Did you think big sprockets on road bikes was a new idea?

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peetee
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Re: so you think big sprockets on road bikes is a new idea?

Postby peetee » 3 Sep 2018, 9:26pm

Brucey wrote:
SunTour first introduced a fancy freewheel called the 'Winner'. This was a high tech lightweight freewheel but at a fraction of the cost of fancy European lightweight freewheels. It had a few flaws however , so a couple of years later they launched the slightly cheaper/heavier (and considerably stronger) 'New Winner' freewheel.


It did have a shakey moment. I remember having my more heavily used cogs changed for the 3rd time at my LBS and then riding off and managing to break a few off. Closer inspection revealed a lot of them with hairline cracks. The chap in the shop suggested I must have been responsible. I had to laugh. I was built like a racing snake and we didn't talk watts back then but I probably would have struggled to get into 3 figures.
Current status report:
Latter side of fifty and feeling less than nifty.
Too many bikes on pegs and too few miles in the legs.

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willcee
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Re: so you think big sprockets on road bikes is a new idea?

Postby willcee » 3 Sep 2018, 9:42pm

to quote Brucey..
Maybe shimano would have done what they did do anyway. But maybe SunTour showed them that more sprockets = more sales and set them off on the path they took.........

INDEED SHIMANO CAPITALIZED.!!!
they acquired / bought the patent that Suntour .. the double parallelogram..[when the original ST company went into Administration] had on their excellent Superb Pro Mecks which later was launched as the Shimano CRANE then the Duraace forerunner.. I have heard said the Superb Pro will actually work well with the early shimano STI levers so good were they..
and yes i also had a machine some years back with 36 36 gearing courtesy of Suntour and when a mate and I went climbing on a local mountainy road he, trying to stay with me twiddling.. fell off slowly into the ditch failing to turn his 38/28 to any useful forward momentum... will

LuckyLuke
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Re: so you think big sprockets on road bikes is a new idea?

Postby LuckyLuke » 3 Sep 2018, 9:50pm

Interesting stuff folks. Suntour is a bit before my time so thanks for enlightening me.

Brucey, sounds like those Suntour Freewheels suits you, sir? :D

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Brucey wrote:
FWIW if you build a wheel to 135mm OLN and optimise the wheel dish, you can fit 7 sprockets (of ~1.9mm thickness) and there will be almost zero dish in the wheel. A 2x7 or a 3x7 setup with carefully chosen sprockets provides enough gears for almost any purpose.


Good to know, any Shimano 7spd hubs out there you recommend? Perhaps an equivalent spec to Tiagra or Deore LX?

Best wishes,

Luke

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gaz
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Re: so you think big sprockets on road bikes is a new idea?

Postby gaz » 3 Sep 2018, 10:04pm

I recall briefly fitting a 14-34T five speed in place of a 14-28T. Some time late 80's, probably with an XT Super Plate rear mech. This achieved a 20" lowest gear rather than the existing 24". At the time I did not need a 20" bottom gear, I just wanted to experience having one.

I could not live with the % jumps between gears for more than an afternoon's test ride, so reverted back to 14-28T.

Bonefishblues
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Re: so you think big sprockets on road bikes is a new idea?

Postby Bonefishblues » 3 Sep 2018, 10:11pm

gaz wrote:I recall briefly fitting a 14-34T five speed in place of a 14-28T. Some time late 80's, probably with an XT Super Plate rear mech. This achieved a 20" lowest gear rather than the existing 24". At the time I did not need a 20" bottom gear, I just wanted to experience having one.

I could not live with the % jumps between gears for more than an afternoon's test ride, so reverted back to 14-28T.

Similarly I went from the 14-34 to an Ultra 6 (iirc) 13-28 plus a 26-36-46 triple and it was a revelation.

Brucey
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Re: so you think big sprockets on road bikes is a new idea?

Postby Brucey » 3 Sep 2018, 11:47pm

LuckyLuke wrote: Interesting stuff folks. Suntour is a bit before my time so thanks for enlightening me.

Brucey, sounds like those Suntour Freewheels suits you, sir? :D .


