the Nivex trademark? Did anyone else notice that?

At the same time, I am in awe of the guy. Does he need any sleep? Between his riding, his company, his books, his totally brand new derivative derailleur, he is certainly productive.
Bizzare attack without any foundation. Jan announced his new derailleur on his website which you need to be subscribed to receive a update. Didn't see the usual press releases and bs reviews on the marketing sites like Velonews, CyclingTips, Road, Bike Radar etc.

The C&V section is full of over the top illogical statements based on beliefs formed in peoples youths and being lived out in their old age why attack Jan?. He has played a key role in the the way we look at tires and tire width and believes in revisiting lessons learned in cycling's past and modernizing where applicable.
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Old 12-17-22, 10:50 AM
  #168  
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
Bizzare attack without any foundation. Jan announced his new derailleur on his website which you need to be subscribed to receive a update. Didn't see the usual press releases and bs reviews on the marketing sites like Velonews, CyclingTips, Road, Bike Radar etc.

The C&V section is full of over the top illogical statements based on beliefs formed in peoples youths and being lived out in their old age why attack Jan?. He has played a key role in the the way we look at tires and tire width and believes in revisiting lessons learned in cycling's past and modernizing where applicable.
You took that oddly personally.

I also said i was in awe of the guy. He has made himself a public figure and is thus open to criticism. His position is different than a forum members behind an anonymous user name. He has intentionally positioned himself front and center, and thus can take both praise and rebuke.

He has good ideas, and as others have said, he has made a good contribution. It isn't at all contradictory to also voice an opinion that he is rather arrogant.
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Old 12-17-22, 11:02 AM
  #169  
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Is this designed for touring bikes.

So, if you're out in some 3rd world country and your spokes eat the derailleur for one reason or another.

Then there are no local replacements.
The only supplier in the world is out of stock.

So, one has to either hand fabricate the damaged parts.
Or perhaps come up with a way to mount a claw derailleur.

Of course those corncob rear freewheels are so very popular with tourists.



Max. rear cog size: 30-tooth
Capacity: 35 teeth
Optimized for the following cassettes:

9-11-speed: 12-28 to 11-30
6-8-speed: 13-26 to 11-30

Use 10- or 12-tooth lower pulleys to optimize chain length and tension
I am a little surprised that fixed upper guide pulley can accommodate such a range.
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Old 12-17-22, 11:41 AM
  #170  
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
So in the end it was all a scheme to sell t-shirts? Very clever!
with bands today it is all about the merch clothing, beer, wine, pot all branded
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Old 12-17-22, 12:00 PM
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Of course grant is going a different way,,,,doing his own low normal derailler

i am actually glad these guys and others are tilting at the windmills of the big guys, becuase (shimano any way) mechanical shifting is being phased out at the high end, mechancal brakes the same, and you can see a futrure of 1x.

I may or may not ever want to use those technologies, but I don;t want to be forced into them



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Old 12-17-22, 12:16 PM
  #172  
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@squirtdad, thanks for pointing that out. I know I'm an outlier in the grand scheme and don't expect companies to cater to the whims of the few. But the big dogs are going places that don't interest me. Electronic shifting on a bicycle? No thank you. If the supply of decent friction systems/parts dried up tomorrow, and all I could get was electronic stuff, I'd probably just take up motorcycling again and leave the bicycles behind. Probably do a lot more fishing, too. That's just me, and maybe a few others.

If these other guys, GP and JH, are gonna make a run at these retro inspired designs, great! All I ask is that they make them attractive. I'm not putting something that looks like I cobbled it together out of my son's erector set on an otherwise gorgeous bike.
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Old 12-17-22, 01:48 PM
  #173  
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Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
....
If these other guys, GP and JH, are gonna make a run at these retro inspired designs, great! All I ask is that they make them attractive. I'm not putting something that looks like I cobbled it together out of my son's erector set on an otherwise gorgeous bike.
As a casual observer of this thread, I find it interesting that so many people have opinions on the RH Nivex clone. Yep, $1000 is a ton of money for a derailleur, especially if you grew up paying $30 for a great SunTour Cyclone. At the same time, for something that may only sell 100 copies, $1000 probably doesn't come close to paying for the engineering and test time involved, not to mention getting the CNC stuff set up, etc.

