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What bikes came with 1st gen Dura Ace?

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What bikes came with 1st gen Dura Ace?

Old 07-07-24, 01:07 PM
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What bikes came with 1st gen Dura Ace?

As the title states, what bikes were sold with the first generation of Shimano Dura Ace?

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Old 07-07-24, 01:17 PM
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-----

it is important to understand that at the launch of DA in 1973 it was only a partial road ensemble

there was chainset, hubs, front mech and shift levers

it was filled out with Crane model rear mech, Tourney centrepull brakes stamped DA, Tange headset, KKT pedals and such

typically a Hupel Rider saddle pillar would be fitted


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Last edited by juvela; 07-07-24 at 01:26 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 07-07-24, 03:20 PM
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interesting thread about dura ace vs nuovo record Early Dura Ace vs Neuvo Record and this
https://www.disraeligears.co.uk/site...ace_story.html which I quote"Shimano decided to give serious attention to the irrational and emotive issue of authenticity and heritage. In 1973 they put together a complete high-end groupset and called it Dura-Ace (a name that handily reflected durability - the other major quality of Campagnolo). However, the derailleur in the groupset was the 1973 version of the Crane, and was labelled as such. Shimano then sponsored the Flandria team on the European Pro racing circuit and were rewarded with a Tour de France stage victory and second place in the World Championships. In the 1973 World Championships Freddy Maertens claimed that Eddy Merckx deliberately set out to prevent him winning because Maertens was using Shimano equipment (Merckx was a close personal friend of Tullio Campagnolo).

The 1973 racing season established two things:
  • Firstly that Shimano were serious about the road racing market, and were prepared to take road racing culture seriously in order to break into it. From this point on Shimano was, in turn, given more respect than SunTour by the road racing crowd.
  • Secondly that building authenticity and heritage is a long game. European road racing is a cliquey business. Despite a continuous presence from 1973 onwards, a Shimano equipped rider did not win the Tour de France until Lance Armstrong’s first victory in 1999. I don’t have the figures, but I also suspect that Shimano did not have more than 50% of the market for road racing derailleurs until about that time. This contrasts markedly with their share of the market for high-end mountain bike deraileurs - which was probably over 50% from 1984 onwards."
Probably some highend artisanal bike frames were equipped in the mid 70's early 80's with Dura Ace such as Bernard Carre , Follis, Alex Singer, Rickert ,Puch and some others. Dura Ace started to shine and be mounted on mass produced frames in the late 80's before exploding in the 00's and litterally dominating the peloton.
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Old 07-07-24, 04:05 PM
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I have been told that, at least in my country, Shimano's commercial breakthrough came with the launch of the 600 'arabesque' group in 1978. With its relatively low price, good looks and good availability it became a serious alternative for Italian and French parts.
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Old 07-07-24, 05:02 PM
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1975 Fuji - The Ace


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Old 07-07-24, 05:17 PM
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Catalogue snaps circa 1974. Schwinn Volare 1977 - 1978. Also, years ago had an Araya branded Japanese bike with the full compliment of DA components.



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Old 07-07-24, 05:40 PM
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Austro Daimler/Puch had first gen Dura Ace on the Vent Noirs for some years. Despite the very Euro brand name, the were very early proponents of Shimano's better component groups...
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Old 07-07-24, 05:47 PM
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1977 Panasonic Pro 7000

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Old 07-07-24, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by VRJAKE
Also, years ago had an Araya branded Japanese bike with the full compliment of DA components.
82 Araya Road 821, 1st Gen DA,


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Old 07-07-24, 08:25 PM
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This "Tease" bike came with some early Dura-Ace. The stem only says "Ace".



