Monday, April 14, 2014

Depricated Shifting System Spotlight: Shimano Airlines

   Ready for a throwback? I'd never even heard of this technology, but apparently it made a brief appearance in the 2000: Shimano Pneumatic shifting. I'll give you a moment to let that sink in.

   Ready to go on? Ok.

A thrill indeed!

   Here is what the whole set up looks like:

Shimano Airline System

   Of course, normal cable shifting systems are run with, you know, cables. There are a few out there that stray from cables - the Shimano DI2 Electronic and even some hydraulic systems. Pneumatic shifting is a whole other thing.

   They were mainly used for downhill, as they weren't real light. The system included a remote air canister, usually held where the water bottle would be.

   The compressed air worked in leu of cables. The specially designed derailleur would shift based on the air pressure. While the system was a commercial failure, it was a good exercise for Shimano to see what was possible and what wasn't. 

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