During the mid 1960’s Nobuo Ozaki, SunTour’s brilliant chief designer, was so prolific that he must have been speeding on a diet of pure Jolt Cola. Not content with producing the 1965 SunTour New Skitter, packed with innovations, he moves onto this - the 1967 SunTour Skitter.

The geometry is essentially the same, but the riveted flat steel plates have been replaced by a more rigid and three dimensional parallelogram.

It retains the two trademark features of SunTour’s own Skitter designs - it  is low-normal (what Shimano now call ‘rapid-rise’) and it had only one spring, which, through devious design, provides both chain tension and operates the parallelogram.

So far, so sane - but now for the madness. The 1967 SunTour Skitter gets the natty adjustable pulley cage that was first seen on the 1964 SunTour Grand Prix. With a few twists of a handy wing-bolt the tension pulley can be moved to one of three positions giving a maximum capacity of  26, 30 or 34 teeth respectively. It’s almost as if SunTour thought that halfway through a ride you might decide to convert your bike from an out-and-out racer to a laid back tourer - and that you needed a wing-bolt because you were going to perform this conversion (surely involving at least the derailleur, chain, and freewheel and probably the chainset) even though you had not brought along a spanner.

A more likely explanation for the wing bolt is that it is an early ancestor of SunTour’s ‘Quick Cage’ - which allowed you to fit the chain into the derailleur without messing around with extracting a chain rivet. Here they are merely making it easy to remove and refit a pulley wheel with the same end in view.

A proud member of the pantheon of derailleurs with silly names.


  1. Brand: SunTour

  2. My category: SunTour - the Skitter story

  3. Country: Japan

  4. Date of introduction: 1967

  5. Date of this example: unknown but before 1970 (the rear parallelogram plate and the pulley wheels are labeled ‘Maeda Iron Works’)

  6. Model no: unknown

  7. Weight: 332g including hanger plate and the extravagant ‘protector’ nut

  8. Maximum cog: 30 teeth?

  9. Total capacity: 26, 30 or 34 teeth (adjustable)

  10. Pulley centre to centre: 46, 56 or 66mm (adjustable)

  11. Index compatibility: friction

  12. Chain width: 3/32”

  13. Logic: low normal

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

  15. Material: largely steel with bronze rear knuckle

  16. My theme: A riot of colour


SunTour Skitter (2nd style)