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Old 02-14-14, 02:37 PM   #51
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Probably already mentioned, but RSX brifters. Pretty much bulletproof and triple/double compatible! Not to mention being 7 speed brifters!
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Old 02-14-14, 03:18 PM   #52
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You are wrong, Scott. The Testing and Development department of C&V has determined the Gran Turismo lives down to its infraordinary reputation.
Oh. You mean as a derailleur? Piece-O-crap. I thought this thread was about paper weights and weapons.
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Old 02-14-14, 03:32 PM   #53
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+1 on PKN10E frames, I had and liked one just a few years ago, however off-the-topic that may be.
...also on the metal RSX brifters that have modernized so many 7s freewheel bikes.

About the Svelto, the cool thing is that these look like a derailer that someone might be able to put together in their garage.
I'm imagining a slant-parallelogram version with "micro" ball bearings at all pivot points, to allow indexing, and of course no top pivot spring.

Looking at such a derailer from the right angle, the body would almost disappear.
Then make the pulley cage from thin steel rod stock and add heavily-perforated pulleys for that super-lightweight look.
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Old 02-14-14, 03:42 PM   #54
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Call that a derailleur?



Now THAT'S a derailleur!
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Old 02-14-14, 03:48 PM   #55
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..
Now THAT'S a derailleur!
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Old 02-14-14, 03:53 PM   #56
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Whoa. Part of the Space Shuttle.
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Old 02-14-14, 05:57 PM   #57
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I forgot- the Sachs/Huret ratcheting downtube shifters. IMO, the only friction downtube shifters that are any better are the Simplex Retrofrictions.
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Old 02-14-14, 06:36 PM   #58
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Old 02-14-14, 06:37 PM   #59
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I don't know if they're underrated, but old Look (Delta cleat) pedals or their Mavic- or Shimano-licensed counterparts are great bargains. They seem bulletproof, the bearings are almost always silky smooth no matter how trashed the body gets, and they can be easily had for around $20.
...and in colors.
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Old 02-14-14, 07:47 PM   #60
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Shimano 105, 600 tricolor and DA don't seem to get all that much respect. I have had a few bikes with Campy groupsets and haven't been all that impressed. I am building up a Pinarello Record frame with Campy Nuovo Record/Record components. I will see if I feel different about Campy when I get it on the road.

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Old 02-14-14, 11:38 PM   #61
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I can't comment on the functionality of the Huret Challenger but it sure is a fun piece to shine. I'm cleaning up a Motobecane Nomade and was pleased to find this under 30 some odd years of gunk. The Solida cottered cranks are pretty awesome looking too.

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Old 02-14-14, 11:50 PM   #62
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Deore DX - it looks great, it's durable and you can find it inexpensively on parts bikes.
DX is crap... send it all to me for disposal.
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Old 02-15-14, 12:28 AM   #63
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Huret Svelto:



Found on millions of bike-boom era department store bikes. Works much better than the "Alvit" which was also common back then. It's amazing what Huret could do with a few pieces of bent sheet metal and some rivets.
I really like the Svelto... since they were so ubiquitous and cheap the fact they wore out rather quickly just meant you'd replace it... and they really do shift wonderfully. The Shimano "Pecker" is also designed much like the Svelto.

Another crappy derailleur no-one should use and should send to me is the Shimano Skylark... especially the SL10 (last model).
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Old 02-15-14, 12:45 AM   #64
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I would also go with Deore DX. Some others are classic MAFAC racer brakes, sufer from consistanley poor setup. Suntour 7 rd's a bit heavy but solid as hell, use one to pound nails put it back on the bike and it will work and the venerable Shimano Tourney RD in all it's incarnations cheap as hell but it gets the job dome rather nicely.
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Old 02-15-14, 12:56 AM   #65
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I would also go with Deore DX. Some others are classic MAFAC racer brakes, sufer from consistanley poor setup. Suntour 7 rd's a bit heavy but solid as hell, use one to pound nails put it back on the bike and it will work and the venerable Shimano Tourney RD in all it's incarnations cheap as hell but it gets the job dome rather nicely.
The Tourney is still a variation of the Skylark which was a copy of the Simplex JUY 61... I prefer the Skylark SL10 as it is the basis for the Tourney SIS (and indexes well) and even though they were the cheapest derailleur Shimano offered the build quality of the Japanese models is outstanding.

The Lark is also rather nice, the sprung cable saver makes it feel pretty supple.

The Shimano RS is also a really decent derailleur and again... it is really a Skylark.
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Old 02-15-14, 07:42 AM   #66
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Nobody has mentioned VGT-Luxe RDs yet. Well, maybe that's because they aren't underrated.

(Or maybe someone did and I missed it.)
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Old 02-15-14, 08:35 AM   #67
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Nobody has mentioned VGT-Luxe RDs yet. Well, maybe that's because they aren't underrated.

