MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

QUALITY - INTRODUCTION

WHAT IS BETTER?

OLD vs NEW

WHO MADE IT - ???

CAMPAGNOLO

SHIMANO

SUNTOUR

SIMPLEX

OTHER MANUFACTURERS

SEAT POSTS

PEDALS

SADDLES

RIMS & TIRES

HUBS, SPOKES , SKEWERS

HANDLEBARS & STEMS

BRAKE CALLIPERS

BRAKE LEVERS

DERAILLEURS

 

WHAT IS BETTER - SIMPLEX?

Though I personally have little use for the quality of Simplex components, I must admit that one of the best shifting transmission I have ever used was a Simplex offering.  One summer I commuted for roughly 4,500 miles on a Canadian made Peugeot Super Sport.  The bike sported a Simplex SX 810 rear derailleur, tagged with the Peugeot name.  I cannot recall ever missing a shift, with this set-up.  I cannot ever recall dropping a chain.  I can, however, remember thinking how well the transmission worked.  Why then would I dislike Simplex stuff?  Unfortunately, the look is cheap and unbecoming.  My opinion, of course.

To begin with, I have never used Simplex, top of the line, components.  I have not even seen a top of the line Simplex rear derailleur in person.  Thus, I cannot compare Simplex's best, to the best I have used from other manufacturers.  But that is not reason enough to actually dislike or even, distrust the product.

Delrin plastic – now that’s a good reason to loose trust in a product.  And Simplex, in their infinite wisdom (or complete lack there of) chose to start building derailleurs out of plastic.  Why would they bother in an age when the really good guys were going for lighter and stronger metal alloys?  Why?  More than likely because it was a cheaper way to make the component lighter.  But certainly not longer!  Longer?  Simply put, the plastic was not strong enough.  It would frequently break, rendering the transmission useless.  I have come across lots of Simplex front derailleurs that have failed completely because of the plastic's inability to suffer the stresses imparted through use and maintenance.

Is it fair to condemn an entire manufacturer's assortment of product based on one failure?  Of course not, but I do anyway and that is the prerogative of the consumer.  And, like it or not, I am a consumer.  And once a consumer makes his mind up about a product, it is very difficult to change his or her opinion.  I should also say, that the opinion pertaining to that horrible front derailleur has managed to transfer to all other Simplex offerings though I have used very few of them myself.  Again, very unfair but that is how I feel.

In all fairness, Simplex has been around a long time, targeting both the high end and entry level markets with their products.  In fact the oldest bicycle in my collection features a Simplex transmission.  That bike, a forties something Automoto Porteur.

Too bad that Simples blew it, with their plastic experiment.  And, I cannot help but wonder what the wonder products of today, will yield tomorrow.  Will all of this fancy carbon fibre stuff, prove incapable of standing the ravages of time, failing utterly, in the process?  For my money, what little there is of it, I will take good old steel every time.

When inspecting a potential bicycle for restoration, take a look at the front derailleur.  If it's a Simplex and made partially of plastic, look very closely!  As often as not, the derailleur will be cracked or even broken.  I have come across many bicycles with a broken Simplex front derailleur and this is actually good, in a perverted sense.  With a broken derailleur (and sometimes the derailleur would break very early in a bicycle’s life), the bicycle could not be used.  If it couldn't be used, the bicycle would often be put away, only to be forgotten until a guy like me comes along.   Then out comes the bicycle, in all its little used vintage glory, only to be sold for a song because the darn thing is busted.  I run across this exact scenario time and again.

NEXT - WHAT IS BETTER - OTHER MANUFACTURERS?

 

 

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