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Sugino XP Underated Crankset

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Sugino XP Underated Crankset

Old 02-25-20, 05:00 PM
  #1  
retrodude
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Sugino XP Underated Crankset

I am lucky enough to have tracked down a Sugino XP crankset and after my search wanted to share the fact that there does not seem to be much info on the interweb about it.

Back in the day I was an avid bike magazine subscriber and was into both road and mountain bikes. My favorite road crank was and still is the original Campy C Record. It just has the best shape for my taste while the hidden bolt helps this.


I used to wonder why someone didn't release an MTB version. Campy came out with an 'interesting' take on MTB parts but I never liked their crank, Sugino started putting out some similar units with the Impel being one of the most common. Cook Bros can be credited with releasing a C Record style unit (at a very high price).


I had forgotten about the Sugino XP crank which I was not aware of it being called the 'XP" at the time. It was hung on some high end bikes between 89'-93' (I think) notably the crazy Gary Fisher full suspension bike of the day (can't recall the model).


So roll forward almost thirty years when I find a 93' Kona Kilauea in the dumpster and pull out all of the stops restoring it. I came across Kona's 1993 catalog and noted that the Kilauea was spec'd with the XD 500 while the higher end Explosif was spec'd with the Sugino XP crank (along with their Titanium bike). Well, i had to have one!


Finally found an example on eBay last month which did not have to many scratches, put my Syncors Crank-o-matics and silver chain rings already on my XD 500 on it and completed a full on polish.


So.. I have to say IMHO it's the best looking MTB crank!! Okay, so we all have or favorites, I love XT and XTR of the day but the XP holds its own regarding strength finish (and looks)


The thing that's puzzling is the lack of detail available, I guess Sugino/Suntour gets less love from most than Shimano.


Anyway, have a look:

As delivered along side the XD500:



After Polishing



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Old 02-25-20, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by retrodude View Post
I am lucky enough to have tracked down a Sugino XP crankset and after my search wanted to share the fact that there does not seem to be much info on the interweb about it.

Back in the day I was an avid bike magazine subscriber and was into both road and mountain bikes. My favorite road crank was and still is the original Campy C Record. It just has the best shape for my taste while the hidden bolt helps this.


I used to wonder why someone didn't release an MTB version. Campy came out with an 'interesting' take on MTB parts but I never liked their crank, Sugino started putting out some similar units with the Impel being one of the most common. Cook Bros can be credited with releasing a C Record style unit (at a very high price).


I had forgotten about the Sugino XP crank which I was not aware of it being called the 'XP" at the time. It was hung on some high end bikes between 89'-93' (I think) notably the crazy Gary Fisher full suspension bike of the day (can't recall the model).


So roll forward almost thirty years when I find a 93' Kona Kilauea in the dumpster and pull out all of the stops restoring it. I came across Kona's 1993 catalog and noted that the Kilauea was spec'd with the XD 500 while the higher end Explosif was spec'd with the Sugino XP crank (along with their Titanium bike). Well, i had to have one!


Finally found an example on eBay last month which did not have to many scratches, put my Syncors Crank-o-matics and silver chain rings already on my XD 500 on it and completed a full on polish.


So.. I have to say IMHO it's the best looking MTB crank!! Okay, so we all have or favorites, I love XT and XTR of the day but the XP holds its own regarding strength finish (and looks)


The thing that's puzzling is the lack of detail available, I guess Sugino/Suntour gets less love from most than Shimano.


Anyway, have a look:

As delivered along side the XD500:



After Polishing



That turned out amazing.
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Old 02-25-20, 05:30 PM
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Indeed are terrific cranks and nice work on the above!

I'm using an XD-600 (or whatever nomenclature they call it) on a vintage Teledyne Titan. Sweet setup with classic square taper shaft on modern ridiculously lightweight Omni Racer bottom bracket, low Q factor, sneaky triple from super low granny to high end 52t. Ally chainring bolts and titanium crank bolts. The entire package looks perfect with its nice silver tone finish.
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Old 02-25-20, 05:31 PM
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Nice work!

While the Corsa Record crank is Styling, as a functional crank, the only thing going for it is the 39t inner capability.
When launched, with the first generation C record front mechanism, it was prone to overshifts. When that happened, the chain dropped all the way to the pedal.
With the prior design, there was a better than fair chance the "land" about the spindle would catch the chain, one just shifted back and you kept going.
With the Corsa Record, you dismounted, reset the chain and chased. Racers want to breakaway, not chase.
The later mechanisms flexed less, no doubt as they moved the attachment point for braze on mounting.
In the 80's Campagnolo lost its way, and Shimano reset the racing world.
It would take near a decade for them to catch up.
And I am a Campagnolo fan.
I set up a number of guys Corsa bikes (with Colbalto brakes as the Deltas were vaporware) with the Super Record front mech.
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Old 02-25-20, 05:35 PM
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As always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The hidden bolt/4 arm look doesn't do it for me. Other than being shiny, that's a plain looking crank. No real personality, especially since you took the logo off of it. Off the top of my head, the Takagi Tourney cranks, Sugino AT, Shimano FC6206 and Sakae CR are better looking. Then there's the Stronglight 99s. Those are the standard for a lot of people.

