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Whats so special about Italian bikes?

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Whats so special about Italian bikes?

Old 12-30-18, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
If you look carefully you can buy a pristine vintage Japanese Miyata or Centurion for for $200-$300 dollars but yet I see these classic Italian bikes selling for thousands of dollars. Are they really that much better or is it a prestige deal having more to do with snob appeal owning a certain brand or something thats more of a collector item?
Getting to the 'nutz and boltz' so to speak, some of the finest Japanese makes of the 70s-80s were influenced by the finest Italian makers, geometry to even a few using Italian tubing, lugs and dropouts.

Those are special and often command the same as those upper tier Italian classics. But I do see where one may not give a hoot and its mostly about the off the rack nice Japanese racer.

They are bargains. Install a nice lightweight wheelset (consider tubulars) and the 'WOW' factor really kicks in. Nice quality, some easily exceeding Italian brands.

I'm intentionally leaving comments out of the US boutique makers, but above all feel they offered the finest in quality.

Personally, I find fun and enjoyment out of all of them. (I can rip on French quality yet really like the all business racer. Peugeot pumped bikes out of their doors and the pros successfully raced stock production.) Japan ramped up in the 80s and rivaled the best of Italy and France.
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Old 12-30-18, 01:44 PM
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Old 12-30-18, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by daviddavieboy View Post
As far as I can remember the nuovo record always had to over shift and the back to get the gear right, not that is a bad thing it is just they way they are. Possibly the shifters but I don't know I use campy shifters on them as well.
Yes, the NR shifts, but very slowly, with a lot of over shift and trimming action required....
A beautiful derailleur but performance is marginal, compared to even their French counterparts.
Unfortunately, it was traits like that with their components that gave the Japanese companies the opportunity it to present themselves as a serious alternatives to the already established and then dominant Euro component makers.
Campy just sat on their laurels too long while most of the rest of the component world, moved on.....
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Old 12-30-18, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
Yes, the NR shifts, but very slowly, with a lot of over shift and trimming action required....
A beautiful derailleur but performance is marginal, compared to even their French counterparts.
Amazing the time span Campy produced them. Even more amazing they weathered through the Shimano dominance and where the former leading Suntour had collapsed.

And virtually no US made derailleur set. Paul and someone else tried a limited run of rear derailleurs during the MTB hay day. Those purportedly not quite good.
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Old 12-30-18, 02:13 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
. I do have a Breaking Away DVD, however."
"Bravo! Want to ride with us?"
"I think I am good solo, but thanks for the offer."
Or, if you have a Specialized, American Flyers DVD.
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Old 12-30-18, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
My question exactly. You can get a Japanese car with equal performance,10 times more reliable and more economical to buy and maintain.
But very little, to no, snob value.

And it's not just cars and bicycles. If anything, in motorcycles the difference is ever more extreme. It wasn't until the early '00's you could buy a Ducati that you didn't have to be able to work on yourself just to keep it running.
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Old 12-30-18, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
I think it's all about Columbus Tubing frames. The only thing that Japan had that came close were Tange 1 frames. And, few mass produced bikes were ever made with it until the late 80's. Every Italian bike I ever rode always had Columbus Tubing frames. Only one in ten Japanese bikes I've ever rode had Tange 1 frames.
I really like my Columbus tubed frames. But I find Reynolds 531DB frames more comfortable to ride.
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Old 12-30-18, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post
But very little, to no, snob value.

And it's not just cars and bicycles. If anything, in motorcycles the difference is ever more extreme. It wasn't until the early '00's you could buy a Ducati that you didn't have to be able to work on yourself just to keep it running.
That could also be said about any British or American bike.
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Old 12-30-18, 02:33 PM
  #59  
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What a great shot. She looks like she owns that DeRosa.

Bellissimo!
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Old 12-30-18, 02:40 PM
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The Answer





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Old 12-30-18, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by daviddavieboy View Post
As far as I can remember the nuovo record always had to over shift and the back to get the gear right, not that is a bad thing it is just they way they are. Possibly the shifters but I don't know I use campy shifters on them as well.
Iím saving a NR derailleur set for a special project. I will keep that in mind.

But honestly, most technology from 40-50 years ago is primitive compared to anything contemporary. I can accept that, and tolerate those annoyances in small doses, for occasional rides.
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Old 12-30-18, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
I think it's all about Columbus Tubing frames. The only thing that Japan had that came close were Tange 1 frames. And, few mass produced bikes were ever made with it until the late 80's. Every Italian bike I ever rode always had Columbus Tubing frames. Only one in ten Japanese bikes I've ever rode had Tange 1 frames.
Good point. Definitely different markets.
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Old 12-30-18, 02:53 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
Yes, the NR shifts, but very slowly, with a lot of over shift and trimming action required....
A beautiful derailleur but performance is marginal, compared to even their French counterparts.
Unfortunately, it was traits like that with their components that gave the Japanese companies the opportunity it to present themselves as a serious alternatives to the already established and then dominant Euro component makers.
Campy just sat on their laurels too long while most of the rest of the component world, moved on.....
Yes very correct. I have no idea why but there is still that appeal myself included. Then again I like early 70ís alphas as well. I do own bikes with suntour, hurret, shimano just not on any bike that was sold with campy. That being said if I am bringing an old bike to a modern fast group ride it Is one with 6 speed suntour.
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Old 12-30-18, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by hazetguy View Post
... to be there when that Spandex releases its prey....
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Old 12-30-18, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by hazetguy View Post
....I can tell from the photo that bike is too big for her.
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Old 12-30-18, 03:02 PM
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I just have to get this off my chest. I have always thought a Campy NR RD resembles a marine invertebrate. It looks like a squid with those pointed inlays and tentacle like things going off the side. Really shiny, though. There, I said it. Don't be hating.

