Although the Lark was quite heavy, it shifted markedly better than the French Huret Allvits and Simplex Prestiges that were coming through on the bikes from Europe.Aluminum-alloy cotterless cranks had been a high-end item, not found on the run-of-the-mill European ten-speeds that sold for around 0 in the early 1970s bike boom years.The Maxy's outer chainring was swaged to the right crank, and so was not interchangeable -- though it was possible to saw off a worn chainwheel and bolt a replacement one to the remaining spider.The Maxy was much lighter and easier to work on than cottered cranks, and gave a competitive advantage to mid-priced Japanese derailer-equipped bicycles.Although Japanese derailers had appeared as original equipment on Japanese bikes, the Sun Tour VGT was the first model to make a big splash in the aftermarket.The VGT was a wide-range touring derailer, using Sun Tour's patented "slant parallelogram" design.[Sheldon wrote this article largely from memory, based on his long experience in the bicycle retail sector.His coverage is uneven, as he did not go so far as to research topics of which he had little personal knowledge.
The inner chainring was attached using the 110 mm bolt circle, which survives to this day in very wide use.
The S10-S had aluminum handlebars and stem, Sunshine high-flange hubs, and a Belt leather saddle. In 1977 it was upgraded to 12-speed, and later the name was changed to S12-S.
This means that the smaller sizes have shorter top tubes, and the larger sizes have longer top tubes. European manufacturers of mass-market bicycles ahd generally used the same top-ure length regarless os standover height, resulting in a long reach for shorter cyclists. European tires had been made with cotton cord, which was prone to damage, even from sharp pebbles and which was subject to mildew and rot.
This bike was only available in one size, 20", which was considerably too small for an average American man.
It was equipped with Araya steel rims, which were beautifully made, much smoother and truer than European steel rims of the era..not strong enough to withstand the weight of an average American rider.
The VGT was a reasonably light derailer, with a large chain take-up capacity, and a very light action, compared to the early '60s designs from Simplex and Huret.