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    • CommentAuthorchku
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2011 edited
     
    What's your favourite groupset and why?

    Vintage, classic or modern era?
    Campagnolo or Shimano? What about SRAM? SunTour?
    French Spidel or tout MAVIC?
    Spanish Zeus?

    How many miles have you put on a single group, or what abuses has it survived?
    What's the prettiest ensemble, and which is the clumsiest?

    Tell us about the parts you've sworn at or sworn by.
    • CommentAuthorPillpoppin
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2011
     
    I love equiping my racing bikes with sturmey archer groupsets and my classic touring bikes with the superbe on my cannondale track. Wait wat
    • CommentAuthorchku
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2011 edited
     
    Duly noted. By the way, how are you finding the Apex group on your Cross Check? My brother has asked me to fit out his bike with a modern group, and I looked at Apex (using conventional gearing, rather than the possible wide range) with great interest.
    • CommentAuthorPillpoppin
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2011
     
    I like it alot. The only problems I've had is due to the shimano 105 front derailleur nothing to do with the apex. And apex can be found at good prices on ebay
    • CommentAuthorchku
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2011
     
    Went for a 108 km ride on my Peugeot PY-10 this weekend, and was reminded of the brilliance of vintage French components. I do like the MAFAC centre-pull brakes, and elegant Stronglight cranks, but here I want to make special mention of the Simplex Super LJ components from the 70s.

    The SLJ rear derailleur can handle up to 28 teeth, and can be used with modern cassettes up to 8 speeds. The dual-pivot cable anchors allow for precise and secure feel, and rapid movement across the sprockets. But what really impressed me this weekend was the sublime shifting control of the Simplex Retrofriction levers, which were often used by professionals in place of Super and C-Record shifters. The spring-loaded mechanism gives exact and supple feel, and the levers seem to naturally fix themselves in exactly the right position, almost like SIS. Up-shifts are rapid, and down-shifts occur with a solid and inspiring clunk that just doesn't occur with modern groups.

    While they may have been podgier than Italian and Japanese offerings, I certainly believe that the various French 'Spidel' components formed the superior group of the 1970s (or indeed the whole pre-indexing era), better still than the 'real' Super Record that is typically revered as the best group of all time.
    • CommentAuthorpolitburo
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2011 edited
     
    I have a beautiful Spidel group lying around waiting for the right build... super lj derailleurs, retrofriction shifters and mafac competition centerpulls. All i need is a frame to put them on. They were originally going to go on a gitane TdF, but I discovered that the bike is too small for me, so rather than try building it and riding what i know to be the wrong size, I'm going to wait until something nice with simplex dropouts comes my way.

    Actually - on topic here - can you use the simplex rear derailleur with non-simplex dropouts? How would you attach it to a threaded hanger, like on a campy 1010?

    sorry for the shitty pic quality:

    • CommentAuthorAaron C
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2011
     
    I am a sucker for sun tour. though i'd love to get my hands on an old frenchie group ^
    • CommentAuthoreaglerock
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2011
     
    Posted By: politburosorry for the shitty pic quality:


    I'll be curious to hear how the newer-style TA crankarms work out - whether they're stiffer than the older ones. They certainly cost enough. Do they use a standard 22mm crank puller, or the old 23mm?

    Actually - on topic here - can you use the simplex rear derailleur with non-simplex dropouts? How would you attach it to a threaded hanger, like on a campy 1010?

    I hesitate to say this, because I have no real first-hand experience with non-Schwinn Simplex derailleurs; but I think you have to have a Simplex hanger to use a Simplex derailleur. I've read about people converting Simplex dropouts to Campy by threading the hole (Simplex hanger bolts are unthreaded) and filing a stop point into the bottom of the hanger. That suggests to me that the diameter of the Simplex hole is smaller than a Campy hole, or there wouldn't be any metal to hold a thread.

    I suppose you could try to rig up something with a locknut and a couple of washers, to sandwich the dropout; but then the derailleur wouldn't swing. If the bolt's long enough, you could try locknuts both on the inside and outside - something like this:



    Alternately, you could do it the old-fashioned way, and look for a frame without a derailleur hanger - just use a separate Simplex-specific hanger bolted to the derailleur, and then attached to the dropout with the axle. I see Simplex-style hangers around the bike kitchen in Berkeley now and again; there must be more in circulation.
    • CommentAuthorpolitburo
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2011 edited
     
    I'll let you know about the TA arms when I get around to using them. I got them from hilary stone and "only" paid 150 for them. And since I havent mounted them yet, I dont know about the puller diameter - i'll check when i get home tonight.


    I think i'm sticking to my original plan and just waiting around for another *correctly sized* TdF frame to come my way.
    • CommentAuthorchku
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2011
     
    Before my PR-10 was destroyed by a car, I had planned to set up my PY-10 with Super Record. This would have required some doctoring of the Simplex drop-outs and derailleur hanger. To my knowledge, it is possible to cut threads in the Simplex hanger, and file the necessary notch. Older Simplex derailleurs have an unthreaded 9mm bolt, whereas the modern standard is a 10mm bolt with 1.0mm threading.

    Moving in the other direction, one might round out the Campag hanger to 11 or 12mm, sufficient for the manufacture of a spacer/washer with 9mm internal diameter.

    Also, I love those TA cranks, especially when set up with a very wide gear ratio or for cyclocross use. But, as eaglerock has alluded to, it took a lot of patience to get my hands on a 23mm crank extractor.
    • CommentAuthorpolitburo
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2011
     
    i just cant wait for an excuse to use simplex retrofriction on something... anything.
    • CommentAuthorchku
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2011
     
    Maybe not a SS conversion, good looking as they may be.
    • CommentAuthoreaglerock
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2011
     
    Posted By: chkuBut, as eaglerock has alluded to, it took a lot of patience to get my hands on a 23mm crank extractor.