(Or maybe someone did and I missed it.)
Yeah, those get a lot of love around here - and for good reason!
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Old 02-15-14, 08:36 AM   #68
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...
Another crappy derailleur no-one should use and should send to me is the Shimano Skylark... especially the SL10 (last model).
Now THERE is a real sleeper. ^
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Old 02-15-14, 09:08 AM   #69
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Now THERE is a real sleeper. ^
Back when entry level got you a really well made and functional piece of kit that today can be picked up for next to nothing...



These never shifted quite as well as the Suntour V series (few things did) but I have gained a new appreciation of them and will fit them to bicycles we rehab at the co-op as they are so much better than their later clones.

You could add the Titlist to the under-rated list... it is a Shimano Crane with steel cage plates and the lower cost and high production numbers that make them rather inexpensive can make you feel better about it shifting just as well as the more expensive Crane... which also does not shift as well as a Suntour V series.
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Old 02-15-14, 12:44 PM   #70
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I removed most of the original parts from the Viscount Aerospace Pro and refurbed it for my wife. She didn't like it, so I don't know what I'll do with it. In the meantime, I have the Crane deraileurs. The rear is remarkably well made. It's one of the sturdiest feeling derailleurs I've seen. I haven't tried using it, though.
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Old 02-15-14, 12:46 PM   #71
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Oh, and the Lambert brakes with the pivot bolts with V's on them work very well. No complaints at all.
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Old 02-15-14, 12:55 PM   #72
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I've never had a Shimano light action RD that failed or did not clean up beautifully for a flip. They are not flashy; they just work.
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Old 02-15-14, 01:20 PM   #73
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I don't know if they're underrated, but old Look (Delta cleat) pedals or their Mavic- or Shimano-licensed counterparts are great bargains. They seem bulletproof, the bearings are almost always silky smooth no matter how trashed the body gets, and they can be easily had for around $20.
I'm still riding my Shimano Look pedals I bought new in '91. They've definitely aged better than I have.
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Old 02-15-14, 01:28 PM   #74
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Skylarks, Cranes, Titlists and early 105/600-model rear derailers all have an offset cage pivot and fully-sprung, upper (mounting) "B" pivot, so all are in the same boat.

With their offset cage pivot spring and B-tension spring dynamically opposing one another, all have the ability to allow the upper (guide) pulley to track the rear freewheel's cone profile, while also fully compensating for chainring size selections made while riding.

What they all lack is any adjustment to tailor the chain gap initially, to suit the freewheel size, the hanger drop length and the axle position within the dropout slots. Both the "A" (cage) pivot spring tension and the "B" (mounting) pivot spring tension are factory pre-set.

I believe that most if not all of these models can be disassembled at either pivot (choice depending on whether an increase or decrease in chain tension is preferred), with an added spring-anchor hole drilled for changing the tension on the spring so as to adjust the A-B spring balance (and thus chain gap) for the particular bike.

Shifting can thus be improved, "tightening up" the amount of movement required at the shift lever to effect a shift, while also reducing or eliminating any need for overshift correction at the lever following an up- or down-shift. "Early" shifting is the goal and the result.

What these derailers also have in common is the higher actuation ratio common to older derailers (one big reason why a newer SIS version will typically still be easier to shift gears with using a friction shifter).
But friction shifters come in various lengths and spool diameters, so picking the right shift levers goes a long way toward achieving more-contemporary performance.

And of course don't forget to lube/grease the shifter pivot studs inside, not just the edges of the friction surfaces, as well as installing the smoothest, most flex-free cable and housing, lubricated with a plastic-friendly lube that is friendly to the housing's poly liner, and fitting precise ferrules to housing ends.
Most bike greases contain metallic additives for extreme-pressure protection of heavily-loaded bearing surfaces, but these actually increase the friction on polymer surfaces, and may be too viscous as well to allow snappy cable return movement. Suspension grease or pre-lubed cable housings are both good. I often use GripShift Sil/Tefl lube with housings that I have cleaned internally, and it is super-slick on poly, but also very viscous so is only applied to the cable wire and not forced into any shift housing.
And don't forget to lube cable guides as well.

Sad to see today's Skylark descendents being used on cheap mountainbikes with 7sp "Mega-Range" style freewheels, as these prevent the derailer's pivot springs from being calibrated to the other 6 cogs, so poor shifting always results.

And, for you Simplex fans, the A-B pivot spring balance can be tuned to your chosen freewheel size by re-tensioning the lower "A" cage pivot spring, for which an external locknut and 5mm hex socket are conveniently provided, using only a cone wrench an 5mm hex key. So simple!

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Old 02-15-14, 03:48 PM   #75
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Suntour Cyclone, Sprint and V series, extremely accurate shifting, unbreakable and lightweight depending on which model. A lot of the old school stuff like what has already been mentioned by earlier posts was way better than todays stuff in the area of reliability, but NONE of the old school friction systems could hold a match to the shifting quality of any Suntour derailleur from the V series on up. I have a bike with the entire Suntour Superbe group, the bike has over 160,000 miles on it and none of the parts except the front derailleur ever wore out (the front derailleur mounting band snapped so I had another identical spare I put on).
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