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old Suntour parts(15 posts)

old Suntour partsRandy
May 17, 2001 2:15 AM
I'm trying to get an idea about how old my bike is by the components on it. The suntour parts look well made, but are all steel and have a few unique features not found on modern derailures...are there any links out there that would help me to identify the age of the bike thru the parts on it.

Just how long has Suntour been around?
Suntour Wordsteeveo
May 17, 2001 7:31 AM
outstanding reference ...Breck
May 17, 2001 7:59 AM
& thanks!

bought a shitt-load of "old" Suntour parts new-in-the-box for pennies on the dollar when they ceased importing, etc. Some of the road rear dX's such as the Superbe Pro (8-speed) were the obvious choice for superior workmanship & quality bar none.

outstanding reference ...steeveo
May 17, 2001 10:59 AM
You're right, the best. I still run Superbe Pro on my 'new' bike, and Cyclone II on my "old" bike. Best shifting dX's I've ever experienced. Suntour ROCKED.
Nice workmike mcmahon
May 17, 2001 11:23 AM
I had Suntour Superbe Pro on my SR Maxima, which was my first brand-new racing bike. The Superbe stuff did kick butt. A year or two later, I upgraded to a Columbus SL Medici with Super Record. The Medici frame was top-notch, but I have to admit that I was disappointed in SR after using Superbe.
I was sponsored by Suntour in 1994 and I thought it sucked.headset inspector
May 17, 2001 11:31 AM
Have you ridden anything post 1995?? Suntour didnt shift half as good as Hyperglide. Felt clunky and cheap. Im very discriminating however. I was sponsored by Campy in 1991 (off-road) and I hated it too. Shimano has always impressed me. The new Campy road stuff is great. Still a little clunky in the cassette area.
I was sponsored by Suntour in 1994 and I thought it sucked.steeveo
May 17, 2001 11:45 AM
The REAL Suntour went downhill circa 1990-91. Later is was sold and replaced by a poseur Suntour. Read my link (posted above) on 'Sunset for Suntour.' By 1994, the glory days were long gone.
Even the old Shimano "twist tooth" outperformed the othersheadset inspector
May 17, 2001 2:29 PM
Even pre-Hyperglide Shimano had the rear shifting edge. Atleast in the late '80s when I started riding different bikes. Your reference was cool to read. My first MTB ('83) had the Mountech rear deraileur. I had to replace it too, but it was just from getting slammed into the spokes while riding by my friends frotn tire. My local shop sold me a cheapo Shimano to replace it, I think it was like $13-15 if I remember correctly. I was in 7th grade then. The shifters on it were Suntour and they were actually very well made but didnt have the greatest of feel. Looking back I think they were just the old bar-cons with a special attachment which allowed it to sit on top of an MTB bar. They had that same cool ratchet sound and feel as the old bar cons. My cycling started just as Shimano just started to take over the industry, atleast in mountain biking. Anyway, I enjoyed reminiscing as it brought back some great memories of riding back in the day!
Note even close to post-'95mike mcmahon
May 17, 2001 12:17 PM
My Superbe stuff was (to the best of my memory) approximately 1983. I don't know what folks in the know would classify as the "golden age" of Suntour, but my guess is that my circa-'83 stuff would be right there.
Note even close to post-'95steeveo
May 17, 2001 12:28 PM
Yep, right in there. You had it on a Maxima? I'm trying to remember the Maxima ...
My SR Maximamike mcmahon
May 17, 2001 12:46 PM
Was red with a silver head tube. I don't think SR lived out the 90s. As I recall, SR had one model that was up the chain from the Maxima. The frame was a good starter frame. I only wish I had held onto is for the Superbe components. It would be nice to have them to build up an old frame. I think I have an old picture of the Maxima around somewhere. If I can find it and scan it, I'll try to post it on the site. I'm riding the bike in the photo. The only depressing part is seeing how much I've aged over the past 18 years. At least I was wearing a helmet, so I can't see how much hair I used to have. ;-)
Suntour Word- Great stuffzelig
May 18, 2001 12:43 PM
Memories of my '74 Fuji Finest and the backwards, clearly Suntour thought it was forward, front derailleur. Up on the lever for the small chainring and down for the big ring as the derailleur was spring loaded in the other direction. In reality, particularly in the STI/Ergo world where you can shift from small to big under heavy load (as in out of the saddle), probably not the ultimate solution. However I was and still am a fan of their rear derailleurs. Any long time Campy NR, SR, C-Record user will remember how we prided outselves on our upshifting technique of slightly overshifting before settling the lever into the cog. Complete rubbish and made redundant by the ST derailleur. I still have a couple of Cyclone rear derailleurs lying around just in case there's a restoration project.
re: old Suntour partsSpoke Wrench
May 17, 2001 8:13 AM
I first became aware of Suntour parts in the late 60's.

At that time, derailleurs just moved in and out. We also had only 5-speed freewheels and, by modern standards, pretty wide spacing between gears. Suntour developed the VGT derailleur that had a "slant parallelogram" design that followed the angle of the derailleur cogs. Compared to other cheap derailleurs that were available at that time, it was clearly superior. Suntour was the big dog of the industry for about the next 15 years.

In the early 80's Shimano was the first to figure out index shifting. A key element to their design was a "floating derailleur pulley" that allowed a slight mis-match of derailleur and freewheel without constant chattering. Suntour wasn't able to respond adequately and soon all but disappeared from the market.
re: old Suntour partssteeveo
May 17, 2001 11:02 AM
... but not from the hearts of those of us who fell in love w/cycling because Suntour made it such a pleasure. Gawd derailleurs sucked before Suntour.
re: old Suntour partsAD14
May 17, 2001 11:35 AM
I had a cannondale with suntour superbe in the 80s and all the campy guys laughed at me- until they tried it. The derailler shifted as well as anything out there then and I got the group for a song. Put 17000 miles on it and the only casualty was worn chainrings.