Re: [CR] Best vintage derailleurs for a 50/34 compact setup--French or Campy

Example: Framebuilders:Chris Pauley

In-Reply-To: <20090507025200.GA4322@salix>
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Date: Thu, 7 May 2009 07:41:02 -0700
To: Mark Barnes <>, Charlotte Bronte <>
From: Jan Heine <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Best vintage derailleurs for a 50/34 compact setup--French or Campy

>Taking the plunge into compact gearing for my vintage touring
>project. No less an authority than the late Sheldon Brown (see his
>Hetchins) recommends it, but he uses a modern long cage rear
>derailleur, which I'd like to avoid if possible.
>I can go either way, Campy or Simplex/Huret. I'll be running a TA
>or Stronglight 50/34 on the front, and would like to know from
>members who use such a setup about best derailleurs. Have followed
>the posts here about Rallys with interest. That's one way I'm
>might go, either with a pure Rally or a NR fitted with a Rally cage.
>I've got many replies about this.

You want a rear derailleur where the cage swings around the upper pulley. That means that front shifts don't affect the rear at all. If you don't have a huge range on the freewheel, you don't need a long cage.

Most Huret derailleurs are that way. My Alex Singer uses a TA 48-32 on the front, and a 13-24 on the rear, with a Huret Jubilee short cage. It works very well, shifts reliably into every gear (even the cross-chained ones), and has lasted 30 years before I replaced it last year. (Most of those 30 years were under its first owner, who must have ridden at least 100,000 miles on the bike.)

The Jubilee doesn't shift as well as a true cyclotouring derailleur like a Nivex or Cyclo, nor as well as some modern derailleurs when set up well, but it shifts well enough that it has never bothered me. And I ride that bike more than any other I own.

Jan Heine Editor Bicycle Quarterly 140 Lakeside Ave #C Seattle WA 98122