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Sugino Cranks

Old 08-07-19, 01:04 AM
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BikeWonder
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Sugino Cranks

Posted this in the fixed gear thread by accident,so I'll ask the question here for a new thread and info:

Looking to see how the vintage Sugino cranks rank?
The ones I see commonly are Sugino RT, Sugino GT, & Sugino AT. Are there any more? If so, what were their uses (i.e., touring, racing) and how do they rank in terms of quality?
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Old 08-07-19, 01:15 AM
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Mighty, Maxy, Mighty Comp, Super Maxy,, Super Mighty Comp, Super tour, 75, VP, Aero, VT, GT, GP, GLP, and more.

Too many to simply rate. Super Mighty Comp with very much the equal of Campy Record Strata and Pista. Maxy were lower end swaged. Many others in between.

I don't know anyone who wouldn't use them. Great components.
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Old 08-07-19, 01:46 AM
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Sugino Cranks

Originally Posted by BikeWonder View Post
Looking to see how the vintage Sugino cranks rank?
The ones I see commonly are Sugino RT, Sugino GT, & Sugino AT. Are there any more? If so, what were their uses (i.e., touring, racing) and how do they rank in terms of quality?
I'll spare you the "Google is your friend" chide.

velobase.com is a good source for this kind of information.

This link will take you right to the Sugino section:

VeloBase.com - Component Listing

In the early 70's Sugino came into the world market for alloy cotterless cranks. Around 1972 Sugino was one of first Japanese manufacturers to break into the European cycling component market. During the bike boom of the early 70's the French component makers were overwhelmed and couldn't meet the demand for better quality products. This opened the door to Japanese companies like Sugino, SR Sakae Ringyo, DiaCompe, Suntour and others.

The Sugino Mighty Competition cranks were some of the first Campagnolo knockoffs. They used the same 144mm BCD size chain rings as Campy and all the parts while lower quality, interchanged with all the Campy pieces. The arms were forged like Campy's not cast.

They were available with British, French or Italian BBs and British or French pedal threads.



About the same time Sugino introduced their cheap model, the Sugino Maxi cotterless cranks with pressure cast arms ("melt forged" a Japanese euphemism for pressure casting). The large chain ring was swagged onto the DS arm. That was the main problem with those 1st generation cranks. Even a moderate sized westerner could spin the arm in the swagged on chainring.



They were designed for the slightly better than entry level bike market during the bike boom as a solution to cheap steel cottered cranks that always loosened up.

That's a start. Check out the velobase link for more info.

verktyg

Last edited by verktyg; 08-07-19 at 02:35 AM.
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Old 08-07-19, 05:05 AM
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Sugino...sigh. Some fun items.
--The 75 series levers, pedals, levers, calipers, derailleurs...carbon and elegant looking
--The tension disk wheel
--Aero Mighty pedals were beautiful.

Most of the cranks emulated Campy but a few deviated...Impel and the Guines, and Qualete guys. I remember the Bicycling magazine ads for those.

Best triple cranksets on the market at the time, IIRC?
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Old 08-07-19, 06:46 AM
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Sugino Mighty Compe cranks look great and work well until they break. I snapped one across the pedal eye during an out-of-saddle climb (ouch), but it was a 1970 production first-generation model with at least 25K miles on it. I noticed that it had at least 1mm less metal on each side of the pedal eye than the ca. 1974 second-generation specimen I replaced it with. A millimeter doesn't sound like much, but it is a significant fraction of 6mm. Given this observed revision, I am guessing I am not the only one to have experienced pedal eye failure in an early Sugino crank.
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Old 08-07-19, 10:27 AM
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Sugino AT cranks are excellent. You will see them Spec’d on a lot of high-end tourers and mountain bikes.

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Old 08-07-19, 10:33 AM
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Hmmm,... I bought a Sugino Mighty Comp sometime early in the winter of 1973-1974. I bought it at the now-defunct Stuyvesant Bicycle in lower Manhattan. I still have it.

They never had that lustrous finish Campagnolo had, not even when brand new.

Regarding breaking the crank, I am a pretty big guy with strong legs. I used to routinely ride in very hilly areas. I used to tour on a loaded bike in mountainous areas. I did everything with it except officially "race". It's was perfectly fine back then and it still is. I would not hesitate to use it if I had a need. Mine is a time-proven (reliable) survivor.

Product improvements aside, I wonder if there were latent defects in some of the production units. That would explain why mine was/is fine and yours broke. Campagnolo has had this problem, too.
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Old 08-07-19, 10:52 AM
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And if your knees like low Q-factors - those old Suginos had straight crank arms. I'll ride any of the Suginos with one piece drive cranks. (I'm guessing it won't be hard to miss those 1st generation ones that John E broke.)

