Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-01-08, 09:06 PM   #1
Unagidon
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Unagidon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Lawrence, KS
Bikes: 15 Niner Jet9 RDO, 08 Cervelo RS, 08 Surly Crosscheck, Mid-90's Python Mtb
Posts: 1,331
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quality: how different between Italian vs. Japanese

I'm just curious. I'm new to this vintage stuff - I got hooked on the look of lugged steel, and can't reasonably lay out the cash required for a good condition, ride as is Italian bike. Hence, ended up buying a NOS Miyata off ebay for $400 - Shimano 600 groupo all around, Miyata triple spline tubing and best of all, never ridden by anyone...except maybe test rides from 16 years ago.

Anyway, I also see Colnagos in much worse shape easily go for $1k+, or the really nice ones, close to $2k. I love the look and paint job of Colnagos and I saw a beautiful Tommasini. But the prices are much higher. Even Bianchi frames will go for more than, say a Bridgestone or a Miyata. So...in reality, how different are they? Is there such a huge gap in quality of tubing/workmanship, etc., or is it just the country of origin? And, will there actually be a difference in ride?
Unagidon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-08, 09:46 PM   #2
ricohman
Senior Member
 
ricohman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Saskatchewan
Bikes:
Posts: 2,465
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
My top line Japanese bike is my Nishiki Continental.
The lug work is very good but it is still below my Marinoni.
I can't compare the rides as they are two completely different use bikes.
Here is the lug work.

Nishiki


Marinoni. Notice the filing of the lugs.


Now Italian cars and Japanese cars are a different story........
ricohman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-08, 10:16 PM   #3
T-Mar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 12,467
Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 372 Post(s)
Miyata was arguably the best of the mass volume manufacturers. The bicycles are well designed and manufactured. Their spined triple butted tubesets are excellent and was manufactured in-house so it could be tailored to the particular model. Shimano 600 is a very good, upper mid-range geoup.

Having said that, it is still only a mass production bicycle, with concessions to hitting a price point. It will be lacking in small, costly and labor intensive features. However, for most people, unless they are competing, the return is very small relative to the extra investment for a more exclusive bicycle. Most would not notice or appreciate any difference beyond a cosmetic level.

I think you have made an excellent choice. Use it as test bed for a year or two and try to develop a feel for the nuances of the ride. Then borrow a more expensive machine and see if you can tell the difference. Even if you can discern the differences, you may not like them. If you can appreciate the difference, then great, you can decide if they are worth the extra dollars. Right now, being a novice, you probably couldn't tell the difference. If you had forked out the extra dough now and still couldn't feel the difference in two years, you'd be kicking yourself.

Last edited by T-Mar; 03-01-08 at 10:24 PM.
T-Mar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-08, 10:51 PM   #4
repechage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 11,164
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 169 Post(s)
How we sold them way back...

Price with regard to performance... Japanese, especially components

Ride, European. If the customer could tell, they bought that.

Will work 20 years from now the same as it worked when new, Italian top tier, read: Campagnolo Nuovo Record.

Best derailluer Suntour VGT rear. Not light, (this was before Cyclone) but shifted best, especially wider range cog sets.

So it goes.
repechage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-08, 11:00 PM   #5
Unagidon
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Unagidon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Lawrence, KS
Bikes: 15 Niner Jet9 RDO, 08 Cervelo RS, 08 Surly Crosscheck, Mid-90's Python Mtb
Posts: 1,331
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
That Marioni is absolutely beautiful! I see the difference. Having said that, I'm more buying the vintage as an experience and in some ways, vanity. I like lugs But my daily rider will still be my modern bike, comfy carbon with modern brifters. Can't wait to get my NOS Miyata 914SE. Although, I know I will need some work on the chain rings / cassettes. 42 front and granny gear of 23 in the back just doesn't work for a middle aged guy just buying some toys...
Unagidon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-08, 02:05 AM   #6
Kommisar89
Bottecchia fan
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Bikes: 1959 Bottecchia Professional (frame), 1966 Bottecchia Professional (in progress...), 1971 Bottecchia Professional (frame), 1973 Bottecchia Gran Turismo, 1974 Bottecchia Special (in progress...), 1977 Bottecchia Special (frame), 1974 Peugeot UO-8
Posts: 3,425
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That's an interesting question you pose - in general I'd have to agree with what T-Mar says as I often do but I'd like to add another perspective that T-Mar has also pointed out in other posts. In the 60's and 70's many, perhaps most, Italian bikes available in the US were mass produced by large Italian companies and quality varied somewhat. By the 80's the Japanese had conered the market on entry level bikes and even the big Italian companies were only exporting mid-range or better bikes to the US and the hot thing was high end bikes by semi-custom Italian builders. It's kind of an apples and oranges thing. Sort of like asking if a Harley or a Japanese motorcycle is better. It's one of those things that just doesn't matter because you're going to like one or the other for reasons that only you will understand. I personally prefer the look of an Italian bike. I haven't had the opportunity to test ride all the possible different bikes out there and never will so it will always be a choice of what I like the looks of.
__________________
1959 Bottecchia Professional (frame), 1966 Bottecchia Professional, 1971 Bottecchia Professional (frame),
1973 Bottecchia Gran Turismo, 1974 Bottecchia Special, 1977 Bottecchia Special (frame),
1974 Peugeot UO-8, 1988 Panasonic PT-3500, 2002 Bianchi Veloce, 2004 Bianchi Pista
Kommisar89 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-08, 09:17 AM   #7
OLDYELLR
My bikes became Vintage
 
