Is the neuvo record the "prettiest" Dura ace the most "functional" ?
Is the neuvo record the "prettiest" Dura ace the most "functional" ?
"Is the neuvo record the "prettiest"" QUOTE.
No, C-RECORD is the "prettiest".
I'll go with these:
Vintage: Huret Jubilee
Current: Shimano XTR Shadow
I dunno if it's the best, but I think honourable mention goes to the Suntour Cyclone Mk-II. It's very functional and at 170 grams is even today one of the lightest rear derailers ever made.
All depends on what your idea of pretty is, and what your idea of functional is.
Some would say the classical style of Nuovo Record is the pinnacle of derailer beauty, others might consider the clean lines of C-Record or Dura-Ace as being so, and many might say the Simplex SLJ takes top honors.
Same goes for functionality - many here consider the smoothness of slant parallelogram derailers the reason why they should be considered the best functioning - others prefer the good old "slam, clank, bang" of their straight-parallelogram counterparts, and wouldn't trade them in for the other.
If you're looking for an RD for your new build, I'd recommend that you try and locate a friend or two that own a functioning machines with the derailers you're considering. Descriptions just can't substitute for first-hand experience with the RD itself.
I agree that Suntour takes top honors... they invented the slanted parallelogram design and their derailers are (IMO) the smoothest shifting.
*1987 Panasonic DX-5000/STI-9 *1983 Univega Gran Premio/STI-9 *1991 Bridgestone MB-2/Suntour XC Pro
A Nivex parallelogram derailleur. Everything else is just a derivative.
I notice that Shimano hasn't gotten a mention, other than by the OP.
My own opinion is that Suntour's Superbe is more beautiful than even the Campagnolo ones, and Dura-Ace.
Function-wise, I haven't owned and used enough derailers to make judgments. I really like my Super Record RD, and that's what I've ridden most of my "adult" bicycling life. Real basic functionality.
I currently have around a SR, NR, late Gran Sport, Suntour engraved Cyclone, Cyclone Mk II long cage and Vx, Shimano 600 SIS. I have matching FDs for all of them, plus a Superbe FD. Jeez, I'd better get to work.
Last edited by Charles Wahl; 05-31-08 at 08:09 PM.
I like the lines and colors of the Suntour GPX, but the best RD ever made?
The one you just outrode 207 of 210 people with. Doesn't matter which brand or model. It be the one.
Who drummed for Thoreau?
1985 Raleigh Competition (Racing USA Series)
1987 Bridgestone Radac (aluminum) frankenbike
1988 Centurion Dave Scott Ironman Master (steel)
1989 Centurion Carbon-R (carbon)
The best shifting I've encountered so far is my modern Campagnolo Centaur derialleurs, both on my Serotta and Carbon Fuji. The transition is smooth, but precise that leaves no doubt you've shifted.
As far as vintage derailleurs go, I was less impressed with the 1st gen Cyclone GT performance than I had thought I would be. My Super Record on the other hand is a joy to shift. Maybe not the smoothest, but still a joy.
I'm going to vote for all of the SunTour long cage alloy friction derailleurs. I'm a vintage crank, and I think index shifting is pointless (so are 30 gears). And, I haven't ridden a Simplex SLJ so I can't compare that one, but the SunTours perform really well, are bullet-proof, light, and attractive (most of them). Some design elements are slightly different, but the general design remained the same. I like the long cage because you can handle a really fat pie plate sized gear in the back and run it with a standard vintage double. All the long cages pretty much shift the same. I have a V-GT that rides just like the Cyclone M-II that I have. The V looks much more vintage but I tell you from shifting them I really can't tell the difference. They are smooth, precise, fast generally easy to clean, very light, and often very cheap or free. Even my $6 V-GT outperforms the Nuovo Record I have and, in my opinion, by miles. But I like the look of the Campganolo equipment for sure.
Best-shifting in a friction system? a toss-up between a Huret Duopar or Ecopar, and (in my limited experience) a Campy Racing T with friction levers.
Best shifting in an indexed system? Well here my experience is much more limited, but I have a Campy system that is running great. But in indexing the derailleur is not solely responsible for shift quality, it's much more of a system.
What about subcategories for vintage/modern, and corncob/wide range?
OK, I'll bite:
Up to 26 teeth: SunTour short cage, particulalry the Cyclone series, but even the humble V is great.
Beyond 28 teeth: SunTour V-GT and other long-cage SunTours.
The Campag. NRs look great and upshift crisply, but downshifts require a bit of finesse and instinctive overshifting.
I concur with the earlier observations about indexing being a frill, because it is quite easy to learn to hit all the gears quickly and accurately with any of the better friction-based systems. I also like being able to jump over 1 or 2 cogs when I need a fast ratio change, the analog of dropping a car from 4th gear to 2nd in one step when negotiating a right turn.
"Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
I think the Simplex derailleurs from just before the wrong turn into Delrin hell are aesthetically lovely, with a really cool 30's streamlined art deco look - almost like a Raymond Lowey locomotive. Simple elegance personified. The famous 543 and the Record 60 are of course older pull-chain designs, but are still known to function well. The JUY 61 is a newer design that also worked well for its time. None would rank among the best-shifting ever, but as far as form meeting fuction at a particular historical moment I think they warrant mention. As alluded to above, Simplex got their mojo back, but too late to do them any good.
Simplex derailleurs shifted very well. The SLJ series was nice looking too. In terms of function, I'd take a derlin-based Criterium over a SR any day. Simplex stuff is just so hard to get because they were not that popular and they're big in Japan. Campy stuff is the prettiest. Suntour derailleurs are great. I think a portion of their shifting success came from the Suntour freewheel.
Last edited by WNG; 06-01-08 at 08:38 AM.
“You meet the nicest people on two wheels!"
"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." ~Albert Einstein
I am a big fan of older Suntour, and of course I haven't seen much Campy that I didn't find to be lovely in appearance. I haven't had a chance to ride with Campy much, although when I got my Univega I temporarily used a late '80s Campy Chorus Rear derailleur with Suntour shifters and freewheel, and it performed very well! However, I think the Cyclone that's on it now performs slightly better. My Bianchi has entry level late-80s Shimano parts on it, and even though I'm not a fan of indexed shifting I must admit that it performs quite nicely. However, I much prefer the feel of friction shifting with quality parts.
Cyclone M-II. The best IMHO. For MTB/touring, Deore XT.,,,,BD
Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder, function is much more important to me.
Here's what the late Sheldon Brown had to say:
Originally Posted by froze Huret did make some very good derailleurs that rivaled Shimano and Campy back in the day;
"Back in the day" to me means the early '60s, when Shimano was not in the market, and Campagnolo was pretty much unaffordable, at least to poor high school kids.
I bought a Hurét Alvit for one of my Elswicks probably around 1961. It was a huge improvement over the Benelux Mark VII it replaced, once I got used to the high-normal shifting direction. No way was it comparable to the contemporary Campagnolo Grand Sport though.
The Hurét Alvit was hot stuff in the early '60s, and was as nearly indestructable as any derailer pre-dating the Shimano Eagle. However, Hurét just gave up on R&D, and kept pumping Alvits out basically unchanged well into the mid-70s. By the mid-70s they were pitiful in comparison with even the plastic Simplexes (Simplices?) that were used on the better bike-boom tenspeeds.
When the SunTour Vgt and Shimano Lark came along, it was obvious to anybody who tried them that they were an order of magnitude better than anything France was producing at the time.
In the face of Japanese competition, Hurét and Simplex did try to play catch up, but it was too little, too late.
I own a Hurét Jubilee, their top-of-the line racing model. It is a little jewel to look at, and still bears the crown as the lightest rear derailer ever made, but it shifts worse than any Shimano product I've ever used.
Some folks get excited about the excessively complex Hurét Duopar. It is true that it would hande a wider range of sprocket sizes than any of its contemporaries, but its shifting quality was only so-so.
The best Hurét unit I've ever used was an inexpensive Sachs-Hurét unit I bought in France in 1988. It was basically a Shimano copy.
As to Simplex, some of their later, high-end, all-metal models were quite nice for their day (late '70s/early '80s.)
Originally Posted by froze ...so for someone to make a statement that Shimano worked better then ANY Huret is just plain ignorance.
The Sachs-Hurét I bought in Versailles in '88 was comparable in performance to a low end Shimano, but I don't really consider it a "Hurét" since it postdated the Sachs buyout and was clearly a Shimano copy.
Originally Posted by froze But Hurets mid and bottom end stuff was indeed pure junk.
...A good replacement if you want old school components would be to go with Suntour, like VxGT, Sprint, Cyclone or Superbe (in order of quality from lowest to highest). These can handle 7 speed freewheels, my Superbe handled it just fine. These can be found on E-Bay new in the box rather cheaply.
But what's the point? The technology of derailers has improved so much in the last 20 years that even the cheapest Shimano Tourney for under twenty bucks shifts better than anything available in the '70s.
Sheldon "Old Frames, New Derailers" Brown
hard to say .
but campy corsa ( triomphe ) and super record have been wokring wicked for me !
1989 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra|1991 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra
1991 Eddy merckx Corsa Extra Time trials|1992 Eddy Merckx Strada
1994 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra|1998 Eddy Merckx MX Leader
2006 Trek 5.2 SL|2009 Trek Portland
2009 On-One Il Pompino|Going to order a Independent Fabrications
My BAR award for a vintage derailleur system would have to go to the Shimano Dura-Ace 7400 series. It was handsome, rugged and shifted extremely well thanks to optimized computer design, indexing and a slant parallelogram, courtesy of SunTour's expired patent. Best "ever" would probably go to whatever protoype has just come off Shimano's drawing board.
My highly biased vote:
'Cause it's on my favorite bike, and it works grrreat!