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IIRC, Suntour, not Shimano, invented and patented the slant parallelogram (although Nivex apparently had some of the SP elements), and during the '70s and the first half of the '80s, Suntour was probably the best-shifting derailleur available, and it's turned out to be at least close to the top for durability and reliability, too.

I think Sheldon Brown has a much more accurate description of derailleur development, for example, at http://www.sheldonbrown.com/suntour.html.

Shimano's mass market stuff up until they produced SIS was simply not as good as Suntour's. I never used the Crane, and that might have been terrific, but the V, Vx, Cyclone, and Superbe derailleurs were strong, light, and hard to beat.

The Suntour patent expired in 1984. After that, Shimano's investment in indexed shifting combined with use of something very much like the slant parallelogram, along with Suntour's apparent complacency, allowed it to take over mass market leadership and to make inroads into the professional market, as well.

I think either 1) the author of the article misunderstands the history of the Suntour-Shimano rivalry, or 2) the editor cut too much from the author's first earlier drafts of the article.
 
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