OLDYELLR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Bikes:
Posts: 1,110
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I have to agree with ricohman. Here are a couple of shots of my Nishiki Ultimate. The lugs could have been filed a bit better, but it's not bad.


OLDYELLR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-08, 09:39 AM   #8
Unagidon
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Unagidon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Lawrence, KS
Bikes: 15 Niner Jet9 RDO, 08 Cervelo RS, 08 Surly Crosscheck, Mid-90's Python Mtb
Posts: 1,331
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I'm curious how the Miyata will compare with the Nishiki's! I remember when the Nishiki Monterey was my dream bike... Now it's a Colnago Master X-Light, a Look 585 Optimum, and a Porsche 911 I'm making do with Miyata 914SE, Look 555, and an Acura RSX. Maybe one day...
Unagidon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-08, 11:54 AM   #9
due ruote 
Senior Member
 
due ruote's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 5,506
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 69 Post(s)
I really think it comes down to intangibles. You'll love the Miyata, and for very good reason - they made great bikes with solid component groups at a good value. In general, they'll never turn heads like a vintage Cinelli or Gios with a Super Record Grouppo, but they'll still ride very, very nicely - some might say better than their European counterparts. If you search the forums using terms like "favorite road bike" you'll find threads with people waxing poetic about bikes from various continents.
due ruote is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-08, 06:02 PM   #10
ga_mueller
Senior Member
 
ga_mueller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: San Jose, CA
Bikes: 1978 Nishiki Superbe, 1982 Miyata Team, 1987 Miyata 912, 1987 Davidson Challenge, 1993 Bridgestone RB1-7
Posts: 325
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
[QUOTE=OLDYELLR;6263594]I have to agree with ricohman. Here are a couple of shots of my Nishiki Ultimate. The lugs could have been filed a bit better, but it's not bad.

+1. Nice, but nothing special (Nishiki). Although far nicer than my RB-1 (primitive).

ga_mueller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-08, 06:27 PM   #11
Mhendricks
Senior Member
 
Mhendricks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: San Jose, ca.
Bikes: 2006 Orbea Volata, 84 Trek 760, 83 Trek 720,
Posts: 1,326
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
And then you have fine Japanese Rides like these that will rival anything Italian.

http://www.classicrendezvous.com/Jap.../Zunow%202.htm


I'm almost through with finding the parts for mine

I also forgot about my Sekai 5000





__________________
They call me "Mr. Mixte"
Mhendricks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-08, 06:29 PM   #12
T-Mar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 12,467
Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 372 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unagidon View Post
I'm curious how the Miyata will compare with the Nishiki's! I remember when the Nishiki Monterey was my dream bike... Now it's a Colnago Master X-Light, a Look 585 Optimum, and a Porsche 911 I'm making do with Miyata 914SE, Look 555, and an Acura RSX. Maybe one day...
Don't you mean a Fuji Monterey? I don't recall a Nishiki by that model name though in Canada, the Nishiki distributor was Norco and they did have a Monterey model. Regardless, both Monterey models were lower, sports/touring models compared to the Miyata. The Miyata would run rings around it.
T-Mar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-08, 06:38 PM   #13
ricohman
Senior Member
 
ricohman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Saskatchewan
Bikes:
Posts: 2,465
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Don't you mean a Fuji Monterey? I don't recall a Nishiki by that model name though in Canada, the Nishiki distributor was Norco and they did have a Monterey model. Regardless, both Monterey models were lower, sports/touring models compared to the Miyata. The Miyata would run rings around it.

