Probably Suntour’s most innovative and beautiful derailleur – and the company’s first glorious failure. The 1983 Tech has a completely enclosed linkage instead of the open parallelogram other mechs use. The cable routing was clever too – straight along the chainstay with no loops of cable.
That clever linkage would be the downfall, though – it wore and broke very quickly, and was very difficult to fix – so the Tech only lasted for a year.
The second glorious failure 😉 Also from 1983, the Mountech was the world’s first derailleur specifically designed for off-road use. The cage has two pivots – one in the normal place, under the right-hand bolt in the top pic. The other is built into the top jockey wheel. Both are spring-loaded (unlike the Huret Duopar), and the effect is to give the Mountech a massive capacity.
Again, though, durability was the problem – the seals around the top pulley and pivot were not up to off-road use, and the Mountech was withdrawn quickly.
One nerdy neat touch – the bolt through the hole in the parallelogram is the cable clamp – so the cable runs inside the parallelogram – elegant.
This is the last incarnation of Suntour’s top racing mech, and the pinnacle of Suntour’s engineering. All aluminium, with the angled parallelogram that Suntour invented, hidden springs, sealed bearing jockeys, and incredibly smooth pivots.
When Maeda-Suntour became SR Suntour in 1995, the tooling was sold for scrap…
Suntour BL – Basically a GT, with posh blue plastic inserts!
Raleigh derailleurs made by Suntour
Suntour Honor – early 1970s I think
Suntour thumbshifters – the friction only operates one way, to compensate for the spring in the derailleur…
Suntour AR – As used on the very first Specialized Stumpjumpers…
A late plastic Suntour
Suntour Cyclone – a beautiful little derailleur from 1975…