I dodged the 'Winner' bullet and used nothing but New Winners for quite a few years; in their time they were about as good as you could get without spending silly money. There were problems of course but nothing I couldn't deal with until

a) I found it difficult to buy sprockets any more and
b) I realised that if I used a shimano cassette system, I might never break another rear axle

So following a year spent trying to break an MTB with a shimano cassette hub on it, I made a policy to swap to shimano cassette hubs for all my bikes as opportunity arose and indeed I have not broken another rear axle since, not on a cassette hub. To change systems like that was a bitter pill to swallow, since I already had (in fact still have, in a box that is too heavy to lift easily) several hundred pound's worth of SunTour sprockets and freewheel bodies across many different bikes. Not to mention an even larger investment in beautiful hubs such as campag NR etc.

But Sun Tour actually helped me to make the decision; they had by then converted to 'Winner Pro' freewheel bodies and whilst these also accepted 'New Winner' sprockets (which gave vendors the chance to shift the soon to be irreplaceable stock of threaded New Winner sprockets, mainly to folk who had Winner Pro bodies and therefore didn't really need them..... :roll: ), New Winner bodies didn't accept the (now splined) middle fitting Winner Pro sprockets of course. So if I'd wanted to carry on with SunTour freewheels, I'd have had to spend several hundred quid on new bodies and these would only be of any use if I could get WP sprockets in the future.

I strongly suspected that the Shimano freehub system was a much better idea anyway, and unless Sun Tour got their finger out PDQ they would be headed for the toilet. If they did come out with their own cassette hub I thought there to be a vanishingly small chance that any of the kit I had would be of any use whatsoever; SunTour's cassette would either have to be compatible with shimano (in which case buying shimano now would not be an issue) or it wouldn't, in which case it might never take off; shimano were already cleaning up. If I'd have been Sun Tour I'd have swallowed my pride and made a freehub system that was to some extent shimano compatible, and then differentiated it from shimano in some other way.

Good to know, any Shimano 7spd hubs out there you recommend? Perhaps an equivalent spec to Tiagra or Deore LX?


STX RC. (FH-MC30 etc). The STX RC 7s freehub body (there is an 8s version too) is still available and fits a lot of different shimano rear hubs. A few wrinkles are that the large sprockets don't sit as close to the spokes on a standard 7s freehub body; I have been known to machine them so that they do, but you can use a dished #1 sprocket instead. Another is that 7s freehub bodies generally don't have a rear body seal, so you need to be more careful lubricating them and keeping the water out. BTW I have yet to find a good way of shortening an 8s freehub body.

cheers
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The utility cyclist
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Re: so you think big sprockets on road bikes is a new idea?

Postby The utility cyclist » 4 Sep 2018, 1:34am

I bought a Salesman's case of new sprockets when I was going through my 'retro' phase and had intended to build up a special hi-low 6 speed with a 34T bad boy as my bottom gear using the gold coloured 'pro-compe's' , I had a mint Suntour Cyclone MKII long cage as well which are ridiculously light even by modern standards but I went down the Stronglight 99 Bis route so with a 28T inner c/ring I didn't need such big sprockets. Now use a 600-Ultegra 13-28 6 speed which works fine but isn't nearly as pretty as the gold coloured sprockets or indeed the bronze/brown of the 'perfect'.
So, they're all wrapped and unused waiting for the right person to unwrap and actually use them :lol:
Image
Image Attachments
Suntour sprockets.jpg

LuckyLuke
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Re: so you think big sprockets on road bikes is a new idea?

Postby LuckyLuke » 4 Sep 2018, 6:55am

What a stash!
As an aside, I've often wondered if there's a higher prevalence of hoarding amongst cyclists? (I've a few boxes of cycling bric a brac too, & more bikes than I really need...)

Brucey
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Re: so you think big sprockets on road bikes is a new idea?

Postby Brucey » 4 Sep 2018, 10:44am

Nice Pro Compe kit!

The pro compe freewheel uses the same design of body centre as the most common version of the 'perfect' model freewheel (with two pawls and shim bearing adjustment) but the outer part of the body has an odd, (rather than even) number of teeth cut into it. (I think they may have made the bearings a bit better in the pro compe model too.) This gives a freewheel with half the engagement lash (twice as many clicks per revolution) but it isn't quite as strong as a 'perfect' either, having only one pawl in engagement at any one time rather than two. IME this is OK for racing freewheels but a 'perfect' model is a fair bit stronger, once it is 'run in' and the two pawls actually share the load properly.

