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Suntour ARX vs Cyclone Rear Derailleurs - Will I Notice A Difference?

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Suntour ARX vs Cyclone Rear Derailleurs - Will I Notice A Difference?

Old 06-02-15, 01:43 PM
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Suntour ARX vs Cyclone Rear Derailleurs - Will I Notice A Difference?

The ARX Suntour rear derailleur on my '85 Nishiki Riviera seems to shift sloppily. I do have a new Shimano 6 speed freewheel, new chain, and the ARX has been disassembled, cleaned & lubed. New cables & housings. I've had this bike a couple of years and like it a lot, but the drivetrain in the rear is noisier than on my other bikes of similar ilk. I'm using Suntour ratcheted bar end shifters and it just seems like finding the right cog is not easy. While in contrast, my '83 Miyata Mixte has a Suntour Cyclone Mark II rd as well as a Suntour freewheel (6 speed), new chain, cables/housings, etc. and shifts quickly, confidently and as I pedal along is silent.

So 2 issues with the first setup:

- shifting lacks ...something. Hard time finding the cog. I've used ratcheted shifters/friction on other applications, so I don't think it's my technique. Derailleur? Freewheel?

- noisier drive train just pedaling along.

I'm gonna remove the ARX & install the 1st generation Cyclone and see if there's a difference.

Opinions? Thoughts? I know the Cyclone is about 10 years older than the vintage of the bike, so might not "go" with the overall aesthetics of an '85 but I'm also hoping for improved function.
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Old 06-02-15, 01:58 PM
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I have used and like both derailleurs. I run my aRX on an 8 speed Shimano cassette with a ratched Suntour barcon and have no issues. How's the spring tension on the derailleur?
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Old 06-02-15, 02:01 PM
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different years and models of Suntour deraiers may position the top guide pulley closer or further from the sprockets, but as long as you can work within the derailer's range of adjustment to get a gap of around a quarter inch, both should shift really well.
Note that there needs to be clearance between the outer cage plate and the cogs as well, which can have some effect on the gap you might be able to adjust to.

Some models also have stiffer springs than others, but in general, Suntour return springs aren't overly stiff.
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Old 06-02-15, 02:08 PM
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Those are two of my favorite derailleurs of all time. Your difficulties with the ARX do not match my experience with that RD. Look carefully at the ARX setup. Is the cable running freely? Housings in good shape. Has play developed n the derailleur /cage pivot? The idler pulleys?

I would expect the Cyclone to shift a little quicker and be a little less smooth.

Is your FW a Hyperglide? I put one on last winter and found it shifts so easily that any errors centering the RD made for unplanned shifts. It is my opinion that it is really not well suited for friction/ratchet shifting and left for accurate index systems.

Ben
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Old 06-02-15, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post

Is your FW a Hyperglide? I put one on last winter and found it shifts so easily that any errors centering the RD made for unplanned shifts. It is my opinion that it is really not well suited for friction/ratchet shifting and left for accurate index systems.

Ben
Ben, this is an interesting point to ponder. Thanks for that.
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Old 06-02-15, 02:16 PM
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My favorite, works great on a Schwinn Super Le Tour, which came with a mixed bag of components, I think a Blaze RD. Crisp and fast, looks good too, and I believe the original spec on the SLT.
VeloBase.com - Component: SunTour Cyclone

ARX, not so much.

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Old 06-02-15, 02:25 PM
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Not doubting your wrenching abilities, but have you checked to see if the derailleur hanger is bent? Even if slightly bent it will throw things out of whack

Cheers!
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Old 06-02-15, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Those are two of my favorite derailleurs of all time. Your difficulties with the ARX do not match my experience with that RD. Look carefully at the ARX setup. Is the cable running freely? Housings in good shape. Has play developed n the derailleur /cage pivot? The idler pulleys?

I would expect the Cyclone to shift a little quicker and be a little less smooth.

Is your FW a Hyperglide? I put one on last winter and found it shifts so easily that any errors centering the RD made for unplanned shifts. It is my opinion that it is really not well suited for friction/ratchet shifting and left for accurate index systems.

Ben
I had read that same thing before. I could certainly blame user error, however I've had ratcheted friction shifters and do have (down tube power ratchet shifters) on another bike and when I shift on that other bike (Full Suntour setup), there's a positive "clunk" when the chain gets to the cog.

Currently on bike in question it's a SunRace 6 speed ramped/pinned freewheel. I have a Suntour 6 speed that I may put on as it would be easier than changing out the derailleur. I'll report back so see if there's a difference with the Suntour freewheel, and keeping the current ARX derailleur. If no difference, then will swap derailleurs. This bike was all original when I bought it. I've kept all of the stock parts in case I want to put it back.
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Old 06-02-15, 02:41 PM
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My completely uneducated guess is that there's something wrong with the aRx. The AR based derailleurs are generally really smooth.

