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  1. #1
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    Vintage Suntour clearly bests vintage Campy

    I have now jumped on the vintage Suntour bandwagon. I can't help but love the weight feel and look of the Suntour Cycle derailleur. It is clearly a better shifting lighter derailleur than the old Campagnolo record of the same era. Even the Suntour clamp on shifters are better.

    My uncle gave me a beat up old motobecane and I noticed it had Suntour clamp on thumb shifters that had white plastic covers like the Campy design. The main difference is the action was a helluva lot less clunky. I will be getting rid of my Campy shifters...soon.

    I sure am glad Suntour parts are still a good value today.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    SunTour Cyclone is still a good value(cheap), but the Superbe stuff is getting spendy.
    visit my homebuilding blog: www.monoplanar.blogspot.com

  3. #3
    Ho-Jahm Hocam's Avatar
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    That's funny, I always felt like the machining of the cogs had more influence on shifting than the actual shifters and derailers.
    Race-o-meter:
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  4. #4
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    Infinitely more than the shifters, for certain. All friction shifters are pretty much alike, barring the plastic ones, which you can snap neatly, or Simplex Retrofriction and the like, which are a bit different. I'd be amazed if you could tell the difference between Campy and Suntour shifters, if they were connected to the same derailleurs and freewheel.

  5. #5
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sammyboy View Post
    I'd be amazed if you could tell the difference between Campy and Suntour shifters, if they were connected to the same derailleurs and freewheel.
    Until you look down.
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
    IRO Angus Casati Gold Line

  6. #6
    "Purgatory Central" Wino Ryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by el twe View Post
    Until you look down.



    yep

    love my 'syncro 2's
    ~ "I like the way the brake cables come out of the top of the levers and loop around to the brake calipers!...I like those downtube shifters too!...No no no, don't take 'em off, don't take 'em off,...leave 'em on, leave 'em on! - Thats right baby!!

    ~BF - Steel Club Member #00051

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    I like Rocky Road ice cream.

  8. #8
    FSU Bulldogs Red Wave pv0463's Avatar
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    A while ago I updated my wife's bike (a Raleigh road bike with Reynolds 531 tubes) to an index-shifting setup--yes, it was a long time ago. The original equipment was something by Suntour, and the upgrade was Suntour Superbe Pro: rear cogs (I think it's still a freewheel), deraileur, and shifters. Sounds like I did a good thing. Of course the bike is stored in the garage collecting dust particles....

  9. #9
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    I like Pie
    Sono pił lento di quel che sembra.
    Odio la gente, tutti.

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  10. #10
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ollo_ollo View Post
    SunTour Cyclone is still a good value(cheap), but the Superbe stuff is getting spendy.
    Word.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  11. #11
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    I like pie with ice cream!
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  12. #12
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Still won't look as nice

    That said, anyone game to do some dremel and polishing work on any combination of Suntour parts to make a Campagnoloized-look gruppo?

    -Kurt

  13. #13
    hunter, gatherer coelcanth's Avatar
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    did you see that superbe pro rear derailleur end on ebay today @ $7.50 ?

    not bad !

    Quote Originally Posted by ollo_ollo View Post
    SunTour Cyclone is still a good value(cheap), but the Superbe stuff is getting spendy.

  14. #14
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    it's the quality of campy that makes us love it... you find a 1970 nuovo record derailleur and it's tight and the spring is strong (well sometimes they wear out).

    Campy breaks in while shimano (suntour) break down.

    I haven't had the pleasure of meeting superbe's acquaintance, but I have come across too many cyclone RD's with worn out springs and sloppy pivots (and therefore worked like crap). Granted the slant parallelogram makes early suntour the best shifting derailleur.
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  15. #15
    The Recycled Cycler markwebb's Avatar
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    I can remember back in the summer of '74. I had ridden my first Century in May (Vandenberg, now called the Solvang Century) on platforms/ no toe clips, and with the original plastic Simplex derailleurs that came with my UO-8. I saved up about $30 as I recall and bought a new Suntour rear derailleur and bar end shifters. I leaned bike up against the wall in my parents garage and installed the new stuff with a set of 4 wrenches and a few screwdrivers. I then wrapped bars with black cloth tape (the new cable housings for bar end shifters made me invest in a new roll of tape) and then I was set, let me tell you. I went Suntour because I could not afford the Campy at the time. The Suntour worked great. I even invested in a set of toe clips and black Italian leather cleated shoes.

    Never even considered Campy - the only time I saw that stuff was on the Paramounts and Italian frames I passed while climbing in races
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] Check Out My Gal - Folk Singer Molly McCormack : http://www.mollymccormack.com

  16. #16
    Senior Member russdog63's Avatar
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    My old Holdsworth, that I newly converted to a cyclocross, has a mix of Superbe Pro and Campy Record components.



    It has been ridden hard and the components have been used hard. I hope to get another 20 plus years of use out of this bike. The brakes are campy record. I like them over Superbe because the calipers are stiffer, the springs are stiffer, and it has the best barrel adjuster ever made. I like the Superbe Pro derailleurs. These are the last generation before index. They shift as well as any I have used. The sealed bearing pulleys are the smoothest you will ever find. I also have a set of first generation index Superbe Pro derailleurs. They are some of the most beautiful derailleurs ever as well as being some of the nicest made.
    If 80's steel was good enough for Hinault, Moser, Kelly, Roche, Lemond and Anderson then I need to prove my worthiness of it on a daily basis.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclotoine View Post
    Campy breaks in while shimano (suntour) break down.

    I have only found a handful of truly broken/loose Japanese components. Most their ills can be cured by a quick soak in solvent and a re-lube. I've had some REALLY gummed up and ugly derailleurs shift and look like new after a little maintenance? You can ride anything in grit and wet conditions long enough and it will wear out.,,,,BD
    The one good thing about black cork wrap is that it's better than nothing.

