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Old 04-24-08, 06:27 PM   #1
firenbones
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Anyone seen ... an Asahi?

I recently bought back a bike I owned for 18 years -- an Asahi 790, which I bought used in Long Beach c. 1988-89. I intend to restore it ... for like the Last of the Mohicans, it may be ... The Last Asahi.

I know that Asahi has made bikes in Asia for decades, but I have never seen another Asahi on the road in Southern California. (In 25+ years of cycling.)

The Asahi 790 has an incomplete Shimano Golden Arrow gruppo (previous owner made it into a fixie with a threadless headset, so I've got my work cut out for me), Ishiwata EX tubing, weighed about 24-25 pounds pre-fixie when it was a 52/42 14-28 12-speed. Based on the gruppo (I gotta thank velobike.com), the bike dates from 1983-86. Head tube says "American Susen, Inc."

Questions:

Has anyone ever seen an Asahi 12-speed?

If so, were they high-end?

Were they really private-label Kuwaharas or Miyatas made under an assumed name?

If any mechanic or LBS ace out there can recall them or recall working on them, did they originally come with 27" x 1 1/4 tires, or 700s? 1983-1986 seems a little early for 700cc wheels. (But in 1990, I put a Campy wheelset on the bike and it took, I was a kid and didn't even know about different wheel sizes then ... musta had that extra 3-4cm in the calipers.)

Any help is wonderfully appreciated. BF is a fascinating place, glad to be a part of it and its amazingly knowledgeable community.
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Old 04-24-08, 06:51 PM   #2
hxzero
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Haven't seen an Asahi 12-speed. Have seen an Asahi 12-pack.
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Old 04-24-08, 07:16 PM   #3
caterham
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that's a bike brand i haven't thought about in a while.
the asahi's that i remember were good value, well built, entry to upper mid-line sport-recreational bicycles in the early to mid-80's. quality and features were about on a par with most of the better known japanese production bikes like nishiki, panasonic, fuji, miyata, univega etc..
i've no recollections on specifics of the manufacturer, it's history or the breadth of the range, let alone model specifications . for some reason, i'm thinking that the military post/base exchanges carried them for a time.
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Old 04-25-08, 03:54 PM   #4
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Bought my wife an Asahi mountain bike in '88 with Deore XT 6sp.
Never saw a road bike from them but I wasn't looking either.
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Old 04-25-08, 04:48 PM   #5
firenbones
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Good to know all this ... thanks.
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Old 04-25-08, 05:10 PM   #6
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Mmm, beer
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Old 04-27-08, 01:41 PM   #7
firenbones
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Ah, thanks for the knowledge!
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