British consumers never understood the 1970’s Simplex range, and I could never explain it to them. For me, there was the cheap, basic, plastic Prestige at the bottom, and the exotic all-aluminium Super LJ (as used in the Tour de France) at the top - and an incomprehensible jumble of models in between. There was a general rule that the more aluminium parts the better, but this was not always reflected in the price. The model numbers were an object lesson in how to sow confusion in the consumer’s mind.
Simplex regarded the Prestige LJ (LJ4000) as something special for the enthusiast. I have to say that I could not see it - although I did once receive a lecture on the marvelous fluidity of the Simplex gear change (like the suspension on a French car) as opposed to the crass clunkiness of Campagnolo - and there is something in that.
The bizarre doughnut-headed allen key cable clamp bolt is a signature item - and encapsulates Simplex’s baffling ability to grab the wrong end of every available stick.
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