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In looking at bicycle derailleurs over the past couple of articles (HERE, and HERE), I couldn't help but see a similar phenomenon -- evolutionary dead ends in the line of bicycle components.In the mid-to-late-80s, Campagnolo was fighting for its life.
The 2-position parallelogram was a really interesting idea -- but it never caught on. In early 1988, Campagnolo released Croce d'Aune, named after the famous mountain pass where the young Tullio Campagnolo, his fingers frozen numb in the cold, was inspired to create the first quick release hub. Like the C-Record and almost all other Campy derailleurs dating back to the original Gran Sport, it utilized the traditional hanging parallelogram structure.In 1985, Shimano introduced a new click-shifting version of Dura-Ace and kicked off the indexing revolution. Sun Tour responded quickly (though some would argue not quickly enough), while Campagnolo apparently hoped indexed shifting was a fad that would go away, and their first attempts at competing with it just could not hold their own against the competition.Not only that, but mountain bikes were sweeping the market, dominated by Japanese component groups.Between 19, Campagnolo introduced C-Record, Chorus, Croce d'Aune, and Athena -- each with a different derailleur design.In addition, there were two versions released of their Syncro indexing shift levers, plus Centaur and Euclid mountain-bike groups.