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Japanese equivalent of Colnago/Cinelli/Masi quality-status-pedigree

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Japanese equivalent of Colnago/Cinelli/Masi quality-status-pedigree

Old 08-30-22, 03:23 PM
  #1  
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Japanese equivalent of Colnago/Cinelli/Masi quality-status-pedigree

This is a question that only BF-CV can answer.

Allow me to indulge myself with an explanation:
Like many on this forum, I finally decided to buy the bikes I could not afford when I was younger. Quite obviously Colnago with Campagnolo, Masi, deRosa, etc. etc. all with Campagnolo. .....Then one day, I bought a mid-level Japanese bike with Suntour components, and I was ==shocked== at how good it is.

Therefore, because the summation of bicycles (N+1) approaches, but never actually reaches infinity, I have decided to buy another Japanese bike.

Which brings about the aforementioned request:
What are the boutique, with matching quality, Japanese brands? (I consider 3 Rensho to be a copy of European, but am willing to be corrected )

At one time I had a Nishiki International, with Suntour bar end shifters, that was incredibly high quality. What else is out there? Reading threads here I have been fascinated by some of the Suntour products, moreso than Shimano. (especially Suntour Ole)

So what is cool? I know you know!
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Old 08-30-22, 04:09 PM
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Nagasawa, Zunow and Cherubim come to mind
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Old 08-30-22, 04:16 PM
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3Rensho
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Old 08-30-22, 04:38 PM
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Hard for me to say. That’s why I built my bike with the best of both worlds: A Cinelli frame dripping with Dura Ace parts. Not sure a Japanese frame can compete with the Supercorsa. But there are some Japanese ones I wouldn’t sneeze at.
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Old 08-30-22, 04:48 PM
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I'm very partial to this Nagasawa (not mine)...


That said, my '77 Nishiki ONP (Suntour Superbe) is a very pleasing ride - smooth, agile, and fun...
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Old 08-30-22, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
Nagasawa, Zunow and Cherubim come to mind
So cool. I have heard of Cherubim, but never the others.

(Updated. I think I have watched youtube videos of Nagasawa brazing)
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Old 08-30-22, 05:18 PM
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I have a Sannow that could fit the billing.
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Old 08-30-22, 05:50 PM
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All the above and Maeda
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Old 08-30-22, 06:06 PM
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not boutique but the top level bikes of big manufactures can be right up there. Team Miyata as an example
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Old 08-30-22, 06:13 PM
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Buy a Toei
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Old 08-30-22, 06:14 PM
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Old 08-30-22, 06:17 PM
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The best bikes I have seen by Japanese makers are by Zunow, and by companies like M Idea. There are numerous small makers who make wonderful bikes as well. I recently looked at a Zunow touring frame which had Nervex lugs and Reynolds 531 tubes, and braze-ons for everything, including a drag brake. It was a work of art, and I would have bought it if I had a place to put it.
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Old 08-30-22, 09:37 PM
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Thanks to y'all, I have now discovered "velocraft.jp", and the book called "Japanese Steel, the art and design"
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Old 08-30-22, 09:52 PM
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Zunow.



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Old 08-31-22, 12:34 AM
  #15  
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If we're honest there are and have been many Japanese bikes and frames that are very high quality, status and pedigree are subjective as they come with entrenched tradition that Japan did not have like Europe, Italy, etc.

Then factor in that manufacturing in Japan was very crude for far longer than them as well. That said they made up for lost time in record time once they got rolling.

All the high end names listed already are fantastic and well deserve any and all consideration they get.

I would also add that while not often talked about in the same discussion as them there are many "regular" Japanese marques that built and made many extremely high quality bikes and frames as well, Panasonic, Nishiki, Miyata and many others produced plenty of elite frames and huge numbers of very high quality production bikes and frames that were fantastic quality and riding machines.
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Old 08-31-22, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
Nagasawa, Zunow and Cherubim come to mind
i have yet to see a badly made bike of a japanese Keirin approved shop. I do have seen bad Colnagos, though

Not sure if Zunow is up with the very top although i own one myself, i'd swap with Kalavinka. Bridgestone and Panasonic are often undervalued.
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Old 08-31-22, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
I would also add that while not often talked about in the same discussion as them there are many "regular" Japanese marques that built and made many extremely high quality bikes and frames as well, Panasonic, Nishiki, Miyata and many others produced plenty of elite frames and huge numbers of very high quality production bikes and frames that were fantastic quality and riding machines.
I admit that the 1985 Centurion Prestige was the first bike that ever made me truly drool. Still does today.
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Old 08-31-22, 07:20 AM
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I can only say that my Zunow was superb. I ran it with an Ultegra 105 mix.
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Old 08-31-22, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by martl View Post
i have yet to see a badly made bike of a japanese Keirin approved shop. I do have seen bad Colnagos, though

Not sure if Zunow is up with the very top although i own one myself, i'd swap with Kalavinka. Bridgestone and Panasonic are often undervalued.
exactly this, Keirin, Bridgestone and Panasonic.
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Old 08-31-22, 05:08 PM
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I keep thinking of that 'Ebisu'? from @since6. What a special bike that was/is. Of course I can't find it online...perhaps it's not Ebisu but similar.

Never mind, it's an Erba, made by H Hagiwara. Just wow.



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Old 08-31-22, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds 531 View Post
the book called "Japanese Steel, the art and design"
The photographer is a member here. Paging ScottRyder
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Old 08-31-22, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds 531 View Post
This is a question that only BF-CV can answer.

Allow me to indulge myself with an explanation:
Like many on this forum, I finally decided to buy the bikes I could not afford when I was younger. Quite obviously Colnago with Campagnolo, Masi, deRosa, etc. etc. all with Campagnolo. .....Then one day, I bought a mid-level Japanese bike with Suntour components, and I was ==shocked== at how good it is.

Therefore, because the summation of bicycles (N+1) approaches, but never actually reaches infinity, I have decided to buy another Japanese bike.

Which brings about the aforementioned request:
What are the boutique, with matching quality, Japanese brands? (I consider 3 Rensho to be a copy of European, but am willing to be corrected )

At one time I had a Nishiki International, with Suntour bar end shifters, that was incredibly high quality. What else is out there? Reading threads here I have been fascinated by some of the Suntour products, moreso than Shimano. (especially Suntour Ole)

So what is cool? I know you know!
I do think you're wrong about 3Rensho BTW. It's a well know story that YK took apart Cinelli frames to learn how they were built, but he did some extremely radical frame designs of his own. But anyway, a couple of your posters pointed out that, at the high end of the lines, some of the big Japanese manufacturers really did some great bikes. Fuji Teams, Centurion Turbos, etc.... Great idea for a thread!
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Old 08-31-22, 09:59 PM
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How about Hirose? I've never seen one but Jan Heine seems to be a fan.
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Old 09-01-22, 12:48 AM
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I vote for 3 Rensho!
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Old 09-01-22, 08:09 AM
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Kinda grubby, and likely overpriced, but there is a very colorful Zunow available on my local FB Marketplace.https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...a-84b8191bc909






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