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SunTour XC Expert rear derailleur question

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SunTour XC Expert rear derailleur question

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Old 06-30-06, 06:20 AM
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masi61
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SunTour XC Expert rear derailleur question

I just set up my old road bike for 6 speed index shifting using new old stock SunTour Superbe 6/7 speed indexing down tube shift levers along with a new SunTour Winner Pro 6 speed 13-30 frewheel I purchased from an ebay vendor. I have a few SunTour derailleurs I bought off ebay and I went with the XC Expert which is made for indexing and the cage is long enough (but not too long like the XC 7000 I have). I went on a 44 mile ride with the set up last night and the shifting is not all that great. My other bike has the same shift levers with the 7 speed winner pro fw and a SunTour X-1 rear derailleur and it indexes Much better.
Here's my question: Is the XC Expert made to index with some other spacing? I could have sworn I read somewhere recently that SunTour made the XC Expert to be Shimano compatible. Is this true? If it is, I guess I'll be running this set-up friction only.
A bit of extra info. On my Superbe Pro shift lever there is a 6 speed and a separate 7 speed index position, initially I set it to "6" and found that it didn't index hardly at all, then I switched it to "7" and it seemed near perfect (at least on the bikestand), out on the road was another story with some undershifts, and some overshifts.
It kind of stinks when you've gone to pretty extensive levels of effort to set up a sweet retro drivetrain only to have it be only marginally improved over the old friction shifting. So when I'm out on club rides and my shifts are imprecise, the competetive type riders (that I'm attempting to ride with) all riding much newer equipment, have already dropped you. I've also found it interesting how few club cyclists will even comment on interesting vintage rides or dig deeper to inquire about the unique drivetrain parts or combinations of parts that some of us veteran cyclist classic & vintage parts people put out there. They kind of sneer and politely dismiss you in about 1.5 seconds....
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Old 06-30-06, 06:40 AM
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cuda2k
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Can't comment on the SunTour problems you're having, but I'll certainly give you a big thumbs up on building it up. I never get so much as an inquiry about the one of a kind paintjob/decal scheme on my Barracuda Mk.I let alone the Shimano Golden Arrow group on it from 99% of the guys that I come across at the local rides. The Gazelle raised a few eye brows from a few of the guys working at the LBS, mainly because most of them are veteran cyclists who were racers in the early-mid 80's. Beyond that, if it's not Ti or Carbon, most of the competetive cyclists don't notice it much.

Good luck finding an answer to your shifting issues. I can understand the frustration. I put what I thought were 8speed shifters on my Gazelle to index the rear, they apparently are 7speed and while they work 90% of the time, it's that 10% of the time that it doesn't that I most often really need them to.
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Old 06-30-06, 06:51 AM
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Its that 10% inefficiency that can take you out of the game...I'm 44 and overweight and had back surgery 5 years ago blah blah blah, but I'm also an experienced cyclist who puts in a lot of time and effort into a lot of areas of this sport, the "ORGA and the MECHA" as I like to say. There's so much that's goes into being a better recreational road cyclist that most folks are unaware of. The inertia to quit is often the peer pressure that you get from people who you would think would be much more encouraging such as family physicians. This is why being a member of a supportive bike club is important and finding group rides that challenge you but don't blow you into the weeds.
I'm pretty persistent and WILL get a properly indexed system on my Masi to work within the 126 mm triangle without frame modification...I'll just have to keep at it...
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Old 06-30-06, 08:29 AM
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I just recently put together a retro late 80's bike with all dura ace. The shifters, however, were more modern with a 9 speed derailleurs and cassette. I purchased some 9 speed downtube index dura ace shifters. I must say those were garbage, not even worthy of the dura ace name. I have Super Pro index 6/7 speed shifters and derailleurs that I have had since the mid 80's. I can't begin to tell you how much better the Suntour shifters are made. I pretty much used mine for friction, however. I guess I was just born to friction shift. I now have a pair of Suntour Superbe friction (old campy style with nylon washers) shifters on my 9 speed bike. They are beautiful and shift nice. Don't give up on the Suntour Superbe because it is nice stuff.
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Old 06-30-06, 08:34 AM
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Does your 6-speed freewheel have standard or "ultra" spacing? Sheldon has all the spacing statistics for index shifting.

Why do you care what club riders think of your vintage bikes? Being a pretty average cyclist, I pass plenty of folks, and plenty of aspiring racers pass me. Other than the rolling resistance of some of my wider tires, I seriously doubt anything about my bikes, including the friction shifting, materially affects my overall performance. When I am climbing or sprinting, the lighter, stiffer Bianchi does have an edge over everything else I own, but the rest of the time equipment differences are pretty irrelevant to my average speed.
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Old 06-30-06, 09:03 AM
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The gearing I'm running has a detrimental effect on my average speed. I try to make it wide enough to climb the biggest hills but without a triple crank, my cluster has to be wider spaced. I really like to have the right cadence for the terrain to be putting the power down just enough, pushing too big a gear makes your muscles fatigue whereas spinning too high a cadence (105 or higher) makes your average speed suffer.
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Old 06-30-06, 09:05 AM
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I should have added that my other bike has an Ultegra triple crank (30-39-53) with a uniglide 13-26 six speed cassette that works a lot better as far as having tighter ratios in the middle range where I do most of my spinning.
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