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Vintage derailleur with longest "sweep"

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Vintage derailleur with longest "sweep"

Old 06-08-21, 09:08 AM
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chune
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Vintage derailleur with longest "sweep"

After converting my wife's 77 Raleigh grand prix to 700c with a 10-speed cassette I got bit by the vintage road bike bug. 3 months later I find myself with 7 vintage road bikes in the garage all getting the 700c+10 speed treatment. The first Raleigh came with a (rare?) Suntour Perfect 14-34t 5-speed freewheel paired to a Suntour U rear derailleur. While the stated capacity was only 30 teeth, I knew it worked fine with a 34t freewheel and picked up a 11-34t 10 speed cassette and 10 speed chain. These all worked great and I was pretty surprised to see the stock front chainrings toss around the skinny 10sp chain with hardly any issues. I was also surprised to see it shift to the 34t cog with relative ease.

The cassette/pulley clearance was cutting it pretty close on the Suntour U rear derailleur so I decided to try a Suntour V GT with the longer cage. To my surprise, the V GT derailleur would not even reach the 2nd largest cog with all of the limit screws backed out. It seems the "sweep" (or whatever you call it) on the Suntour V GT is far less than the Suntour U. I also found this to be true of the tri color shimano 600 rear derailleur.

So short story long:
Which vintage derailleurs have the longest sweep?
Any long-cage, long-sweep vintage rear derailleurs?
Can the suntour V GT derailleurs be modified to achieve a longer sweep?

Thanks!
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Old 06-08-21, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by chune View Post
After converting my wife's 77 Raleigh grand prix to 700c with a 10-speed cassette I got bit by the vintage road bike bug. 3 months later I find myself with 7 vintage road bikes in the garage all getting the 700c+10 speed treatment. The first Raleigh came with a (rare?) Suntour Perfect 14-34t 5-speed freewheel paired to a Suntour U rear derailleur. While the stated capacity was only 30 teeth, I knew it worked fine with a 34t freewheel and picked up a 11-34t 10 speed cassette and 10 speed chain. These all worked great and I was pretty surprised to see the stock front chainrings toss around the skinny 10sp chain with hardly any issues. I was also surprised to see it shift to the 34t cog with relative ease.

The cassette/pulley clearance was cutting it pretty close on the Suntour U rear derailleur so I decided to try a Suntour V GT with the longer cage. To my surprise, the V GT derailleur would not even reach the 2nd largest cog with all of the limit screws backed out. It seems the "sweep" (or whatever you call it) on the Suntour V GT is far less than the Suntour U. I also found this to be true of the tri color shimano 600 rear derailleur.

So short story long:
Which vintage derailleurs have the longest sweep?
Any long-cage, long-sweep vintage rear derailleurs?
Can the suntour V GT derailleurs be modified to achieve a longer sweep?

Thanks!
The Suntour AG derailleurs had a 38 tooth capacity/max, I think.
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Old 06-08-21, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by sheddle View Post
The Suntour AG derailleurs had a 38 tooth capacity/max, I think.
I think sweep to the OP means right to left, rather than capacity? From lowest gear position 1, to highest gear position X?

But a higher capacity large tooth would likely be better for clearing the cogs on the way to the inner limit.
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Old 06-08-21, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
I think sweep to the OP means right to left, rather than capacity? From lowest gear position 1, to highest gear position X?
Correct, I'm not talking about tooth capacity, I'm talking about distance traveled from the un-tensioned position to fully tensioned position of the derailleur (ie- how close to the spokes can I get?)
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Old 06-08-21, 09:22 AM
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@chune - Welcome to the C&V Forum.
Good question. I have wondered that myself.
the other consideration is the distance between the mount and the pivot. My wifes 74 Raleight GP Mixte has a Simplex Prestige with a longer distance than the Vx GT which I wanted to use. It will not fit under the largest sprocket. I tried a different hanger that dropped the RD a bit but still couldnt' make it work with the original block.
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Old 06-08-21, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by chune View Post
Correct, I'm not talking about tooth capacity, I'm talking about distance traveled from the un-tensioned position to fully tensioned position of the derailleur (ie- how close to the spokes can I get?)
Smarter folks than me will chime in and hopefully correct me, but I think a lot of the older derailleurs didn't need a lot of sweep since the freewheels were relatively thin spaced and the wheels dished to place the freewheel close to the stays side....probably to keep the hub bearings from blowing up.

