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Old 10-22-07, 06:32 PM   #1
el twe
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Simplex push-rod front derailleur

Not entirely sure what it was called, but I'm very curious. A friend of mine had a '73 (roughly) Peugeot, likely a UO-8 with a front der. I'd never seen before. Instead of a swing-arm pulled by a cable to move to derailleur, the cable moves a rod connected to the inner cage plate in or out of a box on the seattube clamp. What was the idea behind this?
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Old 10-22-07, 06:50 PM   #2
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The development of the derailleur is a fascinating subject. Before the swinging arm parallelogram design with which we're all familiar, there were many other approaches to the subject and of all the cycling nations, perhaps the French were among the most inventive at coming up with new ideas.

http://rebour.pbwiki.com/

http://www.blackbirdsf.org/rebour/

http://www.hadland.me.uk/derailleur/index.htm
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Old 10-22-07, 06:54 PM   #3
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Gitane used the Simplex "piston" front derailleurs too. The several I've seen were seized in place

Campy also made one, saw it at a swap meet.
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Old 10-22-07, 07:21 PM   #4
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Didn't Simplex borrow Campy's derailleur design? Some of Campy's early-50s stuff was like that but I don't know when they dropped the design...
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Old 10-22-07, 07:49 PM   #5
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They were on lots of inexpensive bikes in the '70s, but they were also on some good bikes like my Gitane Tour de France. It's a slightly nicer model than the Simplex Prestige (Criterium?) but it works the same way. It's the only type that works with the Simplex Chain guard.

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Old 10-22-07, 10:41 PM   #6
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campy's first front derailleur was the rod-operated gran sport..
they made it up into the early 60's until it was replaced by the record, probably the first parallelogram fd.
then it was recycled (with minor changes) for the cheap valentino gruppo.




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Didn't Simplex borrow Campy's derailleur design? Some of Campy's early-50s stuff was like that but I don't know when they dropped the design...
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Old 10-22-07, 11:33 PM   #7
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Huh. I've seen those old Campy front ders before but never really looked at 'em to see the rod. Interesting.
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Old 10-23-07, 03:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coelcanth View Post
campy's first front derailleur was the rod-operated gran sport..
they made it up into the early 60's until it was replaced by the record, probably the first parallelogram fd.
then it was recycled (with minor changes) for the cheap valentino gruppo.

No offense to coelcanth, but his Campy pushrod FD is rather grimey. Here's the new version I use on my Continental, and while it is not as lightweight as a Record or Nuovo Record, it is very functional and looks nice as well. I've never seen the Simplex variation. This also helps to show the differences between the earlier Gran Sport and the later Valentino.

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Old 10-23-07, 05:56 AM   #9
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The Gran Sport at least uses an angled pushrod, which causes the cage to rise slightly as it moves outward. The angle appears optimized for the 2- to 4-tooth half-step drop which was still popular in 1960. The Simplex pushrod operates horizontally. Unfortunately, I had to scrap the Gran Sport which came with Capo #1 because the body was so excessively worn that the rod would no longer track properly -- one or more previous owners evidently had neglected to lubricate it. Capo #2's original Gran Sport derailleur set is in great condition, which is anothe reason I bought the bike.
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Old 10-23-07, 06:19 AM   #10
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The special Alex Moulton front derailleur used on current production Alex Moulton New Series bicycles is a push-rod style design.



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