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CRAZY Suntour Steer Tube Quick Release

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CRAZY Suntour Steer Tube Quick Release

Old 05-30-23, 12:00 PM
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CRAZY Suntour Steer Tube Quick Release

OK, I don't know what to call this, but it holds a quill stem in place, without the usual wedge and bolt.

Came off an early Sekine. Note the longer than usual steer tube, and the T shaped slot cut into it.

Part is rusty right now, it's in the oxalic acid bath. Clearly marked Suntour.

OK, its rusty, but I think most of it will come back.

With the piece removed. Note the shims on the steer tube.

Note threads cut into shims.


T shaped slot.


Bike as acquired. Tubular tire rims by the way.
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Old 05-30-23, 12:11 PM
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That is interesting. I wonder why you'd go that way. Old school rinko/travel setup?
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Old 05-30-23, 12:43 PM
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It is for quick partial disassembly for transport on a train or in a box.
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Old 05-30-23, 01:12 PM
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Thanks. This device requires a longer steer tube, and the steer tube to be modified. So it's not going on a typical bike.
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Old 05-30-23, 01:28 PM
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I love the pie plate. I'd keep it.
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Old 05-30-23, 01:32 PM
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That is insane, it may work ok under ideal circumstances when perfectly adjusted and maintained.

No way in H**L would I go any distance with it.
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Old 05-30-23, 01:40 PM
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Maybe for small adjustments in stem height in a quick release fashion as some seat posts have now? Just a wild guess on my part of course.
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Old 05-30-23, 01:43 PM
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I would love to hear [MENTION=381793]gugie[/MENTION] and/or [MENTION=160106]bulgie[/MENTION] give their opinions on this setup.
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Old 05-30-23, 02:00 PM
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-----

frame exhibits bulge-formed head from Nikko Sangyo

cycle appears about as "early boom" as it gets...


-----
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Old 05-30-23, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela
cycle appears about as "early boom" as it gets...
Skimming the thread in a hurry, my brain interpreted this as "premature crashing", not "1971 era".
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Old 05-30-23, 02:33 PM
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This type of stem-fixing was popular in England (and maybe elsewhere too) before WWII and a little bit after, pretty much gone by 1950 I think. It was called a headclip, and stems for a head clip generally had no cone or wedge or provision for any bolt going down the quill, just blank on top.

I've never owned a headclip bike or even worked on one that I can recall, but I don't remember hearing any problems with it. It's certainly not any kind of "death stem".

British bikes with headclip always used a plain nut and bolt, not a QR. It wasn't a rinko-type deal in those days in England, it was just a way to fix the stem, which was then generally left alone, often for the whole life of the bike (some things never change!) On a bike with alloy cotterless cranks and sew-up wheels, this extra chunk of steel would have to have been seen as worth its weight, so I'm going with rinko as the rationale at the time. Just a guess of course.

It sure adds a funk factor.

EDIT: just remembered, one place where headclips persisted longer was on track bikes, especially Sprint bikes, and especially especially on sprint tandems. It was felt this gave a stiffer connection between stem and steerer. Normal stems are only fixed at the bottom, and so they rock from side to side by whatever clearance there is between the stem and the top of the steerer. A steel Cinelli track stem, fixed at the bottom by the cone and at the top by a headclip, was the ultimate in stiffness for back then. So you'll see it on track tandems a decade or two after they were gone on road bikes.

I wrote "England (and maybe elsewhere too)" but there's no "maybe" about it, they were definitely popular in pre-war USA and anywhere else where BSA and Chater-Lea components were used on track bikes.

EDIT #2: Apparently they were a thing in France too, here's a Velobase listing for a French-made headclip
Come to think of it, I think I recall seeing it on Pogliaghi track tandems too. (Yep, here ya go.) So, the idea is not so Brit-centric after all.

Last edited by bulgie; 05-30-23 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 05-30-23, 02:42 PM
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Hey, don't knock it. It's the self-proclaimed "World's Finest Bicycle Made by Sekine."

I am decidedly not a fan of those early Sugino Maxy crankset, but the SunTour V rear derailleur and normal-high front derailleur, as well as the SunTour barcons, are great.
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Old 05-30-23, 02:51 PM
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I had one of those Sekines back in the ...early?.... '70's.
I'd bought it used from the LBS, and didn't notice the weird steerer QR at first. Later, I did think about ways to get rid of that hunk of steel, but sold the bike before I came up with a solution. I'm pretty sure the bike came with a conventional SR alloy stem with a wedge binder, so the QR really wasn't serving any purpose. No idea whether the stem came from the factory or was swapped in later.

The bike came to me with tubular rims too... they were plastic filled Ukai rims, if memory serves. The coolest part was that it also came with silk tubulars!! Lordy, those were sexy! My previous bike was a hefty steel Montgomery Wards bike with cheap 70 psi clinchers, so the contrast was enormous!

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Old 05-30-23, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by BradH
I love the pie plate. I'd keep it.
Sekine has awesome pie plates. I wouldn't mind finding one for my Sekine SHS 271 which is my commuter with pretty much all original parts (I replaced the FD and RD and pedals though):


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Old 05-30-23, 02:55 PM
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This bike is quite the project. Sekines may not be the finest bike in the world but they are very fine bikes. The component selection tends to be good for the day and the paint jobs are very good.
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Old 05-30-23, 03:00 PM
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Might allows a rider to adjust stem height while riding. (Does it release enough to allow the stem to be slid with much twisting? Assuming everything is new, clean and greased.) Eddy Merckx could have used the seatpost version after his big crash. The next year he had to adjust his seat height while racing and without benefit of the team car. There's a documentary I watched in the late '80s of him in the break, suffering at the back and twice pulling out the Allen wrench and adjusting his seat height. Quite an operation. Clear he'd had a lot of practice.

I see two real pluses here. No stem cone - the cause of many split stems and much less chance of that "welded" fit that many of us who salvage old bikes know so well. And with this, the "weld" would be primarily located much higher and easier to deal with. Never mind much better oil/penetrant access. ("Weld" - what you get when you clamp steel to aluminum and leave it clamped for the next decade or 4 in an environment that include moisture, likely liquid water at times and perhaps saline solution (sweat or ocean air. The physics of that "weld"? I don't care,)
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Old 05-30-23, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy
...

The bike came to me with tubular rims too... they were plastic filled Ukai rims, if memory serves. The coolest part was that it also came with silk tubulars!! Lordy, those were sexy! My previous bike was a hefty steel Montgomery Wards bike with cheap 70 psi clinchers, so the contrast was enormous!

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