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Any Info on this bike?

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Any Info on this bike?

Old 09-28-14, 02:39 PM
  #1  
msemanuel
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Any Info on this bike?

I picked this bike up few weeks ago and cant find anything out about it. It Says Ventura on it and made in japan. IT has a Shimano 600 rear derailer, a shimano 60 front derailer, an Apex 3 piece crank, shimano del 50 brake levers and shimano thumb shifters. Handle bars are road champions I think. I think it is a '76 or so. Here are some pics.
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Old 09-28-14, 03:32 PM
  #2  
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your dating looks spot on to me.

it has been a looong time but i seem to recall that ventura was a second badge for the range better known as centurion.

other members will put me right if am off on this.

mfrs oft create a second badge so that they can squeeze more product into a specific market as in "we're sorry mr. bike shop owner but we already have a dealer in your territory. however, we can give you the same product line under the _____ name."
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Old 09-28-14, 03:32 PM
  #3  
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That looks VERY mid 1970s Japanese to me. A serial number and a seatpost diameter would be useful.
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Old 09-28-14, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
That looks VERY mid 1970s Japanese to me. A serial number and a seatpost diameter would be useful.
It is a Japanese made bike. I can't find a serial number on it. The seat post that i found and slid right, in measures 1 1/16" inch in diameter.
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Old 09-28-14, 04:55 PM
  #5  
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Maybe it came out around the time "Ventura Highway" by America was plying as a hit on the radios??
BTW. Be careful with the seatpost. It slipping nicely into the seat tube doesn't always mean it's the correct size for the bike. Make sure that the seat post clamp isn't distorted in any way from any previous over tightening. If it is and the post just fits, the post might actually be too small diameter for the bike....

Last edited by Chombi; 09-28-14 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 09-28-14, 05:15 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
Maybe it came out around the time "Ventura Highway" by America was plying as a hit on the radios??
BTW. Be careful with the seatpost. It slipping nicely into the seat tube doesn't always mean it's the correct size for the bike. Make sure that the seat post clamp isn't distorted in any way from any previous over tightening. If it is and the post just fits, the post might actually be too small diameter for the bike....
Thanks for the seat post advice there doesnt seem to be any distortion to the naked eye. But there is stop about 3" down that I hope will keep the seat from sliding down.
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Old 09-28-14, 05:38 PM
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At first blush I thought it looked like a 1975 or 1976 Centurion "LeMans" clone, built with Shimano, rather than Suntour gear.
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Old 09-28-14, 06:10 PM
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So still not alot of info on this bike. What do you folks think of the quality of this bike.
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Old 09-28-14, 07:23 PM
  #9  
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i would guess lower-mid level with some nicer (shimano 600) components. the paint looks awful. if it were mine, i'd use it as a donor for a prettier fame. the barcons and rear derailleur alone are worth $70.
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Old 09-28-14, 08:30 PM
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In the mid 70s there were a bunch Japanese bikes produced for the North American market (there were high tariffs in Europe against Asian bikes at the time so not that many of them were imported to that market).

It does look like a 1975 or 1976 Centurion "LeMans". (The Centurion brand was a creation of Western States Import Co. They had bikes made for them by several Asian bike makers).

I imagine that anyone who came up with a 1000 bike order to one of the Japanese makers could get them to put any name on them the importer wanted!

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Old 09-28-14, 09:51 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by eschlwc View Post
the barcons and rear derailleur alone are worth $70.
a 1st gen 600 deralilleur with that much wear and those older gen shifters are not worth much.
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Old 09-30-14, 04:59 AM
  #12  
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Thank you all being an off brand to another brand would explain why there is no info on it. Think I will clean it ep a little more and ride it another 30 years.
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Old 09-30-14, 05:49 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by zazenzach View Post
a 1st gen 600 deralilleur with that much wear and those older gen shifters are not worth much.
Bar end shifters bring $50 all the time on ebay. Another $20 for derailleur is pretty realistic. Add $25 for the stem, $25 for the crankset, etc.
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Old 10-05-14, 05:02 AM
  #14  
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Well since the bike isn't anything special I decide to strip it down. In the process I found the serial the number which is TA72502. And found that the forks were chromed before they were painted. Here are a few pics.
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Old 10-05-14, 06:25 AM
  #15  
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I had Ventura and Nishiki mixed frame bikes. They looked identical except for the brand names.
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Old 10-05-14, 07:26 AM
  #16  
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Is that a spelling mistake of RANDONNEUR or something on the bars? Fascinating. Chas, I didn't know about the heavy Japanese taxes on bikes back then. Thats probably why I've never really seen any Fuji, Miyata etc in the bits of Europe I've lived in.
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Old 10-07-14, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by MiloFrance View Post
...Fascinating. Chas, I didn't know about the heavy Japanese taxes on bikes back then. Thats probably why I've never really seen any Fuji, Miyata etc in the bits of Europe I've lived in.
There were high protective tariffs on bicycles and components between a number of European countries in the 1960s and 70s, especially France and Italy.

Also European tariffs against Asian made bikes were especially high and not just for sporting light weight bikes (consider countries like the Netherlands and Denmark where heavy urban bikes were major forms of transportation).

One other thing, the famous bicycle illustrator Daniel Rebour warned the French bicycle industry about the image of their bikes being cheap, poorly finished and fussy to keep running well. His warnings were especially aimed at Simplex and Huret. He told them that Japanese components produced by companies like Suntour and Shimano were going to take over their market if they didn't improve their designs, quality and cosmetics.

His words fell on deaf ears!

Two events conspired to bring about that Fait Accompli...

The sudden demand for light weight "10 speed racing bikes" during the US Bike Boom of the early 1970s far exceeded the manufacturing capacity of the French component producers (there was also a smaller bike boom going on in France and the UK).

Add to that, those French companies were using machinery that in many cases predated WW2 so their productivity was very low.

French component deliveries were a constant problem and there were always substitutions - usually using lower quality parts:

"les spécifications sont sujettes à modification sans préavis"

That opened the door for the Japanese component manufacturers. Gitane started using Sugino cranks in place of Stronglight on their mid range bikes. They also used Suntour derailleurs and Dia Compe brakes on some lower end models like the Gran Sport.

The second reason was that in the mid 70s the US Motobecane importer Ben Lawee started specifying Suntour and other Japanese components on many of the models he imported. It was good marketing because the Japanese products had a far better reputation for reliability and performance than French parts.

By the late 70s, the cosmetics on most French bikes were close to Japanese models and the quality and performance of Simplex and Huret derailleurs had improved too.

But... it was too little, too late!
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Old 10-07-14, 06:29 AM
  #18  
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I don't know if this bike has a lot of mileage on it. The paint is beat to heck but the parts look pretty good. That's a weird combination.
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Old 10-07-14, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by MiloFrance View Post
Is that a spelling mistake of RANDONNEUR or something on the bars? Fascinating. Chas, I didn't know about the heavy Japanese taxes on bikes back then. Thats probably why I've never really seen any Fuji, Miyata etc in the bits of Europe I've lived in.
That, and the fact that many refused to buy any Japanese stuff because of the role Japan played in WWII, at least in Holland. It took another generation for that to change.
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