John, Offline speculation with Chuck Schmidt has led to our guess that the handle on the top of the lever of that front changer (derailleur) is probably a quick release or shifter sleeve and not original to the changer. The odd thing though is the plastic wingnut on the adjustment. Perhaps that wingnut is also an owner add-on from another Simplex bike part like a shifter. Other than that, it looks like the familiar later Simplex front changers.
Anyway, the later Simplex lever front changers came in two different drops or depths for the cage, one "normal" and one "touring." A Simplex catalogue (available through Chuck Schmidt's Velo Retro site) gives the correct names and capacities for these, but I don't have my copy handy right now. 42/52 should be no problem with a Simplex lever front changer. On my Sun Manxman, I have a 20 tooth difference for its Simplex lever front changer but I don't know which cage depth it has. See http://www.peterbrueggeman.com/cr/sun.htm
Peter ============================================ Peter Brueggeman La Jolla California USA
On 6 Nov 2007 10:30:19 -0800 Peter Brueggeman wrote:
>Could someone please identify for me the lever front changer mounted on a
>Claud Butler bike for sale right now on eBay? Item 280170762026 You can see
>the top and bottom of it in the bike photos below the description. It's not
>the familiar Benelux, Cyclo, Huret, or Simplex types.
I really can't remember these well enough from over 50 years ago, but it does look like a Simplex with a really long handle and different knob. I sure would like to know more about these changers because I just won a rusty old Simplex Competition (?) from Matteo's eBay auction for possible use on the Claud Allrounder frame I snagged off Hilary last month (I've tracked it to Canada so far and will tell y'all more about it once it's in my grubby little hands).
What gear range do these suicide front shifters work with? Eventually I would hope to find a proper period chainset, but I'm going to start with more modern on-topic parts and wonder if these could shift 42/52.
I see the reserve on that listing was not met; it expired and has now been relisted (Item 280170872393)
It makes me wonder why people just don't just start with a reasonable opening bid or reveal their reserve like Hilary does. The only reason I can see is that they're hoping for a bidding war where someone ends up paying more than it's worth to them if they really thought about it.