I'm not sure if BFisher is saying that the RH Nivex clone looks like an Erector set, but it sure isn't as graceful as a Campy NR derailleur. I will say that it is possible to make a Nivex clone that is a bit less refined than an Erector set, and that is the clone built by Chuck Harris a number of decades ago. Chuck made it for a bike that was going to get used, not a bike that was going to be polished and looked at (Not That There's Anything Wrong With That). It would be interesting to see what Chuck could do with stainless steel or aluminum stock that he could pick up at a hardware store nowadays.
For those who don't know Chuck, the Rivendell Reader ran a couple of articles about him. The first was an interview conducted by Sheldon Brown. The second is just a close look at Chuck's bike, which includes his Nivex clone. I'll attach it below.

Steve in Peoria (still happily using SunTour Cyclones)





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Old 12-17-22, 02:41 PM
  #174  
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@steelbikeguy, Yes. Mr. Harris definitely gets the 'erector' award, lol. But yeah, that is what comes to my mind when I look at this Nivex. As far as the used vs polished and looked at debate, I'll keep my beautiful and tough as nails Campagnolo.

I get the small run, cost of tooling and design, all of that. But at the end of the day, it's still a fairly clunky looking piece. Why not expect more? I don't see it matching the beautiful Herse crankset so well, personally. If it were more about function, and had little to do with aesthetic, why even spring for a Herse? Or a Riv? Or any other boutique or custom machine? He could have smoothed it out and refined it substantially, and certainly knows that, but made it clear that he will not. Heck, he probably would have still sold out if he chose to refine it and doubled the price. That's cool. It's his baby. But given the image Squirtdad posted of the Riv mech, if I'm going in on a neo-Herse, it'd get the Rivendell over that Nivex every time.
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Old 12-17-22, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
@steelbikeguy, Yes. Mr. Harris definitely gets the 'erector' award, lol. But yeah, that is what comes to my mind when I look at this Nivex. As far as the used vs polished and looked at debate, I'll keep my beautiful and tough as nails Campagnolo.

I get the small run, cost of tooling and design, all of that. But at the end of the day, it's still a fairly clunky looking piece. Why not expect more? I don't see it matching the beautiful Herse crankset so well, personally. If it were more about function, and had little to do with aesthetic, why even spring for a Herse? Or a Riv? Or any other boutique or custom machine? He could have smoothed it out and refined it substantially, and certainly knows that, but made it clear that he will not. Heck, he probably would have still sold out if he chose to refine it and doubled the price. That's cool. It's his baby. But given the image Squirtdad posted of the Riv mech, if I'm going in on a neo-Herse, it'd get the Rivendell over that Nivex every time.
There's a place for Chuck Harris's home-built aesthetic and a place for the Campy Record (and NR and SR, etc) aesthetic. I practice both, and each has their place.

The argument that the derailleur should meet the same aesthetic standard of the cranks is good. I definitely see the logic of that! I'll let Jan offer the definitive reason why that wasn't done, but let me offer my own guess.

The cranks require dies for forging (they are forged cranks, aren't they?). The tools are expensive, but it's one set of tools per crank arm, and they expected to sell many thousands of set.
The derailleur would need that same sort of look/feel for at least the four parts of the parallelogram... so that's the front plate, the rear plate, the forward pivot, and the aft pivot. I'll guess that they could be produced with die casting instead of forging, but that tooling still isn't cheap. That's twice the amount of tooling, roughly.

When I was involved with electronics design, a common number for the cost of the tooling for a small injection molded plastic part was $10,000. That's a nice rough number to work with, but I'd love to hear from mechanical or manufacturing engineers who know the real numbers. If you figure a total of $40k for just the tooling (because there are 4 pieces to be created), and 100 derailleurs produced, that's $400 per derailleur just for the tooling! With the usual markup of 50% to 100% to get to the retail price, that's $600 to $800 of the final price. With that sort of estimate, there's no way anyone would go ahead with that sort of production process.

Again, this is a marginally informed estimate, but I haven't seen anyone produce a better estimate yet. I think Jan's decision was appropriate.
However, if someone was inclined to come forward with $40k plus the NRE for the tooling design, maybe he'd produce a prettier version?

Steve in Peoria (with fond memories of my old Erector set)
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