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Archival Reviews of Suntour Freewheels/Cassettes
As many readers are already aware Suntour has vacated the bicycle parts market. These leaves anyone who ever relied on them for freewheels or uses a Suntour cassette rear hub with no real alternatives. If you were using a Suntour freewheel, the Sach Aris is your last full range freewheel alternative. If you own a Suntour cassette rear hub, you may still find a Suntour splines cassette at your local bicycle store, but you should mentally prepare to replace the rear hub, with something that has the Shimano Hyperglide spline pattern.
SUNTOUR ACCUSHIFT PLUS / POWERFLO
Suntour has their own version of index shifting, they call Accushift Plus. It uses cogs which are narrow to permit more rear sprockets within the same space. The sprockets are 1.9mm thick (like HyperGlide), with 3.0mm spacing between each of the rear cogs so they can be used with all current index systems. Accushift Plus teeth have a beveled front surface, in the first, and the fourth through seventh position cogs. Each of the teeth is ground to a thinner top, with tapered sides. The second position cogs have beveled teeth with a horizontal notch cut in the top, while the third position cog's teeth are both beveled and wedge shaped.
Each of these variations of the teeth at each position on the rear sprocket assembly, and the use of an Accushift Plus chain, is designed to provide the specifically needed assist, both the chain and the sprocket require, from each other, to make the shift and engagement as swift and as accurate as possible. Suntour, as a part of their 8-speed and Micro-Drive cassette hub drive groups, has a new tooth style they are implementing this model year (1993). Suntour calls their new toothed cogs "PowerFlo". The rear shifts are made considerably faster with a smooth dexterity because of the tooth design and shape.
The shape of the tooth differs according to the cog position. The first position uses teeth that are pointed at the top and bevel down on both sides, the front of each tooth is bevel cut sloping down, and toward you, on the face. The second position has a more gradual top-down bevel with the rear of the tooth twisted slightly. The third position's teeth slope forward slightly, with a recess for the chain roller to migrate in. The fourth through the seventh (or eighth) position use a repeating 8 tooth sequence, that uses a rear bevel for the first 4 teeth, adding a rearward slope on tooth 3 & 4. The fifth and sixth tooth have a front bevel, with a special notched indentation which facilitates swift up-shifting. This is the most important feature of the tooth structure. The final three teeth are front beveled gradually leading to rear beveled eighth tooth.
This design is, in many ways, similar to other index systems. The cog thickness is still 1.9mm, and the cog spacing varies, like AP, from 2.8mm upper position to 3.2mm in the lower positions.
SUNTOUR AL10-K7 POWERFLO 7 SPEED FREEWHEEL
Suntour has always made well constructed freewheels. They will likely inherit the market that Shimano departs. The AL10 is an Accushift Plus compatible freewheel, so it works very well under all Suntour index shifting systems. Because it use cogs that are 1.9mm thick with 2.8mm to 3.2mm spacing between them, it should also work well with any other index shift system on the market. The PowerFlo cogs are made of steel, with a separate grinding process to bevel the teeth, then colored black. Suntour uses small square inner notches that grip the freewheel body.
To reduce the weight of the freewheel, two diameters of inner holes are used, a small one for the first through fifth position cogs and a larger cut out center on the sixth and seventh. The second/third position spacer is made of steel, while the other four are plastic, with a combined weight of 15 grams. The outer cone race is made of forged steel, with light polishing on the bearing surface, then colored Black. It's removed by turning it clockwise. Thirty 3.0mm steel ball bearings are used in the outer bearing assembly. The inner body piece is a single steel forging, with the inner bearing race ground and polished before giving it it's Brown color. The AL10 has two pawls operated, and held in place by, a circular wire spring.
The outer body piece is forged of steel, the inner cup race is polished, then given it's Brown color. There are forty-one 3mm steel ball bearings used in the inner bearing assembly. The AL10 has no exterior lubrication ports, a Phil Wood F/W Grease Injector will help for the re-lubrication process. The AL10 can be removed with a Suntour TA-320 or a Park FR-3 freewheel tool. English thread only. The AL10 comes in 6 sprocket combinations.
No longer made, we sold these for $29.99. They were available in 13/21 - Cogset Type R7, 13/24 - Cogset Type T7 (415 gm),13/26 - Cogset Type V7, 13/28 - Cogset Type W7 (478 gm), 13/30 - Cogset Type Z7 (499 gm), or 13/32 - Cogset Type AA7 (542 gm)
SUNTOUR WT10-S7 7 SPEED FREEWHEEL
The WT10 is Accushift compatible to work with all Suntour index shift systems, and should also work well with other makers' index systems. There is limited availabilty of these freewheels. They were discontinued by Suntour as part of a larger abandonment of the road racing parts market in June of 1994. The cogs are made of steel, with a separate grinding step to shape the teeth, then are given a Zinc or Nickel Silver plating.