Agreed. Both my Monterey's were far from nimble. Although one was built with Tange #2 double butted tubes.
ricohman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-08, 06:47 PM   #14
RobbieTunes 
Idiot Pro Tempo
 
RobbieTunes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: NC
Bikes: at Pedal Room
Posts: 20,851
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 249 Post(s)
Fred Deming was an American engineer who was rebuffed by US automakers and took his Quality Control and Statistical Analysis ideas to Japan's auto makers. We all know what it did for them.

It trickled down to the bicycle makers, and they looked at the Italian bikes and determined that they could mass-produce a similar product at far less cost. Not better, but pretty close and similar. They did, and if the yen hadn't shot up against the dollar, there would likely be a lot more Japanese bikes out there. As it is, there are plenty of examples where Japanese makers came close to Euro makers in quality (and generally better in paint) for a fraction of the cost, like the first two pics.

Or, you could always look at what happened when they collaborated... last two pics.
__________________

Robbie ♪♫♪...☻

Use both sides of the towel.

1985 Raleigh Racing USA - Competition (honoring cehowardGS)
1988 Centurion Dave Scott Ironman Master
1989 Centurion Dave Scott Ironman Expert
1989 Centurion Carbon R

http://www.pedalroom.com/members/RobbieTunes

Last edited by RobbieTunes; 04-18-08 at 07:11 PM.
RobbieTunes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-08, 07:09 PM   #15
tinydr
Guest
 
Bikes:
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
Wow, that's beautiful Robbie... that Zunow is crazy though. Personally I dream of the day I have the $ to get a Kalavinka (hopefully by that point they'll be taking orders again).

I have to agree about paint... I've had three Miyatas over the years and the paint held up on all of them far better than either of my Rossins... those things chip when you look at them.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-08, 08:35 PM   #16
sced
South Carolina Ed
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Greer, SC
Bikes: Family pool bikes - 73 Holdsworth Super Mistral, 79(?) Macario, 86 Bianchi Brava, 93 Viner Nemo, 07 Bottecchia Euro Team, 07 Windsor Fens, 07 Tommasso Mistral
Posts: 3,470
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
I think there is also latent racism involved. Think about cars - the Japanese build the best cars according to the marketplace, yet there is practically no collector car market for them when they get old. Lots of people collect European and American cars though.
sced is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-08, 08:38 PM   #17
ricohman
Senior Member
 
ricohman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Saskatchewan
Bikes:
Posts: 2,465
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sced View Post
I think there is also latent racism involved. Think about cars - the Japanese build the best cars according to the marketplace, yet there is practically no collector car market for them when they get old. Lots of people collect European and American cars though.
You forgot about the 1972 Datsun 510!
ricohman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-08, 08:55 PM   #18
afilado 
Senior Member
 
afilado's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chattanooga
Bikes: '93 Bridgestone RB-1, '91 Specialized Allez Epic, '85 Raleigh Team Pro, '78 Andre Bertin, early '90s F. Moser Leader AX , '85 Centurion Equipe, '98 Litespeed Tuscany, '89 Klein Quantum, '80 Nishiki Superbe, '83 Peckham, '84 Fuji Opus III
Posts: 1,172
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
[QUOTE=RobbieTunes;6273372]Fred Deming was an American engineer who was rebuffed by US automakers and took his Quality Control and Statistical Analysis ideas to Japan's auto makers. We all know what it did for them.

.....Edwards Deming is the correct name............
afilado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-08, 09:23 PM   #19
piwonka
park ranger
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: mars
Bikes: recumbents
Posts: 1,794
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i don't have anything japanese, but i'm sure there is something that would rival the best italian. zunow are awesome...some of the japanese did learn what was going on by destructing and examining fine italian bikes.
i'll say, my italian bike has a wonderful ride. it is stiff when i put the power down but feels very smooth and comfortable. i think it may have to do with the nice tires, highly butted spokes and shallow box section rims...
piwonka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-08, 09:30 PM   #20
sced
South Carolina Ed
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Greer, SC
Bikes: Family pool bikes - 73 Holdsworth Super Mistral, 79(?) Macario, 86 Bianchi Brava, 93 Viner Nemo, 07 Bottecchia Euro Team, 07 Windsor Fens, 07 Tommasso Mistral
Posts: 3,470
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ricohman View Post
You forgot about the 1972 Datsun 510!
I did forget, but I actually drove one in college for 2 years - that pukey green color. It was great driving car but rotted away beneath me in Try NY.
sced is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-08, 09:31 PM   #21
bonechilling
Run What 'Ya Brung
 
bonechilling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 5,694
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You know, I've seen a lot of Italian bikes, and they're not all that great. Plenty of off-the-peg Bianchis, Cinellis, Colnagos, etc., came with crappy paintjobs, poor threading, holes undrilled, bent derailer hangers and countless other problems. Most of the stuff we ride was turned out in a day by a couple of workers watching the clock and waiting for the weekend.

