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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mhendricks's Avatar
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    Who made the best Japanese hubs and what we're they?

    I've come across some nice Japanese hubs while working on bikes but who made the best? Sunshine low flange? High flange Suzue? Joytech track? What are your opinions?
    They call me "Mr. Mixte"

  2. #2
    Seņor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    Sunshine Pro-Ams get my vote - at least among vintage hubs.
    The search for inner peace continues...

  3. #3
    blah onetwentyeight's Avatar
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    Suntour Superbe Pro Track, in my opinion.

  4. #4
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    Suntour,best value for your money.

  5. #5
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    I have a bunch of Japanese hubs on wheels that are 20 and 25 years old. Most of them are still as good as new, with a minimum of upkeep. It might be easier for create a list of "bad" Japanese hubs than to create a list of good ones.

  6. #6
    Vello Kombi, baby Poguemahone's Avatar
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    Suntour really wasn't a hub maker. I believe all the later Suntour badged hubs were actually Sunshines, although I could be wrong on this. I agree with USAZ on the Sunshine pro-ams; they are amazing and undervalued hubs.
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/japan.html#sansin
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  7. #7
    blah onetwentyeight's Avatar
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    sansin/shunshine suzue and suntour all came out of the same molds. there are some differences in their design (ie my suntours are sealed looseball, while the sunshine njs hub i had did not). all 3 made some good hubs.

  8. #8
    Vello Kombi, baby Poguemahone's Avatar
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    At the time Superbe came out, Shimano had been doing quite well selling unified groups, and the loose consortium of manufacturers competing with them (Dia Compe/SR/Suntour/Sashin/MKS) felt the need for a cohesive road group, hence the unified groups under the Suntour Superbe and Cyclone names. Manufacture of the parts were left to individual manufacturers, even though they were all badged as Suntours. The hubs were Sanshin, cranks Sakae Ringyo, etc. Such is my understanding, anyhoo. Every sunshine I've had is loose ball. I'm not even certain they are still about, frankly, so I cant pretend much expertise...

    While we're on the subject of vintage Japanese hubs, the early Shimano Dura-Ace hubs are really, really nice as well. I'm pretty certain if you blindfolded me and had me spin Dura-Ace, Sunshine pro-ams, Normandy Luxe Comps, and Campy Record, I wouldn't have the slightest clue which was which. The Sunshines and the Dura-Aces were both available in a really cool black, though. Style points are henceforth awarded.
    "It's always darkest right before it goes completely black"

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  9. #9
    blah onetwentyeight's Avatar
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    ive seen several brightly colored anodized old dura ace hubs, too. a tip of the hat to the bmx crowd, i suppose.

  10. #10
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Never cared for the finish on Sunshine hubs - dull and corrode too easily. They spin good though. Suzues are also decent, but have similar poor finishes.

    -Kurt

  11. #11
    lurking nightrider LittleGinseng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAZorro
    Sunshine Pro-Ams get my vote - at least among vintage hubs.
    +1
    Those hubs are beautifully anodized. I was lucky enough to score an NOS high-flanged 32 hole set about a week ago from a seller in the UK. They are the second set I've scored since April '04. Gotta say they are my favorite too.
    "If there hadn't been women we'd still be squatting in a cave eating raw meat, because we made civilization in order to impress our girl friends. And they tolerated it and let us go ahead and play with our toys."Orson Wells

  12. #12
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    Haven't had the oportunity to inspect/use a set of these sunshines but I am impressed by the superbe pros I have. and they would get my vote. I must say that the early Dura-Ace Hi-flange were pretty cool. My friend has a set and I am finding it impossibly to get them from him even with the 27" rims (which he dispises) that are laced to them. Guess I shouldn't be so greedy.
    Superbe Pro gets my vote (or the sunshine hub which they really are?).
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  13. #13
    Wrench Savant balindamood's Avatar
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    I have some '75 Dura Ace hubs off a bike which sat in a field for 15 years. Rusted to hell and back, but still roll smoother than many new hubs I've seen.

    I'm not a fan of DA, but I was impressed.
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  14. #14
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    My '87 Bianchi has Specialized hubs (w/cartridge bearings). Who made these?

  15. #15
    lurking nightrider LittleGinseng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amyd
    My '87 Bianchi has Specialized hubs (w/cartridge bearings). Who made these?
    Specialized and Suntour hubs were manufactured by Sanshin Matsumoto Works Co., LTD. They also produced the easier to remember "Sunshine" hubs.
    Last edited by LittleGinseng; 12-27-06 at 04:45 AM.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member classic1's Avatar
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    I've got old (70's) Dura Ace high flange track and Superbe Pro track (mid 80's). All are fantastic hubs, easily as good as the Campagnolo Super Record track hubs and Zeus hubs I also have.

  17. #17
    cycletician
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    Where does Shimano Crane fit in here? I heard somewhere they were pretty decent quality for the day, true or no?
    Sfene

  18. #18
    Senior Member classic1's Avatar
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    Crane = Dura Ace. From about 1975 IIRC

  19. #19
    cycletician
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    Thanx

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888
    Never cared for the finish on Sunshine hubs - dull and corrode too easily.-Kurt
    You can't be talking about the Pro-Ams. Mine have been in continuous use on various bikes since '77 and are still the best looking hubs I own. (and that includes Campi and 1st gen Dura-Ace.) Those early D-As are probably equivalent quality to the Pro-Ams though. I think every major Japanese maker had excellent hubs at the top of the line.

    Got some older Specialized that are smooth as butter too.

  21. #21
    Vello Kombi, baby Poguemahone's Avatar
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    I think "Crane" was only used on the first generation Dura Ace rear derailleur, but as usual, am a bit uncertain. Most of this is due to the fact I generally start to figure out stuff as I run across it... early Shimano derailleurs were named for birds "Lark," "Eagle," etc. When they introdued Dura-ace in 1973, "Crane" was the derailleur, keeping with the ornithilogical trend. Not sure when they just became "Dura-ace".

    Plus one on the finish of the pro-ams. I've several pair, and they're all still nice, despite some horrid abuse.
    "It's always darkest right before it goes completely black"

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  22. #22
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    I have two bikes with Sunshine hubs, one set of which is marked SANSIN, not Sanshin. Very nice hubs! Of course I'm easily impressed, lol.,,,,BD
    "Whale. Oil. Beef. Hooked!" The Rumjacks

  23. #23
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MnHPVA Guy
    You can't be talking about the Pro-Ams.
    That is correct.

    -Kurt

  24. #24
    alk
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    speaking of older japanese hubs, i recently bought an older superbe pro wheelset. seller said it was built up but never ridden, and it looks pretty clean. the hubs are mid-80s superbe pros, and they are laced to araya aero 4 tubulars.

    they were originally advertised as 32h, but as it turns out they are both 28h. that doesn't bother me, since i am skinny (130 pounds or so). what does concern me a little is the fact that the front is radially laced. i've heard that radial lacing doesn't always play nice with these hubsets. anyone have experience with this? should i relace them?

  25. #25
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    alk...your going to open a can of worms on the radial lacing bit. At 130lbs I wouldnt worry about it. ride those wheels and enjoy!!!!

    My vote is for the very hubs you have, Suntour Superbe Pro. They have bearing races and cones equal to the best Campy and Dura-Ace of its day.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

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