SunTour Skitter (1st style)

SunTour Skitter derailleur (1st style) main image

The 1963 SunTour Skitter was SunTour’s first parallelogram derailleur - and it shows. Its parallelogram is reminiscent of a 1958 Huret Allvit. Its flat plate construction is similar to that of the Huret Svelto (also from 1963). It uses Huret’s distinctive double wound spring design. It is designed to fit a Huret drop-out and has a black Allen key hanger bolt - as do many Hurets of the period. It is frequently suggested that Huret actually manufactured this derailleur for SunTour.

I have my doubts about this. Although the design is heavily influenced by Huret, the actual parts seem to be very non-Huret. The adjustment screws are logically placed and easy to get to (unlike the Allvit or Svelto), the pulley wheels on this example are toothed, plastic and branded Maeda Iron Works (although it must be said that they are less worn than the rest of the derailleur and may not be original), the bolts, nuts, cable clamp eyebolt and cable outer stop are all not Huret’s usual pattern of the time.

My guess is that this derailleur was manufactured in Japan to a Japanese design that was heavily influenced by Huret’s various models. It is arguable that this model has little in common with SunTour’s 1964 and 1965 models, and it is certainly possible that SunTour did not manufacture it themselves - but I would suspect that, if this is the case, another Japanese manufacturer did the deed.

A founder member of the brotherhood of derailleurs with silly names.

  • Derailleur brands: SunTour
  • Categories: SunTour - the Skitter story
  • Country: Japan
  • Date of introduction: 1963
  • Date of this example: unknown (parallelogram stamped HA5)
  • Model no.: unknown
  • Weight: 253g
  • Maximum cog: 30 teeth?
  • Total capacity: 28 teeth?
  • Pulley centre to centre: 45mm
  • Index compatibility: friction
  • Chain width: 3/32”
  • Logic: top normal
  • B pivot: unsprung
  • P pivot: sprung
  • Materials: steel, with one parallelogram plate possibly brass.
SunTour Skitter derailleur (1st style) additional image 01