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Old 12-30-18, 03:09 PM
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Here is my EDR a 86' Centurion Ironman , made in Japan , designed in the USA . The saddle is Italian , Selle Supercorsa . The rims are French , Mavic .

@microcord cool video , thanks .



DSCF2463 by mark westi, on Flickr
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Old 12-30-18, 03:13 PM
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I hate these threads.

Bikes from a country aren’t all the same because they’re from a country. Bikes and brands are different in different eras. This question is meaningless, and insulting, intentional or not, to those of us who do like many Italian brands.

In short, most of these Japanese bikes are imitations of Italian designs. Often they’re well made, and typically larger production runs. Typically they’re budget alternatives. Comparisons of this country vs. this country are utterly meaningless, and quite silly.

A 200-300 Miyata/Centurion is rarely a racing machine, like the Italians you’re comparing them to. They are slacker geometry, usually more versatile, and likely more practical for many riders - but they are not the precision, agile racing machines a De Rosa is known as.

You can find top end Italian bikes from lesser known builders for far under 1k if you know what you’re doing.

No other bike, Japanese or Italian, rides as well for me as my Marnati.

It’s great that you like your 200-300 miyata...I’ve liked many myself. Why do you have to justify your bike by comparing them to something else?

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Old 12-30-18, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by daviddavieboy View Post


Yes very correct. I have no idea why but there is still that appeal myself included. Then again I like early 70ís alphas as well. I do own bikes with suntour, hurret, shimano just not on any bike that was sold with campy. That being said if I am bringing an old bike to a modern fast group ride it Is one with 6 speed suntour.
I like your last sentence. For kicks and to satisfy myself questioning others stating how bad Suntour Accushift was, I installed a lowly 4050 Edge (1987) on a fine Zunow. Better yet, mated with a French made Sachs Maillard LY92 freewheel and Sedisport chain. >

Call me the sinner!!

>>>> Conclusion: Accushift index shifting works BRILLIANT <<<<
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Old 12-30-18, 03:13 PM
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Well, we went from bikes, i.e. frames, to gruppos. IMHO, one of the reasons Italian bikes ride so well is because of the Columbus tubing. I have three bikes with Reynolds 531 tubing, two of which are rideable. 531 compares favorably to Columbus SL. My "Japanese" Italian Bianchi Brava is made of Ishiwata tubing, comparable to Aelle I imagine, as it is heavier. It has a nice ride. I think the best mixed classic combo I've ridden was a Basso Gap (Columbus SL) with Shimano 600 components.
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Old 12-30-18, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by daviddavieboy View Post
As far as I can remember the nuovo record always had to over shift and the back to get the gear right, not that is a bad thing it is just they way they are. Possibly the shifters but I don't know I use campy shifters on them as well.
Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
Yes, the NR shifts, but very slowly, with a lot of over shift and trimming action required....
A beautiful derailleur but performance is marginal, compared to even their French counterparts.
...you can remedy most of this by using die drawn stainless derailleur cables, and instead of that stupid shiny spring rear cable housing, using something from one of the modern manufacturers that is plastic lined and has zero compression like the stuff used for indexed shifters. Add a KMC 8.93 chain and your're golden It still doesn't work as well as the same era Shimano indexing in the 80's, or Suntour cyclone stuff in the 70's, but it does work a lot more positively, requiring minimal overshift and return. All this presumes everything is clean and lubricated well in the proper places.

And it still won't handle much in the way of a largest rear cog. I can only get them to work well with about 25 teeth or less. But it was never designed or intended for use with larger rear cogs. Anyway, I just thought I'd throw that in here, FWIW. In the 80's, Bianchi sold the Giro one year with an SLX frame and all indexing Dura Ace. That's a nice setup. But it requires little skill in shifting, so if you're into friction shifting skills, it gets a little boring.
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Old 12-30-18, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
I hate these threads...
Itís great that you like your 200-300 miyata...Iíve liked many myself. Why do you have to justify your bike by comparing them to something else?
'Cause it's fun to stir the pot?
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Old 12-30-18, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
Well, we went from bikes, i.e. frames, to gruppos. IMHO, one of the reasons Italian bikes ride so well is because of the Columbus tubing. I have three bikes with Reynolds 531 tubing, two of which are rideable. 531 compares favorably to Columbus SL. My "Japanese" Italian Bianchi Brava is made of Ishiwata tubing, comparable to Aelle I imagine, as it is heavier. It has a nice ride. I think the best mixed classic combo I've ridden was a Basso Gap (Columbus SL) with Shimano 600 components.
.

..Ishiwata made all levels of tubing, and I think they still do under a different name, but little of it leaves Japan now. Ishiwata 022 is pretty comparable to everyone else's good stuff from that period.

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Old 12-30-18, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
I hate these threads.
...happens every winter. I think it must be weather related. Hey , have I ever told you about my Japanese made rain bike ?
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Old 12-30-18, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
'Cause it's fun to stir the pot?
I donít get the appeal - unless poking fun of the IGH crowd 🤣
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