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  1. #1
    Member theguyfromplt's Avatar
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    Need help identifying this rear derailleur!!

    I inherited a Free Spirit Tourney (I know I know - dept. store special) from a friend who was moving and had it in the garage. It has obviously had a few improvements made in the way of components. I have a problem identifying what kind of rear derailleur is on the thing, though. The only significant markings I could find were on the backside of the rd, which makes it difficult to get a decent picture. It says: "Maeda ind Japan", has a stamping on it that says "VIA" and another that says "BD" (date code??). It's aluminum and hangs from a derailleur hanger. Here's the pics I could get:

    http://i799.photobucket.com/albums/yy272/theguyfromplt/Free%20Spirit%20Tourney%20project/SP_A0163.jpg


    http://i799.photobucket.com/albums/y...t/SP_A0161.jpg

    http://i799.photobucket.com/albums/y...t/SP_A0162.jpg

    This bike has a Falcon (cheapy) front and this unidentified rd. The wheels are Alex Rims RP15F (with 8 cogs on the rear) and Suntour "power shifters" on the downtube. Anyone out there have any idea what I am looking at?

  2. #2
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    That looks like a typical Suntour rd from the 1970s, with the parallelogram tilted over and the top jockey wheels on the pivot point for the tension cage. Sorry I cant be more exact.

  3. #3
    Bent builder purplepeople's Avatar
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    Certainly Suntour because of the Maeda Industries marking. Can't be sure of the model but the rounded surfaces of the parallelogram and the long cage make me think it is one of the mtb groups, such as XC, XC Expert or XC Pro.

    I think that Sears bike has a lot more upgrades that one would first expect.

    :)ensen.
    Those who claim to be making history are usually just repeating it.

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  4. #4
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplepeople View Post
    Certainly Suntour because of the Maeda Industries marking. Can't be sure of the model but the rounded surfaces of the parallelogram and the long cage make me think it is one of the mtb groups, such as XC, XC Expert or XC Pro.

    I think that Sears bike has a lot more upgrades that one would first expect.

    ensen.
    Well, sort of. Definitely SunTour, probably of the Mountech line, also probably bottom-feeder due to the stamped steel pulley arm. Early-mid '80's time frame.
    Jeff Wills

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  5. #5
    Member theguyfromplt's Avatar
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    Thanks, fellas! Based upon the good suggestions here, I have decided that this is the one that most closely resembles what I have:

    http://www.disraeligears.co.uk/Site/SunTour_XC_derailleur_%286300%29.html


    (is it possible to use a long cage on a roadie and/or can I just change the cage over from another Suntour rd?)

  6. #6
    Bent builder purplepeople's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theguyfromplt View Post
    is it possible to use a long cage on a roadie and/or can I just change the cage over from another Suntour rd?
    Go ahead and use it, there's no real disadvantage, plus it's quite a hassle to swap cages, especially since you're only saving grams.

    :)ensen.
    Those who claim to be making history are usually just repeating it.

    My tilting trike: Video and Images

  7. #7
    Member theguyfromplt's Avatar
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    OK: (by the way, thx for the helpful posts)... Is this rd a 6 speed capable of 7, or a 5 spd capable of 6? Also, (lol - one more thing) do I HAVE to use the hanger with it? I'm thinking about putting on my Centurion Sport DLX (which has a threaded hole for the rd). Being a Suntour, I'm of the frame of mind that it will bolt right in (10mm?)

    And just to be sure, purplepeople, I need to lengthen the chain a few links for that long cage, right?

  8. #8
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    Rear derailleurs aren't really finicky with different speeds. The thing is, your freewheel size determines your speeds. The derailleur can be adjusted for all speeds, really. For example, I have a Campy derailleur from the 8 speed era being used on a 10 speed cassette with a triple in the front.

    Here's one method for chain length:
    http://bicycletutor.com/calculate-chain-length/

  9. #9
    Member theguyfromplt's Avatar
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    OK, I follow ya! Now here's a kicker of a question that has me boggled... This Sears special I picked up is getting scrapped for the components. Before I dismantled it, I noticed that upon trying to adjust the rd, the final gear in the cassette was so close to the stays that it caused the chain to lock because it made contact with the bottom of the seatstay. My guess (and it's just a guess) is that the components (all of them) were taken from a hybrid or an MTB and grafted onto this roadie in a "frankenstein" fashion. Are the stays different, or wider, on an MTB than on a Centurion roadie to allow for the extra cogs? I put the Alex Rims on the Sport DLX and it appears that I would have the same prob getting the chain to clear on the final drive gear...

    And thanks for the input on the rd as it relates to speeds - I always thought that the parallelogram was limited in motion for what era it was made. The vid was most helpful as well.

    Ya see? That's why I like hangin' out with you fine folks! You guys like to see a budding enthusiast grow into the sport!
    Last edited by theguyfromplt; 04-27-10 at 06:39 PM.

