SunRace is a brand of Sun Race Sturmey-Archer Inc. based in Taoyuan. Sun Race Sturmey-Archer Inc. began life as Roots Enterprises Co Ltd., established in 1972 by Tony Hsu, in Taipei. Tony Hsu chose the SunRace name in the early 1970’s, when SunTour (the obvious inspiration for the name) was still relatively obscure, but rising fast.
For much of the 1970’s and 1980’s SunRace was a fairly typical producer of knock-offs of Shimano pressed steel derailleurs. However they have always been slightly more adventurous and ambitious than many of the other Taiwanese and Chinese manufacturers - as their copy of the Shimano 600 EX Arabesque amply demonstrates.
In 1995 SunRace responded to the melt-down of SunTour by opening a sales office in the USA, in 1999 they moved to a state-of-the-art factory in Taoyuan, in 2000 they started to sponsor the SunRace/Santa Cruz mountain bike racing team and also acquired the Sturmey-Archer hub-gear business from Raleigh and in 2001 they launched their Juju range of ‘high-end’ (for Taiwan) derailleurs.
They pride themselves on their manufacturing technology and on their use of advanced materials in their products.
One fine tradition that they have maintained is that of spelling their name in a number of different ways. In an almost perfect echo of SunTour, SunRace’s own literature over the years has included Sunrace, Sun Race, SunRace and SUNRACE. I have plumped for SunRace, as I feel this is most faithful to the spirit of their logo.
I should also note that I am extremely unclear about the dates of introduction of the various SunRace models.
There is a history page on the SunRace web site.
Lepper GS 1990?
SunRace 600 1992?
SunRace 580 2001?