I'm not going to say anything, I'd rather my favorite parts didn't get any more expensive!
Deore DX - it looks great, it's durable and you can find it inexpensively on parts bikes.
Most underrated components?
● 1972 Lambert Grand Prix ● 1972 Raleigh Super Course ● 1972 Peugeot UE-18 Mixte ● 1976(?) Univega Viva Sport fixie ● 1979 Ross Super Gran Tour Professional ● 1983 Nishiki Landau ● 1983 Trek 500 ● 1983 Centurion LeMans 12 ● 1984 Peugeot PH10LE ● 1984 Bianchi Limited ● 1985 Peugeot Vagabond ● 1985 Trek 600 ● 1986 Univega Nuovo Sport ● 1987 Schwinn Tempo ● 1990 Centurion Diamondback TG ● 1992 Trek 2100 ● 1996 Kona Lava Dome ● 2006 Trek 4300 ● And a Bike to Be Named Later ●
Another vote for Deore DX 95% of XT, 25% of the price.
The mid-1980 Shimano Z-series. Reasonably priced, nicely finished, works very well, bullet proof.
Old Falcon branded triple front derailleurs. Work fantastic, and you could probably get them at 10 for a buck.
"Where you come from is gone;
where you are headed weren't never there;
and where you are ain't no good unless you can get away from it."
I'd vote for Araya steel rims, if you can find a perfect set.
I believe that these are the smoothest I've ever used in terms of braking, and not too terribly heavy.
Not the MOST underrated, but I have a fetish for Lyotard pedals. They're not smooth, but they are quite durable. There's only one model I know of with a design flaw. It has an aluminum shaft around the spindle. But I don't have that model. I'm hoarding all the Lyotard rat trap pedals I can find. I don't even know why.
I'm finding that a lot of the stuff I like is well regarded and priced accordingly.
*Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Man Of The Year" Award*
Anything tubular and freewheel in the same wheel. Hubs are worth 95% of the whole wheel if they are C-Record , Mavic 501, almost any freewheel wheelset for that matter. Specialized Flag CS's, last generation of Tricolor single pivot brakes , great performance from a single pivot with the tricolor levers. Suntour XC comp brakes and CS's. Winner branded hubs.
Simplex Prestige derailleurs. Perform well for me. Victim of cycling myth.
Shimano 1050 6-sp indexed. Light, capable, cheap, and polished.
You will not believe how fast I used to be...
1979 Centurion Semi Pro
1983 Lotus Classique
1985 Cinelli Equipe Centurion
1985 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra
1987 D'Arienzo (Basso)
1987 Trek 330 Elance
1995 Hot Tubes TT
1995 Trek OCLV 5500
2004 Quintana Roo Kilo
2006 Cinelli XLR8R-2
2008 Cannondale Six13
2013 Eddy Merckx EMX-3
Mavic 500's are underrated but have a following. I thought they would be easy to find because they are not mentioned that much. Boy howdie did I get a surprize when I did find them. Typically they are priced the same as Campy HF hubs or more. Try to find skewers! Ha!
French bikes because of their non standard dimensions.
Suntour XCD - I have a couple 6000 rear derailleurs and they have been flawless for me.
1975 Motobecane Le Champion
1984 Bridgestone 400, Ross Signature 292S -- 1985 Specialized Expedition -- 1987 Trek Elance 400T, Schwinn Voyageur
1990 Bridgestone MB-5, Cannondale ST400 -- 1994 Univega Via Carisma
For C&V, old Weinmann brake levers - cheeeeeeap prices, lightweight and they work. Comical of the market value difference vs. old Mafac (and those crazy prices for Mafac hoods...whew!).