Last edited by seypat; 02-25-20 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 02-25-20, 05:40 PM
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So, you are making the case for pantographing.
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Old 02-25-20, 06:07 PM
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Beautiful work, retrodude !
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Old 02-25-20, 06:35 PM
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Sugino always made nice stuff. I believe that with Shimano coming on in the 90's and on. And with Sun Tour and Sugino struggling to get their components on OEM bikes in the 90's and sort of fading away, that the Shimano stuff it kind of eclipsed the Sugino and Sun Tour stuff.

I like the look without the graphics on it. I don't really think the graphics add anything except that if you want the bike to be completely original looking, it would have graphics. These graphics were not built to last either.

I also have t agree that the hidden fifth was probably innovative at the time, but didn't really make it better looking than a traditional 5 bolt design. We are also splitting hairs here, because it is still a heck of a nice looking crank and if I had it, I'd use it.
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Old 02-25-20, 06:37 PM
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Nice work! What'd you use to polish it up so nice?
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Old 02-25-20, 07:07 PM
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Good looking crank both before and after. I have been convinced that that hidden bolt has a tendency to loosen as it squirms a bit with the flexing crank arm. Loftier is keeping my second replacement in place.
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Old 02-25-20, 07:55 PM
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Very nice work.

My favorite vintage MTB cranks would have to be the early Race Face. At the Palatine Bike swap this past weekend one of the vendors had a pristine, completely original red Salsa with red Salsa quill stem and black Cook Bros crankset. Wish I had taken a few pics. For a meat and potatoes crank, I'd have to go with the Sugino AT
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Old 02-25-20, 09:37 PM
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Very nice polishing job.

Have Sugino cranksets on three bikes at the moment. None of them are hidden bolt right now, but have used them in the past.
Sugino makes a great crank IMHO.
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Old 02-25-20, 09:38 PM
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I completely agree. I think that crank looks spectacular. Iím not a fan of the hidden bolt, but I have an XD2 triple that Iíve used on a couple of bikes, and I always catch myself admiring that crank. Now Iíll feel a little less guilty using it as a replacement for the worn Campy NR on my International. Dumb question, but whatís your polishing technique?
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Old 02-25-20, 10:49 PM
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Beautiful! However, think how much nicer it would look if you also deanodized and polished all the chainrings.
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Old 02-26-20, 08:52 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
As always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The hidden bolt/4 arm look doesn't do it for me. Other than being shiny, that's a plain looking crank. No real personality, especially since you took the logo off of it. Off the top of my head, the Takagi Tourney cranks, Sugino AT, Shimano FC6206 and Sakae CR are better looking. Then there's the Stronglight 99s. Those are the standard for a lot of people.
All good, it certainly is in the eye of the beholder, I also love my Campy 1980s Super Record cranks (not a big fan of pantographed versions) I also love my 2009 Shimano Deore XT (FC-M770) Hollowtech II modern units, vintage C Record cranks are the first high end part I purchased back in day, think I paid $400 c/w BB, I really am not a fan of the current black components trend
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Old 02-26-20, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
Nice work! What'd you use to polish it up so nice?
I can't take full credit for this one, I use most of the procedure in this link: https://theradavist.com/2009/10/tuto...bicycle-parts/, basically clean/degrease the component then remove the anodization, I use Zep commercial industrial Purple cleaner available at Canadian Home Depot, it's not as harsh as drain cleaner and works well. Then proceed to remove any deep scratches, sometimes a fine file is needed or 150 grit sandpaper. Once you have all the scratches which 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper cannot remove taken care of move to the 600 grit. I use it wet within a sink with sometimes hot running water. Then move to 1000 grit wet/dry followed be 1500 grit wet/dry. I usually finish with a very light rub using SOS wool soap pads under hot water. The next step is fairly unique (see link), using cotton balls and Simichrome polish finish the job. I had to order the Simichrome on-line as I could not find it for sale in Canada
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Old 02-26-20, 09:15 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
Nice work! What'd you use to polish it up so nice?
Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Nice work!

