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  1. #1
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    Superbe v Superbe Pro

    can you fill me in here? what are key differences, what are the dates.......what is the relative value, how long to they last? I'm specifically referring to cranks. I have an opportunity to buy a superbe or a superbe pro crankset, without knowing the pricing yet, which do you think it better bang for buck?

    thanks. It's to go on a specialissima, originally a triple, but I can't hang with triple, too much Q


    h

  2. #2
    BEHOLD! THE MANTICORE! rotharpunc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shnishni View Post
    originally a triple, but I can't hang with triple, too much Q
    h
    what does that mean?

  3. #3
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    He means the pedals end up too far out for his comfort. Since this is the classic topic, we should call it "tread" which is what it used to be called before Grant Peterson started calling it "Q-factor" in the 90s (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/bridgest...ne-1991-13.htm).

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    Disraeli Gears Charles Wahl's Avatar
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    I'm not a Suntour expert by any means, but I don't think that components branded "Superbe" and "Superbe Pro" were marketed simultaneously. I think that it was probably just adding a bit of glam to the line. Superbe Pro was the latter years of production, while plain old Superbe was from the earlier ones. Their designs, at least appearance-wise, evolved quite a bit, but Shimano and even Campagnolo were doing this too in the 80s. In choosing Superbe stuff, I'd recommend choosing which year or two you want to use, and get stuff from relatively the same period; otherwise it will look mismatched. Function is supposed to be very good for the Suntour line -- some people even prefer Cyclone to Superbe, and it's almost always more affordable.

  5. #5
    Wrench Savant balindamood's Avatar
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    In the old days, Suntour did not directly 'Cascade' technology down the ranks of their offerings. Cyclone was their top group in the early 70's. When they came out with a 'better' group, it became Superbe in the mid-70's and stay there until about 1981 (and Cyclone remained virtually unchanged as their 2nd-best group). Superbe Pro came out about '81 with some new new twists (better). Superbe, again, basically unchanged from '76 became the 2nd best, and Cyclone, also basically unchaged, became the 3rd best. All this went out the window with indexed shifting in the mid to late '80's, with suddenly Superbe Pro became their top groups forever with the new innovations cascading like Shimano. Also, they mixed up the names of their line, with the last of the Cyclone/GT/ARX names dissapearing in favor of numbers and new names.

    Another note, Suntour did not really have a full 'grouppo'; i.e., one maker for everything, until the mid to late '80's. If you look at their offerings, some lessor items, like shifters, were common amoungst several levels of derailuers. In fact, I believe that their cranks, and certainly their brakes, and some other items were simply re-badged top-end offerings from other Japanese manufacturers (e.g. Dia-comps Royal Gran Comp brakes). This makes Suntour-spec'ed bikes before '85 or so sort of difficult to re-construct to OEM if you do not know specifically what they had originally. Indeed, I can recall at least 3 to 5 times that the brands we carried showed up with slightly different stuff that was in the catalog. With the differences on some older stuff simply beiong what name was cast/stamped on the part, this probably happened alot, and not just to the brands I sold at the time.

    We could debate ad nausium as to where their approach to groups and not cascading technology was a good thing or not. It is not the point. In my opinion, the early '80's Superbe and Superbe Pro remain as the best shifting/least fuss/most reliable friction drivetrain..ever. I do not want to argue about this as it is simply my opinion. However, the only folks to make a crappier first attempt at an indexed system was Campagnolo. Suntour had it dialed in by about '89 or so (it was at least as good as Shimano, maybe better), but it was too late, and those later groups were not spec'ed much on new bikes and are now harder to find.
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  6. #6
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    Suntour in addition to the gruppo comments above, Suntour was associated with several companies in the Kansai region of Japan, Sugino and Sunshine most prominently. Virtually all the Suntour branded cranks were actually manufactured by Sugino, while virtually all the hubs by Sunshine. In many, if not most cases, the similarities between Suntour branded components and the Sugino/Sunshine branded item is quite obvious. I'm not as sure of the brake connection, but it wouldn't surprise me.

    Also, things that are Superbe Pro are not always marked that way. For instance, I have a set of Superbe Pro brakes, very early ones, evidently. The calipers look exactly like the Superbe ones, and actually say "Superbe". The levers are a bit more modern looking. You would only know they are "Pro" because the box says they are. FWIW, I have a set of NOS Cyclone calipers from the same era and they are distinquishable only by some color differences and one plastic part where the superbe pro has metal. Full parts interchangeability, fwiw, at least for these two examples.

    One reason many may prefer cyclone is that Superbe never, to my knowledge, had a GT (i.e, long cage) derailleur, so good luck w/a triple. Maybe near the end... Plus, up until recently, Cyclone was sort of an undiscovered secret that a lot of it was basically Suntour's best, but didn't have the glitz/glamor of Superbe.

  7. #7
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    ok cool. I already have cyclone derailers, and royal gran comp center pulls. any idea what era the brakes are from? Its on a univega specialissima, I think the frame is pre 83 (no canti's). I guess an 80-82 cyclone double crank would be the best thing for me.......

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by robatsu View Post
    Suntour in addition to the gruppo comments above, Suntour was associated with several companies in the Kansai region of Japan, Sugino and Sunshine most prominently. Virtually all the Suntour branded cranks were actually manufactured by Sugino, while virtually all the hubs by Sunshine. In many, if not most cases, the similarities between Suntour branded components and the Sugino/Sunshine branded item is quite obvious. I'm not as sure of the brake connection, but it wouldn't surprise me.

    Also, things that are Superbe Pro are not always marked that way. For instance, I have a set of Superbe Pro brakes, very early ones, evidently. The calipers look exactly like the Superbe ones, and actually say "Superbe". The levers are a bit more modern looking. You would only know they are "Pro" because the box says they are. FWIW, I have a set of NOS Cyclone calipers from the same era and they are distinquishable only by some color differences and one plastic part where the superbe pro has metal. Full parts interchangeability, fwiw, at least for these two examples.
    Dia Compe was their brake connection. Sakae Ringyo was also in partnership (stems, seatposts, pedals, also cranks and hubs although these may have been made by Sugino and Sanshin/Sunshine for S.R.
    ).
    Superbe was marketed as, and even copied a lot of design elements from Campy NR. Superbe Pro was aligned like Campy SR. The Superbe Pro brakeset difference were the perforated brake levers, and the 'Pro' sticker on the same Superbe box.
    Superbe hubs copied Campy Record hubs, down to the oil ports. Crank was a NR copy.
    It wasn't until the full Superbe Pro group offering that they set themselves apart. The pedals, derailleurs, internal-springed calipers, cartridge hubs, aero-style crank, were all excellent designs.
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  9. #9
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    FYI, "sunshine" was some sort of americanization of the actual company name Sanshin, which was also sometimes romanized as Sansin.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacificaslim View Post
    FYI, "sunshine" was some sort of americanization of the actual company name Sanshin, which was also sometimes romanized as Sansin.
    FWIW, I've got a used set of Sunshine hubs and a NOS set of Suntour Vx, and they only differ in the branding marks. This is true for all sorts of Suntour components, like Suntour Superbe Cranks and Sugino Mighty, etc. Recently, the Suntour branded components are costing more, so seeking out the Sunshine/Sugino/Dia Compe et al equivalents is sometimes substantially cheaper if one is not so worried about branding issues, although the market seems to be catching up on this.

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