  18. #18
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    My experience is that Campy wears out at the same speed as everything of comparable quality, so the high end Suntour and Shimano kit. We love it because it's Campy, if we're at all honest.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sammyboy View Post
    My experience is that Campy wears out at the same speed as everything of comparable quality, so the high end Suntour and Shimano kit.
    Over the years,my own experience has been quite the opposite. I've always found that Campagnolo's aluminum alloys, anodizings,platings and bearing surfaces are consistantly tougher, stiffer, more durable and reliable than those of the top line Suntour or Shimano equivalents.To this day, I'm still using on a regular basis,Campy Nuovo Valentino & Nuovo Gran Sport, Nuovo and Super Record derailleurs, Record headsets, chainrings,hubs, pedals, cranksets & btm-bkts purchased new in the mid to late 70's.Concurrently, nearly every one of the Superbe Pro, Dura Ace & Crane equivalent components I owned simply wore out or showed significant wear with far fewer miles before they were eventually retired or sold. Where Suntour and Shimano gear excelled was in innovation and particularly shifting ease and smoothness that weren't(some would say have yet to be) matched by Campagnolo until modern times.
    Last edited by caterham; 11-20-07 at 01:58 AM.

  20. #20
    juneeaa memba!
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwebb View Post
    I can remember back in the summer of '74. I had ridden my first Century in May (Vandenberg, now called the Solvang Century) on platforms/ no toe clips, and with the original plastic Simplex derailleurs that came with my UO-8. I saved up about $30 as I recall and bought a new Suntour rear derailleur and bar end shifters. I leaned bike up against the wall in my parents garage and installed the new stuff with a set of 4 wrenches and a few screwdrivers. I then wrapped bars with black cloth tape (the new cable housings for bar end shifters made me invest in a new roll of tape) and then I was set, let me tell you. I went Suntour because I could not afford the Campy at the time. The Suntour worked great. I even invested in a set of toe clips and black Italian leather cleated shoes.

    Never even considered Campy - the only time I saw that stuff was on the Paramounts and Italian frames I passed while climbing in races
    In the end, its always the motor that makes the bike go. but isn't it cool, now, that this stuff is still laying around to play with!

  21. #21
    juneeaa memba!
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    Quote Originally Posted by caterham View Post
    Over the years,my own experience has been quite the opposite. I've always found that Campagnolo's aluminum alloys, anodizings,platings and bearing surfaces are consistantly tougher, stiffer, more durable and reliable than those of the top line Suntour or Shimano equivalents.To this day, I'm still using on a regular basis,Campy Nuovo Valentino & Nuovo Gran Sport, Nuovo and Super Record derailleurs, Record headsets, chainrings,hubs, pedals, cranksets & btm-bkts purchased new in the mid to late 70's.Concurrently, nearly every one of the Superbe Pro, Dura Ace & Crane equivalent components I owned simply wore out or showed significant wear with far fewer miles before they were eventually retired or sold. Where Suntour and Shimano gear excelled was in innovation and particularly shifting ease and smoothness that weren't(some would say have yet to be) matched by Campagnolo until modern times.
    That has been my experience too. I have a bootload of campy junk and only one worn-out derailleur in the lot. I can't imagine the number of miles and/or horrible conditions that that derailleur must have suffered...I am thinking that I can make the same claims about the later versions of Dura Ace, though. That stuff seems to last forever as well (and it should, considering the cost...)

  22. #22
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    My personal experience, for what it's worth.

    Front derailleurs: Campagnolo NR and SunTour Cyclone are comparable and very good, but having broken a SunTour at the mounting clamp, I give the edge to the Italians on craftsmanship and durability.

    Rear deraillerus: I concur with Frank Berto regarding overshift in the Campagnolo NR, but one quickly learns how to compensate automatically.

    Shifters: My ca. 1970 SunTour downtube levers, with their plastic inserts, were very difficult to tension just right for easy shifting without unintended upshifts. Campagnolo levers from the same vintage tend to require much less frequent retensioning.

    Cogsets: I typically run 2-tooth progressions with an SRAM PC-58 chain. My least-favorite freewheels is my ca. 1980 Regina America 13-15-17-19-21-23. Upshifts are fast and crisp, but downshifts are occasionally slow, and I can sometimes (fortunately, rarely) skate the chain over the tops of the teeth on the 19T or 17T cog. I have an otherwise comparable standard 6-speed 14-16-18-20-23-26 SunTour Winner unit on the Bianchi, with the same chain and also with a Campagnolo parallelogram rear derailleur, and I greatly prefer the SunTour.

    Chains: I use SRAM PC-58 exclusively and have a stash of spares and no plans to change.

    Hubsets: A look at the cones and races of my 1960 Campagnolo NR units is enough to make anyone a believer -- Campagnolo bearing surfaces are accurately machined and extremely durable. The first owner had neglected maintenance in a way which would have damaged Normandy hubs severely, but these Campagnolo hubs have cleaned up beautifully, and the axles spin smoothly and easily with new ball bearings on the old cones and races.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbakl View Post
    I like Rocky Road ice cream.
    Orange & Chocolate Chip.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by tspoon View Post
    Orange & Chocolate Chip.
    I have to admit, when I started riding back in the early 70s, Campagnolo was what we aspired to obtain. Once I acquired it, I never looked back. I build a few bikes with Japanese components back in the day, including the original Suntour Cyclone rear (without the black paint BTW), and although it worked fine, it just wasn't the same. But I think its just what you get used to, or what your mind tells you to believe, or maybe I'm just a snob. The Japanese stuff is really nice, it just never interested me, and French stuff even less.

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