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  1. #1
    not actually Nickatina andre nickatina's Avatar
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    Current 105 group vs. Suntour Superbe group from the 80's

    Which would come out on top in terms of performance, weight and durability?

  2. #2
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by andre nickatina View Post
    Which would come out on top in terms of performance, weight and durability?
    The beauty goes to SunTour. Current mfg's just don't polish their parts the way they used to. Even current Campy isn't as slick as the old NR or SR stuff.

    Performance is subjective though. If the old SunTour was that good, they would still be in business today. So, SunTour is out of business and Shimano isn't, that kind of ends that argument.


    Tim
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    Quote Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
    If the old SunTour was that good, they would still be in business today. So, SunTour is out of business and Shimano isn't, that kind of ends that argument.
    Tim
    With all due respect, anyone who embraces this argument likely flaunts an MBA in economics from wikipedia.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andre nickatina View Post
    Which would come out on top in terms of performance, weight and durability?
    Hard to compare.

    Not even compatible! For the same frame, they might not even be comparable. 105 requires 130 mm dropouts and Suntour was from the 126 age.

    Function? Modern Shimano indexing is essentially flawless at least when new, and Suntour was mainly from the pre-indexing age.

    Ergonomics? downtube or bar-end versus brifters?

    Performance? you think bearing friction can be compared? non-aero brake levers versus brifters?

    What are you really trying to understand here?

    Road Fan

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    The new stuff wins for weight. That's all I would give it. The point of modern manufacturing seems to be making things last for a set amount of time, then break. Like OEM brake rotors for my truck, they warp in about 25,000 miles, yet some decent aftermarket models have lasted about three years now. Will these new parts still be around in 2028? Highly doubtful. Too much plastic, and planned obsolescence. Meanwhile I am still using many 20+ year old parts on all my bikes. Suntour was good, and was competing with a company much bigger than them. That's something to think about! They just didn't move fast enough with fixes for problems and new products. Same thing that happened to Schwinn with MTB's. They thought it was a passing fad, and it was their downfall.,,,,,BD

    Required reading for anyone into vintage bikes.


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    Senior Member classic1's Avatar
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    105 for performance and weight. Probably the best value groupset on the market. Superbe for durability, except for their bottom brackets, which had crap seals. But your not comparing apples with apples. Sun Tour Superbe hasn't been made for what, 15 years?

    When in the 80's are you talking about?. Late 80's? Sun Tour Superbe is beautifully finished. The brakes are possibly the pinnacle of sidepull brake design, and the rear derailluer is a contender for best ever. But times have moved on. I'd love a late 80's Colnago Master (Superconfex red) with Superbe Pro. but not to race on. It would be a sunny sunday bike, a toy.

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    CroMosexual purevl's Avatar
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    To the people saying that the 105 stuff is lighter can i ask where are you getting your information? According to weight weenies Suntour wins every time they have a listing for both 105 and Superbe. Brifters, especially middle of the road brifters are heavy pieces of equipment. They don't usually compare favorably with the weight of separate brake levers and shifters. Especially if he has a group with freehubs i really think he would gain weight by switching. A lot of components are getting heavier not lighter.

    If you want to get rid of the Superbe stuff i'll take it off your hands it's pretty awful what with it's gorgeous appearance, solid reliability and amazing construction tolerances.

  8. #8
    SNARKY MEMBER CardiacKid's Avatar
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    I vote for the '72 Dolphins.

  9. #9
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    If you're a real weight weenie check out Suntour's Cyclone Mark II rear derailleur.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mhendricks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
    The beauty goes to SunTour. Current mfg's just don't polish their parts the way they used to. Even current Campy isn't as slick as the old NR or SR stuff.

    Performance is subjective though. If the old SunTour was that good, they would still be in business today. So, SunTour is out of business and Shimano isn't, that kind of ends that argument.


    Tim
    Tim. I'd have to disagree with you on this. Suntour went out of business for a lot of reasons. Failed to Market with index shifting because their first attempt failed. That was mostly due to the lack of engineering resources on their part. By the time they fixed it Shimano had already taken market share. Last thing why Superbe Pro isn't around is when SR bought them out, all the Superbe Pro tooling was destroyed. There are other reasons too but let's get to the subject. Suntour Superbe Pro probably IMHO (early 80's to late 80's) was the sweetest group you could have. Shifting was flawless and the group as a whole was on par with Campy. The Suntour Superbe Hubs were some of the best made. So to try and compare this to Shimano 105 would be ridiculous. I've had several bikes outfitted with Superbe/Superbe Pro groups and wouldn't settle for anything else and I have Campy on my New Orbea.
    They call me "Mr. Mixte"

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    The braking and shifting on the 1986ish Superbe is fast, smooth, light and precise, compared to the heavy, "clunky" feel of 2007 STI braking and shifting. How long will Superbe components last? Well, I've got a bunch of Sun Tour components that work like new after twenty years, and I see no reason that won't last another twenty years.

