The Simplex model numbers seem to have been the output of a random number generator. They appeared in catalogs, but were seldom marked on the derailleur. Most derailleurs, like yours, were marked "Prestige" regardless of model. If it came on a PX-10, and has a forged jockey cage and ball-bearing pulleys, it is what I called a Criterium, and should shift better than a Campy NR (not that an NR shifted all that well).
<email@example.com> Sent: Saturday, March 08, 2003 12:26 PM Subject: Re: [CR]Simplex Derailleurs, 1960's-80's
> Jerry, Eric, and list,
> But were all Prestige the same? What about the Simplex Prestige 637 Luxe
> which is in the 1972 PX10E catalogue specs I received from Tom Jacobson?
> This also seems to be what came with my 1970 PX10E - it is marked "prestige"
> on the back of the body but definitely has forged cage plates (marked 2 and
> below 70), ball-bearings in the jockey wheels, mix of delrin and chrome, and
> a spring loaded upper pivot. Surely the top-end PX10Es would use the
> top-of-the-line derailleurs?
> Unfortunately it is missing its badge (just out of curiosity what colour
> would this have been?). I haven't yet investigated the front der. - I will
> get back to you on that.
> Paul Williams,
> Ottawa, ON, Canada
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jerry & Liz Moos" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: "r cielec" <email@example.com>; "Classic Rendezvous"
> Sent: Saturday, March 08, 2003 12:28 PM
> Subject: Re: [CR]Simplex Derailleurs, 1960's-80's
> > We've had this discussion before, and there is some difference of opinion
> > between us Francophiles and the Campy fanatics. In my opinion the
> > part-plastic (Delrin) Simplex Criterium rear derailleur found on the early
> > 70's Peugeot PX-10s and similar top French models shifts noticeably better
> > than the Campy NRs found on Italian bikes at the time. One of the reasons
> > that Simplex shifted better was the spring-loaded upper pivot which Campy
> > lacked. The Japanese later "borrowed" this idea and combined it with the
> > slant parallelogram invented by SunTour to totally outclass European
> > derailleurs.
> > Unfortunately, the Simplex Criterium looks very similar to to the cheap
> > Delrin Simplex derailleur usually referred to as the "Prestige". The only
> > noticeable difference is that while the Criterium had a proper forged
> > cage like the Campy NR, the Prestige had a cheap, thin, stamped jockey
> > like the cheap Campy Valentino of that era. This cage flexed horribly
> > during shifts and ruined the performance. Thus, while the Criterium
> > noticeably better than a Campy NR, the Prestige shifted about like a
> > Valentino, meaning it was absolute crap. Unfortunately the Prestige was
> > Simplex most US buyers were familar with as it appeared on hords of
> > UO-8s and low end Raleighs which flooded into the US during the bike boom.
> > I bought a UO-8 about 1972 and improved the bike's performance about 100%
> > replacing the Simplex Prestige with a Shimano Crane about 6 months later.
> > had no idea then that a Simplex Criterium would have produced a similar
> > improvement.
> > Another problem with Simplex's image was that they weren't very good at
> > differentiating models. Both the Prestige and Criterium were often marked
> > "Simplex Prestige", so if the buyer wasn't knowledgeable enough to notice
> > the difference in cage design, he would conclude that the Criterium was
> > same junk as that Prestige on his UO-8. Also, I don't recall many shops
> > having Criteriums for sale as an after market item, so if a buyer decided
> > upgrade his Simplex Pestige, the choices were usually Campy or Japanese.
> > The pushrod Delrin Simplex front derailleurs varied much less between the
> > Prestige and Criterium models, and I'm still not sure there is any real
> > difference. These can shift surprisingly well if set up properly, but are
> > harder to adjust than a parallelogram FD like Campy NR, and probably don't
> > handle a large chainring difference as well. A little later, mid-70's
> > maybe, Simplex made a part-Delrin parallelogram front derailleur and these
> > shift as well as anything of the era.
> > In addition to the Delrin, Simplex began some time in the mid-70's making
> > all-alloy derailleurs, although they seem to have continued making the
> > Delrin stuff as well. Over the next 10 or 15 years there were a large
> > number of models made, but many were marked "Simplex Super LJ". These
> > Simplexes, in my opinion, shift better than any non-indexed derailleur
> > except SunTour. They were often mated with the legendary Simplex
> > Retrofriction downtube shift levers, which were spring loaded to assist
> > downshifts and prevent slipping into higher gears on hills. Most
> > regard these as the best non-indexed shift levers ever made. In the late
> > 70's even a lot of "all Campy" fanatic racers installed them.
> > Simplex was eventually killed off by Japanese competition, indexed
> > and their heavy reliance on OEM business from French bike manufacturers.
> > The poor image created by the cheap Delrin Prestige probably didn't help
> > either.
> > Regards,
> > Jerry Moos
> > Houston, TX
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "r cielec" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > To: "Classic Rendezvous" <email@example.com>
> > Sent: Friday, March 07, 2003 10:04 PM
> > Subject: [CR]Simplex Derailleurs, 1960's-80's
> > >
> > > I have never ridden Simplex derailleurs, only have seen the circa '70's
> > Delrin (?) rears and both the Delrin and metal fronts.
> > >
> > > Were they any good? Did Simplex make quality derailleurs? What is the
> > SLR? - I'm not sure of designation.
> > >
> > > Richard Cielec
> > >
> > > Chicago, Illinois
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > ---------------------------------
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