Sugino main image Sugino main image Sugino main image

see also Mel Pinto catalog - 1970 to 1975

see also Mel Pinto catalog - 1970 to 1975

Mel Pinto catalog - 1970 to 1975 scan 1 thumbnail

Sugino VIC - instructions 1996

Sugino VIC - instructions 1996

Sugino VIC derailleur - instructions scan 1 thumbnail

Established in 1910, Sugino is based in Nara, near Osaka. I believe that their main business has always been the production of chainsets.

From 1969 until (probably) the early 1990’s Sugino was part of the JEX group (Japan Bicycle Parts Manufacturers Group for Export Promotion) along with SunTour, Dia Compe and a number of other companies. In many ways, SunTour acted as the locomotive in the JEX group, designing groupsets and sourcing the brakes from Dia Compe, the chainset from Sugino etc. etc..

Both Sugino’s ventures into derailleurs involve SunTour in one way or another.

The Sugino 75 was a symbol of power and success, it was part of the Sugino 75 groupset, produced to celebrate Sugino’s 75th anniversary. The derailleur is a beautiful Suntour Superbe Pro in slight disguise.

The Sugino VIC was a symbol of desperation and imminent disaster. By the early 1990’s SunTour was in complete meltdown and the other members of the JEX group were suffering badly as a consequence. In 1992(?) SunTour was bought by Mori Industries and merged with Sakae Ringyo (SR). SR was also a producer of chainsets and one of Sugino’s main competitors. With the JEX group effectively dead, Sugino decided that it had to take matters into its own hands and produce a derailleur. The result was the VIC, a wildly innovative and slightly crazy design, but unfortunately it did not turn out well.

A much shrunken Sugino is still in business today, headed up by a member of the Sugino family and producing a small range of interesting and high quality chainsets. As a fellow survivor of the 1970’s and 1980’s bicycle industry I can’t help but wish them well.

Sugino 75 derailleur thumbnail

Sugino 75 1985

Sugino VIC derailleur thumbnail

Sugino VIC 1996