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Attic What IZIT #11

by Bikeman • August 16, 2023

We had a lot of fun with the Attic What IZIT back in the day. We'd dig up some of the more obscure parts hiding here and put it out to our loyal visitors to come up with what it is. Bikeman would always know of course but it was entertaining to see how long it would take for someone else to come up with the correct answer. We would post the answer so the winner could take a victory lap. In the event of multiple correct answers we would post the most complete or creative one. We'll try to dust one of these off each week and keep the excitement going of what will pop up next.

Originally Published early in this century

Bikeman has done some Attic diving to find this, 11th Attic What IZIT. Looks like an easy one... Here are are required elements, Manufacturer, Model, Unique Functionality. The most complete answer will win and if we have more than one answer meeting the required elements the most creative gets the nod. Personal experience is a bonus.

There where several great answers to this edition of the Attic What IZIT. What separated the field was coming up with the correct product name (LMDS) and the correct functionality of the system. One answer faltered by mentioning a front derailleur, that to our knowledge never existed. The winning answer included the correct name of the system and a good interpretation of how the system functioned. We didn't find anyone who actually used the system, but that is not surprising. A thing of beauty but probably not the most functional mountain bike part ever. Look for a Museum special on this system later today.

The Winner is Jake Morton

"That has to be a White Industries Twist Shifter for the Linear Motion Derailleur System from 1997. The system used a looped cable to provide tension for both the up and down shift action, rather than the traditional derailleur return spring. I never had one because I worked in a shop at the time and couldn't afford it, but definitely always wanted one. The stainless rods that the rear derailleur slid up and down on were the height of cool. "

Runners Up

Marty Larson

"That is the right shifter of the fabled White Industries Linear Motion Derailleur System from the mid/Late 90's. The LMDS used a unique continuous cable loop to connect the shifter to the Derailleur. Both front and rear mech's moved on SS rods set at an angle to provide crisp, smooth shifts. All spring resistance was set at the shifter. It was all machined, very pretty and damned expensive. "

Will Waterstrat

"That there looks like the shifter for the short-lived White Industries derailleur system. Instead of to parallel plates and pivots like most derailleurs, this system worked on two parallel rods that were angled to correspond with the cassette (same thing up front). Instead of springs, the cable pulled the derailleur both directions (that's why there's the two cable stops), up and down the rods. Sounds kinky eh? Never tried the setup because it was expensive and seemed like fixing something that wasn't broken. White Industries hubs sure are a thing of beauty though. I remember how loud some of them were."

Chris Seeley

"OK, this has got to be the shifter from the White Industries "linear" rear derailleur. The derailleur had 2 shifter cables running from the shifter, one to pull for the downshifts and one to return it for the upshifts. Instead of the parallelogram design, it worked off of 2 shafts side by side that set somewhat parallel to the pitch of the rear cassette. Never got to see one in use and I thought it was a good idea, though probably not durable enough for mountain bike use." ...very close, no mention of LMDS.

Clement Lee

"I believe that's a White Industries Linear Motion Derailleur System (LMDS) shifter. The system used a "looped cable" (a long tandem cable) to pull the derailleur up or return springs in this system."

Joshua Burke (DISQUALIFIED - Bikeman Employee away at college)

"This is a White dual cable rear derailer grip shifter, circa '90-'92. You were required to purchase the dual cable rear derailer with this piece and the cables ran parallel down the side of the bike begging the question. Were cable routing adapters necessary? Yeah they should have been. The shifter was almost all metal making it durable from outside damage. The derailer was also all metal and ran on two track rails. There was no trapezoidal cage componentry or spring and the lower arm angle was controlled indirectly via the tension on the upper and lower cables. The only spring was within the arm assembly. The only non-conductive component on the derailer was the resin pulleys. All this metal and cable action got sort of clumsy when mud was involved and required wrists like a Vermont milk farmer to turn if left unkept. I remember something about a front derailer too but I'm not sure if that went into production. "...NICE TRY Bikeman Employees can't win. Maybe you can learn to spell Derailleur in College!

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