I think...
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Old 06-08-21, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
I think sweep to the OP means right to left, rather than capacity? From lowest gear position 1, to highest gear position X?

But a higher capacity large tooth would likely be better for clearing the cogs on the way to the inner limit.
Oh, that makes more sense, I thought it mean the front-rear arm sweep which more or less would match up with total cap.
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Old 06-08-21, 09:34 AM
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Thanks for the welcome! Glad to find some active forums that haven't been cannibalized by facebook.

I had considered filing down the pivot area to bring it in closer but that would be a last resort. Another idea I had was to fab up a claw style hangar that has a step in towards the spokes. These all sound like a lot of work though if a derailleur that works out of the box exists. It's just too bad disraeligears doesn't collect this information.
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Old 06-08-21, 09:38 AM
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In theory, it is possible to examine the V GT derailleur and identify where the mechanical stop is that limits inward sweep. I'm looking at a BlueLine GT right now to determine where material must be removed. In the attached photo, you'll see where my pen is pointing. This tab is what stops the inward travel at the point where it either contacts the L limit screw or the plate through which this screw is threaded. By removing material on this tab, you can increase the angular sweep. By how much? I'm guessing that you might be able to get one or two more inward cogs of travel.
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Old 06-08-21, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
Smarter folks than me will chime in and hopefully correct me, but I think a lot of the older derailleurs didn't need a lot of sweep since the freewheels were relatively thin spaced and the wheels dished to place the freewheel close to the stays side....probably to keep the hub bearings from blowing up.

I think...
Right, that's why I was so surprised to see the travel I got out of that 70s suntour U derailleur! It looks like the suntour GT may be the answer, as it is classed in the same family as the suntour U and lacks the thick pivot mount point of the V GT:

disraeligears.co.uk/Site/SunTour_GT_derailleur_1200.html

I actually just passed on one at the co-op thinking it was a V GT so I may have to go grab that.
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Old 06-08-21, 09:52 AM
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Cyclone Mk II has quite a bit of inward travel. The BlueLine GT (above) has quite a bit as well. Take a moment to investigate whatever derailleur(s) among which you're choosing. Maybe develop a jig of some sort with an M10 threaded hole and some means to gauge lateral movement?
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Old 06-08-21, 10:48 AM
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I would probably go to Velobase and look at the touring and MTB groups from Shimano and Suntour. They are grouped there. Find the point where they still look vintage to you and pick one of those. Some of the Shimano MTB RD from the late 80s/early 90s still have the older look.

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Old 06-08-21, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Cyclone Mk II has quite a bit of inward travel. The BlueLine GT (above) has quite a bit as well. Take a moment to investigate whatever derailleur(s) among which you're choosing. Maybe develop a jig of some sort with an M10 threaded hole and some means to gauge lateral movement?
I know the Cyclones and BLs will work with 8 speed.
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Old 06-08-21, 11:55 AM
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.
...when I work on this stuff, I'm way past needing 10 cogs in the rear, because I can get the gear range I need with 8, the chains and cassettes are cheaper, and I don't need to fine tune my cadence beyond that. All of which is to say I have no answer for you. I think maybe no one has worried about it for the same reasons I have never found it to be an issue.

What I have found to be an issue is shifting much more than 6 or seven speeds in the rear, using friction shifting. For me, friction downtube shifters work much more reliably by feel at those numbers. And I have no problem getting a full range of gearing at that level of development.
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Old 06-08-21, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
...when I work on this stuff, I'm way past needing 10 cogs in the rear, because I can get the gear range I need with 8, the chains and cassettes are cheaper, and I don't need to fine tune my cadence beyond that. All of which is to say I have no answer for you. I think maybe no one has worried about it for the same reasons I have never found it to be an issue.

