MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

QUALITY - INTRODUCTION

WHAT IS BETTER?

OLD vs NEW

WHO MADE IT - ???

CAMPAGNOLO

SHIMANO

SUNTOUR

SIMPLEX

OTHER MANUFACTURERS

SEAT POSTS

PEDALS

SADDLES

RIMS & TIRES

HUBS, SPOKES , SKEWERS

HANDLEBARS & STEMS

BRAKE CALLIPERS

BRAKE LEVERS

DERAILLEURS

 

WHAT IS BETTER - SUNTOUR?

Suntour is another big name in the vintage road bicycle field.  Suntour, like Shimano, targeted all levels of component use from entry to professional racer skill levels.  Once again, you must take the time to know what is quality and what is entry level rather than performance oriented equipment.

I have never had the opportunity to use anything from Suntour’s top of the line grouppo – Suntour “Superbe”.  I have seen a component or two and the quality looks to be present.  Though I have little, if any, personal experience using the Superbe components, I can say that their collectability is sky-rocketing.

Any of the Suntour stuff that I have been fortunate enough experience, has worked just great.  One of the nicest daily riders I have owned, was my early eighties Raleigh “Something-or-Other”.

The Raleigh was a touring bike that had been painted jet black.  I never did know exactly what model the bicycle was and I no longer care.  It was just a great bike!  Friction shifting the Suntour VX derailleurs, from ring to ring and cog to cog, was so smooth!  I can remember thinking consciously to myself what a great transmission the VX was.  And the VX was not top of the line stuff.  Where it fell in the Suntour line, I am not sure but the transmission did work and work very well.  And it was on the Raleigh that I first experienced the Suntour Barcon Shifters.  These handlebar end mounted shifters were and still are among the best Old School shifting system I have ever used, exceeding the function of similar Campagnolo units.  My opinion, of course.

A second Suntour transmission offering that I really like is the Suntour Power Shifters.  Though still located on the bicycle's down tube, these Old School shifters are a treat to use.  They are power assisted though I am not sure what that actually means.  What I do know is the the pull has a ratchet feel to it and requires less effort to actuate than is expected.  I should add that this ratchet feel is also incorporated into the Barcon system.

Suntour’s Cyclone grouppo was a set or two up from the VX model line.  To me, and from a cosmetics point of view, the early Cyclone transmission rivals the Shimano Arabesque that is becoming so sought after.   I like the boldly embossed "Suntour Cyclone" feature offered on the rear derailleur.  In addition, the finish on the Suntour Cyclone transmission, is second to none.  Like the Shimano's 600 series, the Cyclone transmission works all but perfectly.

The Cyclone line was repeated in different and more modern versions, but only the first generation offered the bold aesthetics.  Later issues employed the laser etched to identify each component.  Though the laser etching has its place, I do not like it on Suntour's or any other manufacturer's components for that matter.  To me, the etched characteristic diminishes the visual appeal.  Of course, that does not impact the way the Suntour parts work in any way.

With all of this in mind, Suntour's components will become increasingly collectable.  Well made and somewhat ornate, two prime component characteristics that help to enhance collectable value, are present in many of the Old School Suntour offerings.  And there are not nearly as many Suntour components still available as there are Shimano or Campagnolo.

There is a second factor that will help to increase the collectable value of Suntour components.  Suntour, unlike Shimano and Campagnolo, is no more.  The Suntour company is out of business.  Perhaps bicycle components will prove to be a bit like art.  The stuff becomes more valuable, only after the artist’s death?

NEXT - WHAT IS BETTER - SIMPLEX?

 

 

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