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What are the top end C&V road bikes from each Japanese manufacturer?

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What are the top end C&V road bikes from each Japanese manufacturer?

Old 12-22-10, 02:48 PM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by Catnap View Post
I'm a huge fan of collectible handmade Japanese steel. Here's my top ten list:

Zunow
Nakagawa
Ravanello
Cherubim
Katakura Silk
Araya
Toei
San Rensho / 3Rensho
Kalavinka
Nagasawa
Makino

The last four are better known for their track bikes, but all have made gorgeous and extremely aggressive road frames. Toei is a highly respected name in touring bikes. Nakagawa and Ravanello are both one-man shops, and I believe Nakagawa worked for Zunow in the 80's. Zunow and San Rensho are no longer in business. There's a company called Zunow East that still uses the logo and name, but the frames are not that special. Araya, commonly known for their wheels, also made steel frames for a time. Very rare stuff, and the Japanese market values all of these highly, making them even rarer in the states.
Yes, this is one of the reasons I started this thread. I have not seen these brands available in the usual markets.
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Old 12-22-10, 03:15 PM
  #77  
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here's some pics from my list:

Zunow


Nakagawa


Ravanello


Cherubim


Katakura Silk


Araya



San Rensho / 3Rensho


Kalavinka


Nagasawa


CS Hirose

Last edited by Catnap; 12-22-10 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 12-22-10, 03:19 PM
  #78  
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and also

Toei
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Old 12-22-10, 03:23 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by Collin2424 View Post
Pro-Miyata is hiding in the background. But that's one down from top of the line so it's garbage. -Collin-
I like that saddle on the pro, where'd you get it?
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Old 12-22-10, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Picchio Special View Post
This is a good list. Do you know if Samson makes/made any road bikes? The Samson frames I've seen are extremely well made.
I also think Alps, Hirose, and Watanabe deserve mention. An Alps pass hunter is one of my "grail" bikes, though it will have to be a used one as the shop has closed.
I've never seen or heard of a Samson road bike, but it doesn't mean they don't exist. You're right on with the Alps, Watanabe, and Hirose bikes. Right now I'm totally swooning over Japanese handmade randonneur and touring bikes.

Originally Posted by RFC View Post
Yes, this is one of the reasons I started this thread. I have not seen these brands available in the usual markets.
Here's some good resources:
www.chariandconyc.com - the Chari guys in NYC specialize in NJS track bikes but are very knowledgeable about Japanese road bikes as well. Yuki is a Zunow fan and has met the builder before. I bought a Zunow seatstay cap from them the other day and made it into a pendant necklace. They can help you locate and purchase rare Japanese road bikes and import them into the USA, but it will not be cheap.

https://auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/ - Japanese Yahoo auctions are your best bet for finding many of these brands. I use the Rinkya proxy bidding service. Again, not cheap!

www.jitensha.com - Jitensha Studio, Berkeley, CA shop specializing in Toei and Ebisu handmade touring bikes

You can also try reaching out directly to the builders in Japan and having them build a custom bike for you:

https://silkcycle.com - Katakura Silk
https://nakagawa-cw.co.jp - Nakagawa
https://www.cs-hirose.com - CS Hirose
https://www.kalavinka-bikes.com - Kalavinka
https://www.cherubim.jp - Cherubim

also:
Level bikes - https://www.level-cycle.com
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Old 12-22-10, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by martl View Post
not sure if Zunow had anything else than a "top line", but in my opinion, the "Z1" definitely is a top frame.

FYI, i have one of these (Frame, Fork, headset, BB) in 49.5 ST / 52 TT for sale. See here for pics: https://www.flickr.com/photos/2020727...th/4961537777/

email mechastudios *at* usa *dot* net if interested
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Old 12-22-10, 04:42 PM
  #82  
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This thread is killing me, in a good way.

Is that second gen C-record on the bike above? I've never seen a crank like that one.
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Old 12-22-10, 04:52 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by norskagent View Post
I flipped this Nishiki team issue a few years ago:

Tange prestige tubing, came stock w/ 6 spd dura ace.
2cm too big for me, otherwise I would of kept it.
And just where the heck was I when this was going on? AAAAAaaargh!
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Old 12-22-10, 04:58 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by Collin2424 View Post
Sure, says the Team-Miyata owner!!! Mine is like the Oprah Winfrey to your Halle Berry!!!
You mean higher maintenance and larger-diameter tubing vs. sleeker and better for the ego?
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Old 12-22-10, 05:19 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
And just where the heck was I when this was going on? AAAAAaaargh!
Dang Robbie, it must of been before we did those group rides. I would have much rather you got a hold of it than the state student that ended up with it!
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Old 12-23-10, 04:56 PM
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As a side note, I still own a Focus MB-450 Mountain bike I bought new back in 1986 from one of my LBS's.

Fully ridgid frame. 26" wheels. Fully Shimano and Suntour equipped.
Shimano cantiliver fronts. Suntour rollercams under the chain stays rear. Suntour XC stem.
Biopace crank and Shimano stag f & r derailuers.
Full brazeons for multiple racks. All tange and lugged frame.

Made in Japan, as at that time Focus was a Japanese held Co.
They were competion to the orig. MTB's put out by Specialized and the Northwest small mkt. builders at the time.

Low MTB end was the MB-350
Then MB-450 and high end was MB-550.

I'll post a pic when i get a chance and I've likely still have the orig. brochure with teh full line somewhere.

