The color scheme Eric refers to for the Delrin RD's was indeed typical for the early 70's, but in the 60's it may have been different. Plus with Simplex you can just never tell. I recently bought a Criterium RD on eBay with a red nameplate. From 10 feet away it looks exactly like a Prestige. Fortunately, the eBay photos were clear enough to positively identify the thicker forged alloy jockey cage which is the crucial difference betwen the two. This is going on a 1967 PX-10 whose Criterium RD nameplate has fallen off, but the RD still works great. This bike has already passed through the hands of one CR member before me and seen a lot of miles before that, so the lesser durability of the Delrin Simplexes is only relative. This one shifts great after more than 35 years. Maybe I should try to find a name plate for it. Anyone have one, or a trashed Prestige RD I can rob one off?
Jerry Moos Houston, TX
Eric Elman <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: A few additional bits of info:
> The good Delrin Simplex, which came on the PX-10, is called Criterium in
> the catalogs, although that name never appeared on the RD itself. It has
> a proper thicker forged alloy jockey cage like a Campy NR or a modern high
> quality RD. It also usually had metal reinforcement of the plastic
> parallelogram plates, although I can't rule out that the Prestige might
> have had these as well. The Criterium shift levers were solid alloy like
> Campy NR, though usually with plastic covers like the Campy rubber ones
> but harder and thinner. The solid forged jockey cage and shift levers
> eliminated the excessive flex, and the Criterium shifted spledidly, in
> fact far better than Campy NR, thanks to the Simplex spring-loaded upper
> pivot which Campy lacked. The Campy did last longer, though.
The Criterium rear usually (but not always) has a clear/silvery nameplate whereas the Prestige usually (but not always) has a red nameplate. I agree with Jerry that they shift better than Campagnolo NR but are certainly less durable.
In the late 60's/ early 70's the Simplex Delrin FD's were pushrod type. I think both Prestige and Criterium were shown in the catalogs, but I could never find any difference between the two. These shifted pretty well if set up properly and if the chainring difference wasn't too large. About the mddle 70's, Simplex introduced parallelogram Delrin FD's. These shifted better, especially for large chainring differences. It may have been that these were sold as Criterium, while the old pushrod design continued to be sold as Prestige. By this time the superb all-alloy Simplex SLJ derailleur and retrofriction shifters were appearing, but could never quite repair the damage done to Simplex's image by the cheaper Prsetige version of the Delrin derailleurs and shifters.
The only difference I am aware of on the front Prestige vs Criterium is that the Crierium has a chrome plated front metal body clamp and mounting screws whereas the Prestige was not plated. I noticed this back in 1973 or so when I purchased my PX-10 as an upgrade from my UO-8. Side by side the difference was quite noticable. Had they not both been side by side in my parents garage I doubt I would have noticed. Has anyone else seen this? Lastly the delrin parrallelogram FD that Jerry refers to was the "Super Competition" model and is great shifting and a wonderful upgrade that is very period looking.