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Low Rent Porn

Old 08-04-13, 11:32 PM
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Low Rent Porn


https://www.disraeligears.co.uk

It wasn't light, was a little bit noisy, but you could pound rocks with it all day long and it would still shift gears reliably and did not cost an arm and a leg.

The Huret Allvit that came with your bicycle must have seemed pretty primitive and crude compared to this new Suntour derailleur that was almost a full pound of steel and chrome but you didn't care because it shifted much more smoothly than the Allvit and it didn't cost very much. Unlike the Allvit the action was light and it didn't have the same tendency to ghost shift because of those heavy return springs, which also liked to eat shifter cables.

The Allvit had been the derailleur for the masses since the late 1950's and it sold extremely well and then Suntour came along and re-wrote the book on how a derailleur should function, the Honour was not some super light piece of kit that would impress your snobby friends, but rather, an absolute workhorse that could work day in and day out.

Compared to the Allvit it must have seemed marvelous as it had adjustment screws you could turn with you fingers, it had a b screw so you could use to fine tune the derailleur position and chain tension, and routing the cable and setting it up is like child's play.

The French never knew what hit them and many a Simplex Prestige that exploded got replaced with a Suntour Honor and the Allvit all but vanished from the landscape as a derailleur who's best days were long behind it, and it was never really very good to start with.

And some 42 years later a Phillip's Glider that had an Allvit found itself wearing a new piece of kit that could pound rocks all day but works pretty well at making the chain go back and forth. I tried a Svelto but despite it's charming looks and smoother shifting it has a problem with cogs over 26 teeth.

The first generation Honor I found was so dirty and covered in grime that I was pleasantly surprised to see it clean up so well and shine so brightly. I could have used something exquisite like a V series or a Cyclone but thought the Honor was the right derailleur for the bike (which is no high end racer) and despite it's age the old Suntour still runs smoothly, shifts well, and is rather quiet.



The Allvit and Svelto...



The Allvit was pretty much new and finding one in this condition is a rarer occurrence (for me)... most that I see are battered, rusty, and have not aged well over time and the Svelto is still a little gem.

If I wanted to crush rocks I might have used a Shimano Eagle (which also shifts very well) but thought the Suntour was a better fit.
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Old 08-05-13, 04:58 AM
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The honor was on my first "real" (albeit low-rent) bike, a Takara Sport-10. It eventually got upgraded to the hottest thing on the touring market at the time, a Mountech!!
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Old 08-05-13, 05:20 AM
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I'm still using Honors and Eagles as my preferred replacements on fix and flip bikes. With them I know I'll never hear a customer complaint.
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Old 08-05-13, 06:08 AM
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Thanks for the informative post Sixty. It is good to point out that there is a lot of value to be had in some of these old derailleurs.

When it comes to low-rent kit, I've been favorably impressed by several Suntour offerings including their Seven/GT. (Derailleurs that weigh a ton but get the job done.
One step up, Suntour's Alpha series and Bluelines are also terrific derailleurs that can be had for far less than the (now) generally recognized and well respected Cyclones and Vx's.

When it comes to Huret, I think most people who have ever owned an Allvit tend to abhor any Huret derailleur, but they don't know what they're missing. The Challenger is buttery smooth, and while the more archaic Svelto isn't quite as slick, it is (IMHO) the most beautiful derailleur ever made - even including Huret's own Jubile.

I also like the Shimano Light Action (heavy, ugly but sure-shifters) and the circa 1978 Shimano Altus-LT 'noiseless' derailleurs. I haven't found any other Shimano derailleurs that I liked, and that even includes their top-of-the-line 600 and Crane.

Finally, I don't think the much-maligned Simplex (rear) derailleurs are bad at all. (Except for their jockey wheels which break if you breathe on them - but can be replaced with durable Suntour items)
IMO, they shift pretty darn well, and I've not encountered any breakage issues in the body.
(I cannot say the same for the FRONT Prestige derailleurs, which are an unmitigated disaster.)
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Old 08-05-13, 07:37 AM
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Honor and Spirt combo for rear and front with Powershifters are the ultimate in low rent reliability, they just work.
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Old 08-05-13, 08:12 AM
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Good solid CHROME!!!!
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Old 08-05-13, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
Thanks for the informative post Sixty. It is good to point out that there is a lot of value to be had in some of these old derailleurs.