About the Cyclone looking "wrong" on an 80s bike... I used my Cyclone on my 84 Schwinn Voyageur SP, it's a classy looking mech on a classy looking bike. Only reason I changed mine out was I went to an XC Pro that was like 8 years newer than the bike instead of the 8 years older. The Cyclone proudly shifts my 78 Trek.
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Old 06-02-15, 04:00 PM
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Well, looking at my Cyclone it looks like it has the wrong mounting bolt. If you look at the one on Velobase on the backside it has that slotted washer to allow the upper pivot to move. Mine does not have that kind. It just has bolt with threads on it. Did they make them differently?
VeloBase.com - Component: SunTour Cyclone GT

UPDATE: Didn't make a bit of difference regarding what derailleur was on it. I reinstalled the original one, but have kept the Suntour (date code dd for April '87) so at least it's era specific. On the stand there is definitely a positive feeling & sound of the chain settling onto the cog and the chain seems to "settle" onto the desired cog more quickly and with "decision" if that makes any sens.

Thanks for the suggestions and information.

As a side note, I replaced the Vittoria Voyager Hyper 700 x 35 with Pasela PT 700 x 28 just to see what a 28 would feel like (haven't ridden yet). I usually always go with 32. Anyway we all know how tight the Paselas are to mount. I have had MULTIPLE pinch flats while mounting these tires. Very frustrating. I may go with slightly smaller tube, like maybe 700 x 25 vs my current 700 x 28-32. On the upside is that I'm getting a crash course in flat repair!
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Old 06-02-15, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Those are two of my favorite derailleurs of all time. Your difficulties with the ARX do not match my experience with that RD.

I would expect the Cyclone to shift a little quicker and be a little less smooth.

Ben
He puts it well.
I rode 102 miles in NJ with rhm and other miscreants, and my aRx (on a Lotus) was quiet as a mouse, smooth and so nice.
I've ridden roughly the same mileage on a bike with Cyclone (a Centurion) and it was exactly the same.
I can only add that I had LePree(l) on my Lemans RS and it was the same.
I think there's something else amiss, Miss.
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Old 06-02-15, 04:55 PM
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I never liked the arx I had, and exchanged it for a vx, which I love.
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Old 06-02-15, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by seedsbelize View Post
I never liked the arx I had, and exchanged it for a vx, which I love.
(Is that the Vx you got from me? It's a good machine!) It is tough to beat a Vx-S. Or a VGT Luxe. Or a 1st-gen Cyclone GT. Yes there are differences but given the same chain and FW, I might have a hard time telling the difference. Can't speak for the ARX but I'd expect it to be similar. One nice feature of the Cyclone is how the cable housing fits into the body so that the angle w.r.t. the parallelogram stays constant as the parallelogram moves.
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Old 06-02-15, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
He puts it well.
I rode 102 miles in NJ with rhm and other miscreants, and my aRx (on a Lotus) was quiet as a mouse, smooth and so nice.
I don't remember you shifting at all on that ride, however.
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Old 06-02-15, 09:25 PM
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Velocivixen, I know this is basic, and probably something you know, but, when you changed the cable housing, did you use shifter housing or general use housing. I learned that error the hard and expensive way on my Bianchi. Couldn't figure out why the Campy wouldn't shift correctly with a new chain, new cable and new housing. Finally brought it to the LBS who knew me and wanted to know why I used general use housing (brake housing) cause that leads to all kinds of shifting problems. They changed out the housing and the bike has shifted correctly ever since.
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Old 06-02-15, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by roccobike View Post
Velocivixen, I know this is basic, and probably something you know, but, when you changed the cable housing, did you use shifter housing or general use housing... Finally brought it to the LBS who knew me and wanted to know why I used general use housing (brake housing) cause that leads to all kinds of shifting problems.
Ah, be careful here. "...all kinds of shifting problems" is a typical LBS comment. But that non-compressible derailleur housing is also much stiffer. It is necessary for index shifting but not for friction or ratchet/friction. More significantly, it can cause problems with the Cyclone at least. When you shift into a high enough gear the housing has to swing inward from the stop on the stay then angle back out again to feed into the derailleur at the right angle. Stiff housing can't do that easily so the stiffness can prevent the RD from going onto the small cog. I've seen it happen.
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Old 06-02-15, 10:49 PM
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I was using Suntour SHIFTER housing, but I have in the past, used general (brake) housing for friction only systems. So basically what I'm hearing is the chain going through the guide & tension pulleys. I disassembled the pulleys, and despite the fact that they weren't dirty (because I had already disassembled & lubed a year ago) I cleaned and used Phil Wood Tenacious oil on all, reassembled. It's a little quieter now. I think it's just the normal sound of this particular derailleur. It's not terribly loud, but it's completely silent either. There is no play in the rivets of the parallelogram part. Bike was all original and looked to be rarelly ridden.

