South Salem Cycleworks
(503) 480-2001
email: sscycleworks@comcast.net

Vintage Components - Simplex SLJ rear derailleurs

On this page: Simplex Super LJ 5000 short-cage gold anodized rear derailleur

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Simplex founder Lucien Juy owned a bike shop in Dijon, France, when he began making his first derailleurs in 1928. His innovative designs were a hit and by 1933, Juy said he was making 40,000 derailleurs a year.

It wasn't until 1961 that Simplex adopted the deforming parallelogram that Campagnolo had popularized with its ground-breaking Grand Sport derailleur a decade before. But Juy's Simplex derailleurs had a sprung top pivot, the way all derailleurs are made today. At the time, that Simplex Export 61 was probably the best-shifting changer made.

A year later Juy decided to make Simplex derailleurs out of an acetal resin (OK, plastic) made by Dupont called "Delrin". It was a terrible mistake. Juy took what was the best derailleur in the world and turned it into a flimsy, delicate changer.

In the early 1970s Juy again began producing superb changers when he came out with the alloy Super LJ series. They were nicely finished, well-designed, good shifting derailleurs.

No amount of innovation or quality improvement could stem the Asian onslaught, exacerbated by association with those delrin derailleurs that came on so many bike-boom bikes. Simplex ceased production in the 1990s.


Simplex Super LJ 5000 short-cage rear derailleur, gold anodized. lightly used, $250.00

Simplex made continual refinements to this superb derailleur. This is the second version of the SLJ 5000, produced in 1977 and 1978.

Simplex Super LJ

Wonderful condition, rare gold anodization

Simplez Super LJ

From the back