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Specialized hubs

Old 10-17-09, 08:49 AM
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Specialized hubs

Enquiring minds want to know. Who made those early to mid eighties Specialized hubs? I've heard Sanshin, Suzue, Sunshine and SunTour. Seeing as SunTour were made by several vendors and not SunTour we can rule them out. BTW I've even heard that Sanshin/Sansin and Sunshine were the same company.

I tried Google but came up with no definitive answer. Using Search here was about the same.

The reason I ask is I have 4 sets of 36H Specialized MTB wheels with the sealed bearing hubs. They really seem like nice hubs. I was thinking of using a set on a 700C project.
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Old 10-17-09, 09:32 AM
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While I don't know the answer to your question, I can confirm (with near certainty) that SunTour hubs were made by Sanshin and that Sanshin and Sunshine are the same company.

Anyway, enjoy them even if you never learn the answer.
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Old 10-17-09, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
While I don't know the answer to your question,
Well, neither do I Tom, so that makes us even.

Originally Posted by noglider
I can confirm (with near certainty) that SunTour hubs were made by Sanshin and that Sanshin and Sunshine are the same company.
From what I can find online, and that isn't much. Nobody really knows who Specialized sourced their parts from. And for some reason they aint telling. If they were Sanshin/Sunshine then they're probably very high quality hubs. But that's just a guess.


If you're doing a freewheel type wheel they aren't bad hubs. The only problem with the MTB versions is the solid axle. It's brutally strong but really heavy.
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Old 10-17-09, 09:57 AM
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I think that they ain't tellin' because their source was not the same from batch to batch. And I also think that Sanshin made most of Specialized' hubs. I have a pair that are exactly like the specialized, right down to the finish.
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Old 10-18-09, 10:00 AM
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I also believe that Sanshin manufactured the Specialized hubs. They do look quite similar. A lot of companies do not like to state who makes their house branded stuff.
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Old 10-18-09, 12:53 PM
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I am 99% sure it is Sanshin. I can't remember where I found the info but I do remember reading an old article about it. They are GREAT hubs and I prefer them to Campy et al.
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Old 10-18-09, 08:43 PM
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I was told they are rebranded Suntour hubs, but I know Suntour out sourced manufacturing, so I would say Sanshin or whom ever made hubs for Suntour. The examples I've seen are identical to mid range Suntour offerings.
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Old 10-19-09, 03:39 AM
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Originally Posted by fender1
I am 99% sure it is Sanshin. I can't remember where I found the info but I do remember reading an old article about it. They are GREAT hubs and I prefer them to Campy et al.
I can't say I prefer them to Campy but they are really nice hubs. I've got some wheelsets from early eighties Stumpjumpers that are beat. Yet the hubs are almost as smooth as new. Whoever built them knew what they were doing.
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Old 05-18-11, 10:51 PM
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They are Sanshin!

Sealed bearing specialized hubs from the 80s were made by Sanshin. Sanshin made the same hubs under their own name, as well as Suntour. I have owned all three, with the Sanshin labeled one being by far the rarest. Of these three brands, only Sanshin was a hub manufacturer. I am 100% sure Sanshin made them. Sanshin also used the house brand name Sunshine.
Specialized components from the 80's: hubs/Sanshin, cranks/Sugino, Stems-bars/Nitto, tires/????National?Panaracer?, rims-Saturae/???, frames/3Rensho-Miyata-Toyo-Giant later on-others.
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Old 05-18-11, 11:41 PM
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JK, information is always good!
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Old 05-19-11, 01:41 AM
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Seeing as this rose up from the dead, What do I need to convert to a QR hub? I"d love to lace a set of the hubs to a 700C rim.
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Old 05-19-11, 01:53 AM
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Sansin, pronounced Sanshin, and marketed as Sunshine for a time made great hubs for themselves,for Suntour, and for Specialized.

