SunTour ended their flirtation with hippy-chic when they adopted this logo in 1981. It was stylistically clean and printed in bright red, rather than the dull green that they had been using. The new logo also coincided with SunTour’s adoption of a much cleaner, more ‘aerodynamic’ look for their components, a bigger emphasis on technical features and a greater use of technical language in their material. On the one had it was a definite move into a more aggressively modern, higher performance and more sophisticated future.
But on the other hand it was a move that destroyed a part of their allure. SunTour was the brand for cyclists who were actively pleased to use equipment that was excellent but understated, and, most importantly, was underrated by those who were supposedly in the know. Inverted snobbery is an essential part of a ‘rebel’ brand. Ask any student cafe specialising in unfinished wooden floors and mismatched furniture. Did the Repack rebels who invented mountain biking using SunTour derailleurs secretly aspire to the technological wizardry of Shimano’s Dura-Ace or the bamboo-tumbled pearly finish of Campagnolo’s Super Record? I somehow doubt it.