Re: [CR]Sweet Japanese 80's 'rider' frame suggestions

(Example: History:Ted Ernst)

Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2005 05:02:43 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Sweet Japanese 80's 'rider' frame suggestions
To: RB <>, CR <>
In-Reply-To: <>

Bill, I think that's an excellent project. I have a couple of bikes like that and am planning a couple more project. Shimano did better with cassette hubs, index shifting, clipless pedals, and other largely Off Topic heresies, but for pure classic era gear, SunTour and their allied companies made stuff that was, in my opinion, as good or better than Dura Ace.

Many components in the SunTour gruppos were actually made by allied companies. SunTour Cyclone, Superbe and Superbe Pro stuff is great. Other top non-Shimano Japanese stuff (often appearing badged as SunTour in SunTour gruppos) were Sanshin (Sunshine) hubs, especially the Pro-Am model, Dia-compe brakes, especially Grand Compe model, Sugino Mighty cranks, MKS pedals (Sylvan model and others), Fujita saddles (they made an excellent Brooks Pro clone) Araya rims, SR World Champion bars and stems, and of course the wonderful Nitto bars and stems still made today. As to frames, a top Japanese frame would of course be appropriate (although "in the day" the Japanese sold mostly complete bikes rather then framesets, with a few exceptions). However, since their were very few American lightweight components in the classic era, I have also built up American frames with Japanese components. Also, since many British component makers had vanished by the mid-70s, I think it would be appropriate to build up late 70's/ early 80's British frames with Japanese stuff, and I'm plan a couple of such projects myself.


Jerry Moos Houston, TX

RB <> wrote: Perhaps this is a little OT, as I may be fudging the 1983 cutoff a bit - I'm not exactly sure. However you folks would know, so I'm going to chance it. If I'm out of line, please refer me the correct resource.

I have here, a NOS set of really sweet Suntour Superbe Pro wheels (mid-80's I think - 126 spaced, sealed precision bearings, old logos, Araya aero hard ano rims). I'm a big Japanese culture fan, and I've long toyed with building some kind of sweet non-Durace all-Japanese bike. Something nice, hopefully special, lightweight, racer or crit bike, and a fair-weather rider (not high mileage, but not a wall-hanger either). Something that won't break the bank, as an alternative to my Campy bike. Suntour has particular appeal to me due to my BMX background (Suntour was the shiz for us), it's being 'the-road-less-traveled', the modest prices, and it's [apparent?] quality in the [late(?)] 80's, as they tried to launch products to compete with Shizmondo (Durace is great, but no love lost there, due to their tactics regarding MTB components).

I really don't know much about the vintage Japanese marques, except a little about 3-Rensho. I know less about whether the Suntour high-end deraileurs and brakes were actually any good, particularly over time as they wear. These hubs however, shame Campy.

I'd like some suggestions as to a frameset and/or group pieces, or the pros and cons of same. Maybe even possible offers on a frameset and/or parts. I need to decide if I should attempt to realize this project (and thus keep these super-tasty wheels), or if I'm viewing said potential project through rose colored riding glasses. My other bikes are all Campy, so I can't see mixing and matching these wheels into those groups.

Although I will ride it quite a bit, it's going to be a for-fun bike, as I have other vintage lightweights, and modern bikes. This wheelset can do a 6-8 speed freewheel, and I'm open to index or friction. I'd like to stay steel (although I will consider aluminum), and mid-line or hopefully better, as I have a 71 Ron Cooper and a modern DeRosa. I will consider a triple for crazy climbs. I also have a set of vintage Suntour barcons in my parts box. Not looking for a fixed gear.

Thanks in advance,
Bill Roberts
Jacksonville, OR