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Old 08-29-11, 09:20 AM   #1
yogismo
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"Best" Replacement 6-speed Rear Derailleur

Apologies if this post has already been done - seems like it would have been but I'm having difficulty finding anything using the search function. Anyway, here we go:

I have an '83 Univega Sportour as my commuter (oblig. pic). Long story short, the rear derailleur (original SunTour aRX 6 speed) broke recently and needs replacing. I really, really like riding this frame, and it has tremendous sentimental value, so as I rebuild/replace parts I'd like to just do it with the nicest parts possible. Does anybody have any suggestions for high-quality rear derailleurs that will work w/ the vintage 6-speed rear cluster and friction shifters?

My concerns (in order) are function, durability, looks.

Thanks all.
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Old 08-29-11, 09:33 AM   #2
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Any old Suntour should work fine, for the most part they're easy to find and inexpensive. If your freewheel is medium-to-large you need to get a long-cage version. Lots of 'em on Ebay, at swap meets, etc.
VGT-Luxe, ARX, Cyclone, etc.
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Old 08-29-11, 09:48 AM   #3
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Anything from SunTour or Shimano ought to work fine. Indexed derailleurs have no problem with friction levers.
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Old 08-29-11, 09:59 AM   #4
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Agreed, 6 speed friction is easy to deal with.

If you're looking to keep it original I have a NOS aRX RD at home...I can't remember if it's short, mid, or long cage (there were the three variants). IIRC it's the mid cage but not the GT (long). I can check if you like.

I also would have several other Suntour RDs that might fit the bill (V-GT Luxe for sure, probabaly others) . Send me e-mail through the site if you're interested or keith at hatfull dot net
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Old 08-29-11, 10:19 AM   #5
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If you want light weight and good looks to go with it, nothing beats the Suntour Cyclone MkII. But the high demand for them in the last few years had driven up their price considerably.
Otherwise, the BL and VX models will also work marvelously!
I'm not into Shimanos. but the 600 is as popular with C&Vers as the Cyclone is.
If you want Euro/French, The Simplex SX610 is still a good bargain for one of the best shifting derailleurs to have come from the manufacturer. It's basically the same as the SLJ6600, but with a few economy touches that get the price to a fraction of the SLJ6600's $200+ typical price (NOS).

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Old 08-29-11, 11:11 AM   #6
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+1 to all the above. The aR is one step below the aRX and in my experience are very common. They were standard equipment on the entry-level Schwinns. I've used both aR and aRX on bikes and haven't seen problems in either one.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 08-29-11, 11:50 AM   #7
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Personally and though a Cyclone fan, I do like both the looks and function-ability of the Suntour Gx...


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Old 08-29-11, 11:53 AM   #8
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++++Suntour
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Old 08-29-11, 12:12 PM   #9
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You have to bear in mind that during that era, Suntour was king and Shimano was the also-ran. Shimano didn't surpass Suntour until indexed shifting; the original Suntour design wasn't too hot and Shimano learned from their mistakes.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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