When it comes to low-rent kit, I've been favorably impressed by several Suntour offerings including their Seven/GT. (Derailleurs that weigh a ton but get the job done.
One step up, Suntour's Alpha series and Bluelines are also terrific derailleurs that can be had for far less than the (now) generally recognized and well respected Cyclones and Vx's.

When it comes to Huret, I think most people who have ever owned an Allvit tend to abhor any Huret derailleur, but they don't know what they're missing. The Challenger is buttery smooth, and while the more archaic Svelto isn't quite as slick, it is (IMHO) the most beautiful derailleur ever made - even including Huret's own Jubile.

I also like the Shimano Light Action (heavy, ugly but sure-shifters) and the circa 1978 Shimano Altus-LT 'noiseless' derailleurs. I haven't found any other Shimano derailleurs that I liked, and that even includes their top-of-the-line 600 and Crane.

Finally, I don't think the much-maligned Simplex (rear) derailleurs are bad at all. (Except for their jockey wheels which break if you breathe on them - but can be replaced with durable Suntour items)
IMO, they shift pretty darn well, and I've not encountered any breakage issues in the body.
(I cannot say the same for the FRONT Prestige derailleurs, which are an unmitigated disaster.)
"Weighs a ton, but gets the job done..."



The Simplex Prestige shifts very well, few derailleurs are lighter, and agree that once you replace the jockey wheels you will have a derailleur that is 100 times more reliable.

It seems that most of the extra low end derailleurs we have at the co-op are the Shimano Tourney SIS as the number of Honors has dwindled... these Tourneys are cheap as chips but they do index very reliably and it is amazing to think that this is a variation of the Skylark which debuted in the mid sixties and is probably one of the most successful designs ever. It spawned the Lark and Eagle and hosts of imitators and the original Skylark is a very nice piece of kit.

Shimano does low end really well... although they make some of the sweetest racing kit their empire and bread and butter is based on the consumer market.

The Suntour Seven is an Honor that has a little extra lateral travel to handle a seven speed block, the first generation Honor I have just handles 6.
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Old 08-05-13, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by rgver View Post
Honor and Spirt combo for rear and front with Powershifters are the ultimate in low rent reliability, they just work.
I am a fan of Suntour's high normal front derailleurs, they work the way a derailleur is supposed to.

Suntour's half ratchet shifters are nearly as nice as Simplex Retrofriction... they really shift well.
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Old 08-05-13, 12:54 PM
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Campy....slumming it! ;-)
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Old 08-05-13, 02:03 PM
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Suntour is my favorite kit from the friction era.
I salvaged an Honor RD from an absolute POS junkyard bike, and subsequently passed it onto a new at the time BF member who was refurbishing a recently acquired Schwinn Varsity (if memory serves), that had a duff Prestige or Alvit (Schwinn Approved).
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Old 08-05-13, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by RubberLegs View Post
Campy....slumming it! ;-)
If we are looking at Campagnolo this is low rent...

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Old 08-05-13, 02:14 PM
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Many of us know that when you swap an old freewheel like the Atom that came on the Phillips to a modern Shimano HG that the shifting performance really improves... I found a set of low rent Suzue / Araya wheels and spun up an HG 6 speed which fit the bicycle (a 1971 Phillips) quite nicely and this makes that Honor shift better than a Campy NR... which really is not that hard to do.

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Old 08-05-13, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by old's'cool View Post
Suntour is my favorite kit from the friction era.
I salvaged an Honor RD from an absolute POS junkyard bike, and subsequently passed it onto a new at the time BF member who was refurbishing a recently acquired Schwinn Varsity (if memory serves), that had a duff Prestige or Alvit (Schwinn Approved).
I always tell people that if you are going to run a friction system that you cannot do any better than Suntour... modern (indexed) derailleurs friction shift extremely well and have a place if you are trying to run extra wide gear ranges as there are few vintage derailleurs that can work as well and not implode. I have a Huret Duopar but am very reluctant to use it on anything as I fear for my wheel's safety and any Suntour GT model is a far superior unit.

If it was not for europhile snobbery and shots of Italian Kool Aid, folks would have been tossing their Nuvo Records in favour of derailleurs like the Suntour V series and Cyclone because these would shift circles around it.

I do run an Nuovo Record on my Cooper and it works well over a 13-21 block which is great for racing... but a basic 14-28 freewheel will push it to it's absolute limits.
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Old 08-05-13, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
while the more archaic Svelto isn't quite as slick, it is (IMHO) the most beautiful derailleur ever made - even including Huret's own Jubile.
I can't go as far as "most beautiful" but I will agree that the Svelto is a little industrial design masterpiece.