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Old 07-08-24, 04:15 AM
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a few things i heard and learned about Dura Ace and Shimanos entry into the high end racing bike supplier market

- the early Shimano groups had many parts that were intrerchangeable with Campagnolo parts, especially in the hubs. This follows a pattern the japanese industry employed in these times, first copy a "western" product, then step by step take it from there and see what can be improved. In that era, japanese products in the public perception were considered lower value and quality than EU or US made products, a bit like chinese products today
- Jobst Brandt wrote on r.b.r (i think) that he switched to Dura Ace cranks after several Record cranks broke on his bike, and stopped having issues (Jobst was a super tall guy who loved to climb in a standing stance with very high gear ratios)
- On top of the Freddy Maertens/Eddy Merckx anecdote, which has that personal connection in it, in the early days, Shimano parts were a complete no-no in any high level amateur or pro peloton, and riders using Shimano were "bullied" or had to endure crap talk
- For riders on a budget, the Shimano DA and later the Arabesque were an option to get virtually the same (or better, as some argued) performance as with Nuovo or Super Record at a fraction of the cost. Still, a move to Campagnolo was by most considered an upgrade and something to aspire to
- riders would use Shimano brake calipers on otherwise Campagnolo - equipped bikes for their better performance
- Shimano knew about its "second tier" image in the racing community and tried to make up for it by being more innovative
- The DA 7400 STI can probably counted as the final puzzle piece for Shimano to draw level with Campagnolo

The early Shimano came in an era when most racing bikes, especially the top tier ones, were rarely bought as complete bike, it was much more common to pick a frame and have it built up by your local dealer in an individual configuration.

Last edited by martl; 07-08-24 at 04:18 AM.
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Old 07-08-24, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
Is that a Shimano stem? Velobase has no entries for Shimano stems that old.
Based on this photo from a current eBay listing, it's Japanese - but there's a logo on there I've seen before that I'm reasonably sure indicates it was made by another Japanese firm vice Shimano.

Edited to add: the same logo appears on this current listing photo of a known SR stem, so I believe the first to also be a SR product.

Last edited by Hondo6; 07-08-24 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 07-08-24, 05:33 AM
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Didn’t the 1973 Schwinn World Voyager come equipped mostly with Dura Ace?
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Old 07-08-24, 05:43 AM
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Thanks for sharing everyone! I certainly appreciate the pictures! Very cool bikes!

I really enjoy the quirkiness of the group and that it isn't/wasn't so easy to come by. I seem to forget the Schwinn Volare, but my my, I should would love to have an orange one in my stable!

Originally Posted by Chombi1
Austro Daimler/Puch had first gen Dura Ace on the Vent Noirs for some years. Despite the very Euro brand name, the were very early proponents of Shimano's better component groups...
The Vent Noir is one I'm aware of . And as I'm dreaming up other bikes to build, I think it'd be cool to use a 1st gen Dura Ace crank for them, but then I check the prices on eBay an realize that I'd be best off scanning for an entire bike....


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Old 07-08-24, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by sd5782
Didnít the 1973 Schwinn World Voyager come equipped mostly with Dura Ace?
Dura Ace crankset, Titlist FD and Crane RD, Dia Compe brake calipers, SR two-bolt seat post, Dia Compe stem, Tange headset
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Old 07-08-24, 08:38 AM
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1976 Schwinn Volare....sold it here on BF a few years ago. I'll try to find a pic....

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Old 07-08-24, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Dean51
1976 Schwinn Volare....sold it here on BF a few years ago. I'll try to find a pic....

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Here it is. It's a 77.
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Old 07-08-24, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
Is that a Shimano stem? Velobase has no entries for Shimano stems that old.
It could be SR. The rest of the bike has the Dura-Ace stuff or other Shimano components like the Lark and Thunderbird DRs. The only thing not Shimano on the bike is the SR "Grand Silver Chainwheel" crank, so the stem could be SR.