What I have found to be an issue is shifting much more than 6 or seven speeds in the rear, using friction shifting. For me, friction downtube shifters work much more reliably by feel at those numbers. And I have no problem getting a full range of gearing at that level of development.
This was my initial approach using 7 and 8 speed cassettes. I ended up trying 10speed because I had most of the parts on hand and it worked surprisingly well with the friction shifters. My favorite are the ratcheting suntour power shifters. I am now venturing into what it would take to get a 1x setup on some of these with an 11-42t 10sp cassette. Once you start going to the wide range stuff, 10 speed is much cheaper and has smaller jumps between the cogs
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Old 06-08-21, 12:30 PM
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I have a 1X6 conversion on a vintage bike and have a shimano 105 mounted on a hanger. It swings quite a bit, but on that hanger, it just barely reached the 28t biggest gear. That dropout is about 128mm and I thought about a 1X7 freehub in back. My solution and yours would be as you mentioned, a hanger with an offset in it to position the rear derailleur into a position on the plane of the dropout as on a bike with direct mount.

I never saw something like that at my co-op, and briefly thought about bending one into shape, but that would be a challenge. I do believe that I have seen one such hanger in a photo once, maybe on a campagnolo.
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Old 06-08-21, 12:56 PM
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I have gotten various vintage derailleurs to work with 9 speed, but some are close to their limits. Most of the the shifters I have used are maxed out, also.

Are you sure that your shifters are pulling enough cable?
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Old 06-08-21, 11:02 PM
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It took the Japanese (Maeda SUN TOUR -and- SHIMANO) to be able to reliably shift the "Thirty-something 1ST GEAR.
The well respected Europeans (Campagnolo, Huret , & Simplex) could not at that point in time!
Certainly, you can make a case that the Japanese "borrowed" (perhaps almost stole) the best of the existing European rear derailleur designs and then further refined them with better component materials and better manufacturing tolerances as well as slightly better workmanship for a better overall engineered product.
You can thank the Japanese for the massive improvement in the area of rear derailleurs.
Japanese engineering revolutionized electronics, stereo high fidelity gear, televisions and soon after that bicycle rear derailleurs, automobile manufacturing & automobile engineering and many other unrelated manufacturing areas beginning in the mid sixties and spanning through just about the remainder of the 20th Century.
The Japanese take-over in rear derailleur dominance was massively swift, perhaps quicker than their earlier ascent to the domination of electronics, tv-stereo industry.
To borrow the old ad tag lines from the two biggies in the electronics industry..........The One and Only....&......Just Slightly Ahead Of Their Time..........................--well, yes indeed, the Japanese just slaughtered those three respected European names because their rear derailleurs were that much improved. The Europeans never came close once Shimano and Maeda SUNTOUR took over in the Seventies!
-------Basically, if your vintage rear derailleur doesn't say SHIMANO or Maeda SUNTOUR , it isn't a great vintage rear derailleur!!
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Old 06-08-21, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Vintage Schwinn View Post
It took the Japanese (Maeda SUN TOUR -and- SHIMANO) to be able to reliably shift the "Thirty-something 1ST GEAR.
The well respected Europeans (Campagnolo, Huret , & Simplex) could not at that point in time!
Certainly, you can make a case that the Japanese "borrowed" (perhaps almost stole) the best of the existing European rear derailleur designs and then further refined them with better component materials and better manufacturing tolerances as well as slightly better workmanship for a better overall engineered product.
You can thank the Japanese for the massive improvement in the area of rear derailleurs.
Japanese engineering revolutionized electronics, stereo high fidelity gear, televisions and soon after that bicycle rear derailleurs, automobile manufacturing & automobile engineering and many other unrelated manufacturing areas beginning in the mid sixties and spanning through just about the remainder of the 20th Century.
The Japanese take-over in rear derailleur dominance was massively swift, perhaps quicker than their earlier ascent to the domination of electronics, tv-stereo industry.
To borrow the old ad tag lines from the two biggies in the electronics industry..........The One and Only....&......Just Slightly Ahead Of Their Time..........................--well, yes indeed, the Japanese just slaughtered those three respected European names because their rear derailleurs were that much improved. The Europeans never came close once Shimano and Maeda SUNTOUR took over in the Seventies!
-------Basically, if your vintage rear derailleur doesn't say SHIMANO or Maeda SUNTOUR , it isn't a great vintage rear derailleur!!
Ok, but do you have an answer for the OP?

