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I have just stripped the threads on my mech hanger and I'm in the process of buying a new one. There are so many different types, even for one manufacturer, I was wondering what the reason for this is?

I understand why different manufacturers might use different designs but why should one manufacturer have so many slightly different products that all do essentially the same thing?

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    Mostly because they can. – Batman Oct 4 '15 at 18:56
  • Probably because there are always slight variations in the dropout and the designers don’t want to be encumbered by a pre-defined hanger. I do wonder why they are not using the same dropout for different but similar frames, it should make design easier, especially with disc brakes and everything. – Michael Oct 4 '15 at 20:21
  • Certainly there are generic hangers that will fit a wide variety of bikes. But there are situations with specific frame styles where one style hanger may experience interference so a different one is needed. And I imagine that this situation multiplies as you get more exotic frame materials, frames designed to take derailleur, fixie, and geared hubs, etc. – Daniel R Hicks Oct 4 '15 at 21:25
  • In particular, there would be a difference for horizontal vs vertical dropouts. – Daniel R Hicks Oct 4 '15 at 21:27
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    Partially so they can sell you a more-expensive unique item, rather than a $10 generic part that may not have the right tolerances. A BSO might be okay with a generic part, but a high end bike could suffer, or take damage elsewhere because of a cheap part. Example - some top end bikes have carbon dropouts now, rather than steel ones. If you put the wrong hanger on it could exert unexpected stresses on the dropout, causing early failure. – Criggie Oct 4 '15 at 21:56
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Some designs are patented, therefore cannot be shared among different manufacturers.

Within the catalog of a single manufacturer I don't know, maybe a mix of keeping compatibility with previous models but also pushing people to "upgrade" and buy more expensive parts.

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    Can you really patent the exact design of a simple aluminium piece with a hole and screw? – Michael Oct 5 '15 at 17:02
  • I said patent, sometimes it's just a "design" that can be protected. In any case, anything that brings a TECHNICAL advantage compared to other products can be patented. Of course, the change must not be obvious. Registered "designs" do not need to bring a technical advantage. I am no expert in the hangers, I cannot tell you more about them. – FarO Oct 6 '15 at 8:10
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I have re-shaped 2 hangers to fit my bike with a bit of filing, both times because a website advised the wrong one for my model and year. Hangers all cost pretty much the same price and derailleurs fit into all of them so I doubt the people saying there are so many different ones to fleece a few more dollars are correct. Talk of patents doesn't explain why bike models require different hangers depending on the year and I've seen the case where my budget 2010 bike takes the same hanger as a top of the range bike of the same year but NO other bike by that manufacturer uses the same hanger until 3 years later, my take is that no-one really knows why there are so many damn hangers!

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