Bike retail veteran funds derailleur history project with sales of t-shirts and mugs - BikeBiz
Mike Sweatman aims to expands disraeligears.co.uk with supporters' cash

Edinburgh Bicycle co-founder Mike Sweatman has a website listing 485 historically-significant derailleurs, and is aiming to expand it to 1,000 listings funded through the sale of merchandise. DisraeliGears.co.uk now has an online shop selling t-shirts and bone-china mugs. 

The three t-shirt designs feature hi-res images of a Paul Powerglide from 1995, a Zeus 2000 from 1979 or a Precision Billet Proshift from 1994.

Zeus 2000, pic by Mike Sweatman

Zeus 2000, pic by Mike Sweatman

Sweatman says the £29.99 tees "make good presents for the bike-geek-who-has-everything."

Why Disraeli Gears? The term originated in the 1960s – Disraeli Gears was the name of the second album released by British rock band Cream. 

Band member Ginger Baker remembered: “You know how the title came about – Disraeli Gears – yeah? We had this Austin Westminster, and Mick Turner was one of the roadies who’d been with me a long time, and he was driving along and Eric [Clapton] was talking about getting a racing bicycle. Mick, driving, went ‘Oh yeah - Disraeli gears!’ meaning derailleur gears ... We all just fell over ... We said that’s got to be the album title.”

In 1977, Sweatman was one of the founders of Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative – then known as Recycles Ltd – a workers' cooperative. Before retiring last year he was the co-op's buying director.

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