Ofmega Mistral (1st generation)
Back
Report
Main Photo
Category:  Rear Derailleurs
Name:  Ofmega Mistral (1st generation)
Brand:  Ofmega
Primary Group:  Mistral
Model:  
Years:  1982 - ?
Country:  Italy
Weight:  177 grams
Added By: ccmoss on 10/14/07
Updated By: peterbman on 01/11/17
Additional Photos - click for full size
Ofmega Mistral (1st generation)Ofmega Mistral (1st generation)Ofmega Mistral (1st generation)Ofmega Mistral (1st generation)Ofmega Mistral (1st generation)Ofmega Mistral (1st generation)Ofmega Mistral (1st generation)Ofmega Mistral (1st generation)
 Verify Component Photos
Outer Plate MarkingsofmegaInner Plate Markings
MaterialAluminum Alloy; Carbon Composit;
Plastic; Steel
Design Category
Attachment Bolt Size6mm Allen KeyCable Attachment Bolt Size8mm Wrench
Shifting SystemsFrictionCable AdjusterNo
Cage LengthShortMax Cog Size28
Max Chain Wrap24t  
General Information

The first generation of the remarkable Mistral rear dèrailleur, shown above, showed that Ofmega maintained their radical approach to innovation. The colour matched rear dèrailleurs came in black, white/grey, blue (Squadra Azzurra), pink (Maglia Rosa). The last two were named after important cycling artifices (to Italians). There may have been other colour forms. According to several boxes that have been seen, the first generation dèrailleurs did not come in yellow (the Maillot Jaune dèrailleur). All of these components used a high-strength "composite" for their bodies, their upper jockey-wheel cage and the jockey wheels themselves. The composite appears to be a high grade thermoset plastic. Although the plastic has lasted very well (with only one report found, so far, of a rear mech breaking), the colours are not fast and will degrade in sunlight.

The patent for the Mistral derailleur was applied for in 1981 (patent number IT 195001 B; granted in 1988). According to th patent, it was invented by Dino and Mario Perroti. However,  Bruno Giardino's design house seems to have been involved. Michael Sweatman's "Disreali Gears" website has a copy of the Giardino website showing a prototype dèrailleur. It is still shown on the company's website at http://www.giardinodesign.com/og/1og.htm. However, it claims that they were designed in 1984, which is two years after they first appeared in the Ofmega catalogues. This may be a typical designer communications problem or hint at when the design change to the second generation. The derailleur shown on the Giardino website shows one interesting feature; the logo is printed running down the leading side of the top of the parallelagram, not running down the middle of the top plate. All of the examples of the derailleur circulating that have been seen have the logo in the middle.

The protoype has a very interesting jockey-wheel cage. It is not found on any production model; only the white model has a cage that is even slightly similar.

The rear derailleurs come in two distinctive forms: first generation (as shown above; with all stainless steel small parts, with no cable tension adjuster) and second generation (with alloy small parts and with a cable tension adjuster). The first generation derailleurs tend to have alloy or stainless steel jockey wheel covers, whereas the second generation's are white plastic. When the shift between the two generations happened is not clear (see the main Ofmega Mistral article on Ofmega's inability to date most things). Whether the alloy bolts and screws could be purchased as an upgrade is not clear but possible, as Sintesi bolt sets were available. Interestingly, most of the pink mechs seen are second generation and most blue are first, whether this is an oddity of sample sizes or something more manufacturing based is not known. The Yellow and White colour forms are very rare, as are the coloured forms of the Sintesi pedals.

Quality:Rarity:
 
 
See Incorrect Information? Log-in to submit report.  
Additional Resources
Marketplace:Looking to buy one of these?Sell one like this
Resources:Reference & Charts
Component VariationsView Detailed List  Manage Variations
Variations of Component exist (Component is 1 of 2)BrandGroup
Ofmega Mistral (2nd generation)OfmegaMistral
Component Groups
Primary Group NameBrandQuick InfoBrowse Group Components
MistralOfmega1979 - , Road RaceView 10 Components
Details:  

Ofmega's "Mistral" goupset was amongst their most innovative. It included colour matched dérailleur sets, with colour matched pedals (called "Sintesi"; Italian for synthesis). The "Mistral" itself is a cold, northerly wind, often felt in the coastal regions of Southern France (wiki article).

The colour matched dérailleur/pedal sets came in black, white, blue (Squadra Azzurra), pink (Maglia Rosa) and yellow (Maillot Jaune). The last three were named after important cycling artifices (to Italians). There may have been other colour forms (such as the sometime-reported red and green sets).  At least one "silver" set has been seen. Ofmega found it hard to match brushed aluminium, so the set looks like grey but is definitely metallic and doesn't look like the white version at all. The very rare colours, such as the red and green, may have been one-off sets to celebrate victories in Spain or points jerseys in the Tour de France. The colours are not fast and will degrade in sunlight. No colour-form was common but, in general, the commonest colour-set is black, with the pink set being the next most common. Blue sets are moderately hard to find, with yellow and white sets being almost legendary. Coloured Sintesi pedals have now become very, very rare. There are catalogue shots of them, proving that they existed, but few examples have been seen in the wild for some time. Bob Sapovits, of the Bicycle Info Project has a copy of the Mistral page from the Ofmega catalogue.

All of the "plastic" components used a high-strength "composite" for their bodies, with the dérailleurs using it for their upper jockey-wheel cage, as well as the jockey wheels themselves; this allowed Ofmega to colour-match all the parts pretty much exactly. There were track pedals (only in black, apparently), see the Mistral Pista pedals page. The rest of the parts are alloy (except that, in some cases, some of the mechs had stainless steel bolts and adjustment screws). The composite appears to be a high grade thermoset plastic. Although the plastic has lasted very well (with only one report found, so far, of a rear mech braking).

