c. itoh bikes? info
What can you tell me in general about Itoh bikes? One of the threads mentioned a C. Itoh boat anchor?!!
OH, okay, C. Itoh from Kabuki from Bridgestone...I found one on ebay. I have a rear-mounted kickstand and no fenders.
I have one I have been riding for almost 35 years. I only recently purchased a new bike (AL w/ carbon forks) but the Itoh is still a more comfortable ride as far as I am concerned. Here is the description of my bike and some of the feedback I got on it from another vintage bike forum when I asked if it was worth restoring. The frame has some rust and that is why I had decided a second road bike would be a reasonable investment as a back up. As I am getting older, I wanted a light bike that was easy to throw into the car. The Itoh is HEAVY, in a collision with a truck it would probably come out the winner. See Sheldon Brown's webpages. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/japan.html
Purchased new in 1969 or 1979 for discounted price of $150, lugged steel frame, 27 1/8 rims, RD: Suntour VGT, FD: Suntour, Crank: SR Maxi Cotterless, Dura Ace Centerpull brakes, Cassette 14-38, chainring 40-50, brooks style leather seat (Trico?), Chromed forks, Chromed fittings at bottom of headset, no fenders. Serial #110626 (This was before they made the kabuki models)
The Feedback on the bike:
While low-end Itoh could be found in department stores, they produced a full range, including some very nice models with double butted, CrMo framesets and top line Japanese components. Your bicycle sounds like the 271/273-HSP, which was 3rd in a line-up of 6 models in the early 1970s. A lower mid-range model, the frame on this model was single-butted, high tensile steel. So it is slightly better than your typical bike boom frame, as are the components. You don't give details on the wheels, but my specs indicate aluminum rims, and large flange, alloy, QR hubs. This, plus the Maxi and VGT were certainly superior to what you were getting on the popular Peugeot U08 and Raleigh Grand Prix at the time.
Itoh/C.Itoh was the Kabuki/Bridgestone importer during this era and some people feel that the Itoh brand may have been manufactured by Bridgestone, which was a well respected company.
However, in the end only you can decide whether it is worth a repaint. It's not a "crummy" bicycle and definitely better than the typical bike boom fare.
Thanks so much for the intelligent reply. Ditto the quantity and quality of info.
I am going to sell it locally for $40.00. I knew I had seen the bike once or twice in my past (In the late sixties) when I was 15-16; I wanted to confirm the "positive vibe" I had recalling the bike.