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Rear derailleurs for 1974 bikes with 2x5 friction shifting?

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Rear derailleurs for 1974 bikes with 2x5 friction shifting?

Old 12-11-21, 10:09 PM
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Rear derailleurs for 1974 bikes with 2x5 friction shifting?

My restoration of a pair of 1974 Witcomb bikes continues. I'm looking into selecting rear derailleurs. The old ones are mismatched and badly trashed, so they're not usable and do not reflect the original equipment. The bikes are low-end, between a Raleigh Super Course and a Raleigh Record of the day. The gearing is 2x5, DT friction, 14-28 rear and 52 / 42 front. Total wrap is 24 teeth, rear cog is 28. To accommodate the 1983 chainsets I'll try to use 7-speed SRAM chains, but we'll see.

What vintage rear derailleurs would you guys suggest? I'd like to put on something reliable, like a Svelto, but could a short-cage SunTour V work here? I have a few spare Huret front mechs I can use. With 52/42 about anything should work.

Oh, the dropouts do not have derailleur hangers, so I would use claws for installation.

Any ideas? The owners intend to get a lot of use out of these bikes so I don't think I'd give them Simplex Prestige (or similar, unless they are really special) or Huret Allvit.
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Old 12-11-21, 10:44 PM
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Suntour V, Vx, VLuxe, etc would be your best bet for indestructibility and excellent shifting.
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Old 12-11-21, 11:05 PM
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Ditto on the Suntour V-series. Bombproof quick shifting, and can be had for not much money.
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Old 12-11-21, 11:18 PM
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yep. nothing to add to that
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Old 12-11-21, 11:21 PM
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Also Suntour Blue Line, or BL. Same geometry, same internals, great derailleurs.
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Old 12-11-21, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf View Post
Also Suntour Blue Line, or BL. Same geometry, same internals, great derailleurs.
totally underrated line from suntour. i shoulda though of that. lighter than the V series, but just as bomb proof. to me, they're cosmetically like the "woodie" of the suntour options...if that makes sense.
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Old 12-12-21, 12:03 AM
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If you want to try something that might have appeared on a bike like that in 1974, the Huret Challenger will accommodate the chainwheels/sprockets you mentioned. They are robust and shift well. Suntours are a sure thing, but didn't really appear as standard equipment on British or European bikes until the mid to late '70s
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Old 12-12-21, 06:19 AM
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OEM rear derailleur to several Brit bikes I’ve had from that era was the Shimano Crane. Long cage version will deal with lots and lots of wrap. Short cage works just fine, too.
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Old 12-12-21, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
OEM rear derailleur to several Brit bikes Iíve had from that era was the Shimano Crane. Long cage version will deal with lots and lots of wrap. Short cage works just fine, too.
The first gen Crane (short cage) was my drivetrain update to my AO-8 in 1974, along with Mighty Compe crankset and Comp-V front changer - same gearing as the OP. Worked great.

My limited experience with Svelto on the same gearing on a different bike was that it was adequate but no where near either Suntour or Shimano (or even TBH Simplex).
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Old 12-12-21, 07:32 AM
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With the Suntour, the VX version I like best is the S. It will be marked as such on the cage. Suntour had a mid length cage on a few derailleurs and the VXs was one of these. It is beautiful, light, durable, and just seems to be made for the application you speak of. I am running at least 3 of them. They came stock on quite a few bikes so there are lots out there. The easy chain removal of the open cage is so convenient also.
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Old 12-12-21, 07:57 AM
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Late too the thread, but I would echo the SunTour recommendations. Second choice would be Huret. I really don't like Shimano of that vintage and the lower end Campy is not all that great.
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Old 12-12-21, 10:28 AM
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Since it's claw mount I would recommend the suntour 7. They were slightly heavier than the pricier suntour and worked well. Also indestructible.
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Old 12-12-21, 11:06 AM
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Gear ratio suggestion: 52-40 would work best with 14-17-20-24-28, but you need a 135mm or smaller BCD to take advantage of that. 52-42 works well with 14-16-18-21-24 or a 14-16-18-21-24-28 6-speed. You want the percentage step in front to be 1.5 times the average step in back.
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Old 12-12-21, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
OEM rear derailleur to several Brit bikes Iíve had from that era was the Shimano Crane. Long cage version will deal with lots and lots of wrap. Short cage works just fine, too.
These are lower end bikes. I was going to suggest a Shimano titlist which also comes in short and long cage versions. The short cage ones tend to be inexpensive. They are not as good as suntour RDs but they are work well.

