Re: [CR]Derailleur NR vs Simplex

Example: Framebuilders:Alberto Masi

Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2004 11:45:07 EST
Subject: Re: [CR]Derailleur NR vs Simplex

In a message dated 2/19/04 11:19:09 AM, Jerry writes:

>The Simplex Prestige found on Peugeot UO-8 and other lower end bike boom
>models had the spring loaded upper pivot, but unfortunately had a cheap
>stamped steel jockey cage, which flexed too much and led to the lack of
>feedback you speak off. Ruined an otherwise good design. Campy Valentino
>and (at least in some years) Nuovo Grand Sport had similar crappy jockey
>cages with the same result. But Campy sold a higher percentage of high-end
>NR's in the US, while Simplex sold a high percentage of lower end models.
>Thus the myth of poor Simplex shifting was born. I fell victim to this myth
>myself in 1973 when I (in retrospect) foolishly replaced a perfectly good
>Simplex Criterium on a new LeJeune F-70 (equivalent of PX-10E) with an
>all-alloy Simplex Super LJ as an original dealer upgrade - this must have
>been one of the first years for the SLJ. Because the plastic Prestige on my
>former Peugeot UO-8 had shifted badly, I thought the plastic OE Simplex
>Criterium on the LeJeune would do likewise, and I never gave it a chance.
>Only years later when I bought a used PX-10 did I didcover that the plastic
>Criterium, with its proper forged jockey cage shifted splendidly.
>Jerry Moos

Jerry, don't feel bad, you probably did the right thing. I kept the Criterium on my '73 PX-10 and it only lasted a couple of years. The Delrin (is this the French word for Nylon? ;) body had wonderful self-lubricating properties and shifted well but it trapped grit quickly and thus would not stand up to regular use any better than the Prestige (though it did have a much nicer pulley cage). I eventually replaced it with LJ /Bullseye, as well as an LJ front der, and they lasted until I sold the bike 20 years later.

As for the Simplex/Campy thing, I'll have to admit I liked the LJ better than any NR-equipped bike I ever rode... the LJ shifted with more sureness and there was less chain bounce when riding on bumpy roads. It was also easier to clean (it had one removable pivot held with a C-clip). And adjustment was easier too since both screws were side-by-side and facing the same direction. A wonderful design (the front der was nice too), a shame that it was too little too late for Simplex.

Bob Hovey
Columbus, GA