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Suntour Alpha 5000 on Vintage Bianchi

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Suntour Alpha 5000 on Vintage Bianchi

Old 05-17-19, 06:48 AM
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Suntour Alpha 5000 on Vintage Bianchi

A charity group I work with just received a vintage Bianchi Sport SX. I believe that is the entry point of the Bianchi line up back in the 80s. I think this is a 1987, I'll confirm that later. My question is, the bike has a complete Suntour Alpha 5000 groupo. Cranks, brakes, shifters, derailers and hubs are all labeled Alpha 5000. Is this a desirable group? Is it valuable? I'm asking because we usually sell road bikes to support the charity but the paint on this frame is toast (pealing, faded, spotted etc.) and the large size (63cm) makes it difficult to flip. I'm trying to figure out if we'd be better off stripping the Alpha 5000 group off it and selling the parts. Any input is appreciated.
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Old 05-17-19, 06:55 AM
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No- the alpha series of Accushift stuff is the lower end.

I know the lower alpha stuff is only compatible with itself- and incompatible with regular Accushift and SIS. I’m not sure about @5000 level stuff.

And generally, any Accushift stuff is generally less desirable than the comparable level SIS stuff
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Old 05-17-19, 10:06 AM
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I briefly had a complete Alpha 5000 group on a Takara (also pink). I thought it worked and looked great. Neat that everything matches. I'd keep the bike together or take the entire group and put it all on a smaller frame if one was available and then sell it.
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Old 05-17-19, 10:26 AM
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Alpha 5000 has the derailer geometry and shift cable movement of the higher-level parts, you can tell by looking that this isn't low-end.
There were higher-spec Alpha 7000 and 9000 parts as well as lower-spec Alpha 3040 (3000 series parts which were only compatible with similar lower-level parts).

Accushift works fine with modern chain, 8s chain for the 6s and 9s chain for the 7s.
The whole Accushift drivetrain works well if the front chainrings play nice with narrower chain width.
The Alpha freewheels featured more robust shifting as compared to earlier Suntour freewheels.

Market value of these parts is low however, so best to keep this bike as-is and find the right-sized buyer for it.

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Old 05-17-19, 04:16 PM
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The subject bicycle is a 1987 Bianchi Sport SX. This was the 1st year for SunTour's Accushift indexed systems and they introduced five levels: Superbe Pro, Sprint 9000, Cyclone 7000, Alpha 5000 and Alpha 3000. While the Accushift version of Sprint and Cyclone rec'd x000 numbering, they weren't part of the Alpha system as they had predecessors and were full groups. Alpha 5000 & 3000 were brand new and consisted only of derailleurs, shift levers, freewheel and chain.

Alpha 5000 would be considered upper entry level. It's direct market competition in 1987 was Shimano Light Action. Alpha 5000 does not, IMO, have a good reputation and I do not consider it desirable or valuable.
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Old 05-17-19, 09:04 PM
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I have the Alpha 5000 on an 87 Nishiki Cresta GT touring bike, I am running it in friction mode so I can't speak to how the acuu-shift indexing works

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