Sun tour aRX quill stem?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by p38lightning, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. p38lightning

    p38lightning New Member

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    I have a handlebar and stem that I removed from an early 80s (83 I think) Bianchi 980 road bike. The bars are 25.4 SR Sake Custom Road Champion, extremely common. The stem however has 105 embossed in the 22.2 part that goes into the steering tube, which I'm sure is the length. It has a beveled slider lock and says Japan near the limit scribes. The pinch bolt is on the bottom, not the front like an SR.

    It says aRX on the quill with the lower case a and the stylized x exactly like the logo on a Sun Tour aRX rear derailleur. I have found no information on any aRX quill stem made by Sun Tour. Does anyone know anything about this stem?
     
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  2. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Suntour's model range, from top to bottom was: Superbe Pro, Superbe, Cyclone Mk II, Cyclone, BL, ARx, Vx, AR, Seven, Volante, Honor, GT, and Mighty Click.

    So, a middle-of-the-line stem, possibly sourced from Sakae Ringyo (SR and Suntour merged around 1990-1991) along with Suntour's seatposts.

    The vertical front pinch bolt was all the rage back then with Modolo's infamous 'Death Stems' being the most remembered of that design.

    Most of Suntour's products were good quality items and they were often better products than the shimaNO equivalents back in the day.
     
  3. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    When I first started riding, Suntour was much more highly regarded than Shimano.

    I still have an old Schwinn Super LeTour with a Cyclone RD. No idea on how old the bike is. I'm at least the third owner.
     
  4. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, shimaNO was Tier 3 crap in the 1970's and much of the 1980's when compared to Suntour components. That changed due to several factors...mountain bikes...poor management...technical failures of Suntour's index system...delayed shipping...poor relationship with Suntour USA's management...crash of the Yen...shimaNO's investment in engineering and product development...the list goes on.

    Some Suntour components have moderate collector value.
     
  5. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Dare I say Suntour stuff was better than anyone elses product! Shimano was considered cheap stuff back in the 70's but not Campy, Huret, and Zeus and Suntour beat all of those in shifting performance...even Suntour's middle of the road stuff shifted better than anyone elses stuff.

    Suntour lost for a lot of reasons as another poster mentioned, but Shimano was a far larger company that did all sorts of stuff and not just bike parts as Suntour did. So Shimano eventually ran Suntour into the ground with a lot more marketing and then snatched Suntour's patented slant parallelogram design as soon as the patent ran out and was ready to go with a mountain bike SIS (index) system that Suntour, being smaller had not really got into due to lack of money, so when Shimano did that Suntour banged an index system together and put it out to market 2 years AFTER Shimano only to have it fail against the Shimano. And that's when people left Suntour in droves and went to Shimano.

    I have a bike that I raced on in the mid 80's with Suntour Superbe friction component group and that stuff worked very fast and sure, so fast that I would stack it up to my STI or Ergo stuff! The odd thing is that when Shimino did come out with SIS (index) system it worked great, I also own some bikes with SIS and that stuff actually shifts FASTER than STI or Ergo!!! But Suntour also had going for it was extreme reliability, way over engineered by todays standards, I have over 160,000 miles on my Superbe stuff and never an issue, todays stuff will be lucky to go 35,000 miles before total replacement.
     
  6. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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  7. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Good catch Bob. If that bike is an 85, which by the sounds of it it is, in 85 Schwinn went all out on a lot of their bike models and did some serious upgrading only to go lax again the following year, not sure what that was all about. But I have a 85 Schwinn Le Tour Luxe that they only made 3 years of, 83, 84, and 85 (you can read the catalogs too about various models and compare 85 models with ones before and after), but it was basically a bit better components but same frame and fork of a standard Le Tour; in 85 they changed to highest level Suntour wide range derailleur, the Mountech, and changed from the lower end 4130 frame to Columbus Tenax while the regular Le Tour retained the lessor quality stuff. You'll find the similar thing happened to the Super Le Tour in 85; so that 85 Super Le Tour is a very nice bike compared to other Super Le Tours
     
  8. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    Yup, right down to the red frame. 1985. All the rest of the components fit, too. The Sugino crank is 52/40. It had a 13-28 freewheel cog set when I got it, and I replaced it with a 13-28 Sun Race. Cost me a whopping eleven bucks. That, a chain, and new shift cables were all I had to spend. Those Weinmann rims are still solid, too. It spent time in Chicago with an owner who was either a medical student or an intern--has some sort of parking pass sticker on the seat tube. I've had it close to 45 mph on a descent, which isn't bad for the flatlands. But it climbs like a 28 pound bike.
     
  9. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Have you weighed the bike? The specs say 24 pounds which isn't bad for the day and with those wheels. My Le Tour Luxe was close on the specs weight of 25 pounds at 25.8 but that extra weight may be due to it having 40 spoke rim on the front instead of 36 the specs said it had (stock Weinmann rims with stock Mallard hubs with stock dbl butted spokes, it's like they ran out of 36 hole rims and just built a 40 rear one into a front one?), and also maybe because it's a 23" frame since most bike companies back in the day rated weight according to their smallest frame size. I'm just saying all of that to say that I sort of doubt your's weighs 28 maybe 24.8 or so. Some LBS's have a scale with a hook they can weigh bikes with, or you could use a bathroom scale but those are not real accurate. If you use a bathroom scale you might get close if you weigh the bike by itself, then weigh yourself then again with you while you hold the bike and subtract your weight from the total, then take an average of the two, but the LBS scale will be accurate. Anyway I hope it's lighter than you think!! LOL!!!
     
  10. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    The Super LeTour was called the "12.2" (Kg) because it supposedly weighed approximately 12.2 Kg or 26.9 pounds worth of Schwinn bomb-proof goodness.

    My 1972 Continental weighed around 32 pounds and climbed like a brick Barn Foundation Stone. The LeTour and World models were well built and decent performers that brought lower prices to those that couldn't justify the Paramount/Sports Tourer/Super Sport models or simply preferred a lugged frame/3-piece crank/etc.

    Schwinn often used parts from other models in the range to meet production targets, build out the end of model runs and finish up closeouts. This trend only got more prevalent during Schwinn's multiple financial crisis times and factory moves/outsourcing.
     
  11. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    You know your Schwinns Bob. The specs though on that Super Le Tour on the Schwinn vintage catalog site does say that in 84 the bike weighed 24.8, of course I'm sure the larger frames weighted a bit more. And those same specs for the Le Tour Luxe is pretty darn close to my bikes weight, so I would think the Super Le Tour mentioned weight is close too. I would be curious to see the actual weight.

    You, or at least I, would think that as a company goes toward financial breakdown as Schwinn was in the mid 80's that they would just slap any old junk they could get and thus fine a degraded quality of bike, but not in 85, but in 86 they sort of went back to their lower quality ways for most of their bikes except the very top of the line models. If you spend time like I have reading that Schwinn catalog site you'll see this trend.
     
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