WATCH: Introducing The World’s Toughest Derailleur

WATCH: Introducing The World’s Toughest Derailleur


WATCH: Introducing The World’s Toughest Derailleur


A 26-year-old mechanical engineer has developed a potentially game changing new drivetrain solution to the age old problem of derailleurs breaking. It’s called Supre meaning above in the Esperanto language. This refers to the Supre Drive being above other drivetrains, both physically and performance-wise. Check out the video and explanation and let us know what you think. MORE INFO HERE:

“The Supre Drive solves the problem of derailleurs breaking. It’s reliable like a gearbox, but it doesn’t have the drag and weight disadvantages of gearboxes.

No other mountain bike drivetrain achieves this: the reliability of a gearbox combined with the efficiency and low weight of a derailleur drivetrain. This invention has been in development since March of 2019. It’s patented in Canada and patent pending internationally.

Lal Bikes will manufacture the derailleur, chain tensioner, and idler pulley in Canada. We’re working hard to make the Supre Drive commercially available as soon as possible.”


No more broken derailleurs because the derailleur has two mount points, it’s protected by the frame, and it stays far from the ground.


More efficient than a gearbox, and more efficient than other high pivot bikes because of the large pulleys and a constant chain tension system that reduces drag.


While 100–200g heavier than conventional derailleur drivetrains, it’s much lighter than gearboxes. The system also reduces unsprung mass (by around 130g compared to XT) because the derailleur weighs less and because there’s less chain near the cassette.


Speed-sensitive tensioner damping outperforms any derailleur clutch on the market.

How does it work?

Conventional derailleurs have two functions: (1) they shift the chain across cassette sprockets, and (2) they tension the chain. These two functions are separated in the Supre Drive, with the shifting remaining with the derailleur and the chain tensioning moved to a chain tensioner at the middle of the bike.

The following image shows how the Supre Drive works. The blue line represents the chain in the lowest gear, and the red line represents the chain in the highest gear. When shifting from a high gear to a low gear, the chain tensioner arm pivots counter-clockwise around the bottom bracket axis.

The derailleur has a gear shifting mechanism like that of conventional derailleurs, but there is only one pulley and no tensioner arm. The task of tensioning the chain is moved to the middle of the bike while the derailleur is focused solely on shifting. This enables the drivetrain to have more ground clearance, as shown in the following comparison with a conventional derailleur.

There’s no derailleur hanger and no B-limit, making the derailleur easier to adjust.

The tensioner arm is connected by a cable to a cartridge that contains a spring and a damper. The cartridge is inside the down tube. Whereas conventional derailleurs produce increasing chain tension in the low gears, the tensioner system of the Supre Drive produces approximately constant chain tension across all gears. This is achieved by decreasing the leverage of the cable on the tensioner arm as the tensioner arm rotates back during shifts to lower gears. This decrease in leverage compensates for the increase in force from the spring. The approximately constant chain tension improves the efficiency of the Supre Drive. Additionally, the large size of the pulleys also improves the efficiency of the Supre Drive.

The damper is hydraulic and works far better than current derailleur clutches. It’s speed-sensitive, meaning that there’s a lot of force when the tensioner arm rotates fast (which occurs while riding over rough stuff) and there’s less force when the tensioner arm rotates slowly (which occurs while shifting).

The Supre Drive is compatible with off-the-shelf hubs, bottom brackets, cranks, chains, shifters, and cassettes. Two specific requirements are a 52mm chainline and a T47 bottom bracket. The latest version of the Supre Drive works with a Shimano 10-51t cassette (although the prototype bike shown here has a 10-45t cassette). Shifting performance is the same as a full Shimano drivetrain.

The frame must be designed around the Supre Drive. I’m collaborating with one frame company and plan to collaborate with many more.

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