Classic Lightweights UK
Classic Components  


A compendium of very desirable Simplex components

Simplex board

The items are top row: 1949 Tour de France gear; early 50's alloy armed Tour de France gear; 1950 JUY50 gear; 1951 Tour de France De Lux twin cable gear; mid 50's Tour de France gear; late 50's Tour de France gear.
Middle row; Outer chainrings in aluminium and chromed steel; inner ring in blackened steel; 4sp freewheel; flat and off-set chainring adaptors.
Bottom row; c1949 Tour de France front changer; early 50's Competition front changer; late 50's Competition front changer; length of genuine Simplex cable; c1952 cage/chainguard for Competition front changer; gear levers - single RH lever; double RH lever; double R & L lever.

Simplex 543 rear changer

Simplex 543

A 1954 Simplex 543 in the double-cable format.  Simplex expected this model to give them a huge step ahead of their competitors.  As its name suggests the gear can be set to change three, four or five gears by setting the indicator arm to whatever sprocket range was being used.   It had a range of 22 teeth front and rear.   On this model the second cable adjusted the chain tension as required.

Champion du Monde (interim model)

Simplex gear
Here is a rare early post-war Simplex gear changer.  In 1946 Simplex produced the single pulley Champion du Monde.   In 1947 they introduced, in this interim model, a second spring-loaded pulley to improve the chain wrap, this was done by adding tension to the chain between the lower pulley and the engaged sprocket. This extra tension gave more chain wrap around the sprocket so reducing any tendancy to slip under pressure.  The model can be identified by the rivetted spacer between the pulleys.   In 1948 the gear was further refined and modified to become our old favourite, the famous Simplex Tour de France.

More on Simplex plunger/push-rod derailleurs in Classic Designs by Hilary Stone.

Tips on Simplex Tour de France adjustment by Peter Underwood in Restoration.

More details of the Tour de France mech.