Well, I guess nothing is universally loved, although Simplex Retrofrictions come close. The lever does have quite a bit of movement, but I guess that seems a minor point to me. When I restored my 1973 LeJeune I was living in the Allegheny Mts. of NE Pennsylvania. My regular training loop began with an 11 km climb to the summit of a mountain. Conventional friction shifters, be they Campy, Zeus, Huret, or Simplex Criterium, tended to slip into a higher gear on these climbs - although the Campy and Zeus seemed worse than the Simplex and Huret about this. The Retrofrictions eliminated this problem, so they seemed perfect, and the large amount of travel was not a big deal for me. On my wife's all Campy NR Windsor Pro, the Campy NR shifters would slip on the climbs not matter how much I tightened them. I finally changed to period-incorrect Campy C-Record Retrofrictions. I think these have less travel than the Simplex.
> Chuck wrote:
> > The Mavic was the easiest to service since everything is held together
> > with circlips. The pulley cage could be raised and lowered to get the
> > upper pulley as close to the cogs as possible so it had that advantage
> > over the Campagnolo. It used the Simplex Retrofriction shifters which
> > worked better. But it didn't have a sprung upper pivot like the
> > Simplex. I'd put its shifting ability below Simplex and above Campagnolo.
> I just got back from a ride on my full-Mavic SSC bike. After every ride I swear at the retrofriction levers. While super smooth, light and precise, they simply have too small a barrel for my liking. To get the front derailleur to shift from one chainring to the other you need an inordinate movement of the lever. I truly don't have any love for them and were the bike not fully kitted out with the SSC groupe, I would have switched them long ago. My favorites, by far, are the first generation Suntour Cyclone levers and some cheap aero-styled Rino levers that I have on one bike that get mounted with a single water bottle boss on the top side of the down tube.
> As far as shifting goes, for a very close ratio 'corncob' freewheel, I believe the Mavic outshifts every other 'vintage' derailleur, including the Simplex with the second spring. The adjustable cage ensures more chain wrap. (Campagnolo used a similar idea with the off-topic 'dual-mode' Chorus derailleur in 1988.) However, when you go beyond 21 or 22 teeth, you start realizing the limits of the single spring design. As for the recent comments about the Delrin plastic used by Simplex for both derailleurs and levers, I fully agree that it had a nasty tendency to quickly wear out, attract grease and grime and simply break. I wouldn't however put the blame on the synthetic material, but rather on how the Simplex engineers used it. The early 80's Ofmega Mistral derailleur was also made out of synthetic material and did not seem to have these same problems. I have one on a bike that I have owned for over 20 years with likely more than 20K miles on it and it is still working like when it was new. The Ofmega also came in a manly pink color!
> Steven Maasland
> Moorestown, NJ
> > Wow, I agree with every word Chuck just said here. How often does that
> > happen? Maybe Mavic is the magic middle ground on which the Campy fans and
> > the Francophiles can agree.
> > Regards,
> > Jerry Moos
> > Houston, TX
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Chuck Schmidt" <email@example.com>
> > To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2004 10:41 AM
> > Subject: [CR]Now: Mavic vs. Simplex & Campagnolo Was: Derailleur question
> > > kim klakow wrote:
> > > >
> > > (cut)
> > > > But to side with the francophiles, what about the mavic derailleurs?
> > >
> > >
> > > Chuck Schmidt
> > > South Pasadena, Southern California
> > >
> > > .