[CR]Zunow Z-1


From: "Jim Hultman" <italianthread@cox.net>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2003 00:23:06 -0800
Subject: [CR]Zunow Z-1

I've located & bought a Zunow Z-1.. ..after recently ogling the gold & red example on the CR Classic Japanese website. Mine is quite the same, except for slightly different decals, & 100% red paint. Now, according to pics I found on Mark Bulgier's pdf site, Zunow also made a Cinelli Laser look a like, named the "Aercs", which had a wishbone rear seatstay that's very contemporary. I'm curious about the lifespan of Zunow, whether they sold any Aercs's, and whether the Z-1 remained unchanged through the years. I believe the Z-1 was introduced in 1981, but Zunow must have begun earlier, & then of course I don't know when they folded. The frame details are really cool, & the 'biplane' rear brake bridge is just something you can't stop looking at. The top tube has a rut down the center for the rear brake cable. Not enclosed, just a rut. Similar to my Somec Air 2000 from the same period, which had the channel along the left side of the tube. (Did Columbus make these 'aero' tubes?) This construction is inelegantly but proudly proclaimed "Ditchex" right on the tube. Here are (mostly unattributed) Zunow comments I've culled from various newsgroups, perhaps they'll jog a memory:

\u201cI seem to remember that in addition to Yamaguchi leaving 3rensho. a couple of other builders left the same shop, the other two started Zunow and Cherubin. the zunow people leaned towards track and tri bikes. the cherubin frames I haven't seen in 12 years. all three, 3rensho, Zunow, and Cherubin, had perfect welds and great attention to detail. "

\u201cZunows were fairly popular in Van, Canada, for road racing and triathlons. These bikes were meticulously built by a group of four builders from Japan. In fact, the North American distributor is in Vancouver. They had some ads in some of the biking magazines a year ago. "

\u201cRic Wells, who was New Zealand's top triathlete in the mid-eighties used to ride Zunows. They had that fiddly/intricate Japanese quality that more framebuilders should aspire to."

\u201cOne of the members of the Ontario Randonneurs has a Zunow road which he uses as his main rando bike. It's really quite a bike, I had a chance to see it before and after being built up, the detailing is exquisite and the quality of the frame seemed as good as any frame I've seen, the unbuilt frame and fork were startlingly light. My favorite part is the BB shell which has the word Zunow cast deeply into the shell on the top on either side".

\u201cWell........I imported Zunow frames into California in the 1980's so I know them very well and visited the factory and got to know the owner etc. Quite unique bicycles with unique graphics. Made mostly road and tri frames, not Keirin. Always willing to experiment and responsible for early use of many innovations that are in common use today. Always came up with great names and graphics for their frames. Quite a collectors item today, they became known in the US from many servicemen in Okinawa picking them up to bring home. "Hugh Enox

I've tried an e-mail to Hugh, but don't know if the 3 year old address is still good. Any comments or experience with Zunows is appreciated!

Jim Hultman
Santa Barbara