[CR]Re: Simplex Derailleurs, 1960's-80's (Jerry & Liz Moos)

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From: Tom Jacobson <Tom.J@jacobsoncompany.com>
To: "'classicrendezvous@bikelist.org'" <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2003 13:36:37 -0500
Subject: [CR]Re: Simplex Derailleurs, 1960's-80's (Jerry & Liz Moos)

The derailleur you refer to in the Circa 1972 PX10 catalog cut that I forwarded to you, Paul, has a Chrome name badge and black lettering. I'll send you a JPG of it off line. The pulleys also had bearings that are long gone, and were replaced with pulleys without bearings off of a cheaper Simplex derailleur. So, it sounds like you have the top of the line.

I'd love to find a new set of bearings with pulleys as that is one of the few components that is not "correct" on my PX10. So if anyone has them to sell, please let me know.

The derailleur on my PX10 also appears to have red (trim) plugs in the pivot holes where the derailleur attaches to the drop out and the inside pulley. You can see it in the picture.

The model on the UO8, the cheaper version, has a bright red badge.

Tom Jacobson

-----Original Message----- From: classicrendezvous-request@bikelist.org [mailto:classicrendezvous-request@bikelist.org] Sent: Saturday, March 08, 2003 3:04 PM To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org Subject: Classicrendezvous Digest, Vol 3, Issue 39

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Today's Topics:

1. Re: Simplex Derailleurs, 1960's-80's (Jerry & Liz Moos)


Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2003 14:01:01 -0600 From: "Jerry & Liz Moos" <jerrymoos@sbcglobal.net> To: "Paul Williams" <castell5@sympatico.ca> Cc: Eric Elman <tr4play@cox.net> Cc: Classic Rendezvous <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org> Subject: Re: [CR]Simplex Derailleurs, 1960's-80's Message-ID: <000c01c2e5ad$71e5e570$efddfea9@mooshome> References: <20030308040426.33667.qmail@web41001.mail.yahoo.com> <042b01c2e598$26849cd0$efddfea9@mooshome> <003001c2e5a0$3c80d780$4df1fea9@queensu.ca> Content-Type: text/plain;charset="iso-8859-1" MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Precedence: list Message: 1

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).


Jerry Moos
Houston, TX

----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Williams"
To: "Jerry & Liz Moos"
Cc: "Eric Elman" ; "Classic Rendezvous"

<classicrendezvous@bikelist.org> 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
> Paul Williams,
> Ottawa, ON, Canada
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jerry & Liz Moos" <jerrymoos@sbcglobal.net>
> To: "r cielec" <teaat4p@yahoo.com>; "Classic Rendezvous"
> <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
> 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
> jockey
> > cage like the Campy NR, the Prestige had a cheap, thin, stamped jockey
> cage
> > like the cheap Campy Valentino of that era. This cage flexed horribly
> > during shifts and ruined the performance. Thus, while the Criterium
> shifted
> > noticeably better than a Campy NR, the Prestige shifted about like a
> > Valentino, meaning it was absolute crap. Unfortunately the Prestige was
> the
> > Simplex most US buyers were familar with as it appeared on hords of
> Peugeot
> > 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%
> by
> > replacing the Simplex Prestige with a Shimano Crane about 6 months later.
> I
> > 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
> the
> > 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
> to
> > 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
> alloy
> > 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
> collectors
> > 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
> shifting,
> > 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" <teaat4p@yahoo.com>
> > To: "Classic Rendezvous" <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
> > 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
> SLP?
> > SLR? - I'm not sure of designation.
> > >
> > > Richard Cielec
> > >
> > > Chicago, Illinois
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > ---------------------------------
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