IIRC the Pro compe sprockets are all interchangeable with the 'perfect' model and the splined sprockets also fit 'New Winner' etc if the drive lugs are shortened very slightly. The threaded sprockets also fit the middle position of the New WInner model but in some cases the thickness is only compatible with standard sprocket spacing, not 'ultra'. As per the diagram in the box (which might be a race team mechanic's box BTW) a body can be built up as a standard spaced 5s (as originally intended) or a standard spaced 6s. The build uses three splined sprockets and two threaded ones for 5s and the 6s build screws a sixth sprocket onto a special 5th sprocket that has a second (smaller) thread cut onto an overhang. The standard 5s build can be built 14-up but the 6s build can (IIRC) use a smaller sprocket in the overhang position.

Probably there are sprockets in the kit that are in fittings that are not easily found NOS now and if these alone were sold the value of the box would be considerable. But unopened and complete, the box is also a collector's item, so I wouldn't know what to suggest for the best.

Image
a selection (not complete) of 1983 sun tour products, including a 38T bottom gear

Image
New Winner builds; only the endmost threaded fitting is completely different to Pro Compe/Perfect

also see http://www.os2.dhs.org/~john/Suntour_cog_types.jpg for more details of New Winner sprockets.
Note that the sprocket teeth have chamfers on which (allegedly) help with the shifting, which means that there are several different types of middle sprocket fitting; even though the thickness, thread, etc on the sprockets might be the same, you are not meant to install some sprockets in some positions.

cheers
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Brucey
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Re: so you think big sprockets on road bikes is a new idea?

Postby Brucey » 4 Sep 2018, 11:30am

this was SunTour's 1989 range for road bikes

Image

IIRC Sun Tour provided the derailleurs and freewheels, Sugino the cranks, MKS the pedals, Dia Compe the brakes, D.I.D. the chains, Tange the headsets, and Sanshin (Sunshine) the hubs, all to be sold under the 'Sun Tour' umbrella.

All good quality stuff, but Shimano had better indexing, better shifting (HG sprockets came out in ~'89 I think) and a much stronger cassette hub. They also had daft/marmitey things like biopace too, but that didn't seem to stop them selling.

cheers
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Brucey
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Re: so you think big sprockets on road bikes is a new idea?

Postby Brucey » 4 Sep 2018, 11:50am

Image
this 5s "8.8.8." build is identical to pro-compe/'perfect' builds

cheers
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Brucey
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Re: so you think big sprockets on road bikes is a new idea?

Postby Brucey » 4 Sep 2018, 11:57am

more New Winner charts;

Image

Image
I think this chart is dated Nov 1978 which may be about the launch date for the New Winner

7s in 1978! :shock:

cheers
Last edited by Brucey on 4 Sep 2018, 12:11pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Brucey
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Re: so you think big sprockets on road bikes is a new idea?

Postby Brucey » 4 Sep 2018, 12:00pm

Image
1975 catalogue

Note 'powershift' levers were already available.

cheers
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Brucey
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Re: so you think big sprockets on road bikes is a new idea?

Postby Brucey » 4 Sep 2018, 12:06pm

Image

more from the 1983 catalogue
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Brucey
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Re: so you think big sprockets on road bikes is a new idea?

Postby Brucey » 4 Sep 2018, 1:38pm

a better image of the 1976 catalogue shows the then available 'winner' models;

http://www.velo-pages.com/main.php?g2_itemId=32057

http://www.velo-pages.com/main.php?g2_itemId=12652&g2_imageViewsIndex=1

The "Winner-S" models use steel sprockets and were presumably fairly durable. However the 1651 and 1661 models (at the top of the page) use aluminium sprockets for lightweight and these were found not to be strong enough in many uses (eg Peetee's experiences). Those freewheels are marked 'for racing use only'.

http://www.velo-pages.com/main.php?g2_itemId=12411

and

http://www.velo-pages.com/main.php?g2_itemId=12652&g2_imageViewsIndex=1

show how the original 'winner' was constructed, with three (!) different threaded fittings and a unique bearing adjustment system that was locked by the sprockets and adjusted on the left side.

cheers
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