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Help with History of 3Rensho Show Bike

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Help with History of 3Rensho Show Bike

Old 12-06-21, 12:27 PM
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Help with History of 3Rensho Show Bike

I finished restoring this 3Rensho recently, and just got some high-res pictures to share. I only know a little bit of its history, and am hoping the good folks here at Bikeforums can help me validate what I do know, and add as much of the back-story as possible or connect me with individuals who could. I wrote up a full article on my blog, which you can read here: https://djcatnap.com/early-3rensho-s...ntour-superbe/



What I do know:
  • The BB shell is stamped "CHAMPION" indicating that it, and likely the rest of the bike, are made of Tange Champion tubing.
    • The Suntour Superbe groupset is original to the bike, as are the Dia-Compe Royal Gran Compe brakes

What I *think* I know:
  • It was a one-off custom for a USA (possibly NYC) bike show in the late 70s
    • It was made during the time that Yoshi Konno was transitioning from his original Cyclone brand to the 3Rensho brand
      • It was made by Konno himself

I plan to reach out to Andry Muzi of YellowJersey today. If anyone has more info, or can introduce me to someone who does, please let me know! I would love to establish the factual history of this unique and lovely bicycle.
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Old 12-06-21, 01:13 PM
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I can't be of any assistance, but I read your write-up at that link, and wow wow wow...
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Old 12-06-21, 04:27 PM
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Update - Andrew answered my email, but couldn't help as the bike pre-dated his experience with 3Rensho:

That's a bit before I met him, likely 1979, 78 ish. Some details ( gear wires in downtube, end treatment) are of his style then and I assume the full Maeda Suntour motif extends to the Tange BB shell rather than Eisho Ohtsuya. Tange and Maeda are southern, from Osaka, not Konno's northern Tokyo base.
Some other useful details I was able to dredge up were that the fork crown is extremely rare for a Rensho. However, it's similar to Cherubim's crowns of the later 1970s. I found two low-res catalog scans from Cherubim and it looks like it might be a Bocama (BCM) crown. The show bike's crown is a little different, but it could have been customized.



Also, this early Rensho Cyclone has the same fork, but not the internal routing. It's also a full Suntour Superbe build. Doesn't have the same logo type, though.



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Old 12-06-21, 04:31 PM
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this is the only photo I could find of a Rensho with identical decals & logos
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Old 12-06-21, 04:55 PM
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@Catnap

I got less than nothin except beautiful bike and the likely newer one I have is a bit rough, languishing way down in the queue for way too long.

Paging @pcb
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Old 12-06-21, 06:56 PM
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Can't help with the history of this bike, but holy... I just quit bikes.

Are you going to tape the bars? I'd totally get it if you aren't.
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Old 12-06-21, 11:25 PM
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pcb im leaving the bars untaped; they look so good bare with the warm gold ano. Often gold ano is a harsh bright yellow color. This ano has faded into a nice rose gold / champagne color throughout. I have some NOS examples of these components and the un-faded ano is notably darker.

Perhaps I should reach out Yamaguchi tomorrow? I read that he worked with Konno going back to the Cherubim days.

also, before anyone asks, there is no serial number on this frame.
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Old 12-07-21, 12:11 PM
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another update - I'm now fairly certain that this is a custom version of the 3Rensho Cyclone Super Record, from around 1978-1979. I dug up a 3Rensho Cyclone catalog, and the seat stays, decals and colorway matches. The lugs don't match, however, and the Super Record doesn't have the internal cable routing, fork crown, or brazed-on DT levers. The seat stay caps match the "standard type" model, as the SR uses a fast-back binder design.

Perhaps it could be called a "SR-II" as the blurb in the third page notes, "In SR-II type, any requirement concerning materials and construction can be accepted" - i.e. full custom. I still don't know who made it or if it was in a bike show...



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Old 12-07-21, 12:27 PM
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Awesome bike, and nice work. here's a bump.

I am sure some Konno/3Rensho experts will show up soon.

I wonder if anyone has any magazines or newsletters from that era that give recaps of the NYC bike show. Might get lucky and find some mention or pics of this bike.
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Old 12-07-21, 12:44 PM
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There was this thread from a BF member selling a unique 3Rensho and did some legwork to find out about its history: FS 3Rensho C97 show/experimental frame set

No real insight about your bike, but he did reach out to some folks and it might be encouraging about what you can reasonably expect to find out.
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Old 12-07-21, 01:10 PM
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Thanks noobinsf ! I read that thread a few months ago and forgot there was another person besides Yamaguchi and Muzi consulted. shnibop if you're still checking these forums, please send me a private message. I'd like to contact Keigo Hirota, as he seems very knowledgeable.
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Old 12-08-21, 03:47 PM
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update: I posted the article to a couple Facebook groups and it turns out this bike was featured in a book from 1981.


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