Shimano 'Z' and other 'Light Action' derailleurs. These ones absolutely killed everything Campy offered.
Weinmann Centerpulls. Araya steel rims. Lyotard pedals. Sun Tour VX/VGT derailleurs. Weinman/Dia Compe brake levers. Sun Tour barcons. Avocet Touring saddles. Sachs Challenger RD. Sugino cranksets.
Suntour V series parts, Barcons, and Sugino cranksets are things I can't keep in stock here.
Araya steel rims are very good much like all their rims and if you can use them they are great... the finish and chrome is excellent.
Araya did produce some turds imo, starting with their welded (and sometimes over-machined) aluminum rim seams that produced gross, incurable thumping while braking. This was too common to ignore, imo, but some of the later, welded Weinmann Concave rims, as used by Raleigh and others, suffered the same severe issue.
This appeared to be hand-work, using perhaps a powered sanding drum, rather than a true machining operation.
There were also Araya's Red and Blue-label racing clinchers, which again suffered brake pulsation at the seam, not from over machining but in this case from a too-tight-fitting sleeve by all appearances.
I've fixed these using a vice, and then sanding to a final consistent thickness, but it took me years to get proficient enough at it so as not to want to toss these rims outright. Sanding aluminum produces neuro-toxic dust.
Even as late as the very late 1980's, Araya's racing clinchers also tended to spit off tire beads, owing to a pleasantly loose tire fit combined with but a semi-circular nub of a bead hook. I lost both wired and folding tires off of CTL-series rims after extended downhill braking, but at least the tire always gave warning by thumping the fork leg several times before releasing the tube's pressure with a bang.
But most of the 27" Araya rims of the 70's were certainly well designed and were a compliment to millions of bikes that they adorned.
The Araya steel rims were a revelation to me, some of Ukai's as well, and I've bought an entire bike at Goodwill to snag a virgin pair.
These Japanese steel rims are in the 730-gram range iir, as are the lumpier French Chrolux rims made by Rigida.
Schwinn's steel rims, bare, were more like 1100-grams, as a comparison.
IDK about rating schemes .. the A/B switchable pantograph slant on the Chorus RD [80's]
was not exactly to be an industry standard, and I never used it in the A configuration ,
because I never ran straight blocks .. but it certainly worked fine ..
A single chain ring , 13-34t F/W combo and it worked fine.. short cage..
I'm going to go off track just a tiny bit here by citing some favorite components of mine that are not exactly "vintage" - but that I have used on countless vintage flippers and keepers alike:
Sunrace ramped FWs,
and of course, Panaracer Pasellas.
Anything made by Nitto
What's wrong with Sapim spokes?
Sapim- absolutely nothing wrong. A terrific value! Bargain vs. WS or DT
The Japanese were so impressed with this that they copied many features rather than copy the Campagnolo Record... an Export 61 in fine condition is one of the most valuable vintage derailleurs there is.
The NR group is beautiful and well made and that rear d will shift poorly forever...
Right on, Tom. People reflexively run down NR derailleurs and I'm sick of it! And if they are going to quote or paraphrase Frank Berto, they should acknowledge the source! Talk about an underrated component!This cute line is written often, but it's not always true. The derailleur works well on some bikes.
What makes a decent derailleur is only partly its shift quality. The other quality is reliability. Within its range, the NR worked as well as the best derailleurs commonly available when it came out in 1968. Unlike its contemporaries, it would go huge miles and endure abuse without any ill effects. I've had one NR since 1971 and never did more to it than lube and pulley replacement. After 42 years and many, many thousands of miles, the pivots have developed enough slop to affect the cage alignment & shift quality. I recently replaced it with a newish Super Record, which also works fine.
Don't anyone take this personally. I guess I'm kind of touchy about these things right now. Another four inches of snow predicted for tonight isn't helping my mood any...
In this state, the offset cage pivot does it's job in tracking a freewheel, even with the 42-52t in front.
As for that Skylark and Simplex Export 61, these are dual-sprung, so even better at remediating the effects of broader chainring size ranges, up to 36-52t, and still shifting well. No N.R. derailer (with it's fixed-position B-pivot) will handle that range well with larger-size freewheels like 28t or even 26t.
But note that the Skylark derailer offers no adjustment for balancing the A and B-pivot spring tensions, so it works best only with whatever sprocket sizes that the factory chose when deciding how to pre-set said pivot spring tensions. Simplex derailers, otoh, all have that external cage locknut and cage pivot hex socket to allow optimizing the pivot spring tension balance to one's choice of cogs.
A derailer doesn't have to be slant-parallelogram to track the freewheel's cone profile. All it takes is some cage-pivot offset, and from there a sprung upper pivot further allows compensation for changes in chainring size, for front shifting.
Shimano called this Servo-Pantograph, which competed with Suntour's slanted parallelogram. Shimano's design was borrowed from Simplex, but featured no adjustment to optimize for one's freewheel size selection.
From the beginning, Suntour's design featured B-pivot adjustment for use with various freewheel sizes, much as did Simplex's designs, only here it was at the "A" (cage) pivot.
In 1984, Suntour's patent had expired, so Shimano patented their own hybrid design that featured Suntour's slant-parallelogram together with "Servo-Panta" dual sprung pivots AND a convenient adjustment screw for B-tension. This is essentially the model for the last 20 years of Shimano's and Campagnolo's road derailers, except that Campagnolo variously used either the A or B-pivot location for the adjustment screw at different times.
While many of Suntour's Accushift indexing derailers featured a new B-pivot spring, this spring only served to pull the derailer rearward when a wheel was being removed, and did not float in Servo-Panta fashion while riding, it's position rather being fixed by the B-pivot ANGLE (not tension!) screw, just as on their older derailers.
Curiously enough, with a Suntour Accushift derailer's B-pivot angle screw removed, and with some internal up-tensioning of the B-pivot spring, these B-pivot-spring-equipped derailers operated in full Servo-Panta mode(!), with opposing A and B-pivot springs allowing dynamic float of the derailer body angle during gear shifting.
I thus modified a few of these Sprint and Superbe derailers to be more Shimano-like, and the results were fantastic. It definitely left me wondering: A); how Shimano's patent prevented Suntour from delivering their derailer's set up in this configuration, and B); whether Suntour perhaps intended for more-sophisticated (racing teams?) users to be able to set them up this way.
It seemed (and still seems) far too much of a coincidence to me, but I was connected to no team and had no insider information to rely on, just that dangerous combination of motivation and curiosity.
So, over time, I became proficient at disassembling the messy shimmed and sprung pivot out on the road, to achieve a final optimum adjustment setting for my "hills of L.A." gearing.
I even remember "sneaking in" one of these complex adjustments during another rider's tire change on a hilly training ride above Pasadena. Talk about "pit pressure", I only had a few minutes.
It was all worth it, right?
Last edited by dddd; 02-17-14 at 11:43 AM.