Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: iamkeith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    433

    Suntour is back! (No, not "SR" Suntour)

    Just saw this in another forum. Thought some here might be equally interested, or perhaps even know a bit more about it and be able to share some details:

    Junzo Kawai, the former president of Suntour in the 70's and 80's, and mountain bike hall of fame inductee (though I'm ashamed to say I didn't know this), is re-starting his components manufacturing business.

    Sounds like they'll focus on practical (ie: non "race-centric") parts for touring and randonneuring bikes at first. But... this will soon include shifters and derailleurs!

    I, for one, am anxious to see what they come up with. Probably the TOP reason I still cling to VRC type bikes is because I still prefer Suntour friction thumbies to anything else that's ever been made. I wonder if they'll have the same pull ratios, or if they'll default to the Shimano standard. And a re-issue of command shifters would be the best thing ever! Maybe I can stop hoarding now....

    Here's the web page with the announcement:

    https://stan-pun.squarespace.com/about/
    We still hang bike thieves in Wyoming [Pedal House]

  2. #2
    TrinityRiverKerplunk
    Reputation: unicrown junkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    641
    Oh boy, I think they may be making a big mistake. I love Suntour as well, and still use my XC Expert, Comp, and Pro components on one of my bikes. I would be more supportive if they tried the comeback say ten years ago, but now? Maybe to late, waaay to late.

    But gosh, those parts they have on their site look about thirty years out of date!

    SR Suntour actually has some decent parts, now getting them is another story. I tried to get a Suntour dynamo hub, but they wouldn't budge.

    OP, thank you very, very much for posting this! Am off now to give you the positive rep you clearly deserve.
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

  3. #3
    the new Gilbert Grape
    Reputation: laffeaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,183
    I like what they're doing and think that their offering looks great - particularly the hubs.

    I love the quote: “The market is too race-centric; carbon fiber, electric shifting, full suspension, 11 speed, doesn’t really enhance the enjoyment of cycling. In the 1970’s and 80’s we cycled to be closer to nature, for the environment, for our health, for the simple beauty of cycling.”

    This is so true. If you try to build up a modern steel bike most of the components today look out of place - particularly Shimano. I like to see components made for people that ride, not people that are only interested in the Tour de France.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,208
    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux View Post
    I like what they're doing and think that their offering looks great - particularly the hubs.

    I love the quote: “The market is too race-centric; carbon fiber, electric shifting, full suspension, 11 speed, doesn’t really enhance the enjoyment of cycling. In the 1970’s and 80’s we cycled to be closer to nature, for the environment, for our health, for the simple beauty of cycling.”

    This is so true. If you try to build up a modern steel bike most of the components today look out of place - particularly Shimano. I like to see components made for people that ride, not people that are only interested in the Tour de France.
    True. There is a place for this stuff. Hope he suceeds.

  5. #5
    Humanoid Lobster
    Reputation: Jak0zilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    538
    The cranks and hubs on that page look a LOT like the neo-retro parts that Velo Orange have been selling. Coincidence?

    EDIT: OK, the crank more than the hubs, but still ...
    Don't call it a gooseneck.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Fillet-brazed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,465
    Looks like he wants to use his old molds from the 70s.

    Good for him. Looks like the Rivendell nuts will be excited.

    I too love the Suntour shifters. From the friction offerings all the way to their rare Ergotec in 1994.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    386

    Suntour is back! (No, not "SR" Suntour)

    The high flange hubs look fantastic. Honestly I think there is a market here. I for one still run 9 speed equipment and think it works fine.
    I for one love 32 spoke wheels, and the high flange would make them look fantastic.
    FYI I cross posted this over to road bike review.

    Bill

  8. #8
    AZ
    AZ is offline
    banned
    Reputation: AZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    19,999
    5 bolt crankset and chain rings ftw.

  9. #9
    Master of the Face Plant
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,815
    Electra has already proven there is a market for this stuff. Just look at the Ticino line of electra products. I have a set of the cranks on my clunker because they look like the old TA cranks. They suck though, the finish is crap, started to oxidize in 3 months. I am sure suntours stuff will be better quality.
    http://www.nbbikes.com/
    ^^^Best Bike Shop of MTBR 2008^^^

  10. #10
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,339
    Look at the line up from Bianchi and De Rosa.. Both have "classic" bikes now being sold w/1in headtubes featuring 1in quill stems from Cinelli, the 1A, and Deda, the murex. BOth stems were relaunched. 1 in quill stems! Columbus relaunched slx tubing.... Selle san marco rereleased the Regal and Rolls. Selle Italia did it w/ the Turbo.
    The next 5 yrs wil see the retro bicycle market being carved by big and small brands. From a business point of view it's only natural someone approached suntour w/ a business plan. It's less about our logic as cyclst geek than market/money movement. I doubt the head of Suntour woke up one day and decided to fight the power. It's the other way around and being part of a power strategy, it will happen somehow. It will be OEM on retro classic new offerings.
    Oh.. and it has nothing to do w/ mountain biking. It's about the road riding market. Fixed gears pushed it.. The rvintage road race "Eroica", which is now sold as a concept to England.. it's not about mountain biking, yet.
    want: Ibis ti handlebar. suntour 31.8 front derr. bottom pull

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Fiskare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    517
    The retail space for these products has been growing slowly for years now. The credit really should go to GP at Riv, and others, who have consistently pushed for bike pieces and parts for regular (non-race) folks. Chris at VO has used very similar language to Junzo Kawai, but Chris is a relative new comer to this idea. Those inclined to like this stuff might like the book Just Ride.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    23
    Love it! Good to see some of the classic styling being brought back.

