Man, I loved this post. Even though I started out in 1970, with my most serious riding ocurring from '75 to'85, I agree with Mr. Perkins 100%. I started out with plastic Simplex changers. I saw the start of Suntour and Shimano and had them on my Fuji Finest. They were sooo much better than my Campy stuff. And you know what? I DON'T CARE. It's totally illogical, but all I want are Campy components. In the interest of total honesty, I must confess to riding across the United States on sewups and a 42-52 front and 13-26 rear. You haven't lived until you've done the East gate into Yellowstone ( 25 miles 6,000 foot elevation gain) on a 13-26 with 50 lbs. of equipment hanging off your bike. I remember a 30 mile downhill coming out of the Big Horns in Wyoming, when the rims got so hot that the glue melted and the tires turned inside out. I know that most of you all are racers or former racers, but I never raced. However, I have covered tens of thousands of miles on the seat of a bike. And even at 52 years old, I can't imagine riding on anything but sewups (my MTB being the exception to my rule). Early on, I fell in love with the Zen of sewup repair. The beauty of lugged steel frames and Italian componentry seems to speak to a part of me that defies logic. I feel a connection to some distant past of cycling as I stitch up a tire. When out on the road, all alone, with my bike and my gear, I feel totally self-reliant and free. Loving old bikes, for me, has nothing to with state-of -the-art-performance. It's more of a feeling of the joy of my youth and the beauty of simpler things. I don't want to win any sprints, I just want to occasionally recapture the exhilaration I felt when I first experienced the speed and grace of riding a bike hard. I enjoy watching the different opinions in this group. While I don't always agree, I always learn something.
Enjoying a single-malt scotch and an ice-cold beer in sunny Rancho Cucamonga
> Message: 3
> From: "robert perkins" <RPERKINS1@nc.rr.com>
> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Subject: Re: [CR] Campagnolo vs Suntour
> Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 23:21:14 -0400
> Thought I'd introduce myself. I'm 36, live in Chapel Hill, NC, got 7 bikes.
> My steel lugged bikes are odd- a Mannesmann (german) cromo straight gauge
> frame built up with 1980s everything. A beautiful Landshark 653
> (unheattreated 853) that ain't built up yet.
> Funny, all you guys who are 10-15 years older than me fell in love with
> Campy-equipped bikes. My first serious bike was a Suntour-cyclone equipped
> Tange #2-framed Kuwahara-built Nishiki that I spent all of my
> savings on, all of $360 bucks, in 1985. It was a nice lugged frame with a
> classic paintjob. The 6-speed derailleur shifted like a dream. A local
> bike shop owner sold me a Campy NR rear derailleur when the Cyclone got bent
> in an accident. It shifted like dog doo.
> Don't get me wrong- I love the classic bikes, & really enjoyed the Cirque.
> But, I could never bring myself to buy stuff that just didn't work as well
> as those Cyclone derailleurs & cost 3 times as much. I remember looking at
> a regina
> freewheel for $80 bucks and thinking "this thing is that much better than a
> Winner pro?"
> To me, Shimano perfected what Suntour started with the early 90's components
> that are robust as hell. The single pivot 105 calipers work great, & the 7
> speed cassette hubs don't break axles, and the hyperglide cogs shift like a
> champ. Cassettes are a lot easier to swap than freewheels, and easy to
> maintain. Campy's early attempts at cassette hubs yielded an inferior
> 3-bearing design, and Syncro just sucked. Cogsets were limited to
> racer-gearing. Then they went on this loony-toon add-cogs-at-any-price
> binge. So, Campy never made sense, aside from the aesthetics of the old
> The best cranks, to me, are cold-forged Japanese cranks like the Sugino and
> Ritchey designs. Low Q-factors, they don't break, and you can get any size
> of chainring you want for 110/74, especially for those of us who don't like
> the standard road setup.
> The most interesting thing to me was to see the majority of the CR list
> mooning over their preserved, recreated, or restored first loves, which is
> pretty much lugged bikes from the 60s and 70s with Campy. Meanwhile, I am
> rejoicing over the Suntour thumbshifters I found on the swap table.
> I was thinking about this while out in Silicon Valley on business last week.
> Some engineer abandoned, then gave his 1987 Nishiki International to me, so
> now I have a bike in California. Woo hoo! Tange #1 tubing, Suntour
> Cyclone 7000 components. I rode that puppy up Calavares Rd over to Sierra,
> then back through San Jose. The 14-year old brake blocks faded like they
> were made of wood, especially with the (admittedly really stupid idea) hard
> anodized rims. But, it shifted and rode nice, especially that
> superior-to-campy-until-the-slant-parallelogram-patent-expired rear
> Anyway, fun to read this stuff. I guess I am more BOBish than CRish, but
> the lugged bikes and history are interesting.
> Warmest regards,