    When ever I read that someone wants to "upgrade" their 1986 or 1988 bike with 2007 components, I find myself thinking "that is NOT an upgrade..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston View Post
    The braking and shifting on the 1986ish Superbe is fast, smooth, light and precise, compared to the heavy, "clunky" feel of 2007 STI braking and shifting. How long will Superbe components last? Well, I've got a bunch of Sun Tour components that work like new after twenty years, and I see no reason that won't last another twenty years.

    When ever I read that someone wants to "upgrade" their 1986 or 1988 bike with 2007 components, I find myself thinking "that is NOT an upgrade..."
    Brifters are pretty nifty. That being said, I think I might settle with bar ends.

    I was doing the Superbe VS. Mordern 105 debate for my '84 trek 7600 and now I just don't want to mess with anything except maybe bar ends.

  13. #13
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston View Post
    The braking and shifting on the 1986ish Superbe is fast, smooth, light and precise, compared to the heavy, "clunky" feel of 2007 STI braking and shifting.
    Clunky? You've never used it, then. I love my Suntour Superbe, but modern Campy shifting is anything but clunky. It may weigh more that the old style stuff, but it is very smooth, precise, fast, and quiet.

    And you can't compare dual pivot with single side pulls for function. The dual pivots are WAY better.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

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  14. #14
    CroMosexual purevl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston View Post
    .......heavy, "clunky" feel of 2007 STI braking and shifting......
    Quote Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
    Clunky? You've never used it, then. I love my Suntour Superbe, but modern Campy shifting is anything but clunky.
    STI=Shimano

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    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purevl View Post
    STI=Shimano
    Oops - got me there.

    BUT - I have a Shimano Ultegra equipped bike as well, and it isn't what I'd call "clunky" either. Far from it.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

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    Suntour all the way! The Superbe is one hot group. Stock up brake hoods if you can afford them. Are you planning on buying a Suntour group or you already have it? If you already own the Suntour group then use it and ride it till it doesn't work anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoreFeet View Post
    Suntour all the way! The Superbe is one hot group. Stock up brake hoods if you can afford them. Are you planning on buying a Suntour group or you already have it? If you already own the Suntour group then use it and ride it till it doesn't work anymore.
    Haha, I wish I had the original hoods on mine. The weinmann hoods it came with are weird and squishy. Ewww!!!

  18. #18
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mhendricks View Post
    Tim. I'd have to disagree with you on this. Suntour went out of business for a lot of reasons. Failed to Market with index shifting because their first attempt failed. That was mostly due to the lack of engineering resources on their part. By the time they fixed it Shimano had already taken market share. Last thing why Superbe Pro isn't around is when SR bought them out, all the Superbe Pro tooling was destroyed. There are other reasons too but let's get to the subject. Suntour Superbe Pro probably IMHO (early 80's to late 80's) was the sweetest group you could have. Shifting was flawless and the group as a whole was on par with Campy. The Suntour Superbe Hubs were some of the best made. So to try and compare this to Shimano 105 would be ridiculous. I've had several bikes outfitted with Superbe/Superbe Pro groups and wouldn't settle for anything else and I have Campy on my New Orbea.
    No one said that SunTour wasn't any good. They went out of business because they were undercapitalized. No money means no innovation. Shimano had deep pockets and left everyone else in the dust, SunTour and Campy included. I'm always amazed at how Campy survived the Shimano onslaught and SunTour didn't. SunTour's groups were on par with Campy for less money.

    The market is truly fickle.


    Tim
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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  19. #19
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    I would say Suntour if it is period correct for your bike. I'm VERY slowly piecing together their track groupo for my fixed gear. Have the hubs (which are widely considered to be the best track hubs ever made) and the crankset. The rest of the bits are the really hard ones to find =/

  20. #20
    Extra Medium Member redtires's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
    No one said that SunTour wasn't any good. They went out of business because they were undercapitalized. No money means no innovation. Shimano had deep pockets and left everyone else in the dust, SunTour and Campy included. I'm always amazed at how Campy survived the Shimano onslaught and SunTour didn't. SunTour's groups were on par with Campy for less money.

    The market is truly fickle.


    Tim
    Uh...I believe you actually did say that in fact.

    Quote Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
    Performance is subjective though. If the old SunTour was that good, they would still be in business today. So, SunTour is out of business and Shimano isn't, that kind of ends that argument.
    Yes, SunTour did miss the boat on indexing, and that did have an effect on them. However, I would add that SunTour's whole vision was completely different than Shimano's. SunTour tended to design and build very well thought-out and expertly blueprinted components and systems. They tended to push for beauty and quality over quantity. Shimano on the other hand got a hold of a technology that they could use to knock Campy off it's nearly century long top spot in pro cycling. So when they started pumping out insane amounts of Dura-Ace into pro teams and out into the market (and spending mega-bucks to do it) it simply won out in the market. SunTour had no where to go. And besides, in reality, the first DA indexing groups were junk. It was a mass produced, under-developed, and ugly group that wore out quickly and had zero compatibility with any other product they made. It wasn't until AFTER Shimano had gobbled up the majority of the market that it started to make some real improvements any of their component lines.