The other components were interesting too: the chainsets are beautiful, with the spiders looking like ninja throwing stars. There were bottom brackets, hubs and headsets in the groupset. There may have been seat posts and brakesets, too, but they must have been very rare. Ofmega did make coloured hubs (anodized red and blue) but the only ones seen so far have been in Super Competizione boxes, which may or may not have been original.

It is not clear when this groupset was first manufactured or when the run ended. However, it is likely that they were first made in the early 1980s and ran through to the early 1990s. Ofmega rarely date any of their components (except their chainsets), which does not help. The earliest patents on the Mistral line were IT1194862B (1979) for the Sintesi pedal, GB2109892A (1982) for the crankset and FR2515604A1 (1982) for the dérailleur. That the later patents are from Britain and France suggests that there are probably earlier Italian patents hiding somewhere on their systems.

As with many Ofmega groupsets, the Mistral set can be identified by the box it came in (other than the designs and the colours, etc...); in this case, as with the designs, it is an oddly brilliant black and gold mixture, often with a photograph of the component on the top. However, the Master groupo sometimes turns up in the same boxes. The track pedals come in a gold box, borrowed from the CX range.

Sadly, the last components made by Ofmega in 2006, other than the middle of the road BMX and mountain bike components, were the supremely beautiful Nuovo Mistral cranks, with their matching chain-rings. These stunning carbon-fibre cranks are are reminder of Ofmega's glory days. The Nuovo Mistral chain-rings can be seen on the Impronte website here: http://www.impronte.tv/# )

Brand Information(click to expand)

Ofmega SpA was an Italian motorbike and bicycle components company producing high quality components in a variety of ranges: including Master, Mistral (for both road and track), Mundial (a cheaper, slightly later version of Mistral), Competizione, Super Competizione, Linea, Premier, Gran Premio and CX for the road and Sierra for mountain bikes. There were probably more, including at least one other pista/track range. They also produced children's cranksets, individual chainrings and other small components.

The company had a reputation of making slightly (or really) innovative products that were made to a very high quality. Their Mistral dérailleur range, made from a high density, strong plastic, were considered to be amongst the lightest on the market and, certainly, the most colourful. The Mistral range included five (possibly more) colour-coordinated groupsets (both front and rear dérailleurs and "Sintesi" pedals); Pink ("Maglia Rosa" - "Pink Jersey"), Yellow ("Maillot Jaune" - "Yellow Jersey") and Blue ("Squadra Azzura" - "Blue Team" after the Italian national team), Black and Whitest/grey (it  would be nice to think that this was the "Milk Race" but probably not). There may have been a green variety but this may just be someone seeing a blue item that had been bleached out in strong sunlight - apparently the blue form was prone to bleaching. A cheaper version of the Mistral rear dérailleurs were produced as the "Mundial" range (with an aluminium jockey-wheel cage and no adjustable barrel spring) but only in black.

The Mistral range was not their only colourfull offering. From the mid-1990s Ofmega started to produce the Sierra range, which was mostly appalling. However, there was a spin-off groupo called Sirio. Sirio cranks came in at least two colours, bright pink and acidic green, whereas, the Sierra range came mostly in black, grey and white. It was these groups that had their production moved in Slovakia in 2000. In addition, the Competizione groupset came anodised in red, blue or gold, as well as plain aluminium: The anodised components included hubs, chainrings and pedals.

Ofmega made or rebranded components for other bicycle brands, such as Bianchi, Colnago, Legnano, Regina and Avocet. At one point, most of the Avocet component range was made by Ofmega. Often, the rebranding is just an added pantographed logo (in the Colnago case, it is the singature of Ernasto Colnago). However, in the case of Legnano branded components, the logo is engraved into the item. It may be that some items were made by other companies, such as the Simplex, in the late 1980s and 1990s. It is thought that the gear shifters for the "Mistral" range were made by Modolo; the cronos shifters look very similar. However, on close inspection, the two aren't that similar and Ofmega claim to have made them themselves.

They made most of the sets, including hubs, cranks, headsets, freewheels, front and rear dérailleurs, as well as odd small parts. Ofmega appeared to have outsourced their dérailleur production to Simplex in 1987 (Michael Sweatman, Disraeli Gears), and some Simplex derailleurs were labelled Ofmega. This lead to an apparent lowering in quality. However, some of their latest items were of a very good standard.

Ofmega missing groups (a list of groupsets not yet represented on Velobase): Strada (may be the same as Competizione or Master), Nuovo Competizione, Vega, Acero, Motion, Rover, Sierra, Lusso, BMX, Nuovo Mistral, Vantage 2 (some of these may be after the period). The "BMX" kit that Ofmega made in the period are smaller "Mundial" pieces. The carbon mountain bike cranks and the glorious "Nuovo Mistral" carbon cranks were the last things that Ofmega took to bike trade shows.

 
User Comments
Sign-in Required
  Loading Comments


By pressing Verify below, you express verification that the photos shown are indeed of the component listed. Please do not verify if you are not sure that all photos are of the correct item. If you identify a photo that is NOT of the correct item, please use the Report feature to flag that photo.

Note: You can not verify photos that you have uploaded.
MAF
VeloBase v.2.7.8 rev.5 - a Fischer Frameworks application, Copyright © (2017) - All rights reserved.

Find the information on VeloBase.com useful? Please consider donating a few dollars towards the web-hosting cost. Thank you.