I picked up a new bike to ride a decade ago but still kept this one. It's minty fresh except for brake pad wear LOL.
Focus also had a roadbike line as well but I've always done custom frame with Dura Ace or Campy comps, so never paid attn. But IIRC, the Focus line in the mid 80's was the R-200, R-300, R-400 and R-500.
Low end used primarily Diacompe and Suntour parts. The Higher end bikes used Shimano parts and a few Suntour parts.

Dammit, I know that brochure is somewhere...LOL.

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Last edited by jjjrbiker; 12-23-10 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 12-23-10, 06:08 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by rat fink View Post
What was 3 Rensho's best road model? I have seen many that say "Export" on them... Colnago made some "Export" models of some of their best frames, too. However, the Colnago Export models seemed to have been a lesser version of the better models. Ex: Super Export vs. Super.
Depend on the year, the Katana followed by the SRA and then the Athlete..

More here: https://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/ catalog scans are on the right side
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Old 12-23-10, 08:01 PM
  #88  
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Scottyryder's blue Fuji with red panels is absolute gorgeous.
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Old 12-23-10, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
I am a big fan of the "Schwinnasonics", Panasonic built Schwinns. My favorite is my 1987 Schwinn Prologue, sold as just a frameset, Tange Prestige tubing.

Lately, I have been on a Schwinnasonic accumulation phase. For the 1970s, I have a 1973 World Voyageur. For the 1980s, I have two Prologues, and for the 1990s, I have a 1991 Schwinn Paramount Series 5.

I second Thrifty Bill's motion on the Schwinnacsonics. Bought a 1975 Voyaguer II based on frame material and component selection. Changed the RD to a Deore for indexing along with Ultegra 8 speed bar cons (replaced the Suntours rachets) and replaced the DiaCompe CP with Tektro DP (73's) along with Tektro R200A to eliminate the cables over the bar. Still have the 1st generation Dura Ace crank (copy of Campy) & micro adjusting seatpost and Sakae radoneer bar.
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Old 12-23-10, 08:50 PM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by Collin2424 View Post
Man I love the Univega Super Speciale and the Competizione. I have a Super Strada that could be top of the line, depending on whether you prefer Campy Record or Dura Ace 7200.

Did anyone mention the Centurion Turbo? Full Suntour Superbe.

This is an awesome thread, because I'm always looking for top of the line Japanese bikes Just bought a 1986 Schwinn Peloton which was made by Panasonic. Technically, wasn't it Schwinn's top of the line Japanese bike that year?



Pro-Miyata is hiding in the background. But that's one down from top of the line so it's garbage.

-Collin-
That Schwinnasonic in that paint scheme comes close to a grail bike for me!
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Old 12-23-10, 08:57 PM
  #91  
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There was a rough one for sale in the Bay Area for $160 recently.

Oops, it was a Tempo and in LA]

Still a nice ride, though. Might even be same frame with different parts hanging off it.

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 12-23-10 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 12-23-10, 10:03 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by pumpguy View Post
That Schwinnasonic in that paint scheme comes close to a grail bike for me!
My brother picked up a scuffed up Peloton and stripped it. They are fully chromed under the white paint, which may explain why it was peeling so badly. Here is a pic:

https://i279.photobucket.com/albums/k...gnments019.jpg

Also, in the years between the Peloton and the Prologue Schwinn had a nice bike called the Circuit that was Columbus SL with Suntour components.

Last edited by canam73; 12-28-10 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 12-23-10, 10:15 PM
  #93  
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fletsbob wrote:
Japan has had custom builders, too . some never ship abroad..
Quite true, and I've seen a few here in Sendai probably not the best place to see vintage road bikes. One remark made in the Bike World archive (posted above thanks beech333) remains true today. Top builders are still concentrating on keirin track frames like the red Nakagawa pic in a previous post. (I was examining a recently crashed and bent one just days ago). Keirin rules still specify the exclusive use of steel frames. The refined craft of steel frame building is still alive and well over here for a reason. Keirin is still a very serious sport
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Old 12-23-10, 10:21 PM
  #94  
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Don't forget about Lotus Supreme. Earlier models are Dura Ace AX and the later ones were Columbus Sl or sp, Campagnolo dropouts, and full Super Record.

Also, how about the Schwinn Volare.
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Old 12-23-10, 10:43 PM
  #95  
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Wow, I don't think I've ever seen a Volare.

That's one beautiful bike.
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Old 12-25-10, 09:59 AM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
That might be the coolest thing in milwaukee.
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Old 12-25-10, 11:11 AM
  #97  
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While its wasnt at the top, the best riding bike I have ever owned was my 88 IronMan Master.

I havent taken my Premise out yet, but its still in pieces awaiting an STI conversion
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Old 12-25-10, 08:12 PM
  #98  
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Mikuki. A frame from one of the Konno brothers

There were three Konno brothers that made frames.

Most know 3Rensho and Cherubim. The third, lesser known, was Mikuki.

Here is an example:
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Old 12-25-10, 08:42 PM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by Dave Hickey View Post
There were three Konno brothers that made frames.

Most know 3Rensho and Cherubim. The third, lesser known, was Mikuki.

Here is an example:
wowww... you just schooled me! i never heard of Miyuki before. thanks for shedding light on this very rare name.

this is why i love Japanese bikes!
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Old 12-25-10, 11:44 PM
  #100  
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From Katakura Silk, it would be the R2-XS, top left on this catalogue page. The other 2 would be up there, too.

[IMG]
Scan of a 1983 Katakura Silk catalogue. by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]
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