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

(Example: Racing:Beryl Burton)

From: "RB" <2wheelseal@earthlink.net>
To: "CR" <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2005 23:05:47 -0700
Subject: [CR]Sweet Japanese 80's 'rider' frame suggestions

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