More Suntour and CLB Brakes

Six inches of snow and my daughter is playing on her computer so time to put up some more stuff.A Another Suntour catalog from 1988Ahas both road and ATB in it.A Some highlights include the (I believe) last edition of roller cam brakes andAa very confusing chart of what Accushift parts will play nicely with others.A
Index shifting was still pretty new and in order for Suntour to get aroundAShimano’s patent, they designed the ‘play’ thatAindex shifting needs into the shifter.A (Shimano had the floating upper jockey pulley that did this for them.)A Unfortunately, by putting it into the shifter, you could never be precise.A In addition, Suntour, for some bizarre reason, made several versions.A This would require matching a rear derailleur with a matching shifter.A Shimano, on the other hand, only made the Dura-Ace line unique and you could mix or match the rest without too much of a problem.A At this point I think that one can begin to see the decline ofA Suntour.A Beginning around this time, shops started to see less and less bikes coming onto the sales floor equipped with Suntour parts.A I don’t think it was a quality issue.A More than likely it was due to more aggressive marketing from Shimano.A But I cannot help but think that Suntour’s lack of technical development was also a contributor.

And now on to another departed manufacturer; CLB Brakes.A This brochure/newsletter from around 1989 is a hoot.A The brochure, "Top" Line, shows the three different brakes by CLB; Space Line, Olympic, and Elite.A Apparently all came in plastic ‘attache-cases’.AA According to Steve Griffith at the Classic Lightweights UK site; CLB at this point was part of Sachs and this was probably the last ‘hurrah’.A Check out this marketing:A Beware! The new CLB levers are so good-looking that they will blind you to alternatives!A Wow.A I wish I was that talented.A I might have a job.

About Bobby Sapovits

The creator of the Bicycle Info Project. Dedicated to scanning hundreds of old bicycle catalogs for restoration work, research, and general bike curiosity.
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One Response to More Suntour and CLB Brakes

  1. I was looking up some Suntour model number info for an ebay listing and in doing so I love to read other folks take on Suntour and in particular the shifting “issues.” You’re statement about lack of precision in the shifting because Suntour incorporated their version of “float” into the shifter seems off to me. I commuted, raced, and toured using Superbe Pro using Winner Pro ( with and w/o Accushift cogs ) and never had any issues. Or at least no more than issues that arise with any other manufacturers index systems. I started also working as a pro road mechanic in 1987 and in 1989 for the feds ( USCF ). I can remember being at junior road natz in 1990 in San Antonio, Tx and a reputable shop was providing neutral service. Some kid had Suntour Superbe Pro and had it adjusted by one of the shops mechs. I listened to the mechanics complain about how Suntour was #H)&D#@*_ to adjust. I went over and asked if I could give it a try. They said ok but tried telling me how Suntour just couldn’t be “fixed.” Within probably 10-15 seconds it was working just like it was supposed to. One thing I learned was most know-it-all mechanics at that time assumed you setup Suntour just like Shimano. I guess that’s what you get for reading the directions. Campy and Suntour both had to be setup the same way. I could improperly setup Shimano and say it shifts like $@!)~+=it. That said, I love what you’re doing for the collectors and others looking for info on older components and bikes. Oh, the campyjoe nickname, that came from a slew of juniors one year at a stage race because I was always suggesting to use Campy hubs, etc because it’s bearing surfaces and products would last longer than Shimano’s. Then Sram came along, now I suggest they use Shimano when asked what brand I like. Funny how things work out. I’m a year away from “retiring” as a race mech. I have a fledging repair business to take care of.


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