OSAKA, Japan (BRAIN) — Mountain Bike Hall of Famer Junzo Kawai is back with a new company, SunXCD, offering a hubset, cranks and rims, and a promise of more things to come.
“It’s hard to over emphasize the significance of Junzo Kawai returning to the bike industry, the closest thing I can think of is Steve Jobs’ return,” said Jim Porter, president of The Merry Sales Company. Merry Sales will be distributing SunXCD in North America.
“Junzo has always created components that give riders more fun on bikes, which is why he was so involved with the early days of mountain bikes. The new components will not be fancy or electronic, but beautiful, simple parts that make riding fun,” Porter added
Kawai retained control over Suntour’s red triangular logo that he uses with SunXCD, but SR Suntour, a Taiwanese business, owns the Suntour name. The company just launched its website, sunxcd.net.
SunXCD’s first products are a $100 front hub, $200 rear cassette hub, $80 700c rim and a $180 crank that uses various $60 spiders. The rear hub is coming in 120-milimeter spaced version for fixies and older bikes. Wheels start at $350. SunXCD is cooperating with Microshift of Taiwan on developing a drivetrain.
“Just like Apple, Suntour Japan has a very loyal following and the interest we are getting already in the new products is pretty amazing,” Porter said.
Kawai, now 90, joined Maeda Industries, Suntour’s parent, in 1946. Maeda was making freewheels and sprockets at the time. The company produced its first Suntour derailleurs five years later. Joining Kawai at SunXCD are longtime Suntour Japan veteran Tsugio “Taki” Takimoto, and his grandson.