So…why do we have replaceable rear derailleur hangers?
When rear derailleur hangers were first envisioned, the inventors of the rear derailleur obviously needed to attach the derailleur to the bicycle frame. Therefore, bicycles with rear derailleurs in that day and age used a rear derailleur hanger that was part of the frame. In other words, a “frame-integrated” rear derailleur hanger.
When a cyclist bent or broke the integrated rear derailleur hanger (e.g., in a fall, or hitting a rock or a curb), the owner of the bike had to remove all the components of the bike, leaving only the frame, and then ship the frame back to the manufacturer, or take the frame to a custom bike builder, so that the integrated rear derailleur hanger could be straightened or replaced. Obviously, repairing a broken frame-integrated derailleur hanger is a fairly laborious, skill-heavy process.
Below is a picture of an integrated rear derailleur hanger on a road bike frame…
Rear Derailleur Hangers Makes A Cyclist’s Life Simpler
With the advent of mountain bikes, which by nature are more prone to come in contact with the ground or other objects, mountain bike manufacturers began using replaceable rear derailleur hangers. Instead of having to strip down the frame, ship the frame to and fro for the repair, and then rebuild the bike, bike owners simply needed to purchase a replaceable rear derailleur hanger and use some simple tools to replace the bent or broken hanger with an inexpensive replaceable rear derailleur hanger. Voila! Our lives became much simpler, and we can spend more time on the bike and less time stripping and rebuilding the frame, taking or shipping the frame for the repair, etc.
Replaceable rear derailleur hangers also save you, the bike owner and rider, a significant amount of money. It is much less costly to purchase a new replaceable derailleur hanger (hopefully from derailleurhanger.com), versus the cost of having the manufacturer, local frame builder or repair shop to repair the integrated rear derailleur hanger, along with shipping costs.
A few bike manufacturers still sell bikes with frame-integrated rear derailleur hangers. However, the vast majority of bikes sold today have replaceable rear derailleur hangers.
More To Come…
Thank you for reading this article! Please visit us again in the coming weeks as we discuss a variety of topics, including how our website makes it easy to find a new replaceable rear derailleur hanger for your bike, why CNC’d hangers are better than drop-forged hangers, why the metal used to make the hanger is critical, and many other fun and practical topics.