These were the early 1970's patented derailleurs that made Suntour a GLOBAL player very, very fast. The V-Luxe (short cage), VT-Luxe (medium cage), and the all-important VGT-Luxe (long cage) were the best shifting derailleurs of the 1970's era. They were very heavy and very sturdy - about 280g for a VGT-Luxe, if I remember correctly. Compare to Campagnolo Centaur in today's derailleur market. These suntours cost $9.95, $11.95, and $12.95 at one point, maybe 1974 or 1975.
I replaced my simplex gear with a VGT-Luxe and Campagnolo shifters on my 1972 raleigh grand prix. The small barrels of the Campy shifter made fine trimming exceptionally easy.
I wonder if this was the first ever derailleur to come in 3 cage lengths ?? I think that this may be true.
If you went on a Club ride from 1972-1975, and you saw someone with a V-Luxe, VT-Luxe, or VGT-Luxe, you thought, "ahh, there's a really sharp guy who knows his bike parts. I'll have to ask his advice on how to upgrade my own bike."
In about 1976, these suntour derailleurs started shipping OEM on hoardes and hoardes of bicycles. In only a few years, they took suntour from an after-market boutique item, to Simplex-killer and #1 derailleur manufacturer on earth. V/G/T Luxe, and the follow-on, Vx/VxT/VxGT-Luxe was the biggest part of that.
- Don Gillies
San Diego, CA