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  1. #1
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    Simplex Front Derailleur Replacement

    Hi Everyone,

    My old 1973 Peugeot U08 10 speed front derailleur is broken. (I believe it's operated with a piston-rod). It is half plastic (Derlin?) and that part has split. I assume it's not repairable.

    I seek ideas on what to replace it with. Should I look for the same stye used, NOS, or should I replace it with something newer by another company? Is there a specific type of derailleur I must use, or can I use any which will fit a 28.5mm tube?

    Thank you

    James

  2. #2
    Senior Member bikeman715's Avatar
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    any that will fit your tube will work. even a cheap shimano will do.

  3. #3
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Not only will nearly any derailleur work, nearly any derailleur will work better!
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    I'm not impressed with the advice you've gotten so far.

    French bikes use metric-size tubing. Your seat tube is 28mm instead of the standard 28.6mm. A non-French derailer that's made for a 28.6mm tube may tend to slip. It doesn't always happen, but when it does it's a real PITA. Your UO-8 is set up for a front derailer with a housing stop and those are hard to find these days. A Simplex SJA 102 like mine solves both problems, but don't ask me where to find one.

    Note how the cable housing runs to a stop on the derailer, just like on your Simplex Prestige. You can rig up something that will work, but this is the best way.


  5. #5
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    I put a Campy Veloce FD (new) on my 83 Peugeot. Due to the narrow tube and lack of a cable-stop, you need to do the following:

    Get a clamp-on cable stop, it's just a clamp-type fitting that tightens with a screw.
    Get an adapter to expand the effective diameter of the seat tube so the FD will bolt on.
    My LBS had both items, super cheap.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    A cable guide like this eliminates the need for a stop.


  7. #7
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    A 0.3 mm (.012" or "12-thousanths") shim will compensate for the diameter difference between a 28.0 mm French and the more common 28.6 mm seat tube and the cable guide will allow you to use a commonly available bottom pull front derailleur.

    I agree that any moder fd will shift far better than the Simplex.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    The Simplex Prestige shifts just fine as long as there is no more than a 10t difference between the chainrings. I doubt that he would notice much difference if he switched to modern derailer on his UO-8.

    The Gitane Tour de France and Peugeot PX10 above both came with plastic Simplex derailers that shifted very well until the plastic parts got brittle and broke.

    Front derailers haven't vastly improved over the last 30 years like rear derailers have.

  9. #9
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    Hi,
    Thank you all for your advice.

    Now about the tube diameter, it appears to be 28.5-ish when measured with a caliper. Another bike I have, an early 80s or maybe '79 Peugeot (maybe a UO10?) has a tube of 28mm.

    Anyway, is there a recommended inexpensive replacement derailleur, or should I just buy whatever is cheapest?

    Also, another problem cropped up: the rear derailleur. Some of the teeth broke off one of the little sprocket wheels (I've seen them called "jockey wheels" and "pulleys"). So now should I buy a new rear derailleur or can I just replace the wheel/pulley?

    Thank you again,

    James

  10. #10
    Senior Member Torchy McFlux's Avatar
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    I've replaced broken Simplex front derailleurs with Suntour Spirts - they're an older derailleur, but are inexpensive and work quite well.

  11. #11
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    There's really not much difference between front derailleurs. Whatever you find is what I'd use.

  12. #12
    Senior Member bikeman715's Avatar
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    just replace both dérailleurs.

  13. #13
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    Dirtdrop has me thinking about what Peugeot models I have. How can I tell? I don't recall seeing any identifiers on the bikes (or should I ask that in a different forum?).

    The older bike's derailleurs both have a lot of plastic. The "newer" ('79) derailleurs are both all-metal.

    So what kind of rear derailleur should I get? Anything that is cheap (including NOS Simplex), or are newer, cheap Campys or Shimano or others better because of evolution in the last few decades?

    Obviously I have not been following the advances in modern derailleurs and other bike parts.

    Thanks again,

    James

  14. #14
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    FYI..... You can get some Simplex Dérailleurs from Velo Orange. http://www.velo-orange.com/deandsh.html

    But, if you want cheap.... ebay is your friend. NOS or slightly used. Suntour D's are always available. You can even find some old school Deore on the cheap, when they were all silver.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Your '73 UO-8 came with Simplex Prestige derailers. They actually worked quite well when they were new, but they didn't last long. You'd just get a new one for five bucks and throw the old one away.

    I think the best of the Simplex derailers is this Super LJ 6600, but you won't find one of those cheap.



    The SX610 is the cheaper version of the same design and I like them very much. I used to get them for $10, but the price went way up when Velo Orange started selling them for $90.

    Your UO-8 does not have an integral derailer hanger, so you need a derailer with a claw or you need to to add a claw to allow it to be bolted to the frame. The claw attached to your Simplex won't work with anything but Simplex.

