I had posed some questions on the Classic Rendezvous Google Group last week. To my surprise, I received no response from anyone among that knowledgeable group. Some of the members are often very nit-picky and can be counted on to nail down a precise date for many vintage components. This time: nothing.
Here is a photo collection showing some of my own SP-7200 and SP-7400 fluted style seatposts along with a few instruction sheets, etc.
All of the early 7200 posts which I have either owned or have seen offered on ebay clearly show a date code from 1981 or later. When I got more curious about when the very first Shimano Dura-Ace post was produced, I was faced with a lack of documentation on the internet by which to firmly anchor the year of introduction.
Here is a page from one of Robert S Broderick's wonderful catalog collections.
This is THE FIRST Shimano catalog entry I could find ANYWHERE which finally showed the Dura-Ace seatpost and Dura-Ace stem. The back cover of that catalog clearly shows a copyright date of December, 1980 and this catalog was for the 1981 model year. Unfortunately, his collection lacks Shimano catalogs for 1979 and 1980 model years.
1.) Does anyone have or know of a website which displays a 1979 (or 1980) Shimano product catalog or Does someone have any magazine advertisements from 1979 which shows the Dura-Ace seatposts (or stems)?
2.) The rest of the Dura-Ace 7200 group was introduced for the 1978 model year. But, there was no mention at all of these peripheral components. Does anyone know when the 7200 seatposts were finally unveiled at trade shows?
3.) Were they just quietly added to the 7200 "EX" component group with very little fanfare? It's hard for me to imagine that Shimano did not showcase them more prominently in that 1981 catalog... if that was the year they were first offered -especially considering both the seatposts and the stems were truly unique and beautiful designs.
Help me solve the mystery. Thanks!
... By the way, this page is a great tool for clarifying the date codes found on most classic Japanese made (and many European) components: http://www.vintage-trek.com/component_dates.htm Definitely worth bookmarking or saving to your favorites for handy future reference!