Each subsequent version of a car gets bigger and more glorious - the Volkswagen Golf starts out in 1974 as a small, 1300cc, 4 speed, utilitarian hatchback with wind down windows and a simple radio. By 2008, it has turned into a mid-sized, 2 litre, 7 speed, status symbol with powered everything and the sound system from the Starship Enterprise.
Derailleurs move in the other direction - and here’s some evidence. The SunTour VX Lite claims to be the successor of the all-aluminium SunTour Vx one of the most admired and influential derailleurs in history, but the VX Lite is an essay in cheapness, with steel and plastic to the fore.
The VX Lite retains some trademark virtues - a single sprung pivot, a slant parallelogram and the adjustment screws at the back. It also has a cheerful look, with its mix of grey knuckles and spangly glitter paint on the outer parallelogram plate. The word ‘Lite’ in the name is not a delusional claim about its 246g weight, but a reference to SunTour’s ‘Lite Operation System’ - weaker springs to you and me.
But the VX Lite is not a Vx and should never have hinted that it might be one.
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