SunTour Skitter (2nd style)

SunTour Skitter derailleur (2nd style) main image

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The geometry is essentially the same, but the riveted flat steel plates have been replaced by a more rigid and three dimensional parallelogram.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

  • Derailleur brands: SunTour
  • Categories: SunTour - the Skitter story
  • Themes: A riot of colour
  • Country: Japan
  • Date of introduction: 1967
  • Date of this example: unknown but before 1970 (the rear parallelogram plate and the pulley wheels are labeled ‘Maeda Iron Works’)
  • Model no.: unknown
  • Weight: 332g including hanger plate and the extravagant ‘protector’ nut
  • Maximum cog: 30 teeth?
  • Total capacity: 26, 30 or 34 teeth (adjustable)
  • Pulley centre to centre: 46, 56 or 66mm (adjustable)
  • Index compatibility: friction
  • Chain width: 3/32”
  • Logic: low normal
  • B pivot: unsprung
  • P pivot: sprung
  • Materials: largely steel with bronze rear knuckle
SunTour Skitter derailleur (2nd style) additional image 01