While the Corsa Record crank is Styling, as a functional crank, the only thing going for it is the 39t inner capability.
When launched, with the first generation C record front mechanism, it was prone to overshifts. When that happened, the chain dropped all the way to the pedal.
With the prior design, there was a better than fair chance the "land" about the spindle would catch the chain, one just shifted back and you kept going.
With the Corsa Record, you dismounted, reset the chain and chased. Racers want to breakaway, not chase.
The later mechanisms flexed less, no doubt as they moved the attachment point for braze on mounting.
In the 80's Campagnolo lost its way, and Shimano reset the racing world.
It would take near a decade for them to catch up.
And I am a Campagnolo fan.
I set up a number of guys Corsa bikes (with Colbalto brakes as the Deltas were vaporware) with the Super Record front mech.
Funny you say this, about a week into riding my shiny new C-Record crank I dropped the chain to the outside and scratched the beautiful finish, just about killed me. I was a dumb teenager and thought it would be a good idea to buy a buffing wheel from my old school corded drill. Shortly after starting to buff out the scratch the drill slipped and the chuck key teeth left their mark on the outside finish of the crank making matters 10X worse, I seem to recall shedding some tears (LOL). I also realized that polishing a satin finish anodized part made the area much shinier and does not really solve the problem 100%. I lived with it for years until decided to sand the entire outside surface using wet/dry fine grit paper, this produced a pretty decent improvement which lasted many more years until I came across a better polishing technique.

I never dropped a chain using that crank after that first incident, always shifted VERY carefully
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Old 02-26-20, 09:15 AM
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Thanks for the link and the description.

Now all I need is the patience.
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Old 02-26-20, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by JacobLee View Post
I completely agree. I think that crank looks spectacular. Iím not a fan of the hidden bolt, but I have an XD2 triple that Iíve used on a couple of bikes, and I always catch myself admiring that crank. Now Iíll feel a little less guilty using it as a replacement for the worn Campy NR on my International. Dumb question, but whatís your polishing technique?
Definately not a dumb question, I posted this same reply to another:

I can't take full credit for this one, I use most of the procedure in this link: https://theradavist.com/2009/10/tuto...bicycle-parts/, basically clean/degrease the component then remove the anodization, I use Zep commercial industrial Purple cleaner available at Canadian Home Depot, it's not as harsh as drain cleaner and works well. Then proceed to remove any deep scratches, sometimes a fine file is needed or 150 grit sandpaper. Once you have all the scratches which 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper cannot remove taken care of move to the 600 grit. I use it wet within a sink with sometimes hot running water. Then move to 1000 grit wet/dry followed be 1500 grit wet/dry. I usually finish with a very light rub using SOS wool soap pads under hot water. The next step is fairly unique (see link), using cotton balls and Simichrome polish finish the job. I had to order the Simichrome on-line as I could not find it for sale in Canada
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Old 02-26-20, 09:19 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
Thanks for the link and the description.

Now all I need is the patience.
LOL! Yes, can take two or three hours, I kind of enjoy the process, done a couple RDs and seatpost are a great one. Have to be careful not to reduce the OD, they scratch much easier too
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Old 02-26-20, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
Beautiful! However, think how much nicer it would look if you also deanodized and polished all the chainrings.
Now you have me thinking...
I actually prefer leaving the anodization as it protects the component against the elements and the satin clear looks great when its not scratched up. All of my bikes are kept indoors and cleaner regular, so far de-anodized/polished parts have not suffered.

Having said that, the chainrings polished would look pretty awesome!
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Old 02-26-20, 09:25 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by r0ckh0und View Post
Very nice work.

My favorite vintage MTB cranks would have to be the early Race Face. At the Palatine Bike swap this past weekend one of the vendors had a pristine, completely original red Salsa with red Salsa quill stem and black Cook Bros crankset. Wish I had taken a few pics. For a meat and potatoes crank, I'd have to go with the Sugino AT
Thanks

I love the old Race Face as well, I restored and old GT gifted to me from a friend which has one, in this case I decided to leave the patina

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Old 02-26-20, 10:57 AM
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While I agree that the crankset is aesthetically very pleasing, I consider this to be too sleek and svelte looking for an ATB. I prefer my ATB components to look to more rugged, in keeping with their off-road function, so I'll also cast my vote for Race Face. (I also wouldn't want a Pininfarina designed pick-up truck manufactured by Ferrari). However, these would make an attractive road triple for members of advancing yeas and declining climbing ability.

Despite the appearance, I am not a fan of the hidden binder bolt from a practical perspective, as they make chainring removal just that little bit more annoying. The reason for the hidden bolt was to increase stiffness while decreasing weight. As a solution for that, I refer Shimano's offset spider, as used on their Dyna-Drive cranksets. These are still my all time favourite double cranksets.
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Old 02-26-20, 01:42 PM
  #24  
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Kool. That looks nice polished up. Whodathunkit.

FWIW I really dig my XD600 cranks. Never had a problem with them. I guess the XP was the first Sugino crank with this same basic shape and format. I don't have one of each to compare, but I'd imagine the differences to be subtle.
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Old 02-26-20, 02:16 PM
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Here's an earlier version of the XD-600 in 170mm used in road application. Original finish with only the silkscreen and very subtle crown logo. The 24-36-52t chain rings are not stock to the XD crank but are Sugino brand. The outer is factory drilled, though not over done and I hadn't the desire go further drillium on the inner chainrings.
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