So just the other day I found myself at dinner with former French pro Jacky Durand. The sole non-French speaker at the table, I spent a pretty ridiculous amount of time nodding and smiling when I really had no clue what was going on. In between stories I'm pretty sure were about Jacky's mom dropping her friends on rides on the farm and how the sound of a pig being slaughtered can carry for kilometers, I picked up an all-too-familiar story about Mavic Mektronic. Power lines in the distance, Jacky related, were a sure sign that he and anyone else in the peloton stuck riding Mektronic were about to be in for a sufferfest - the system, when encountering interference, would cause the derailleur to reset it self, dumping them in to the smallest cog in the back.
Apocryphal or not, hearing Durand (and watching him act out) the effects of this on his performance were very comical - the guy can tell a story. I never got to play with Mektronic when it was new, given what it cost. I've since acquired a couple of sets, but haven't been able to bring myself to use it - a combination of fragility, obsolescence, and stories involving my already poor climbing abilities suffering in the presence of overhead power lines have killed any curiosity I once had about what it was like to ride.
Should you find yourself in possession of a set, and feel motivated to give it a try, I hope these manual pages come in handy.