South Salem Cycleworks
(503) 480-2001
email: sscycleworks@comcast.net

Vintage Components - SunTour Brakes

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On this page: SunTour Superbe standard-reach calipers

Suntour could trace its origins to 1912, when the then-named Maeda Iron Works began making bicycle sprockets and then freewheels.

Suntour's business really took off with its introduction of the slant parallelogram rear derailleur in 1964. This innovation, upon which all modern derailleurs are based, allowed the derailleur to maintain a constant distance from the sprockets and vastly improved shifting.

Suntour thrived and expanded, eventually producing complete groups, all well-designed and beautifully made. But upon the expiration of Suntour's slant-parallelogram derailleur patent, arch-competitor Shimano, adopting this design, became a relentless and dominating force in bicycle components, crushing the weaker Suntour company.

In 1988, the now-struggling Suntour company was purchased by the a Taiwan firm and by 1993, once-dominant Suntour owned only five percent of the U.S. market.


SunTour Superbe standard reach brake calipers. Used, $90.00

Part# BR-40

We date these calipers as early 1980's production. They have an incremental quick-release, like Campangolo. You can open them a bit or a lot.

The center bolts have flats to allow precise centering of the caliper. The earliest versions of these calipers has "Superbe" stamped. Later production, like these, had the name printed on an arm.

Brake specialist Dia-Compe produced these calipers for SunTour.

These are well-made, beautifully designed and finished calipers that will do justice to any bike.

Suntour Superbe calipers

The pads appear to be original and have only modest wear.

Suntour Superbe brake calipers

The brake cable is clamped by a small plate rather than run through a bolt with a hole in it. This is the way the best brake calipers are made. It really reduces fraying and broken cables.