  13. #13
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,339
    Quote Originally Posted by Fiskare View Post
    The retail space for these products has been growing slowly for years now. The credit really should go to GP at Riv, and others, who have consistently pushed for bike pieces and parts for regular (non-race) folks. Chris at VO has used very similar language to Junzo Kawai, but Chris is a relative new comer to this idea. Those inclined to like this stuff might like the book Just Ride.
    .. and fixed gear.
    want: Ibis ti handlebar. suntour 31.8 front derr. bottom pull

  14. #14
    the new Gilbert Grape
    Reputation: laffeaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,183
    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    .. and fixed gear.
    I think that fixed gears are on their way out. Gravel road bikes are the next big trend. And the Suntour components will fit perfectly into that market.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  15. #15
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,339
    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux View Post
    I think that fixed gears are on their way out. Gravel road bikes are the next big trend. And the Suntour components will fit perfectly into that market.
    Sure, no doubt about but the fixed crowd brought a lot of attention to vintage and retro. They are leaving the picture but left a taste for old style.
    want: Ibis ti handlebar. suntour 31.8 front derr. bottom pull

  16. #16
    Humanoid Lobster
    Reputation: Jak0zilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    538
    Even if track bikes are on their way out, I'll bet that they could sell container loads of Superbe Pro track stuff if it could be re-issued.

    There are also a bunch of their "old" parts that could sell really well today. A lot of XC Pro and Superbe Pro stuff goes for almost as much now on ebay used and beat to hell as it did when new. I'd buy a re-pop XC Pro seatpost (especially if it was 350mm), pedals, or cranks.
    Don't call it a gooseneck.

  17. #17
    Retro on Steroids
    Reputation: Repack Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,264
    In 1982 I was sitting in an outdoor cafe in Crested Butte during FTBW. My Ritchey MountainBike was leaning against a low wall. Several Japanese gentlemen wearing suits walked up the street, and when they saw my bike, they stopped and admired it in Japanese. Then one of them jumped on it, although it was far too big for him, and took it for a spin.

    Without asking.

    I watched all of this with amusement, since I didn't figure my bike was leaving town with him, and when he returned I identified myself to the rider as the owner. It was Junzo Kawai.

    Here we are having lunch a little later that week. Interesting crowd.

    It don't mean a feng if it ain't got that
    shui.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,208
    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux View Post
    I think that fixed gears are on their way out. Gravel road bikes are the next big trend. And the Suntour components will fit perfectly into that market.
    This may be true, but I sure hope the minimalist influence sticks around. I think the fixie had a measurable influence on the popularity of the single speed and the 1x10.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: yo-Nate-y's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2,599
    Yep. And overall focus on clean aesthetics and such-- custom bikes, 'custom' builds, etc. A lot of the young guys who took to the torch (or were excited by those who did) were coming into (or back into) bikes through the urban/fixed/track world.
    Somec is like the digital Zunow
    And this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD5h3y0a9AU

  20. #20
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,339
    Quote Originally Posted by yo-Nate-y View Post
    Yep. And overall focus on clean aesthetics and such-- custom bikes, 'custom' builds, etc. A lot of the young guys who took to the torch (or were excited by those who did) were coming into (or back into) bikes through the urban/fixed/track world.
    it's a cool, benign, unpredictable turn of events.
    want: Ibis ti handlebar. suntour 31.8 front derr. bottom pull

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mainlyfats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    954
    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    it's a cool, benign, unpredictable turn of events.
    No one does design nostalgia like the Japanese... Miles ahead.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: iamkeith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    433
    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    In 1982 I was sitting in an outdoor cafe in Crested Butte during FTBW. My Ritchey MountainBike was leaning against a low wall. Several Japanese gentlemen wearing suits walked up the street, and when they saw my bike, they stopped and admired it in Japanese. Then one of them jumped on it, although it was far too big for him, and took it for a spin.

    Without asking.

    I watched all of this with amusement, since I didn't figure my bike was leaving town with him, and when he returned I identified myself to the rider as the owner. It was Junzo Kawai.

    Here we are having lunch a little later that week. Interesting crowd.
    That's an awesome story - totally made my day.
    We still hang bike thieves in Wyoming [Pedal House]

  23. #23
    Air Pirate
    Reputation: Bokchoicowboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    843
    Indeed...this is freaking awesome!
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  24. #24
    Thumbs Up!
    Reputation: J Ro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    752
    Sunrise for Sunset?

    I love it!
    "Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth"
    Mike Tyson

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-15-2012, 10:19 PM
  2. Fork Upgrade- From 29" SR Suntour XCR LO
    By MechMan314 in forum Shocks and Suspension
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-14-2012, 06:51 PM
  3. Best "Budget" Fork - Suntour Epicon or Manitou Match
    By Snaab9-2 in forum Shocks and Suspension
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 11-01-2011, 05:03 AM
  4. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 07-25-2011, 05:54 PM
  5. adjustment of stock suntour fork 2011 hardrock 29"
    By nephets0 in forum Specialized
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-10-2011, 04:38 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •