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Have you used the '70s Suntour SL FD?

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Have you used the '70s Suntour SL FD?

Old 10-25-18, 07:08 PM
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Have you used the '70s Suntour SL FD?


The Le tech, Spirt and Compe V are also bottom pull (reverse spring)

Last edited by avhed; 10-25-18 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 10-25-18, 07:19 PM
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I encountered a different one. Maybe the Mountain Tech (or similar). Maybe another.

It makes some sense. Push both levers forward for the harder gears, pull them back for the easier gears.

I think another brands does the opposite with the rear derailleur. Rapid Rise?
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Old 10-25-18, 07:23 PM
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Suntour had the sweet ticket with that unit. Rapid rise was the wrong idea... lol Too bad they don't do that nowdays.
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Old 10-26-18, 12:22 AM
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I liked the LeTech on my '84 ProTour. Although it felt 'backwards' from all my other bikes, I never once had any trouble getting into the smallest chain ring like I do with other FDs sometimes. That is such a PITA when you need a sudden drop down to granny gear, and your panic-shift doesn't get you there.
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Old 10-26-18, 05:30 AM
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Compe V is on several bikes. Just makes sense that both levers work the same way.

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Old 10-26-18, 05:31 AM
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I had the SL front on a 1977 Fuji S-10S (12 speed) with the Vx rear. Swapping in the SunTour barcons made that an enjoyable bike to shift. I liked the reverse logic on the front, which allowed the shift levers to be used in analogous ways. It shifted fine and had the benefit of a slightly wider cage that didn't require as much trimming.

For my wife's Trek 620 fitted with a 9-speed rear, I've employed a rapid rise Deore rear derailleur. That way, her two bar end levers work similarly.
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Old 10-26-18, 04:14 PM
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Spirt fan here.
And former aviation mechanic.
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Old 10-26-18, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by seedsbelize
Spirt fan here.
And former aviation mechanic.
love spirts as well. I have ridden on airplanes.
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Old 10-26-18, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
I encountered a different one. Maybe the Mountain Tech (or similar).
Both the Mountech and the AG Tech are regular pull FDs.

Suntour Mountech Front Derailleur by Dave The Golden Boy, on Flickr
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Old 10-27-18, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by seedsbelize
Spirt fan here.
And former aviation mechanic.
I've had one of these reverse SunTour FD's before... probably the SL? Seemed rational at the time. Didn't they require the use of a cable housing stop on the seat tube? I've got a few bikes with SunTour front derailleurs now, all Cyclones, I think.

by chance, I'm a former aviation guy myself. Used to fix avionics in the Marine Corps ("avionics" = aviation electronics). Later, I ended up designing avionics for a handful of years. A very fun and interesting industry!

Steve in Peoria
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Old 10-27-18, 01:25 PM
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I have used both Cyclone (low-normal) and earlier SunTours (Spirt, SL, all normal-high) on various doubles and triples, and have liked all of them. I had no trouble adjusting back and forth when I put a Cyclone on the NIshiki and moved the Nishiki's old Spirt to the 1960 Capo Modell Campagnolo (RIP, due to after-effects of a close encounter of the wrong kind with a motor vehicle).
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Old 10-28-18, 06:51 AM
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I like the idea that, if the cable fails, the derailleur moves the chain to the largest chainring. I consider it a safety feature.

This one appears to have some things in common with my early generation AG Tech front derailleur (from other photos on Velobase). Notably, it has a cable housing stop. Also, the the cable pinch bolt appears to be in a fixed position, and the arm that the housing dovetails with appears to be mounted on a pivot. Just be aware that (1) you will have to run cable housing to it, and (2) the _cable housing_ will move when you shift it. This makes the routing, and perhaps the choice of cable housing, a bit more important than one might think.

When I first installed the AG Tech on my Ross MTB, I used a modern stiff SIS cable housing under the bottom bracket, as I did with another bike and a Cyclone, where the cable pinch bolt pivots. I found that I was really pulling hard, and unable to get the FD to shift into the smallest of the front chainrings. The cable was hanging on the bottom bracket shell. I had to cut the housing and move it above the BB shell. The shifting is still not ideal, and I think it's because the housing is much stiffer than the stuff that was period correct. I seem to be able to make it work, though. I only ride the bike a few weeks a year when visiting my family in the USA, so 'good enough' in this case is enough for me.
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Old 10-28-18, 07:23 AM
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Suntour XC

I have a reverse pull Suntour XC that came on my '85 Cannondale across a triple. It works perfectly! It's an MTB so I'm using the stock ratctcheting XC thumb shifters, but the concept is the same.
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Old 10-28-18, 08:22 AM
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Been using an SL since the 70s on my Peugeot - I love it other than I worry about cage wear. With either a V-Luxe, V-GT Luxe or even any of a couple of Simplex rears shifting (using Simplex downtube levers) has always been crisp up front. Have also used Comp-V which is equally good and has a (I believe) harder cage. The later Blueline was on my Trek and haven't used it enough to really comment other than it seems to shift fine.
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Old 10-28-18, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy
I've had one of these reverse SunTour FD's before... probably the SL? Seemed rational at the time. Didn't they require the use of a cable housing stop on the seat tube? I've got a few bikes with SunTour front derailleurs now, all Cyclones, I think.

by chance, I'm a former aviation guy myself. Used to fix avionics in the Marine Corps ("avionics" = aviation electronics). Later, I ended up designing avionics for a handful of years. A very fun and interesting industry!

Steve in Peoria
Yes, they required a short piece of housing to actuate the derailleur. They can be difficult to set up, as it's counter-intuitive. But they function beautifully.
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Old 10-28-18, 01:42 PM
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I have an SL and like how it shifts. What I do not like is how far far back the clamp area extends from the down tube. It takes up a lot of space and makes attaching fenders very difficult.
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