Re: [CR]Burning Simplex Memories

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From: Jerry & Liz Moos <>
To: <>, <>
Cc: <>, <>
References: <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Burning Simplex Memories
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2001 14:20:23 -0600

The primary difference between the Criterium and Prestige was that the Criterium, found on the PX-10, had a proper, forged jockey cage like Campy NR, not a cheap, thin, stamped steel jockey cage like Prestige or Campy Valentino. Even though the Criterium and Prestige looked identical from 20 feet away, the better jockey cage made the Criterium shift infinitely better. The Criterium had a spring loaded upper pivot Campy lacked, and as a result shifter better than a Campy NR. The Prestige also had the spring loaded upper pivot, but the extreme flex of the cheap stamped jockey cage ruined the performance. Many people unjustly bad mouth all plastic Simplexes because they don't know the difference between the Criterium and the Prestige. This was partly Simplex's fault. Not only did the derailleurs look similar, but markings often didn't identify models. In one era, nearly all Simplex derailleurs carried the word "Prestige", while many Criteriums did not have the word "Criterium" marked anywhere. No wonder people are confused. The other reason people judge all Simplexes by the worst of them is that, even though PX-10's were fairly common in the US in the 70's, the UO-8 and equivalent models from a dozen other French makers, all with the cheap Simplex Prestige, came here in much larger numbers. At the time I fell victim to the myth myself. Having hated the Simplex Prestige on my UO-8, when I bought a Lejeune 70-F (PX-10 equivalent) a couple of years later in 1974, I replaced the Simplex Criterium with an all alloy Simplex SLJ as a dealer upgrade without ever riding the Criterium. Only years later did I obtain a Criterium on a now "classic" French bike and was amazed how well the Criterium performed, clearly better than Campy NR.


Jerry Moos

and in obedience to our listmeister's edict I add:

Houston, TX

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2001 3:09 PM
Subject: Re: [CR]Burning Simplex Memories

> Dear fellow list members,
> My recollection is that the prestige was different then the criterium-the
> criterium had reinforcing steel plates on the side of the derailleur.
> Whereas the prestige did not. Your recollection may vary. I was
> satisfied the way the rear derailleur would shift but never liked the
> push rod front derailleur.
> Additionally, it is also my recollection that in the 1970s Schwinn did
> not use any simplex on any of their bicycles and-I am not even certain if
> it was possible-their seat tube was less than the usual 1 1/8 inch seat
> tube-the simplex derailleur would probably spin around on the seat tube.
> My recollection is that the low-end Schwinn's had either huret alvit or
> something called a gt-100 (this was on the suburban and may be later
> Continentals). I have no idea who made this unit although it did look
> somewhat like a huret alvit.
> TomWitkop
> Rockville, MD
> On Mon, 3 Dec 2001 13:27:30 -0500 "Questor" <>
> writes:
> > I wish the person well who decides to try to ride a plastic Simplex
> > derailleur... I don't believe their ride will last very long!
> >
> > Regards, Steve
> > "Satisfied with no Simplex complex!"
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Rich Rose" <>
> > To: "scott davis" <>;
> > <>
> > Sent: Monday, December 03, 2001 11:31 AM
> > Subject: RE: [CR]Burning Simplex Memories
> >
> >
> > And definitely not a good idea when you can sell one (Simplex
> > Prestige
> > Rear), on e-bay for $79.00 like I did about a month ago. Bet you
> > wished
> > you had a box full of them now instead of a "pile of black goop",
> > eh?? I
> > know I am looking closely at all the usual places for "junk" bikes &
> > parts.
> > Richard Rose, in equally globally warming Ohio
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From:
> > [] On Behalf Of scott
> > davis
> > Sent: Monday, December 03, 2001 11:32 AM
> > To:
> > Subject: [CR]Burning Simplex Memories
> >
> > I too worked in a bike shop during the plastic simplex
> > era. When we took one off for replacement, we would
> > burn them in ritual fashion. I don't know much about
> > delrin, but it burned for hours and all that remained
> > was metal and a puddle of black goop. Probably not a
> > good idea in these more environmentally friendly and
> > collectible times... Scott in globally warming MN
> >
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