Many higher end Japanese bicycles were fitted with Sansin hubs and the high flange Sunshine hubs are beautifully made.
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Old 05-19-11, 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by cs1
Seeing as this rose up from the dead, What do I need to convert to a QR hub? I"d love to lace a set of the hubs to a 700C rim.
New hollow axles with the same threading.
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Old 05-19-11, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
New hollow axles with the same threading.
I kind of figured that. Where can I get some?
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Old 05-19-11, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by cs1
I kind of figured that. Where can I get some?
A replacement axel is such a cheap, expendable part that you would probably spend more ordering one online after shipping than if you just go support your LBS. Take the hub into a friendly LBS to have them measure and compare to get you a suitable hollow replacement. Back before casette hubs, rear axels were basically a consumable part for a bike, I would frequently need to replace my broken rear axel and local shops always had a drawer of replacements.
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Old 05-19-11, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by GrayJay
A replacement axel is such a cheap, expendable part that you would probably spend more ordering one online after shipping than if you just go support your LBS. Take the hub into a friendly LBS to have them measure and compare to get you a suitable hollow replacement. Back before casette hubs, rear axels were basically a consumable part for a bike, I would frequently need to replace my broken rear axel and local shops always had a drawer of replacements.
Not necessarily. The Sanshin/Sunshine/Suntour/Specialized (henceforth referred to as "SSSS") hubs with sealed cartridge bearings had axles with machined sleeves and stops that located the bearing cartridge. The axles were particular to each hub, and you'll have to find an exact replacement (only hollow) to make a solid-axle hub into a QR. I think the QBP catalog has dimensioned drawings for these axles... at least they did years ago.
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Old 05-19-11, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by cs1
I kind of figured that. Where can I get some?
What Jeff said... the cartridge bearing models have proprietary axles and spacer sleeves while the standard bearing models can be swapper for QR axles quite easily.
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Old 05-20-11, 01:38 PM
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I gues I am not specifically familar with the sanshin hubs but many cartrige bearing hubs (most I have worked on) dont have locating shoulders on the axel, the spacing adjustment is set from a pseudo-cone which lightly presses into ID of the sealed cartrige and a jamnut which are both located outboard of the cartridge. Even if the hub originally was made with a shouldered axel, it could be setup fine without one provided you have the pseudo-cone to fid the cartrige ID and the axel thread.
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Old 05-23-11, 09:44 PM
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these hubs take "regular" axles. This means most any standard japanese hub axle is going to work. The special sleeves are part of the cones, not the axles. Got an old shimano axle laying around....it will work. Campy Axles won't work, wrong threads. I have switched the axles in these hubs many times. Its easier than overhauling a regular hub. good luck
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Old 05-23-11, 10:08 PM
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SunTour was a small design shop with no inherent manufacturing capabilities. SunTour's freewheels and derailleurs were made by Maeda Industries; hubs from Sanshin, cranks from Sugino, brakes from Dia-Compe, &etc.
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Old 05-24-11, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by dgilber
The special sleeves are part of the cones, not the axles.
Any source for these special sleeves besides old hubs?
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Old 05-24-11, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
SunTour was a small design shop with no inherent manufacturing capabilities. SunTour's freewheels and derailleurs were made by Maeda Industries; hubs from Sanshin, cranks from Sugino, brakes from Dia-Compe, &etc.
Yes, kinda. Maeda Industries (nee Maeda Iron Works) __is__ SunTour. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SunTour) So, they made their own freewheels, derailleurs, and shifters. The other SunTour parts were all OEM'd by the non-Shimano Japanese companies that made that product the best. Thus "SunTour" Sanshin hubs, Sugino cranks, & c as you listed.
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Old 05-24-11, 12:12 PM
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Good as they are, I've always wondered how these Japanese companies come up with their names.
"Sunshine"?? That just sounds too happy/jolly to put on a "serious" race bike....like they were made by friendly smurfs in some wonderland workshop. I could live easier with "Karate" bicycles than "Sunshine" hubs. Reminds me when I found a skewer dropped on the street in front of our offce a few months ago. Hoping that it could be something special like a Campagnolo skewer, I was quickly deflated when I read "Joytech" on the skewer lever........Blehhhhh......
I guess it kinda makes sense when you think that the brand name "Sony" came from "Sonny Boy".
Maybe Specialized rebranded them because they did not want to put them on their bikes with their original names as it could ruin the intended marketing image they were going for.

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Old 05-24-11, 12:21 PM
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I always thought that "Sunshine" was because it was a genuinely English-language word that sounded vaguely like "Sanshin". Notice that by the mid-80s, people weren't talking about "Cheap Japanese Crap" nearly as much anymore... and they started selling hubs as "Sanshin" instead of "Sunshine".
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Old 05-31-11, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by dgilber
these hubs take "regular" axles. This means most any standard japanese hub axle is going to work. The special sleeves are part of the cones, not the axles. Got an old shimano axle laying around....it will work. Campy Axles won't work, wrong threads. I have switched the axles in these hubs many times. Its easier than overhauling a regular hub. good luck
So, what you're saying is any hollow axle with the proper threading will work. That would make things easier.

Thanks
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