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Old 10-21-07, 02:44 PM   #1
dwainedibbly
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Plastic rear derailleur from the 1970s

I had a Raleigh that had one of these back in highschool. I think it was 1973 or so when I bought that bike, my first "10-speed". Anyway, a co-worker & I were reminiscing about the "bad old days" and couldn't recall the mfr or model. I think it was a Huret or perhaps Simplex.

Anybody know?
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Old 10-21-07, 02:49 PM   #2
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Almost certainly a Simplex Prestige. There were other models, but the Pestige was by far the most common. So was your bicycle a Grand Prix or Super Course?
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Old 10-22-07, 04:02 AM   #3
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"Simplex Prestige" was stuck in my mind, but I wasn't sure. Thanks. It was a Grand Prix, green. It wasn't anything special, of course, but wish I still had it. Good times....
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Old 10-22-07, 04:36 AM   #4
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Geezzz, I have a green '73 Grand Prix, 21 1/2", sitting in my barn. Been on craigslist for months with no takers.
Too bad you don't live closer.
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Old 10-22-07, 06:27 AM   #5
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My Grand Prix was red and black, late 60's vintage. My first "real" bike.
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Old 10-22-07, 05:27 PM   #6
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Some of those basic bike boom 10-speeds were pretty decent rides.
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Old 10-22-07, 09:08 PM   #7
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Who ever thought this was a good idea...
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Old 10-22-07, 10:25 PM   #8
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Actually, it was - back in 1965 or so, when the dérailleurs first came out.

I just spent the weekend breaking in my restored UO-8, the first time I've been riding a basic 10-speed from the bike boom years since at least 1975. Keeping in mind old technology (which I can do quite easily, just being able to run a 60's British vertical twin motorcycle as near-daily transportation takes a certain ability to keep old habits not only alive but routine), I was quite impressed with the bike. It rode a lot better than I expected, and is going to turn into a regular rotation rider, even with the stock steel rimmed wheels. And those cheap Prestige dérailleurs worked quite well. Yeah, the front is a bit slow and sloppy in changing, but the shift levers are 75% of the problem.

I've been riding my Tour de France for about a year and a half now, and I'm still quite happy with the performance of the Criterium dérailleurs on it. The Simplex equipment was actually quite good in it's day - as long as you replaced the dérailleurs every other season due to them getting sloppy from wear. Take that same design, do it in alloy, and it would be as good as a dérailleur can get before the SunTour design came on the scene.

I continue to collect every good condition Simplex I can get hold of, and it's still my dérailleur of choice on a cheap European bike of the 70's. Yes, SunTour's are better, but I really hate sullying a European frame with Jap crap (an attitude I've developed in motorcycles, too).
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