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I'm considering replacing the Simplex SX410 derailleur for a Campy Nuovo Record on my early 80s Mercier (6-speed cassette). Reason being that there has been for several years now a problem shifting from the 3rd to the 4th (and vise versa) one needs to move the friction shifter more than for the other changes. Can I expect more precise shifting with the Campy?

I have recently changed the chain too. I have a SRAM pc830 now.

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Have you replaced the cluster/cassette anytime recently? That could be the cause of difficult shifting. – Daniel R Hicks Sep 11 '12 at 18:39
Seconded, but it is likely a freewheel (not a cassette) and ought to be replaced if it is old. You might also consider replacing the derailleur jockey wheels. On top of lubing the shifter cables and the pivots on the Simplex, it should be as good as new. – WTHarper Sep 12 '12 at 3:31
Cluster is original. The teeth show no wear but there is about 1mm wiggle. Pivots and Jockey wheels are kept oiled. Thanks – Hercules Panayiotides Sep 13 '12 at 13:45

Take the shifter cable out and lubricate it, or replace it if it looks like it needs to be replaced. If the pivots are as well maintained as you say they are, it could be the cassette that needs to be replaced. Most of the time you change an old chain, you need to change the cassette for things to continue to be smooth.

From what you describe, the SX410 is super old, it might be worth it to have a mechanic take a look at it to make sure its properly greased. Once you've properly ruled out those problems, then try the Campy.

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