Re: Fw: Simplex derail nightmares - Was [CR]$1,300 Simplex vs Oddball long cage Campy Derailleurs

(Example: Production Builders:Cinelli:Laser)

From: <>
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2001 11:37:31 EST
Subject: Re: Fw: Simplex derail nightmares - Was [CR]$1,300 Simplex vs Oddball long cage Campy Derailleurs

In a message dated 12/2/01 10:31:07 PM, writes:


When I was a bike mechanic in 1975-76, we use to dread working on plastic

Simplex derailleurs and use to try to convince the customer to buy steel

Shimano "Eagle" derailleurs instead.

At least the Eagle would last longer and perform better than the plastic

Simplex derailleurs found on Schwinn low-end bikes... I remember many

Schwinn frames that came in with twisted and broken Simplex plastic

derailleurs - which was good for our business at that time!

Regards, Steve Neago

"Simplex derailleurs bring back twisted memories!" >>


Check your memory bank. I don't think there was ever a Schwinn bike equipped with a Simplex derailuer from the mid 1960's forward. Correct me if I am wrong as I am not sure what they used in the early days of 1940-50-1965 era when quality changers were few.

Years ago I had the pleasure to have a long talk with Keith Kingbay (a long time Schwinn employee and co founder of a reinvented LAW organization) about Schwinn production techniques and parts testing.

The tested many if not all designs on the market and few could get the famous Schwinn Approved stamp of approval. In the 1970's this infamous badge could be found easily on a Huret Alvit after Schwinn decided the nylon Simplex didn't have what it took for rough American teenagers that the Varsity was aimed at.

My experience was actually good with the Simplex on my PX10 which was ridden 20K miles or more with this unit. My disappointment was the hanger was very dedicated to this derailuer and as a lad lusted for the Campagnolo NR mechanism.

The big problem with Simplex was durability in a crash, but they were light and cheap to replace (in those days). It was our feeling in the shop that a good one set up well could equal or out perform almost any derailuer of the day, even Shimano Eagles :). Gear shifting of Campagnolo products were almost always compromised in the early days as NR 's were designed for big jumps in the back and little jumps in the front (47x52 as opposed to 42x52) and few bikes after 1970 came with this spec. (saw a Frejus once like this). This arrangement is a classic double ring half step and would be very period correct on a 1950's 60's machine.

Comments, I bet there are some.


Gilbert Anderson
Raleigh, NC USA