Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Bikes: a lot... mostly vintage, one vintage made of plastic, er carbon
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Sun Tour Reverse Pull Front Derailleur Replacement Options--Vintage Santana Tandem
I am having a very hard time getting a reliable shift into the small front chain ring on our new-to-us vintage Santana road tandem, especially when we need it most (read when the Cap'n f's up and doesn't shift early enough). After riding with it this way for a couple hundred miles and adjusting both the FD and all the slack out of the cable with minimal improvement I am ready to give up on this derailleur. It seems to have a lot of slop if I grab and move the cage, which could be a major part of the problem. It is my understanding the reverse pull was intended to make it easier to shift to the small ring, but this one sure doesn't work that way!
I kind of want to convert to a "normal" FD, but there might be a minor challenge. The FD is a Sun Tour "reverse pull" with a cable housing that runs from a cable housing stop on the underside of the stoker's BB to another cable housing stop on the FD. With this cable routing I need to get creative to use a conventional FD since normally there is no housing and in this case the cable stop location would have bare cable riding against the back of the BB shell and up the stoker's seat tube. Since the cable routing is on the underside of the boom tube using a clamp-on FD cable guide isn't an option. My old Kestrel 4000 road bike has a similar cable routing issue (internal routing in this case) and their solution (as told to me by Kestrel in Watsonville, CA when they repaired and painted the frame about 16 years ago now) was to sleeve the cable (no housing, just the nylon inner sleeve) to route the cable from the BB up, so that is one idea. Another idea was a short chunk of housing to get around the BB shell, but how to terminate the FD end comes to mind--possibly a clamp-on cable stop.
Anyway, looking for suggestions of what I should replace this derailleur with and how best to route the cable to it. A vintage reverse pull Sun Tour is a possibility, but I'm thinking more like a Shimano of some higher end flavor (XT, 600, or Dura Ace perhaps?) might be a better way to go. The chain rings are Sugino, old-skool (not ramped and pinned). The shifters are bar end friction.