    Suntour is good. So is Shimano. Vintage rear derailers are cool, but modern ones work better.
    Last edited by Grand Bois; 05-21-09 at 07:09 PM.

  16. #16
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I recommend against a Simplex pushrod front derailleur. It's better when the cage moves up as it moves out. The pushrod type only moved out.

    You want a specific suggestion? Here, buy this one.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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  17. #17
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    JamesNYC, if you post a picture of your Peugeots, we can identify them. I'm an expert in the 1970's models. It's actually easy, since they didn't export many models to the US at the time. Until 1978, there was pretty much the AO-8, the UO-8, and the PX-10. In 1978, they introduced the UO-9 and the UO-10 which were in between the UO-8 and PX-10.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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  18. #18
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    Just went on E-Bay and searched for Simplex derailleurs and found a whole slew of both front and rear and some were NOS. Word of advice though, stay away from the plastic body Simplex, they were junk, the Prestige was their best. Huret was a line of the Simplex as well and Huret actually made the lightest derailleur ever made even to this day called the Jubilee which saw many races. These Hurets are also available on E-Bay.

  19. #19
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    No, Huret was Simplex's competition. The Simplexes shifted well but didn't last. The Hurets lasted forever but shifted terribly. Then in the mid 70's or so, Huret made some really fine derailleurs. The crappy ones were on the Schwinn Varsity. It took a tremendous amount of hand strength to shift them, because the return spring was so heavy.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

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  20. #20
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    My preferred choice, when replacing 70's Simplex parts is to use middle to high end Suntour parts because as far as friction shifters go...they are extremely good.

    Every retro geek would like a Huret Jubillee... you need some deep pockets though.

    My favourite derailer is the Simplex JUY543 that is on my '57 Peugeot... it is a low normal derailer and shifts beautifully and requires really deep pockets or crazy good luck to get one.

    Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 09-22-14 at 12:54 PM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    No, Huret was Simplex's competition. The Simplexes shifted well but didn't last. The Hurets lasted forever but shifted terribly. Then in the mid 70's or so, Huret made some really fine derailleurs. The crappy ones were on the Schwinn Varsity. It took a tremendous amount of hand strength to shift them, because the return spring was so heavy.
    I thought Huret bought out Simplex in the late 70's or early 80's, but I couldn't find this on the internet so I guess I was wrong.

    I had a Simplex long time ago and it shifted poorly and didn't last long and it was a mid to upper, but not top end model. I replaced it with a Huret Jubilee (the one with all the drillings) and that thing worked great, except for constantly going out of adjustment. Yeah, the Schwinn Hurets were the cheapest of the cheapest and those were crap; but my mother-in-law still has a Varsity sitting in the garage covered with dust with one of those derailleurs, and the dang thing worked when I monkeyed with it about 10 years ago! Go figure.

  22. #22
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I agree. The middle line Japanese stuff always was a good value. I had an affinity for SunTour, partly because they were the underdog and Shimano was the evil empire. Most of the Shimano stuff is actually good, but their gratuitous annual changes are annoying.

    That's a nice old Simplex derailleur. Never seen one of those.

    Stupidly, I sold my Huret Jubilee long ago. What a cool thing that was!
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    I agree. The middle line Japanese stuff always was a good value. I had an affinity for SunTour, partly because they were the underdog and Shimano was the evil empire. Most of the Shimano stuff is actually good, but their gratuitous annual changes are annoying.

    I always like Suntour too..... it was my go-to brand. Campy for the road. Shimano was a distant second.... now it's maybe third, or fourth..... or as a last resort. I never really liked their stuff, their style, or their planned obsolescence of parts in these later days. I use some the of their mtb derailleurs from the 80's, before they went all Alien looking..... other than that ...... as I used to say ..... it's Shi!mano !

    The Shimopoly hasn't been a good thing , in my eyes. All I can say is thank you TA of France for continuing to make tapered cranks in 155 to 185mm lengths! It's too bad Sram bought out Sachs in France, then stopped FW production thereafter. Actually, I think the Suntour FW's were better. Now it's just a mess. .. . but that's another story.

  24. #24
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by froze View Post
    I thought Huret bought out Simplex in the late 70's or early 80's, but I couldn't find this on the internet so I guess I was wrong.
    No. Simplex joined the French "Spidel" consortium in the mid 80s, and Huret was bought by Sachs around the same time.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torchy McFlux View Post
    I've replaced broken Simplex front derailleurs with Suntour Spirts - they're an older derailleur, but are inexpensive and work quite well.
    +1
    Back in the day, when your plastic Simplex stuff died you went Sun Tour. Worked great and quite cost effective.
    When the DRs on my Atala died I replaced them with Sun Tour Luxe/Compe V. Ford was President. Both comps are still giving good service.
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    You know it's going to be a good day when the stem and seatpost come right out.

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