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Old 06-02-03, 10:31 AM   #1
stumpjumper
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Latest find, and a Suntour question...

Hey yall.. Wow, went garage sale'ing this weekend and picked up a very pretty metallic light blue Schwinn Traveler from about 1989-1991 or so with full True-Temper 4130 lugged tubing and Suntour components for fifteen bucks! Yay me! (garage sales rock.)

Question about something strange that occurred to me. The bike has Suntour deraileurs, marked as "ar5000" or possably "ax5000" (the 'a' and the 'x' or 'r' run together and are hard to make out.) I have a set of brakes of the same vintage that are the exact same model, but are made by Dia-Compe from a similiar bike. The 'ax5000' is exactly the same on both brands of component. Weird.

Is this some sort of joint thing between Dia-Compe and Suntour in the early 90's, some kind of weird hybrid, or just a bizzarre coincidence (which is unlikely given the state of patent infringement lawsuits methinks.)? Very interested to know.
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Old 06-02-03, 11:43 AM   #2
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I remember many bikes in the early 90s and late 80s that had Suntour drivetrain mechs with Dai-Compe brakes and Sugino cranks. I believe this was because Suntour didn't have a brakeset and Dia-Compe wasn't making drivetrain components. That seemed to be the standard spec for those bikes that weren't full Shimano. I had a Specialized HardRock that was spec'ed that way. BTW, is it me or did the low-end components on MTBs up till ten years ago seem better comparitavely to the low-end components you find on today's bikes?
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Old 06-02-03, 12:34 PM   #3
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It is an Alpha (lower case).

I had this groupo on an old Trek 330.

I liked the components but nothing special. It was a touring bike.
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Old 06-02-03, 12:43 PM   #4
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Yup. They even ran joint ads in the bicycling magazines.
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Old 06-02-03, 02:03 PM   #5
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Yup. They even ran joint ads in the bicycling magazines.
Very interesting! I cant say I'ver ever seen two companies share a model or model name like that. I doubt we'll see anything like that with current manufacturers.
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Old 06-02-03, 06:28 PM   #6
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Suntour only made derailleurs, cassettes, and maybe shifters. Everything else they bought from other companies.
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Old 06-02-03, 06:50 PM   #7
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My '83 Fuji road bike came with Dia Comp brakes, Sugino crank and chainrings and Sun Tour shifters/derailleurs. Sounds like we're on to something.

Nice haul stumpjumper.
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Old 06-02-03, 07:32 PM   #8
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I know the two other big 'S' companies usually teamed up against Shimano, bringing in Dia-Compe to round out a bike with brakes in the 70's and 80's, but I've never actually seen a complete gruppo span more than one company. Its like running in to a bike with Shimano Ultegra drivetrain and a set of Dia-Compe Ultegra brakes 0.o

Ah well! Live and learn, right?
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Old 06-03-03, 06:54 AM   #9
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trek mountain bikes of the late 80's and early 90's ran this combo. i still have it on my trek 830.
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Old 06-03-03, 08:23 AM   #10
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trek mountain bikes of the late 80's and early 90's ran this combo. i still have it on my trek 830.
Your trek 830 has the dia-compe/Suntour a5000 road group?? Interesting....
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Old 06-03-03, 02:02 PM   #11
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When I worked at Bikecology (now www.Supergo.com) in the early 1970s, Japanese and some other frame makers tended to specify their new models either with a Shimano groupo or with a DiaCompe - Sugino - SunTour combination. The latter three companies did have a strong marketing alliance and shared a common distribution channel in the U.S.
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Old 06-03-03, 07:45 PM   #12
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Originally posted by cycletourist
Suntour only made derailleurs, cassettes, and maybe shifters. Everything else they bought from other companies.
Suntour made at one time, shifters, derailleurs, brakes, brake levers, cranks, bottom brackets, headsets, pedals, freewheels, and hubs.
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Old 06-04-03, 12:54 AM   #13
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I own (in total disrepair) a 82 Schwinn Traveller. It use to have the Suntour 5000 derailleur system, the model should be AG not AR or AX, and those 5000 derailleurs were last made in 83. I threw away my 5000's and replaced them with a set of Suntour VGT derailleurs from 1977 because they were mid range and I took those off a wrecked Trek in 84 since they worked better then the 5000. My brakes are from DiaComp and the crank is still Sugino . The wheels and hubs are now gone so I can't remember who made those but I thought the hubs were Sunshine.

This is a light touring bike, nothing special, but you only paid $20 so not bad if it's in good shape. I am very slowly restoring mine so I can either tour on it or sell it.
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Old 06-04-03, 05:20 AM   #14
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Like Hunter said ST made groupsets. For many the Superbe Pro was as good as it got back in the friction shifting days whether you were looking at Asian, French or even Italian made components.

Many makers specced a SunTour/DiaCompe/Sugino mix. This might have been to keep the price lower compared to using a full Shimano set or the higher end ST Cyclone or Superbe set.

I always thought the ST 5000 drivetrain was one of their indexing groups. A bike from 89-91 should have indexed derailleurs. Nice bike at a great price! Yes, garage sales can be wonderful.
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Old 06-04-03, 07:06 AM   #15
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i switched it out long ago before i had a road bike. the LBS put it on after the stock suntour broke.
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Old 06-04-03, 07:57 AM   #16
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The alpha 5000 was indeed indexed. I think it was six speed. That was my first indexed shifter and it was nice.

The components were good (but not great!) but the Trek 330 frame was 531 steel and way too flexy. I could make the rear derailer change gears from the torque applied during a climb.
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