https://velobase.com/ViewComponent.a...c-afdca097103d
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Old 12-12-21, 11:40 AM
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You could splurge on a Suntour Cyclone, stock RD on the late 70s Supercourse. Is a Supercourse really considered low end, certainly doesnít ride like it.
Tim



My 78 Supercourse
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Old 12-12-21, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
You could splurge on a Suntour Cyclone, stock RD on the late 70s Supercourse. Is a Supercourse really considered low end, certainly doesnít ride like it.
Tim



My 78 Supercourse
My 73 is darn nice but it has a sturmey archer hub.
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Old 12-12-21, 12:51 PM
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Question 1: Is there a modern day long cage retro available? Can you buy a new, late model, long cage derailuer that looks and fits with a 5-6 speed vintage bike?

Question 2: Are there any decent looking late model Friction Shifters being made?

The search goes on...


Originally Posted by 52telecaster View Post
My 73 is darn nice but it has a sturmey archer hub.
Nice bike.. Basket fulla groceries... In Texas that would be a brisket and not bread... Ha
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Old 12-12-21, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
Suntour V, Vx, VLuxe, etc would be your best bet for indestructibility and excellent shifting.
another vote +1
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Old 12-12-21, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
Can you buy a new, late model, long cage derailuer that looks and fits with a 5-6 speed vintage bike?
Modern 7 speed Shimano RDs happily work, but fail horribly in the looks dept.
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Old 12-12-21, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
Question 1: Is there a modern day long cage retro available? Can you buy a new, late model, long cage derailuer that looks and fits with a 5-6 speed vintage bike?
Somewhat unbelievably, Shimano still makes turds like this:

Be careful what you wish for!

https://www.universalcycles.com/shop....php?id=108562
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Old 12-12-21, 01:17 PM
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New components vintage looking


dia compe shifters $59
https://velo-orange.com/collections/...-w-dt-shifters

micro shift derailler $46
https://www.incycle.com/products/mic...oaAu4OEALw_wcB

shimano acera $33

https://www.biketiresdirect.com/prod...IaAp0wEALw_wcB
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Old 12-12-21, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Somewhat unbelievably, Shimano still makes turds like this:

Be careful what you wish for!

https://www.universalcycles.com/shop....php?id=108562
question is, does it shift any better or worse than older derailleurs of the same construction? that looks like anything you'd find on a walmart bike
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Old 12-12-21, 02:13 PM
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https://www.ebay.com/itm/255215092898

Worry free.
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Old 12-12-21, 02:30 PM
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[QUOTE=bikemig;22337558]These are lower end bikes. I was going to suggest a Shimano titlist which also comes in short and long cage versions. The short cage ones tend to be inexpensive. They are not as good as suntour RDs but they are work well.

I'll second bikemig's Titlist recommendation, the short-cage version with it's non-adjustable b-tension is pre-set optimized for any 28t freewheel and gives fantastically-responsive shifting.

Older short-cage Suntours won't do 28t at all.

The Allvit is one that is really designed for the 14-28t 5s freewheel with a typical 52-40t crankset. It will shift as responsively as the shifter and cable perform, but does feature a somewhat regressive actuation ratio going up to the 28t (so with a little extra lever throw). Indestructible ball-bearing pulleys are a very nice feature of these.

Factory settings on a Simplex prestige are also optimal for use on the 14-28t freewheel so performs really well (but good luck keeping a matching front mech in one piece on your bike).

I cheated on this one. But I did achieve fantastic shifting over a 13-28t 6s Uniglide freewheel after routing the cable to the wrong side of the pinch bolt for "faster" action with less lever throw (ubiquitous mid-cage Deore MT-60 if I'm not mistaken)...




Allvit modified for greater travel for use with standard 6s cog spacing gives race-quality shifting using modern chain:

Last edited by dddd; 12-12-21 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 12-12-21, 03:32 PM
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I put a Suntour V Luxe on my mid '70s Falcon San Remo. It works quite well.
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