  10. #10
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    Hm. That's interesting. Adjusting the rear derailleur H screw is what should eliminate that, but if adjustment of that doesn't work, it's probably your chain width. Maybe a newer, modern chain would work out. However, I've never had that problem, only read about it on Park Tool.

    http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=64

  11. #11
    Member theguyfromplt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRietz View Post
    Hm. That's interesting. Adjusting the rear derailleur H screw is what should eliminate that, but if adjustment of that doesn't work, it's probably your chain width. Maybe a newer, modern chain would work out. However, I've never had that problem, only read about it on Park Tool.

    http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=64
    Well, I can adjust the H screw, effectively locking out the outermost cog, but then I can't get enough gear to take advantage of all 8 on the rear... Perhaps the chain is too wide, I really don't know. I'll try changing out the chain with another one and post a pic for you!

  12. #12
    Bent builder purplepeople's Avatar
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    I can't quite remember but I think 6/7 speed chains are the same width as are the 8/9 speed chains. But if the chain fits between the actual cogs, it should fit on the end. There probably isn't enough spacers between the last cog and the drop out. With an extra spacer or washer on either side, you might have enough room and not be flexing the rear stays enough to need a dropout alignment. A long cage is maybe an inch longer than a short cage so check if you chain is already long enough before bothering to add links. If it will shift into large ring / large cog easily, then it's long enough. Warning, doing this test while riding can wreck stuff if the chain isn't long enough.

    :)ensen.
    Those who claim to be making history are usually just repeating it.

    My tilting trike: Video and Images

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplepeople View Post
    I can't quite remember but I think 6/7 speed chains are the same width as are the 8/9 speed chains.
    Not quite -- 5-6-7-8 are the same, 9 is not.

  14. #14
    Member theguyfromplt's Avatar
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    OK, I put a chain on it and the last cog doesn't cause it to rub on the Centurion. However, I have encountered another problem here. It seems no matter how I adjust the "H" screw on the rd, the chain seems to randomly "skip" (but not come off) when I turn the pedals while it's on the stand. There are no stiff links in the chain and the teeth would seem to be OK (because it's not skipping at a regular interval). I also know for a fact that the rd threads are good and the dropout is true... Anyone else ever had this problem? What else could it be?

  15. #15
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    If there are no tight links (verified by slowly backpedaling and watching the chain pass through the jockey pulleys) then skipping would be caused by the freewheel teeth being worn. I seem to remember it being a pretty common problem. Teeth didn't need to be visibly worn, or maybe I just didn't know what to look for back then.

  16. #16
    Member theguyfromplt's Avatar
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    Just to double check, I went ahead and backpedaled - looking for tight links. I noticed that, with the chain set to the largest rear cog (lowest gear) and the fd on the outer chainring, when back pedaling the chain has a tendency to drop down to the 2nd cog... maybe this alludes to the problem. I noticed also that the pivot point on the cage seems to be slightly loose (play when you move it side to side - perhaps from a worn plastic bushing?). Maybe this is part of the problem, I really can't say, as I am still somewhat of a n00b here...

  17. #17
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theguyfromplt View Post
    Just to double check, I went ahead and backpedaled - looking for tight links. I noticed that, with the chain set to the largest rear cog (lowest gear) and the fd on the outer chainring, when back pedaling the chain has a tendency to drop down to the 2nd cog... maybe this alludes to the problem. I noticed also that the pivot point on the cage seems to be slightly loose (play when you move it side to side - perhaps from a worn plastic bushing?). Maybe this is part of the problem, I really can't say, as I am still somewhat of a n00b here...
    No, this is typical. With the chain on the big cog and big chainring, it's zigging across quite a span. It'll try to derail from the big cog when you backpedal. If you pedal forwards, the rear derailleur will keep the chain where it should be.
    Jeff Wills

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  18. #18
    Member theguyfromplt's Avatar
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    OK, I pulled the wheel to get a better look at the cassette. It's a SunTour Powerflo 8spd. I found this thread too. I ran a google search and came up with the following:

    "Each of these variations of the teeth at each position on the rear sprocket assembly, and the use of an Accushift Plus chain, is designed to provide the specifically needed assist, both the chain and the sprocket require, from each other, to make the shift and engagement as swift and as accurate as possible."

    I don't think I have an accushift chain, but should that make the sucker "skip" on the last cog??

    UPDATE: I checked the chain and it is a KMC, which is the same as the maximum width allowed by the cogs. Wierd...
    Last edited by theguyfromplt; 04-30-10 at 04:26 PM.

  19. #19
    Member theguyfromplt's Avatar
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    Update

    OK - I am still experiencing problems getting the bike to go into the smallest cog. I am thinking that my shifters do not have enough travel (they are downtube mounted Suntour "Power Shifters"). I do not have braze-ons on the DT, so I have tons of placement options. Are 8 speed "accushift" type shifters available?? Or does Shimano make a set of shifters that will operate in friction mode for all 8 cogs and still look proper for a road bike? All I can seem to find are the cheesy grip shifters and thumbies (which are not nearly as convenient or aesthetic).

    Thanks for the help!

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