Archival Reviews of Suntour Front Derailleurs


This is recognized as one of the best road racing, pantagraph front derailleurs ever. The finish, workmanship, and functionality all scream quality even though the Superbe Pro group of parts has been officially discontinued by Suntour. It is made in a 28.6mm (1 1/8"), or 31.8mm (1 1/4") clamp-on or a braze-on type. The link, clamp and mounting pieces are all made from forged aluminum alloy, then are highly polished. The cage is made of formed sheet steel, given a polish to make it completely smooth, then chrome plated. The rear of cage is given added support by folding, then bolting the rear cage ends together, making it rigid. The Superbe Pro can be removed from the bike without breaking the drive chain by removing this screw holding the ends together. It is extremely easy to adjust. The screws to adjust the throw on the cage, are on the outer side of the mount or clamp system. They face you as you look at the changer, giving easy access for simple movements. The Superbe Pro is compatible with all narrow chains, and all shift systems. It will shift smoothly across a 7, or 8 speed rear cluster. A 5mm hex wrench is all that's needed to install the derailleur and fasten the shift cable. The steel cable fastening bolt weighing 2.5 grams, is threaded with 5mm by .8mm pitch, with a 7.5mm length. The SRP cable bolt is exact Titanium weight saving replacement. The clamp bolt, weighing 3 grams, has a 5mm recessed hex head, with the standard 5mm by .8mm pitched threads, in a 16mm length. The SRP Ti replacement, though 2mm shorter is, in fact, a perfect replacement. This front derailleur is light. The 1 1/8" clamp version weighs only 92 grams. Considered by many to be the Swiss watch of front changers, it's intended for use with double chainring cranks only. No longer made, the Superbe Pro front sold for $39.99


There has long been a controversy about whether there is a physical difference in the cage of the front derailleurs sold with Micro Drive grouppos. When the Micro Drive system was first released, many riders just bought the crankset, rear hub, cassette, and sometimes shifters, then adjusted the derailleurs to account for the rear gearing. But they noticed their front derailleur didn't perform nearly as well as those sold in the complete grouppo. Suntour did introduce and reveal that there was a special cage on the Micro Drive models but never made clear what the distinction between them was. After looking at both of the cages carefully, we can see that one of the horizontal folds in the cage which guides upward the exposed chain rivet is fashioned differently. The standard, non-Micro Drive model has a sloping lift at the throat of this indentation for the rivet, while the Micro Drive model has a blunt vertical face. Because Suntour never revealed the differences between these models, many people were sold the wrong front derailleur, and naturally stores weren't entirely keen on having to replicate their inventory to accommodate the properly functional Micro Drive front. To make things simpler Suntour began putting Yellow decals on the cages of the MD styled cages.


This is Suntour's best mountain style, pantagraph front derailleur. This Micro Drive model is made for a 44 teeth or smaller crankset. It's made in the 1 1/8", 1 1/4", and a 1 3/8" clamp sizes. It will work with all narrow chains, (a Micro Drive compatible model is discussed below), and works properly with all index or friction shift systems. The set screws controlling the cage throw are, like the Superbe Pro and SL, extremely easy to adjust. The set screws face outward, as you look at the derailleur, from the right side of the bike. There is none of this "down from the top", find a small screwdriver, twist your wrist up, stuff. The clamp and link elements are forged from aluminum alloy, with the clamp anodized to a slightly darker aluminum, which closely resembles the grey color of titanium. The clamp section is changeable, so you may re-use the derailleur with a different sized clamp, if later, you change frames, or if you damage the clamp itself in a "dab" (a fall or crash). The cage is made of steel, with horizontal folds in it to increase it's rigidity without adding weight. The rear part of the cage can be unfastened, by removing a bolt, so the derailleur can be changed or worked on without having to cut or "break" the drive chain. This front derailleur, provided in the grouppo for both the XC Pro drive train and the XC Pro Micro Drive drive train. Both the clamp and cable bolt have 5mm by .8mm pitched threads. The 3.5 gram steel clamp bolt is a little long at 16mm than is necessary. The 14mm long SRP model has the preferred length and 2 gram weight. The 1.5 gram SRP cable bolt is an exact Titanium replica of the Suntour 2.5 gram, steel cable fastening bolt. The XC Pro has a 24 tooth capacity. The 1 1/8" clamp XC Pro front weighs is 113 grams, (1 1/8"). No longer made we sold all versions of the XC Pro front for $26.99


This is Suntour's answer to the interest in "top-pull" front derailleurs and is intended for use in place of any of the mountain bike fronts with any of their groups. The interest in top pull derailleurs stems from it's shorter cable routing. Top pull cabling runs over the top tube and down the back side of the seat tube, instead of under the bottom bracket shell. This reduced cable length makes the derailleur respond faster, and because the cable doesn't run under the B/B, it prevents debris from hanging up in the cable under the shell. The clamp and linkage pieces are forged of aluminum alloy. The clamp section is painted matte Black, and the outer pink pivot arm is painted a glossy Black. The remaining cable fastening link arm is left in the natural Silver color. The cage is the Micro Drive style, made of chrome plated steel with horizontal folds to increase it's rigidity. A small bolt at the rear of the cage that allows it to be opened, so the changer can be removed without breaking the chain. The screws to adjust the throw of the cage are mounted on top of the clamp in the traditional manner. Installation and cable fastening requires only a 5mm allen wrench. All the major assemblies of the Top Pull are riveted together. The steel clamp and cable bolts are the set used on the XC Pro model and are directly replaceable by the SRP Titanium versions. Intended for triple chainring cranks, the Top Pull has a 24 tooth capacity. The 1 1/8" clamp model weighs 116.5 grams. No longer made, we sold all three diameters of the XC Pro Top Pull for $24.99


The XC-Expert bridges the gap between the XC Pro/Comp/LTD easy to adjust ability and tradition. The XC-Expert places the adjust screws for the cage throw on the top of the clamp near the seat tube. In fact, the XC- Expert uses the same forged from aluminum alloy, clamp and link arm assembly as those on the FS-E and the X-1 front derailleurs. It's primary distinction is that the XC-Expert comes with the Micro Drive cage, explained in the Suntour overview above. The XC-Expert is made in the clamp style only in the three standard diameters. The clamp and lower link arm are left in the natural aluminum Silver color. The cable fastening link arm is painted in a glossy metallic Silver. The cage is made of chromed steel, and has a removable bolt fastening the sides together at the rear, so removal of the derailleur can be performed without breaking the chain. The steel cable and clamp fastening bolts are the same used on the XC Pro, and are directly replaceable with the SRP Titanium versions. Intended for triple chainring cranks. It has a 24 tooth capacity and weighs 114 grams in the 1 1/8" size. No longer made we sold all 3 sizes of the XC-Expert for $16.99

Copyrighted material - All rights reserved

This site sponsored by