Student Creates Amazing Wooden Campagnolo Derailleur

Wooden Campagnolo Derailleur Front

Over the years we’ve showcased many components and frames crafted from an array of unusual materials, but nothing like this fully functioning wooden Campagnolo derailleur has ever graced our front page.

Created by woodworking student (or should we say artist) Max Hoffman, this wooden sculpture is one spring and some mounting hardware short of earning a handmade bamboo bicycle top honors at NAHBS.

Shift past the break for more glamour shots and details

Threaded Wooden Campagnolo Derailleur


The artist, who just recently reached the legal drinking age (of 21 in the US), is an avid cyclist like the rest of us. At an early age, his passion for bicycles had him turning wrenches for one the of largest Campy dealers in the country – the Bicycle Pro Shop in D.C. It’s there in the trenches that he developed an admiration for the beautiful and exotically priced Italian components.

Having never owned any of the components, Max had his first break during his Sophomore year of school at Evergreen State College. While working at the community run campus bicycle shop, someone donated a broken Campy Record Derailleur. By dissembling and hand measuring with a set of calipers each component, he carefully translated every subtle curve into a small block of Walnut. Without the assistance of a computer, mill, or CNC machine, he constructed the wooden sculpture over the course of 50 hours, using nothing but hand tools such as jewelers saws, files, and chisels!

Wooden Campagnolo Derailleur Pulley Detail


All of the hardware was sourced from the original derailleur and are threaded into the wood. The only thing missing is the mounting hardware that was absent from the original broken derailleur and a spring. Max choose to omit installing the spring for fear that it would completely splinter the 1:1 scale model.

That said, we’re told the derailleur actuates with ease and the pulleys spin freely.

Wooden Campagnolo In Display Case

Currently the finished work resides in a display case crafted from American Black Walnut with African Blackwood corner splines. According to Max:

“Regardless of how perfect it is, don’t be confused with its intended purpose, Art.  It is a sculpture unfortunately, and if it was placed on a bike, it would break, and this is why it lives in a display box.  I have been planning a frame for a few months now and am hoping to complete the frame before graduating in June.  I am also considering bars, stem, and pedals to match.”

If you’re interested in adding this piece to your collection or would like to commission one of your own, you can reach the artist at


bike gang - 11/19/13 - 8:53am

Wood is real

KinkiCycle - 11/19/13 - 9:18am


Star - 11/19/13 - 9:43am


Adam - 11/19/13 - 9:44am


pmurf - 11/19/13 - 9:51am

Can we get a weight spec? price? release date!? JK – very cool. In an age of computers, lasers, and cnc wizardry, it’s neat to see someone sit down and whittle something to perfection.

chasejj - 11/19/13 - 10:11am

A MUST HAVE for the bamboo/spruce hipster frame guys. May be this kid can make all 5 of you one.

Mike - 11/19/13 - 10:30am

@bike gang Wood is Good!

Dangdatugly - 11/19/13 - 11:27am

next… a set of calipers & rotors carved out of mahogany & teak

caliente - 11/19/13 - 11:34am

This thing looks rad. And I also noticed, all positive comments so far! Incredible!

Colin - 11/19/13 - 11:50am

Very Choix

andrew - 11/19/13 - 1:53pm

So if it’s missing the return spring? I could cut a derailleur out of biscuits and it would work just as well without the spring.

ve - 11/19/13 - 2:29pm

It’s not like a NR/SR derailer is a terribly complicated piece of equipement if you’ve ever owned one, especially if it lacks the spring.

Woody - 11/19/13 - 3:02pm

That wood look good in other woods too, like zebra, bubinga, etc., woodn’t it? U know it wood! I wood want one for my bike. I wood try to ride my bike but it’s made of wood too. What a coincidence, woodn’t you know it?

David - 11/19/13 - 3:18pm

That is beautiful art. I’d happily mount that on my wall.

Wild Bill - 11/19/13 - 4:05pm

Some people have to much time on their hands.

Luiz Antonio Paulino - 11/19/13 - 5:23pm

Fabuloso, o cara é um verdadeiro artesão, modelando um câmbio antigo, acrescenta muito mais charme ao trabalho.

gravity - 11/19/13 - 6:11pm

@Wild Bill – You must be talking about internet commenters, not artists, right?

Father Graham - 11/19/13 - 9:15pm

Well done!

quickgeezer - 11/20/13 - 11:35am

Gravity always wins!

Andy - 11/21/13 - 1:01am


bosshmic - 11/21/13 - 2:12am

seems that he is not the first one working on wood RD

dislivello - 11/21/13 - 2:55pm

Good i like wood.i thinks really possible to have index deraillers

Shu Arvilla - 11/25/13 - 9:41pm

Beautiful workmanship.

Ty - 12/11/13 - 11:37pm

He’s taking SOPWAMTOS to a whole new level.

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