Shifting with the Suntour freewheel has GREATLY improved vs the Sunrace ramped/pinned freewheel. I shift and the chain knows right where to go and it solidly "clunks" into place. Those of you who use Suntour will recognize the positive feel & sound I'm referring to. @79pmooney referred to this.
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Old 06-03-15, 04:26 AM
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VV, yep, I only use SunTour freewheels and derailleurs on my classic rides. About the only thing you need to watch is the freewheel regular vs Ultra spacing . My trusty old S-10S upgraded from a five speed rear to a six, and either spacing worked, but the ultra was a bit touchier to get the shifting right.

FWIW, Cyclone was still being used on Miyatas in the mid 80s.
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Old 06-03-15, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
He puts it well.
I rode 102 miles in NJ with rhm and other miscreants...
Hey, I resemble that remark! I've swapped 1st gen Cyclone in place of ARx on my '82 Team with 6-speed 600EX 13-28T hyperglide freewheel and DT powershifters. The ARx was low mileage and shifted fine. The Cyclone is prettier...

Robbie's drivetrain was silent in all of that headwind...
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Old 06-03-15, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
(Is that the Vx you got from me? It's a good machine!) It is tough to beat a Vx-S. Or a VGT Luxe. Or a 1st-gen Cyclone GT. Yes there are differences but given the same chain and FW, I might have a hard time telling the difference. Can't speak for the ARX but I'd expect it to be similar. One nice feature of the Cyclone is how the cable housing fits into the body so that the angle w.r.t. the parallelogram stays constant as the parallelogram moves.
Yes, that's the one. I would have preferred a vgt luxe, but you can't always get what you want.
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Old 06-03-15, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen View Post

Shifting with the Suntour freewheel has GREATLY improved vs the Sunrace ramped/pinned freewheel. I shift and the chain knows right where to go and it solidly "clunks" into place. Those of you who use Suntour will recognize the positive feel & sound I'm referring to. @79pmooney referred to this.
I have never liked Sunrace components; derailleurs and cogsets at least. I''d rather use low end Shimano, or better yet, Suntour.
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I just love riding a vintage road bike. The smooth speed and quick response of the steel has to be one of the most enjoyable experiences I know.

My bikes: 58cm '72 Schwinn World Voyageur, 24" '79 Trek 930, 58cm '84 Schwinn Letour Luxe, with couplers, 61cm '92 Schwinn Paramount (Panasonic) [Incoming: 60cm '88 Centurion Ironman Expert, 24" '80 Trek 414]
I will buy no more bikes forever.
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Old 06-03-15, 10:27 AM
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You're using 5 mm derailleur housing and ferrules, yes?
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Old 06-03-15, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Those are two of my favorite derailleurs of all time. Your difficulties with the ARX do not match my experience with that RD. Look carefully at the ARX setup. Is the cable running freely? Housings in good shape. Has play developed n the derailleur /cage pivot? The idler pulleys?

I would expect the Cyclone to shift a little quicker and be a little less smooth.

Is your FW a Hyperglide? I put one on last winter and found it shifts so easily that any errors centering the RD made for unplanned shifts. It is my opinion that it is really not well suited for friction/ratchet shifting and left for accurate index systems.

Ben
Hmm. I've not had the experience of a Hyperglide cassette making shifts problematic. I have two bikes with Cyclone MkII and hyperglide cassettes, an eight speed and a nine speed, and both shift wonderfully with ratcheted Suntour barcons.
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Old 06-03-15, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Wheels Of Steel View Post
You're using 5 mm derailleur housing and ferrules, yes?
Definitely yes on the ferrules. I am using the type of housing where the thin wires inside run parallel with each other along the length of the housing. Not the coiled brake housing. I know that with friction systems you can use the coiled type of housing, and don't necessarily require compressionless.

Anyway the problem is solved with Suntour freewheel, which simply give me a more positive feedback when the chain is where it's supposed to be. With the Sunrace, it's not that something with it was wrong, but I never felt like I "knew" exactly when it was on the cog. I couldn't hear or feal a definite seating​ of the chain onto the cog. The Suntour freewheel gives me both audible as well as tactile feedback.
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Old 06-03-15, 01:09 PM
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clubman 
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An accurate performance of a drivetrain without new freewheel/chain is a little futile. So if you're using an older Cylone with an older chain, there's a chance it may work nicely or not at all. The original matched components would likely be uber-smooth.

OT but still relevant, I wonder how many chains get reinstalled correctly when they serviced at shops? Am I correct in thinking there's 8 possible orientations?
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