I'm confident that the top-end Italian frames can't be touched in quality, but I do think we may romanticize Italian frames too much, sometimes. I'd wager that most were made in conditions and with materials approximately the same as comparable Japanese builders.
bonechilling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-08, 09:34 PM   #22
piwonka
park ranger
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: mars
Bikes: recumbents
Posts: 1,794
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
oh yeah, here. just took this for you guys. first time i've ever seen lug work quite like this.

piwonka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-08, 10:07 PM   #23
Unagidon
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Unagidon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Lawrence, KS
Bikes: 15 Niner Jet9 RDO, 08 Cervelo RS, 08 Surly Crosscheck, Mid-90's Python Mtb
Posts: 1,331
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Don't you mean a Fuji Monterey? I don't recall a Nishiki by that model name though in Canada, the Nishiki distributor was Norco and they did have a Monterey model. Regardless, both Monterey models were lower, sports/touring models compared to the Miyata. The Miyata would run rings around it.
T-Mar - you're right. I was in Canada (12 years old) and my friend's Norco Monterey - with 14 speeds - was my dream bike. Because I was short, I rode a low end 650c Bianchi. And my "mini-12 speed" was no lightweight - probably really low end steel.
Unagidon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-08, 11:01 PM   #24
Kommisar89
Bottecchia fan
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Bikes: 1959 Bottecchia Professional (frame), 1966 Bottecchia Professional (in progress...), 1971 Bottecchia Professional (frame), 1973 Bottecchia Gran Turismo, 1974 Bottecchia Special (in progress...), 1977 Bottecchia Special (frame), 1974 Peugeot UO-8
Posts: 3,425
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sced View Post
I think there is also latent racism involved. Think about cars - the Japanese build the best cars according to the marketplace, yet there is practically no collector car market for them when they get old. Lots of people collect European and American cars though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bonechilling View Post
You know, I've seen a lot of Italian bikes, and they're not all that great. Plenty of off-the-peg Bianchis, Cinellis, Colnagos, etc., came with crappy paintjobs, poor threading, holes undrilled, bent derailer hangers and countless other problems. Most of the stuff we ride was turned out in a day by a couple of workers watching the clock and waiting for the weekend.

I'm confident that the top-end Italian frames can't be touched in quality, but I do think we may romanticize Italian frames too much, sometimes. I'd wager that most were made in conditions and with materials approximately the same as comparable Japanese builders.
I think racism, latent or otherwise, might be a bit strong. But almost certainly there is a cultural difference. The Japanese seem to focus on well engineered, well built, economical machines whether that is bicycles, cars, or motorcycles. The Italians have a tendancy to focus on aesthetics whether that be bicycles, cars, motorcycles, men's suits, women's fashions or a host of other things. Practical people who need good reliable transportation often buy Japanese products; hence why the market has shown Japanese products to be more popular. People who collect vintage things are by nature a little eccentric and lean towards things that are unusual and stand out regardless of their practicality. Even entry level Italian bikes in the 70's had flashy paint jobs and lots of chrome, things rarely found on Japanese bikes of the period.

I think the problem for the Japanese is that no engineer, no matter how good he is, can distill that essense that makes the in thing "in". No matter how well engineered, how well made, how economical, you can't copy the essence of an Italian bike or a Harley-Davidson or a Ferrarri or an American muscle car. Some people don't care about that and they are happy to buy the Japanese product. Others do care about it and that will be the guy who says he'd rather push his Harley than ride your Honda.

And yes as you can see from my signature line I am biased.
__________________
1959 Bottecchia Professional (frame), 1966 Bottecchia Professional, 1971 Bottecchia Professional (frame),
1973 Bottecchia Gran Turismo, 1974 Bottecchia Special, 1977 Bottecchia Special (frame),
1974 Peugeot UO-8, 1988 Panasonic PT-3500, 2002 Bianchi Veloce, 2004 Bianchi Pista
Kommisar89 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-08, 01:10 AM   #25
jeffieh
South Seas Correspondent
 
jeffieh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hamilton, NZ
Bikes:
Posts: 132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kommisar89 View Post
...No matter how well engineered, how well made, how economical, you can't copy the essence of an Italian bike or a Harley-Davidson or a Ferrarri or an American muscle car.
And yes as you can see from my signature line I am biased.
American muscle cars hahahaha. All the class and charisma of David Hasselhof. I rest my case. By the way, weren't Harleys re-engineered by Kawasaki in the dark days of the 80s?

Last edited by jeffieh; 03-04-08 at 01:15 AM.
jeffieh is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:28 AM.