Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Unexpected: a Suntour Cyclone Derailleur

New-to-me, Suntour Cyclone derailleur.
The chain that I replaced on the Miyata last fall has been skipping periodically. Since I tried to save money, purchasing a chain without a masterlink, I presumed that when I pushed the pin in place, I did something wrong and ended up with a stiff link.

So, I rode the bike last fall for a while, but put it away after a couple rides. At the time I couldn't deal with diagnosing the problem.

However, this spring while the Trek was in the shop, I started riding the Miyata again. Obviously, the problem didn't heal itself. In fact, it became worse.

Twice, I spent time rotating the chain, inspecting for skips. As the jumping was minor, I couldn't pinpoint the exact spot so I lubricated the chain and twisted the links slightly, hoping to loosen the problem link.

It didn't fix the skipping. Lucky me!

But one day, while riding home in the granny gear the chain decided to jump off a pulley wheel in the derailleur. Did you know that could happen? It turned out to be a godsend. I bent over the back wheel (a biker's version of opening the car hood and scratching one's head) to discover the upper plastic wheel was worn. That I could fix.

Or so I thought. By the time I arrived home, a half hour late, I'd also deduced that whenever I rode in the granny gear, the chain was slack. This was clearly a derailleur issue. The part couldn't do it's job properly, keeping tension while springing back into position.

So I did what any bike lover would do. I scoured our stash of parts, came up with two derailleurs (thank you hubby for collecting stuff) and headed to a local bike shop.

It turns out a spring was broken in the derailleur, irreplaceable at this shop. The lady mechanic mounted the Suntour Cyclone, explaining that it's a nice one, as opposed to the low end black Shimano. I said goodbye to the Suntour Mountech, original to the bike, though I'll keep it for parts. Sometime I plan to run it to another shop, one more versed in older bicycles.

The Suntour Cyclone suits the Miyata in more ways than one. It functions well, plus the all-chrome style and brand fits the era when all bikes came equipped with Suntour components.. It's also prettier than the Mountech—if such a thing can be said about a derailleur.

In hindsight, I now realize the initial chain skip was due to a worn derailleur pulley. And more recently, the spring failed.

And, for all the angst over what I suspected was a stiff link, the chain functioned fine once another derailleur was installed. It's nice to know I can still connect a chain old school style.


  1. Suntour made nice stuff like this

  2. I'm reading this many years after you wrote it. I, too, love my Miyata 610 and didn't have the heart to give it away. However, I'd changed my handlebars and thus, gear shifter and thought *that* was the reason my chain skips. So, having no idea why it was skipping (like you I assumed link), I stopped riding. It's been stored for 10 years, but my friend with the garage put it outside. Still, it looks beautiful and I'm looking into how to get it up to speed. I will be looking into "a worn derailleur pulley." Thanks!


Due to increased Spam, I am moderating comments. Thank you for your patience.