Classic Lightweights UK
Campagnolo front changersPeter Underwood and Kevin Sayles
This very early Campagnolo front 'lever'changer was designated as the Sport, it does not seem to be mentioned in Campag timelines but was illustrated in a 1948/9 catalogue. We would welcome more information.
Early Campagnolo front gear changers went through many subtle changes and we have tried to evaluate these starting with the Gran Sport and Valentino 'matchbox' front changers:
Peter Lowry has kindly done an image of the Campagnolo Gran Sport front changer showing the rod emerging straight from the 'box'. The later and cheaper Valentino changer had a shoulder here to give the rod more support.
John Crump provided an image of a Valentino front changer for comparison (Peter wouldn't have anything so common!). The shoulder supporting the rod can clearly be seen.
Amir Avitzur provides us with the following two images. The first shows the Gran Sport and the Valentino side-by-side - you should know which is which by now. Note the set screw angle relative to the cage.
And this one shows you the component parts of a Gran Sport. A year's free subscription to 'Classic Lightweights' for the first to work out how it goes together!
Peter Brueggeman points out that the set screw which holds the cage to the operating rod is at the top on the Gran Sport but at right angles on the Valentino(Image from Bryan Clarke)
In 1960 the parallelogram Record front changer (image below) was added to the Gran Sport Group in place of the above gear often referred to as the 'matchbox' changer. This early Record had the long arm with cable stop which can be seen below. This enabled a short length of outer cable to be used between it and a cable eye clamped to, or brazed onto, the frame down tube (see bottom of page). It would also be possible to use outer cable from the lever to the changer but I have never seen this done.
The cable stop was removed in 1967 when Campagnolo introduced the clamp-on bottom bracket cable guide which allowed an open cable run without use of the outer cable. The modified Gran Sport was re-introduced in 1963 as a Campagnolo (budget) changer in black and in 1964 as the Valentino, another budget front changer.
General overview of Campagnolo model production of this era as a guide:
a definite preference for obtaining old Campag stuff.........and in
particular Record front mechs!
First generation changer with chrome bronze arms retained by screws
(on Kevin's wish list!)
Gen 2: 1959/60 - Bronze arms, cable stop, larger body. Gen 3: 1963 - Alloy arms, slotted cable stop, smaller body.
Later insertion - Generation 2A as second generation but with slotted cable stop (Bill Kloos)
Generation 2 and 3 - rear view
Later insertion - Generation 3A with chromed bronze arms (Bill Kloos)
Gen 4: 1967 - no cable stop. Gen 5: 1971 - later body, but no circlip.
Generation 4 and 5 - rear view
Generation 4 and 5 side view
Gen 5: 1971 - later body, but no circlip. Gen 6: 1972 - later body with circlip.
Generation 7 (1978) with lip on front of cage
Generation 8 (right) and 9 (left) (1978/9) - narrow bands with 3-hole and 4-hole cages
Campagnolo 3-hole Nuovo Record
Campagnolo Super Record with shield logo
Generation 13 - 1986/87
Image showing early front changer cable routing ('matchbox' and early Record)
Some frames have a braze-on boss on the down tube for this
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