Suntour, again, uses two inner diameters on the cogs to reduce the freewheel weight. The inner cog notch pattern is the same used on the AL10, so the cogs can be interchanged. The same spacer set used in the AL10 is also used here. The outer cone race is made of well machined steel, with excellent work on the bearing surface. Thirty 3.0mm steel ball bearings are used for the outer bearing assembly. The inner body piece is forged as a single piece, from steel, with well executed machine work cleaning up all roughness, and a honed and polished inner bearing race, after.
The WT10 uses two pawls, which are specially recessed into the inner body piece providing a more exacting ratchet. The pawls are held, and operated, by a circular wire spring. The outer body piece is also forged as one piece of steel with machining on it's interior, before it's colored black. The inner bearing assembly is made using forty-two 3.0mm steel ball bearings. The WT10 has a lubrication port, which is a hole drilled through interior of the inner body piece. To use it you remove the freewheel from your wheel, with the cog side down in your hand, grease or oil is injected through a hole in the threads that fasten the F/W to your hub. The WT10 can be removed with a Suntour TA-320 or a Park FR-3 freewheel tool. The WT10 comes in 7 sprocket combinations.
No longer made, we sold these for $39.99 They were available in 12/21 - Cogset Type D7 (367 gm), 12/23 - Cogset Type E7 (387 gm), 12/26 - Cogset Type H7 (446 gm), 12/28 - Cogset Type I7 (476 gm), 12/32 - Cogset Type O7 (511 gm), 13/30 - Cogset Type Z7, or 13/32 - Cogset Type AA7 (550 gm)
SUNTOUR AP10-K7 7 SPEED CASSETTE
This 7 speed cassette uses Suntour's PowerFlo gears. The AP10-S7 is compatible with Suntour SL, Superbe Pro, XCE, XCM, X-1, XC LTD, XC Pro, and XC Comp. It will not work with any of the 7 or 8 speed Micro Drive rear cassette hubs, even though the cassettes appear to slide on the body with no difficulty. (The Micro Drive body has an effective length of 25.7mm, while the non-Micro Drive have an effective length of 31mm. The MD style cassette relies on the first and second position threading on together, the 2nd position holds the 1st onto the hub, it is not threaded to the hub itself.)
The AP10-S7 cogs are made of machined steel, with a ramped shaped inner notches that slide on the freehub body, then colored black. The 2nd through 7th position sprockets are held together with a thin, delicate steel rivet. This rivet exists to allow easy and quick installation only, and is not structural. We found a modest tap of a hammer on a drift pin, knocked it free, allowing us to change singly any of the cogs. The first position cog has a threaded interior, which screws onto the outer freehub body, holding all the cassette gears in place. The AP10-S7 comes in 7 sprocket combinations.
No longer made, we sold these for $29.99. They were available in 12/21 - Cogset Type D7, 12/23 - Cogset Type E7, 12/28 - Cogset Type J7 (291 gm), 12/30 - Cogset Type L7 (317 gm), 13/24 - Cogset Type T7, 13/23 - Cogset Type V7, or 13/28 - Cogset Type W7
SUNTOUR AP10-S8 8 SPEED CASSETTE
This is the eight speed cassette for use with 8 speed hubs in the Superbe Pro and SL 8 speed parts groups. It is the same cogset as above with an added 8th position cog. The AP10-S8 comes in 1 sprocket combination.
No longer made, we sold these $37.99 and they had a 12/24 - Cogset Type E8
SUNTOUR AP20-S7/8 7 / 8 SPEED MD CASSETTE
The AP20-S7 is the Silver cassette for Micro Drive 7 & 8 speed rear hubs. It's Accushift Plus compatible and has PowerFlo gears for PowerFlo compatibility. It is intended for use with XC Pro MD, XC Comp MD, and XC Expert MD. The distinction that makes it Micro Drive is one of the inner diameter notches is square shaped rather than the angle shape used for all the internal notches used in the non-Micro Drive hubs. This square shaped inner notch is used to align all the gears, so the function of each of the specially shaped teeth line up and perform at their best. The cogs are made of machined steel, then cadmium plated silver.
The eight speed cassette is for use only with the new 8 speed MD hubs. These hubs have their flanges spaced slightly closer together, permitting a longer freehub body, and therefore one more cog. The distinctive PowerFlo teeth have been described above. There is one sprocket combination available for each hub type. Remember, though the largest sprocket appears to be smaller than is common for a rear sprocket assembly, the Micro Drive drivetrain uses considerably fewer teeth to achieve the same "chain length" and gear ratios.
No longer made, we sold the 7 speed 11/24 - Cogset Type A7 for $29.99 and the 8 speed 11/28 - Cogset Type A8 for $34.99