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  1. #1
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    c. itoh bikes? info

    What can you tell me in general about Itoh bikes? One of the threads mentioned a C. Itoh boat anchor?!!

  2. #2
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    OH, okay, C. Itoh from Kabuki from Bridgestone...I found one on ebay. I have a rear-mounted kickstand and no fenders.

  3. #3
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    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

    My bike:
    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.

  4. #4
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    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.

    Thanks again....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayakado View Post
    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. Japanese Bicycles in the U.S. Market

    My bike:
    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 this makes my day (12 yrs later).
    The first thing I notice about old bikes (motorcycles) is - how well it holds up to weather.
    I have had Yamaha Maxim 700's that were made in the 80's essentially look like new in 2006.
    My 83 honda nighthawk bought in 95 and sold in 2000 looked new.
    My 93 GS500 - was rusting from day 1. The GS still is a great bike, but it was a PITA to get cleaned up and stank of the philosophy - If this crap rusts, the buyers will want a new bike in 2-3 yrs, and we wont have to warranty it cos rust isn't covered. That gives us a way to sell more crap to the same buyer.

    Anyway, I think I am finding more reasons to keep this bike. Not that I am not tempted to slap the wheels on the Bianchi, throw the sugino maxy 165 mm crank on ebay and put on new crank and lighter wheels and fixie it.
    But the frame will live with me, which is the whole point IMHO.

    Cool.
    Srinath.

  6. #6
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    i had one that had a Nissan decal on the seat tube. I thought it was interesting to say the least. I wonder if they were handed back and forth between bridgestone and nissan back then.....

  7. #7
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    Nissan or Nissin ? There is a lot of motorcycle parts that say Nissin on them. Brakes on jap bikes especially. Good parts maker if it is Nissin. Nissan didn't exist as a brand till the 80's did it ? Datsun was the old name.
    The CItoh was not meant as a low end, it was meant to be high end, but they were yet to invent economical cro-moly in the 70's. In fact till the late 80's cro-moly was still $$$.

    However I definitely think my brakes are junk on this C-Itoh, no way I am going to fix it with new pads. Have to change out the lever and the calipers.

    Much of the rest ... just old, not especially bad. 27 X 1/8 steel chromed wheels, cos everything had that in the 70's, 5 speed rear, and 2 speed sugino maxi front with sunrace - this was before shimano ate the world ...

    Old, not neccesarily crappy.

    Brakes - definitely crappy.

    Cool.
    Srinath.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by srinath.the.man View Post
    Nissan or Nissin ? There is a lot of motorcycle parts that say Nissin on them. Brakes on jap bikes especially. Good parts maker if it is Nissin. Nissan didn't exist as a brand till the 80's did it ? Datsun was the old name.
    The CItoh was not meant as a low end, it was meant to be high end, but they were yet to invent economical cro-moly in the 70's. In fact till the late 80's cro-moly was still $$$.

    However I definitely think my brakes are junk on this C-Itoh, no way I am going to fix it with new pads. Have to change out the lever and the calipers.

    Much of the rest ... just old, not especially bad. 27 X 1/8 steel chromed wheels, cos everything had that in the 70's, 5 speed rear, and 2 speed sugino maxi front with sunrace - this was before shimano ate the world ...

    Old, not neccesarily crappy.

    Brakes - definitely crappy.

    Cool.
    Srinath.
    It's almost certainly Nissan. They were primarily known for Matsuri branded bicycles, but no doubt they contract manufactured for other brands. This is the first time I've heard them associated with C.Itoh, but it doesn't surprise me.

    C.Itoh was a full range brand. They offered everything form entry level to pro level.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
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    Oh well, there goes my theory. As with most of my theories. LOL.
    BTW how do I find the model of my C-Itoh ? The badge says c-Itoh, Japan. That's it.

    Would serial number help find model name/number ?

    Thanks.
    Srinath.

  10. #10
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srinath.the.man View Post
    Oh well, there goes my theory. As with most of my theories. LOL.
    BTW how do I find the model of my C-Itoh ? The badge says c-Itoh, Japan. That's it.

    Would serial number help find model name/number ?

    Thanks.
    Srinath.
    You never know, maybe someone has put the info out there on the interwebs. The components and framebuild may be the only model ID you will find.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by srinath.the.man View Post
    Oh well, there goes my theory. As with most of my theories. LOL.
    BTW how do I find the model of my C-Itoh ? The badge says c-Itoh, Japan. That's it.

    Would serial number help find model name/number ?

    Thanks.
    Srinath.
    The serial number will tell us the year but not the model. However, we may be able to identify the model based on the components. Post a good overall drive picture and pictures of the major components and tubing decal, if any. That will at least allow us to tell you the level of the bicycle and hopefully, the actual model name/number.

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