I have to say I agree with about everything in this thread, even with most of what Mr. Disreali Gears writes: he's very entertaining but acid-tongued (or penned). Still, his site is a very good read, and good photos, too.
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Old 08-05-13, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by RubberLegs View Post
Campy....slumming it! ;-)
That qualifies as "slumming" since it's a Campy RD hanging on with a Japanese claw! Such sluttiness...
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Old 08-06-13, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
If we are looking at Campagnolo this is low rent...

I thought we're talking well functioning, reliable derailleurs. What's Campy doing in here? (That goes for both pictures.)
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Old 08-06-13, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
If it was not for europhile snobbery and shots of Italian Kool Aid, folks would have been tossing their Nuvo Records in favour of derailleurs like the Suntour V series and Cyclone because these would shift circles around it.
Amen. Campagnolo was always about showing off over function. Easily the most overrated derailleurs made from the 70's on.
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Old 08-06-13, 05:09 AM
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I was given a 1980 Schwinn World Sport ladies in deplorably bad condition that I'm converting to a swept bar comfort 10-speed for my daughter to take back to school. You guessed it...SunTour Honor and Schwinn branded steel SunTour front derailleur. I don't have photos yet, but maybe later today or tomorrow. I'm sure that the shifting will be reliable for her. Wheels, 5-speed block, handlebar, brake levers, crankset, sprung saddle and Schwinn handgrips are all coming from the parts bin.

I also like the high normal front derailleurs. I have SunTour SL on my S-10S with barcons. It has a nice wide cage that requires no trimming. Plus the shifting logic is the same on each side - pull back to downshift. PG

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Old 08-06-13, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post
I thought we're talking well functioning, reliable derailleurs. What's Campy doing in here? (That goes for both pictures.)
I think the 70's Campy NR performs alright (it shifts) - but I have to wonder what Campy was thinking when they marketed the Valentino. It functions like an Allvit, but the finish quality is abominable.
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Old 08-06-13, 08:03 AM
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Earlier this spring I built a custom 73 Schwinn Varsity using parts from a 74 Le Tour & my parts bins. The crankset was the stock Le Tour unit paired with a Shimano HG 7spd 13-30 freewheel, I installed a clean used Suntour V GT Luxe RD, a NOS Spirit SL High normal FD and a 7spd chain with modern shifting cables using the stock Suntour Le Tour stem shifters. The results just blew me away, it shifts better & smoother then the best index system I own ( Tri color, XT) . I really didn't expect this kind of performance from a cobbled together drivetrain system of low end parts and the shifting of the SL FD is so good it just boggles my mind.


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Old 08-06-13, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
I do run an Nuovo Record on my Cooper and it works well over a 13-21 block which is great for racing... but a basic 14-28 freewheel will push it to it's absolute limits.
I have one NR RD equipped bike, for nostalgia's sake. The freewheel is 14-22, so the NR does everything I need it to do with no problem.
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Old 08-06-13, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post
Amen. Campagnolo was always about showing off over function. Easily the most overrated derailleurs made from the 70's on.
The NR is light, sexy, and just about bombproof... Berto said it's greatest feature was that it would shift badly but that it would do it forever.
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Old 08-06-13, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
The NR is light, sexy, and just about bombproof... Berto said it's greatest feature was that it would shift badly but that it would do it forever.
I think that's true. Suntour shifts better but campy doesn't seem to wear out. Plus campy stuff is beautifully made but yeah that doesn't excuse the poor shifting or the expense compared to the Japanese stuff from the same era.

I still have a few simplex steel RDs that are dead ringers for the delrin ones that weren't exactly known for their longevity. They work well and fit into the lower rent derailleur category.
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Old 08-06-13, 12:12 PM
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I just installed a GT (3rd style) rear derailleur with power ratchet thumbies and a Suntour 5 speed wide range freewheel on my Clunker inspired build. I've always seen those derailleurs mated to the low end friction stem shifters and thought the shifting was clunky. When mated with the power ratchet thumbies, they are noticeably smoother.
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Old 08-06-13, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
I am a fan of Suntour's high normal front derailleurs, they work the way a derailleur is supposed to.
.
I wish someone still made high normal FD's! In theory, they can't be as good as low normals, but in practice, they did.
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