Re: [CR]70's bike : no Japeurope cycles ??

Example: Production Builders:Cinelli:Laser
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Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2003 13:32:16 -0400
To: Donald Gillies <>,
From: "Sheldon Brown" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]70's bike : no Japeurope cycles ??

Donald Gillies wrote:
>I am about to move my TREK 500 bike parts (Sakae/Suntour) over to an
>Alan aluminum frame, and put a Campagnolo Victory crankset on as well.
>But then i got to thinking : I believe it was almost impossible to
>find a stock bicycle in the 1970's and 1980's with this type of mixed
>set of european and italian parts. For example, european cranks and
>japanese derailleurs. Perhaps Trek did it (their bikes were true
>mongrels) but very few other makers did it.

Motob├ęcane was a pioneer in this, the first Euro maker to spec Japanese derailers and cranksets.

In the mid '70s, Japanese derailers were MUCH better than European ones, and Sugino was the first to make affordable cotterless cranksets, bringing them to the level of garden-variety tenspeeds.
>Can someone "in the know" tell me why this was ?? Were there steep
>discounts for buying grouppos in volume, or were there discounts
>(payoffs) on Italian parts) if they were used on bikes without
>Japanese parts (or vice-versa) for the manufacturers ??

There were (and are) import duties to be considered, as well as national pride and habit. Also maybe a touch of racism.
>Or was it simply a matter of supply-lines because Japan and Europe are
>on opposite sides of the world, and the only place it made sense was
>at Schwinn (e.g. paramounts with Dia-Compe brakes?)

DiaCompe was a special case. They invented the "suicide lever" (a.k.a. "safety lever") brake extensions, and they made a deal with Weinmann to work together through mutual design licensing.

Sheldon "Best Of Both" Brown Newtonville, Massachusetts +----------------------------------------------------------------+ | A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience. | | --Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. | +----------------------------------------------------------------+ --
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