The straight 110-74 BCD triples are the sweet knee savers. Thank you Sugino for making so many of those! I set them up on any old Shimano BB, measure how much clearance I have on the drive and non-drive sides, calculate the minimum spindle length and offset and place an order with Phil Wood. My best bike is now 9-speed with a 50-38-24 and a Q-factor of 139mm. Knees love it. (Actually it is not a Sugino. It's Specialized made by probably SR. Details do not look like Sugino but overall shape, concept, and fit very similar. 110-74 BCD like so many Suginos.)
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Old 08-07-19, 11:51 AM
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I have a Sugino AT triple crankset on my Miyata 1000, but I'm considering on switching it out because it rides so nice and hard to find. Might replaced it with a Shimano 600 triple crankset.
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Old 08-07-19, 02:39 PM
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I've heard of more NR cranks failing than Mighty Comps, all due respect to @John E. There was even an NJS Mighty Comp for track so the quality was generally top shelf. Crap happens though. The only crank I ever broke was an Arabesque, halfway up the arm with a big void in the middle. It hurt me when it snapped but fortunately I didn't fall into rush hour traffic.
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Old 08-07-19, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
I've heard of more NR cranks failing than Mighty Comps, all due respect to @John E. There was even an NJS Mighty Comp for track so the quality was generally top shelf. Crap happens though. The only crank I ever broke was an Arabesque, halfway up the arm with a big void in the middle. It hurt me when it snapped but fortunately I didn't fall into rush hour traffic.
Boy, that must have been a big "WTF?" moment, glad you didn't crash.
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Old 08-07-19, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mech986 View Post
Boy, that must have been a big "WTF?" moment, glad you didn't crash.
Testies withdrew into body cavity on that one my friend. I was out of the saddle at the time and I got lucky.
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Old 08-07-19, 05:26 PM
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Here is mine on my lotus elan 75. Yes it is carbon fiber inlay
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Old 08-08-19, 12:00 AM
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JJam2112, that LOTUS is a museum piece. Did you get the brakes squared away?
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Old 08-09-19, 03:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
JJam2112, that LOTUS is a museum piece. Did you get the brakes squared away?
Thanks. Hope I can maintain it that way while still enjoy the ride. Yes got them all squared away, thanks. I’ll post some updated pics of them on the forum next time I ride.
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Old 08-09-19, 12:53 PM
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Just chiming in here, the "Mighty" Sugino Super/Mighty Competition, easily one of if not the best in the business, looks, strength, brutal toughness, period.
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Old 08-09-19, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Maxy were lower end swaged. Many others in between.
But the Maxy can be sexy...

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Old 08-09-19, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Jicafold View Post
But the Maxy can be sexy...
No doubt no doubt...
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Old 08-09-19, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeWonder View Post
I have a Sugino AT triple crankset on my Miyata 1000, but I'm considering on switching it out because it rides so nice and hard to find. Might replaced it with a Shimano 600 triple crankset.
Both the N600/6206 are really nice cranks. IMO- the AT is much much easier to find- and it's (IMO) a nicer crankset.


1985 Trek 620 by Dave The Golden Boy, on Flickr

IMG_1728 by Dave The Golden Boy, on Flickr


FWIW- those two are probably the nicest 110/74 triples ever made. Much prettier and more graceful than the M730 XT cranks.
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Old 08-09-19, 03:57 PM
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An apropos thread - I shot this picture at a semi-local co-op recently. Looks like one of the Usual Suspects:

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Old 08-09-19, 04:46 PM
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I built up this 52/34 compact Sugino GT on my Peugeot PR10. I really like the shiny appearance with the Pug's gold paint. It actually worked pretty well with a 6 speed 26t freewheel, and the old Simplex RD seemed OK with it. I have since replaced the Sugino with a Stronglight drillium 99, in keeping with its Frenchness, but it was a successful experiment.
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Old 08-09-19, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
An apropos thread - I shot this picture at a semi-local co-op recently. Looks like one of the Usual Suspects:

From the looks of it, they weren't exactly "open"!
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Old 08-09-19, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
From the looks of it, they weren't exactly "open"!
That’s their old location. They’re moving from it - and there’s at least 2000 bicycles in there.

I was busy picking up three of these adorable 650C kids track bikes (lugged diamond frames!) for the local bike advocacy program that I work for, hence why I was in that pitch darkness. They have a fleet of 40 or so (split half and half between 48cm 700C frames and these tiny 650C machines) from the Brian Piccolo Park Velodrome, which used to have a youth program.

Sorry, not a Sugino crankset on these, just a 155mm generic triple.



P.S.: The co-op has had them for a while now and nobody has shown interest, so I decided to stick my neck out for my program and offer to convert three of them into road bikes, even though we really don't have the funds to experiment with these. They were built with road crowns and full-size Columbus road blades cut down to length, so there's no chance of bending blades here if I drill the crown and stick Tektros on them. (I'm open to any donations of 650C tires, singlspeed freewheels and kids-sized North Road handlebars).

-Kurt

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Old 08-09-19, 06:36 PM
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Good on you, Kurt! That is really cool of you to save and repurpose those bikes.
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Old 08-09-19, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Good on you, Kurt! That is really cool of you to save and repurpose those bikes.
Trust me, I'd like to save all of them, but I know I'm stretching the program just to accept these three. Also, the co-op is a long drive away, and if I'm going to stretch myself in every direction, I'm going to do it for the 1980's Roberts they have there

More importantly, the rest of the 650C fleet uses proper track crowns that I won't risk drilling, and the no-budget build means finding 650C forks puts them out of the running. The 700C bikes are probably too big for this type of repurposing, especially given the lack of BB drop.

Geometry is the same on all of them though, so despite the track crowns, they still have clearance - proof that they were built quickly to supply the velodrome's order. They're not by any means badlybuilt, but Confentes they're not.

/thread hijack

-Kurt
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