    It took me patience to get my first (Park CCP-1 via eBay). It took a combination of good memory and a spare ten-spot to get my second (VAR, a bunch of them sitting NIP in a box in the clearance section at Rivendell - I got one for self and one for bike kitchen).
    • CommentAuthorRuffinit
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2011
     
    I began racing in Spain on a Peugeot with Simplex gruppo (super LJ). I always liked the way it shifted. Pretty flawless. My Colnago I've run for years with Superbe Pro derailleurs and Modolo carbon shifters (friction). Absolutely exacting. As snappy as any indexed system. My Bridgestone ran 10s of thousands of miles with Deore XT Superplate rear and matching front derailleur(stag heads). When I replaced the rear derailleur with an indexed XC Pro there was still nothing wrong with the Deore XT and I'm still running the front derailleur even with all the shifting of half-step gearing. My Sprint 9000 group on the Cannondale has always been flawless as an indexed setup.
    I guess the issue is that when you use the higher quality equipment, you should expect for it to work for a good long time. I've had the best shifting and most flawless reliability with Suntour over the years and continue to buy and use Suntour as much as possible. I am anti-Shimano for personal reasons and have tried to re-equip all my bikes with Suntour as possible.
    I think the Suntour gruppos have always been without flaw on fit and finish which extends to the SR, Dia Compe etc.
    • CommentAuthorchku
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2011 edited
     
    Your Colnago is equipped with some very interesting parts. Those cranks are great! I am considering using the Modolo/Mavic carbon shifters with 10s Record, so it's good to hear your positive experience. I also had a feeling this thread might bring out some SunTour fans: it's unfortunate that in recent times the dominance of Campy/Shimano (and now SRAM) has excluded so many others from use and discussion.
    • CommentAuthoreaglerock
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2011
     
    Posted By: chkuI also had a feeling this thread might bring out some SunTour fans: it's unfortunate that in recent times the dominance of Campy/Shimano (and now SRAM) has excluded so many others from use and discussion.

    We can get weirder. The drivetrain on my Raleigh features Suntour (barcons, freewheel), Campagnolo (NR front derailleur), Sachs-Huret (the most complicated mechanical rear derailleur ever made), Specialites T.A. (half-step+granny chainrings) and Alero (Japanese TA-clone 5-pin cranks).

    Right now, I'm hoping to win an auction for a Suntour Accu-shift barcon. We'll see whether my current setup can do indexed shifting.
    • CommentAuthorpolitburo
    • CommentTimeJul 30th 2011 edited
     
    Allah be praised, the new style Pro 5 Vis crank uses a 22mm extractor.

    Would you be so kind as to post a picture of the Alero cranks and perhaps a brief synopsis (as you are often known to do ;)?


    I mostly ride campy because it is the most affordable and functional equipment I can get with limited income and resources. However, I feel that as I get older and nerdier, i will push my french obsession to its logical ends with simplex, huret and mavic...

    i have my eye on a TdF auction which might afford me the opportunity for a Gitane tout francais. 120 rear spacing? sure, I can find a freewheel for that...
    • CommentAuthorper.k
    • CommentTimeJul 30th 2011
     
    More freewheels out there than I would've guess :)

    Of the groups I've ridden, I really enjoyed my Campagnolo Centaur gruppo for the best pure performance experience, although the friction shifters(Suntour LaPree & Campy Nuovo Record) are nice when the rush is a little less and I want to the enjoy the pleasantly obvious mechanical process.
    • CommentAuthorRuffinit
    • CommentTimeAug 1st 2011
     
    Posted By: chkuYour Colnago is equipped with some very interesting parts. Those cranks are great! I am considering using the Modolo/Mavic carbon shifters with 10s Record, so it's good to hear your positive experience. I also had a feeling this thread might bring out some SunTour fans: it's unfortunate that in recent times the dominance of Campy/Shimano (and now SRAM) has excluded so many others from use and discussion.
    Thanks. I knew what I wanted when I built it up and scrimped and saved to get the pieces. The Ofmega Mistral is still one of the lightest cranksets ever made at ~500 g. One thing to note about the Modolo Cronos (carbon) shifters is that I HAVE seen a few of them broken. This usually happens with monkey-fisted riders with no idea of how to shift them. Learn you shifting, learn your bike and then progress to them. You may note that the binder hardware on those shifters say Campagnolo on them.. I didn't like the finish of the Modolo stuff and it was easily swapped out when I first put it together. The bike as you see it in the pics has had no componentry changes since I originally put it together in the late '80s (except for wheelsets).
  1.  
    I've ridden just about every type of bike that's made. I've owned mountain bikes with different Shimano and Sram groupsets. I think the Sram stuff shifted better and seemed to hold up better.

    As far as road bikes go I've ridden just about everything Campagnolo has ever made and only Dura Ace can compare with even middle of the line Campy Groupsets.

    My all time favorite groupset is Nuovo Record/ Super Record / Pista. Just so clean looking and the performance can still compete with the modern stuff. I really need to post up my 1976 Crescent fixed gear conversion. Full Nuovo Record (obviously not the gears). It has a set of Campagnolo 165mm cranks, bottom bracket, headset, seatpost, and front brake. Custom wheels, 3TTT stem, bullhorn bars, egg beaters, and a Brooks saddle. It weighs in at the low end of 18 pounds and is rides still rides and looks so good. Oh yea all the parts have been polished to a mirror finish.

    That being said I have another steel bike with modern Campy 10 speed that's about as fun as bikes come.
 
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