This only informs them that some model of Shimano or Suntour derailer could wrap a 30 tooth cog and that everything else is junk.

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Old 06-09-21, 01:31 AM
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Something like this maybe?


Campagnolo Derailleur hanger 80/2 with bolt/nut NOS - the one for Nuovo Record and others! NOS

Is yours on a hanger?
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Old 06-09-21, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by sd5782 View Post
My solution and yours would be as you mentioned, a hanger with an offset in it to position the rear derailleur into a position on the plane of the dropout as on a bike with direct mount.

I never saw something like that at my co-op, and briefly thought about bending one into shape, but that would be a challenge. I do believe that I have seen one such hanger in a photo once, maybe on a campagnolo.
I'll make you one - with two. I'll take the top off one and the bottom off the other, overlap them, and braze them together. Probably could make the resulting mount a bit longer as well if that would help.

pm me if you think you'd like to try that; I'll be at the co-op tonight and will see what they have for hangers.
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Old 06-09-21, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by oneclick View Post
I'll make you one - with two. I'll take the top off one and the bottom off the other, overlap them, and braze them together. Probably could make the resulting mount a bit longer as well if that would help.

pm me if you think you'd like to try that; I'll be at the co-op tonight and will see what they have for hangers.
I am interested! And if I get one more post I can PM you haha
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Old 06-09-21, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by oneclick View Post
I'll make you one - with two. I'll take the top off one and the bottom off the other, overlap them, and braze them together. Probably could make the resulting mount a bit longer as well if that would help.
It never ceases to put a smile on my face how generous the C&V group is. Nice one, @oneclick.

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Old 06-09-21, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by chune View Post
After converting my wife's 77 Raleigh grand prix to 700c with a 10-speed cassette I got bit by the vintage road bike bug. 3 months later I find myself with 7 vintage road bikes in the garage all getting the 700c+10 speed treatment. The first Raleigh came with a (rare?) Suntour Perfect 14-34t 5-speed freewheel paired to a Suntour U rear derailleur. While the stated capacity was only 30 teeth, I knew it worked fine with a 34t freewheel and picked up a 11-34t 10 speed cassette and 10 speed chain. These all worked great and I was pretty surprised to see the stock front chainrings toss around the skinny 10sp chain with hardly any issues. I was also surprised to see it shift to the 34t cog with relative ease.

The cassette/pulley clearance was cutting it pretty close on the Suntour U rear derailleur so I decided to try a Suntour V GT with the longer cage. To my surprise, the V GT derailleur would not even reach the 2nd largest cog with all of the limit screws backed out. It seems the "sweep" (or whatever you call it) on the Suntour V GT is far less than the Suntour U. I also found this to be true of the tri color shimano 600 rear derailleur.

So short story long:
Which vintage derailleurs have the longest sweep?
Any long-cage, long-sweep vintage rear derailleurs?
Can the suntour V GT derailleurs be modified to achieve a longer sweep?

Thanks!
Iīm surpirsed that you tricolor dosenīt have enough sweep. Is it the original 6400 version, from the seven speed group?. Iīm using the 6401 from the 8 speed group, on two of my bikes with no problems. As you probaply know, Shimano 8, 9 and 10 speed casettes are all the same size, the only difference is that the cogs are closer (And I think thinner) with a higher number of gears. Iīve run 9 speed casettes on both bikes (I have no need for 10 speed casettes and havenīt tried that) with no problems. Actually I have to use the limit screw, to prevent the rd hitting the spokes. Iīm wondering if the deralliur hanger is slightly bent outward?. But both versions of the tricolor rd, is specified for a max of 28 teeth on the largest cog, so that could be a problem for you. I donīt know how large a cog it can handle in the real world, as I live in a fairly flat area, and thus donīt run casettes with big cogs.
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Old 06-09-21, 02:55 PM
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Is there a reason you're trying to make this work with a period-correct derailleur? I can understand if you want to achieve a certain look, but there are plenty of derailleurs that don't look terrible on a vintage frame that are designed to work with 10 speed cassettes. As a bonus, you'd be halfway there if you decided to switch the bike over to indexed shifting.
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