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Front, Derailleur

A bicycle component that shifts the chain between different sprockets of the drivetrain.

Example usage: I need to adjust the front derailleur to get the perfect gear ratio.

Most used in: Mountain biking, road cycling, and other forms of cycling.

Most used by: Experienced cyclists who are looking to fine-tune their bike setup.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 2/10

Also see: Chainring, Chainrings, Chainwheel, Chainwheels,


What is a Front Derailleur?

A front derailleur is a type of bicycle component used to shift the chain between different chainrings on a multi-speed bicycle. It is typically found on road bikes, mountain bikes, and hybrid bikes, and is operated by a shifter on the handlebars. It is used to move the chain between different sprockets on the crankset, allowing the rider to switch between different gear ratios.

The front derailleur is usually mounted on the bottom bracket of the bike frame and is held in place by a clamp or band. It consists of two pulleys and a cage that houses the chain. The pulleys move the chain from one chainring to another, while the cage keeps the chain in place. The front derailleur is usually operated by a shifter on the handlebars, which is connected to the derailleur by a cable.

Front derailleurs are an essential component of any multi-speed bicycle, as they allow the rider to switch between different gear ratios to suit various conditions and terrain. According to a recent survey, around 95% of multi-speed bicycles use a front derailleur.


The Origin of the Term 'Front Derailleur' in Cycling

The term 'front derailleur' first appeared in French cycling publications in the early 1940s. It is believed to be derived from the French word 'dérailleur,' which literally translates to 'one who derails.'

Before the term became popular, the component was referred to as a 'chain wheel exchanger' or 'chain wheel changer.' It was first used to describe a device that allowed riders to switch between different sized chainrings, thus allowing cyclists to change their gearing on the fly.

The first front derailleur was designed in the 1930s and developed by French cycling innovator Paul de Vivie. This design was later refined by Tullio Campagnolo, who is widely credited with inventing the modern derailleur system.

The term 'front derailleur' has since become a familiar phrase among cyclists around the globe and is now used to refer to the front-mounted mechanism that shifts the chain between the chainrings.

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Saddle Slang

Find definitions for all of the technical terms, slang, and acronyms used in cycling. From the different types of bikes and their components, to training techniques, racing terminology and put downs, this dictionary has it all.

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