Simplex Prestige (537)

Simplex Prestige derailleur (537) main image

The next step in the Simplex Prestige saga was a redesign in 1965, leading to the Simplex Prestige (537). The thumbwheel adjusters are replaced by more familiar adjustment screws, the outer cable stop is cast into the rear knuckle, the grub screw cable clamp is replaced by a more modern bolt and washer arrangement, the dished outer pulley cage plate and asymmetric pulley wheels are ditched in favour of flat pulley cage plates and symmetric pulleys. The pulley cage stop is moved to allow more chain wrap.

The Prestige (537) now has the classic Simplex Prestige look, from here on in the history of the Prestige is one of metal sneaking back into the parallelogram to try to make it more rigid. The Prestige (537) is still the pure deal - the parallelogram is plastic, plastic and plastic with no metal anywhere to be seen.

Roger Pratt emailed me from Cardiff in Wales to say:

“I rode the 1965 Milk Race/Tour of Britain on one of these gears and it worked perfectly throughout the fourteen days of the race on gradients of up to 33% - although we were walking at that point!

In the mountain stages it was OK with 52/42 and 14-28 (five speed). In the Tour we were often given bits of equipment by manufacturers - I was given this, several Williams cotterless chainsets which cracked, Polish Kowalit tubs, etc..

I don't know how long the Simplex would have lasted as, fashion conscious, I went back to my usual Campag. gears, TA/Stronglight chainset and Pirelli tubs after the event.”

  • Derailleur brands: Simplex
  • Categories: Simplex - the Prestige story
  • Country: France
  • Date of introduction: 1965
  • Date of this example: unknown, but before 1967 (no metal side plates on outer parallelogram plate)
  • Model no.: 537
  • Weight: 185g including hanger plate
  • Maximum cog: 30 teeth?
  • Total capacity: 30 teeth?
  • Pulley centre to centre: 46mm
  • Index compatibility: friction
  • Chain width: 3/32”
  • Logic: top normal
  • B pivot: sprung
  • P pivot: sprung
  • Materials: largely plastic, with steel pulley cage plates

Browse associated documents.

US Patent # 3,364,763 - Simplex

US Patent # 3,364,763 - Simplex

US Patent 3,364,763 - Simplex Prestige (537) thumbnail

Raleigh Owners Handbook

Raleigh Owners Handbook

Raleigh Owners Handbook - page 1 thumbnail