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'80 Sun Tour Vx vs '87 Shimano Z-204 Front Derailleur -- any real difference?

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'80 Sun Tour Vx vs '87 Shimano Z-204 Front Derailleur -- any real difference?

Old 12-21-10, 10:19 AM
  #1  
vins0010
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'80 Sun Tour Vx vs '87 Shimano Z-204 Front Derailleur -- any real difference?

I recently picked up a 1980 Trek 412. I've been replacing some of the parts to get it up to commuting/light touring shape. I replaced the swaged crank (with a standard, 105-level 5600 Shimano crank), wheelset/cassette, shifters (now running 8 speed, indexed, 105 down tube shifters), and the rear derailer. I'm also looking at the front derailleur...It is the original Sun Tour Vx (circa 1980) front derailleur. I'm thinking of replacing it with an '87 or so Shimano z-204 front derailleur I have on a different bike. Both are in good shape. However, I know less about front derailleurs than just about anything else on a bike. I want to use the one that would work best but don't want to remove the z-204 from its current home unless it really would be better. The derailleur will get matched to the down tube 105 shifters, while indexed for the back are pretty much friction for the front. Will the two pretty much be the same? And, ahead of time, I'll also offer the disclaimer that any parts removed from this bike are going into a special bag, marked, 412...in case I want to restore it to original equipment someday...
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Old 12-21-10, 04:02 PM
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As far as I know, the VX has an alloy guide, whereas the Shimano has a steel guide. The SunTour is nicer, cooler and lighter. But for durability, I would go with the Shimano Z because it is a long lasting, workaholic derailleur. Just my opinion.
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Old 12-22-10, 10:52 AM
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Thanks....looks like I also managed to post this twice when the first time didn't work...my apologies. I did end up putting the Sun Tour on there - mostly to give it a shot and not remove the other one of the bike it is on... I cleaned it up and it works really well. I was a bit surprised at how well this 1980 FD shifts between the two chainrings on my new, 105, double. I suppose it really isn't that complicated, nonetheless, I'm pleased...
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Old 12-22-10, 11:54 AM
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cuda2k
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Good choice going with the SunTour over the Shimano.
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