When it comes to bicycles, there are quite a few things that many of us probably take for granted – access to great trails, well established dealer networks, and affordable repair parts to name a few. Depending on a rider’s location, that last one can make getting your bike back in service much more difficult than just cruising down to the local bike shop and picking up a replacement.
That was the situation a former mechanic from Argentina found himself in when an XTR derailleur needed an entirely new cage. Citing the extremely high cost and limited availability of repair parts in Argentina, German who is now a college professor has continued his bike repairs at his house. Having already repaired 7 or 8 derailleurs for local racers including XT, XTR, and SRAM XX/X0, this was the first time German attempted to build a complete cage for a rear derailleur.
Without a machining background we think German did an amazing job with little more than basic tools, pen, and paper…
German may be working on his dining room table now, but once a bike mechanic, always a bike mechanic, right? German says he started as a mechanic in 1998 and continued to work at shops through college. The project started with a disassembly of the derailleur to inspect the damage. Putting his love of drawing to good use, the original design is transferred to paper, then transferred to a plate of aluminum.
Using a saw, drill, files, and sand paper the cage is slowly cut out from the plate.
Finishing touches are added to both sides of the cage and checked for fit with new pulleys.
Pretty impressive for a DIY derailleur cage. German says it was finished on a Saturday and then proven the very next day with a 60km mountain bike race on the Chilean border. Great work German, we love to see ingenuity and problem solving like this from around the world!
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