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Old 07-11-14, 12:48 PM   #1
fender1
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Suntour Roller Cam Brakes: Heirarchy?

Anyonr familiar with the heirachy of the different Suntour Roller Cam models? I am working on a set attached to a 1988, Schwinn High Sierra (Brown/White color scheme) and remember that the last pair I worked on, had brass rollers. This one has rollesr made from resin/plastic.
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Old 07-11-14, 01:09 PM   #2
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According to Museum of Mountain Bike Art & Technology (mombat.org) they switched from the derlin plastic to brass rollers in 1985. See SunTour mountain bike history here.

""New XC group introduced in late 1984 for the 1985 model year (see magazine article above from December 1984): Brass pulley were retrofitted to brakes with plastic rollers. Suntour sales peak with 26 different rear derailleurs. Shimano introduces SIS index shifting with Dura-Ace components (road).

http://www.mombat.org/Suntour.htm

Accd to the site looks like they returned to Derlin plastic. Other changes had mostly to do with the tension spring going from outside the brake arms to internal springs.

Last edited by Velocivixen; 07-11-14 at 01:16 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 07-11-14, 01:28 PM   #3
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D'oh! meant 1986! Thanks velo-v. Just wondering if some models were considered better than others?
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Old 07-11-14, 01:39 PM   #4
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The vintage trek site has date codes for popular brands of components. It will help to date your component & sometimes the bike if you're not sure (only works if original parts on bike). SunTour date codes involved two letters: first letter is the year with N as 1971, and the second letter is the month code with A being January. Here's some more leisure reading for you.

Date of Manufacture of Bicycle Components can be used to date a bike: component dating

http://www.vintage-trek.com/component_dates.htm#suntour

Last edited by Velocivixen; 07-11-14 at 01:40 PM. Reason: link didn't work
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Old 07-11-14, 02:55 PM   #5
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The Delrin rollers were replaced by Brass because of a voluntary SunTour recall. I remember receiving a case of them from SunTour, with Instructions to retrofit all of the bikes in our inventory and on all Customer bikes, whether they were purchased from us or not. I can't remember if it reached CPSC level, but we had them for quite a while until SunTour went belly up.

They also made good seat tube front derailleur pulleys!
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Old 07-11-14, 03:14 PM   #6
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I found out the hard way that the plastic rollers tend to self-destruct.
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Old 07-11-14, 03:22 PM   #7
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My 86 High Sierra has the brass roller models. I think there were modifications to the brake units as time went along- not so much different levels of the brake.

I guess if you want to see the Top Of The Line, check to see what came on the Cimarron, or what the big kids were speccing on their Paramountains.
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Old 07-11-14, 03:32 PM   #8
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Here's the roller cam on my 1986 Fuji Sundance under the chain stays. Easiest way to set those up was to flip the bike upside down.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_2275.jpg (91.0 KB, 33 views)
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Old 07-11-14, 04:04 PM   #9
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My Schwinn has a brass-roller RollerCam in front and a Shimano U-brake under the chainstays. I am delighted with both, but this does not answer your question.
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Old 07-11-14, 04:53 PM   #10
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I still remember the center to center spacing of the rollers... 33mm
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Old 07-11-14, 07:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
I still remember the center to center spacing of the rollers... 33mm
Yeah, I snagged the Suntour specific tool for set up for $5.00.
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Old 08-25-14, 07:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
Yeah, I snagged the Suntour specific tool for set up for $5.00.
I'm curious what that tool is... I've got a set of suntour rollercams for an 86 Mt. Fuji Ltd frame i picked up, but haven't put it together yet, and in fact I've never had rollercams before, so anything I should look out for?
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Old 08-25-14, 10:19 PM   #13
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I might have some of those rollers left, had a bunch of the brass and some brass/aluminum ones.
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Old 08-25-14, 11:49 PM   #14
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@itstom- the tool sort of looks like an Allen wrench in the shape of the letter "U" & the ends, center to center, were 33 mm apart. It holds the rollers at specific distance so you can use 2 hands to pull cable & tighten. I did it without that tool. If you note on my photo above the brass rollers fit of one set of holes on the arm - inner holes or outer holes. I used the setup instructions from Mombat.org and, for the life of me, I could not get all of the recommended distances to match what the instructions were saying they should be. I finally tried moving the rollers to the other set of mounting holes and the measurements on all counts lined up perfectly. I had to reread the instructions after a couple of days of letting it marinate before I fully understood what they were saying, so I went back for another try and it worked out better. Initially I was frustrated because, although I thought I understood, I really didn't.

so if they don't seem right the first time around, step away, reread in a couple of days then try again. Once they're dialed in they stop very well.
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Old 08-26-14, 01:50 AM   #15
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cool, thank you. that's exactly the sort of sage advice I was looking for Velocivixen!









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Old 08-26-14, 06:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itstom View Post
I'm curious what that tool is... I've got a set of suntour rollercams for an 86 Mt. Fuji Ltd frame i picked up, but haven't put it together yet, and in fact I've never had rollercams before, so anything I should look out for?
looks like this:

https://www.google.com/search?q=Sunt...92%3B640%3B480

As velocvixen states, it makes the set-up quite a bit easier.
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Old 08-26-14, 08:56 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocivixen View Post
@itstom- the tool sort of looks like an Allen wrench in the shape of the letter "U" & the ends, center to center, were 33 mm apart. It holds the rollers at specific distance so you can use 2 hands to pull cable & tighten. I did it without that tool.
Thanks very much for the info -- that tool is completely new to me. (This Forum is a great educational resource.) I just use a regular 3rd hand when I adjust the cable length.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocivixen View Post
Once they're dialed in they stop very well.
They are big, heavy, and bulky, but I agree that they are functionally superb.
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Old 08-26-14, 11:24 AM   #18
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@John E - yes, they're big, but they are unusual looking, most people don't know about them & they stop so well. Personally, I like my bikes to look a little "different" than the usual.
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