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Old 07-08-24, 11:09 AM
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Not a mass production bike, but in a practice that was likely common at the time, my 1974 Norman Fay English-built tourer came with gen 1 Dura Ace mechs and crankset. It also had this sticker near the bottom of the downtube:


You can see it, I believe, in this pic shortly after I got it and before having a framebuilder deal with those ragged holes:

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Old 07-08-24, 11:25 AM
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Well, my bike had at least some 1st-gen Dura Ace. I got into the sport in 1973 as a high school student. When I graduated in 1975, I bought a beautiful red-with-white-panels Bob Jackson frame. I decked it out in what I could afford, scrounge or otherwise cough up on a, shall we say, limited budget. It eventually had the Crane RD and Dura Ace FD, crankset, hubs, and DT shifters because they looked good, worked well and cost about half what Campy equivalents cost. It also had Mafac Competition brakes and levers, a Suntour freewheel, God knows what bar and stem and - the real luxuries - a Campy seat post and Cinelli #3 saddle. The most exotic thing on it was a Huret BB cable guide, the kind that wrapped around the down tube and seat tube, because it was the only thing that would work with the Jackson's long spear-point tangs emanating from the bottom bracket shell. I ultimately had to splurge on a Phil Wood bottom bracket (installed with red Loctite) because my Jackson was one of the ones with bunged up BB threads that gave me an exploded view of the bottom bracket in the middle of a ride.

That bike was stolen in 1992, and curses and damnation be upon the scum who took it. I have no photos, but fond memories, although, truth be told, most of the bikes I've had since have ridden better.
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Old 07-08-24, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by martl
The early Shimano groups had many parts that were interchangeable with Campagnolo... DA and Arabesque were an option to get virtually the same performance as with Nuovo or Super Record at a fraction of the cost.
I've run into this quite a bit with early-mid '70s European bikes that were originally fit with a few lesser quality parts. For example, my early '70s Torpado was already a nice build originally, but it did have a Universal brakeset and cottered crank the original owner could upgrade with Japanese stuff that looks almost exactly like Campy, but at nearly half the cost. He chose a DA brakeset and Sugino crank. A huge upgrade for not much $$.
​​​​​




And I love these brakes. Sure, it takes some hand strength, but the action feels responsive, and they stop quickly. I think they perform better than similar looking Triomphe calipers. (ymmv.)
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Old 07-08-24, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by theblackbullet
...
The Vent Noir is one I'm aware of . And as I'm dreaming up other bikes to build, I think it'd be cool to use a 1st gen Dura Ace crank for them, but then I check the prices on eBay an realize that I'd be best off scanning for an entire bike....

The Vent Noir's kissing cousin the Puch Royal Force also came with the black anodized 1st generation Dura-Ace componentry and was essentially the same bike minus the AD seat stay top eyes and with a different paint scheme.

Less well-known is the Puch Royal X, a somewhat downmarket variant with silver finish Dura-Ace cranks with undrllled chainrings, BB and Dura-Ace headset coupled with a SunTour, Weinmann and Normandy parts mix.
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Old 07-08-24, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by 76SLT


Here it is. It's a 77.
@76SLT.... Dang', that bike still looks great! Thanks for correcting my error on the year. I would have kept it in my fleet if it had been a bit larger.

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Old 07-08-24, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by rustystrings61
The Vent Noir's kissing cousin the Puch Royal Force also came with the black anodized 1st generation Dura-Ace componentry and was essentially the same bike minus the AD seat stay top eyes and with a different paint scheme.

Less well-known is the Puch Royal X, a somewhat downmarket variant with silver finish Dura-Ace cranks with undrllled chainrings, BB and Dura-Ace headset coupled with a SunTour, Weinmann and Normandy parts mix.
That Royal Force is a handsome bike! Were these sold in the US at all? Or were we only getting the AD marque until everything was just sold as a Puch in the 80's?
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Old 07-09-24, 12:21 PM
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Adding some I've been able to locate in my digging over the last day or so:

1977 Zebrakenko Olympic Ace - this one belongs/belonged to @Elev12k



1973-74? Miyata Professional Model P-1 and P-2
This one belonging to @cdmurphy



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