The Suntour Competition can make a strong claim to be the first truly modern derailleur. It has a slant parallelogram, it has three dimensional cast knuckles, it has logically placed, clearly labelled, adjustment screws, it fits a Campagnolo end and has an adjustment screw, but most of all it is a wee jewel with the simple composed ‘less-is-more’ look that makes it identifiably the ancestor of today’s Shimano Dura-Ace or Campagnolo Record Carbon.

The 1964 SunTour Gran-Prix may have been the first slant parallelogram derailleur, but it was also packed with eccentric features that have not stood the test of time (like a SunTour Skitter it was low-normal and had only one spring that both operated the parallelogram and provided chain tension, most versions also had an adjustable length pulley cage - as on my first style of Skitter). A Gran-Prix would look mad on a modern bike, a Competition would blend in seamlessly.

One of my ‘derailleurs that changed the world’.


  1. Brand: SunTour

  2. My category: SunTour - the V story

  3. Country: Japan

  4. Date of introduction: 1965

  5. Date of this example: 1970? (the rear parallelogram plate is stamped ‘Maeda Industries Ltd’ but the pulleys are embossed ‘Maeda Iron Works’ )

  6. Model no: unknown

  7. Weight: 256g

  8. Maximum cog: 24 teeth?

  9. Total capacity: 24 teeth?

  10. Pulley centre to centre: 46mm

  11. Index compatibility: friction

  12. Chain width: 3/32”

  13. Logic: top normal

  14. Pivots: two pivots, front sprung and rear unsprung

  15. Material: steel parallelogram plates and pulley cage plates, bronze(?) knuckles (they are chromed but not magnetic)


SunTour Competition