Canadian Cycling Magazine - - VINTAGE VELO -

Mike Barry Sr.’s Luc­chini derailleur has a lever and a rod that runs par­al­lel to the drive-side seat­stay. When you push or pull the lever, the rear mech moves the chain from cog to cog.

“I got this derailleur in about 1953,” Barry says. “I used to hang around a bike shop in Lon­don. A guy had the part taken off his bike and wanted a more con­ven­tional derailleur put on. The guy who owned the shop just gave the Luc­chini derailleur to me. Even though I put it on my bike, I never knew what sort of con­trol it re­ally had. I knew that it was a rod of some sort, but I used a stiff wire.” Later, like the pre­vi­ous owner of the derailleur, Barry re­placed the Luc­chini with a more mod­ern-look­ing com­po­nent. The Luc­chini then sat in a junk box for close to 60 years.

In 2008, Barry went to a vin­tage bike part show in the U.S. and saw some­thing fa­mil­iar. “I was at Cirque de Cy­clisme,” he says. “There was a guy with a Luc­chini on a bike, so I took some pho­to­graphs of the con­trol.” Barry fash­ioned a lever and rod for the derailleur, dug up an old frame from his col­lec­tion and put the ren­o­vated part on a bike he’s dubbed the Tor­pado Project.

“I don’t think Luc­chini ever made a front derailleur, none that I can track down,” he says. “I thought, ‘If Luc­chini had made one, what would it look like?’ So I made one to match things up.” His retro-in­ven­tion rounds out the bike nicely.— MP

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