When he is not working at the Bike Co-op (which he has done since 1977) Mike Sweatman hosts a website called Disraeli Gears.
This site is dedicated to a single subject – the rear derailleur – described by Mike as ‘the definitive bicycle component’.
Disraeli Gears tells the story of hundreds of mechs through the 20th Century to the present day.
As well as offering carefully researched information on the derailleurs it covers, Disraeli Gears comes alive with intriguing facts, opinion and social commentary, which ensure this site transcends the conventional catalogue format.
In tandem with the growth of his site, Mike has amassed a collection of derailleurs – a sample of which can be viewed in our Rusholme Manchester shop‘s ‘derailleur museum’.
Since he launched the site, Mike has received correspondence from like-minded gear heads from all over the world.
Just last week, a contact in St Petersburg sent Mike a parcel containing a 1960s HVZ derailleur manufactured in Kharkov in Russian-speaking Eastern Ukraine and an Eska Stabil mech, manufactured in Czechoslovakia around 1990 – a perfect illustration how Disraeli Gears takes you way beyond the familiar present-day world of Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo gears.
To make the package complete, the sender thoughtfully enclosed this Russian version of the One Less Car sticker, and he paid for the postage with this set of special-edition stamps, dedicated to bicycle components – including a rear derailleur.
Mike’s commentary on the stamps gives you a flavour of his unique website.
If you have any pics of One Less Car stickers from anywhere in the world, please post them on our Facebook page.
On 2 June (the day after the Giro d’Italia finishes) we’ll conduct a prize draw and send the winner this genuine Italian Wilier Triestina Cap.