    And anyways, I mean in reality, the comparison is just silly. I doubt that a pair of 105 brifters are going to be happily shifting down the road 15 or 20 years from now after being toured across a half-million miles. But you can see SunTour DT shifters doing that exact thing...today! I'm angry at myself for even being drawn into such a ludicrous comparison of two things that really are not comparable.

  21. #21
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtires View Post
    And anyways, I mean in reality, the comparison is just silly. I doubt that a pair of 105 brifters are going to be happily shifting down the road 15 or 20 years from now after being toured across a half-million miles.
    As long as were talking about reality, the reality is that for all practical applications, the 105 brifter might as well be thought of as indestructible over the average bike "lifetime" of service. Sure, there is a segment of the cycling population that puts on heavy miles, but I'd be surprised if the average cyclist rides 1,000 miles in a year. At that rate, they'll last a long, long time.

    So far, I've got over 6,000 miles on a set of Ultegra, and they function as-new. Ditto with the Campy shifters, with about 3,500 or so miles. Their longevity is something that I'm simply not worried about. Even if they don't go half a million miles before replacement, the superior performance and enjoyment they provide is more than worth the bother of replacing them every 20,000 miles or so - if, in fact, I have to.

    After all, how long does it take most of you to accumulate that kind of mileage. In reality, worrying about the "fragility" of the modern stuff is just a canard to use so we can argue about it. In reality, very few of us use our bikes long enough or hard enough to see that happen.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

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    Quote Originally Posted by redtires View Post
    ...Shimano on the other hand got a hold of a technology that they could use to knock Campy off it's nearly century long top spot in pro cycling. So when they started pumping out insane amounts of Dura-Ace into pro teams and out into the market (and spending mega-bucks to do it) it simply won out in the market. SunTour had no where to go. And besides, in reality, the first DA indexing groups were junk. It was a mass produced, under-developed, and ugly group that wore out quickly and had zero compatibility with any other product they made. It wasn't until AFTER Shimano had gobbled up the majority of the market that it started to make some real improvements any of their component lines.

    And anyways, I mean in reality, the comparison is just silly. I doubt that a pair of 105 brifters are going to be happily shifting down the road 15 or 20 years from now after being toured across a half-million miles. But you can see SunTour DT shifters doing that exact thing...today! I'm angry at myself for even being drawn into such a ludicrous comparison of two things that really are not comparable.
    You totally overestimate Campagnolo's dominance. Campagnolo got into the manufacturing side only about 50 years prior to SIS. Even in the early years the top spot was shared with different manufacturers until the 1950s when they developed a clear edge.

    As for Shimano, if you look at the pro teams, you'll find that Campagnolo was still the leader through the late 1980s even after SIS was introduced. The shift really started after the introduction of STI, but I would never say that Shimano starting pumping insane amounts into pro teams. If anybody was guilty of that, it was Campagnolo.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but there are many people out there that like the looks of Dura-Ace 7400. And it was far from junk. In my two decades on Dura-Ace 7400 I've had less failures than my two decades on Campagnolo's Record/Nuovo Record.

    But back the OP's original question. Personally, I would take modern 105 on a performance basis. Brifters are more convenient and safer. HyperGlide allows shifting under load and having more gears are always nice. The brakes are easier to modulate and more powerful. For the technically challenged, it offers such amenities as maintenance-free cartridge bottom brackets.The OP didn't say if it's up against an AccuShift Superbe group, but either way I'd give the nod to 105. Indexing is more accurate than friction and there can be problems finding replacements for AccuShift.

    Superbe would get the nod for reliability, provided it's not AccuShift, simply on the basis of less complexity.

    I haven't compared weights, but it wouldn't suprise me if 105 was lighter.

  23. #23
    Wrench Savant balindamood's Avatar
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    I thought this was the classic and vintage forum. Why is there even a debate?
    "Where you come from is gone;
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  24. #24
    Senior Member sykerocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikedued View Post
    Will these new parts still be around in 2028? Highly doubtful. Too much plastic, and planned obsolescence. Meanwhile I am still using many 20+ year old parts on all my bikes.
    Keep in mind all the Simplex Prestige dťrailleurs still out there. And they still work just fine (if not too worn out, of course). Plastic itself is not an automatic guarantee of shoddiness.

    I have a feeling that twenty years from now, we'll still see a lot of 105, etc. components available for use. After all, the majority of bicycles sold never get the amount of use that they're designed for - not in America, anyway. Let the initial enthusiasm wear off, and it's dust bunnies hanging from the rafters.
    Syke

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  25. #25
    Senior Member sykerocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by balindamood View Post
    I thought this was the classic and vintage forum. Why is there even a debate?
    It's an interesting thought towards what will be classic, or at least available, components for bicycle restorers twenty years from now.
    Syke

    "No wonder we keep testing positive in their bicycle races. Everyone looks like they're full of testosterone when they're surrounded by Frenchmen." ---Argus Hamilton

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