The first big influx of Japanese parts into the US in the early 70's was as replacement/upgrade parts or as OE on low end US made bikes. I think their largest early impact was with components which had not traditionally been made in the US, notably derailleurs and caliper brakes. When Murray, Huffy, etc. started making derailleur bikes, the Japanese derailleurs and brakes available to them were cheaper and often better than the low end European equivalents. The component I recall first being seen a lot in the US was the Shimano Eagle rear derailleur, which was pretty heavy, but shifted better and was more durable than a Huret Alvit or Simplex Prestige. Plus Shimano may have also beaten the European's prices to the US manufacturers.
Schwinn had been making derailleur bikes much longer than the other US manufacturers, using European derailleurs and brakes, often marked "Schwinn Approved" as with Huret derailleurs and Weinmann brakes. I thnk it may have taken the Japanese a few years longer to establish themselves with Schwinn, but by the mid 70's mid range Schwinns (Schwinn didn't really make many low end bikes as cheap as Murray, Huffy and Roadmaster) were using a lot of Japanese equipment, and some models like the Schwinn Voyager were made entirely in Japan, including the frame. The Voyager was nearly all Dura Ace and was a real bargain. A "Schwinn Approved" Shimano Titlist GS also replaced the atrocious Campy Gran Turisimo on the touring model Schwinn Paramount.
Also about the mid 70's Japanese bikes with Japanese components started showning up in the US. Fuji and Nishiki were the most prominent. At the high end, the Fuji Finest, Newest and Ace were as good as any mass produced European bike and cheaper. The Ace was all Dura Ace. The Newest and Finest used the competing top end Japanese stuff, SunTour Vx derailleurs, Sugino Mighty cranks, DiaCompe brakes and Sanshin hubs.
The European manufacturers mosly stuck with European equipment through most of the 70's, but by the end of the CR on topic era in the mid 80's Japanese stuff was common on all but the top end European models. Motobecane had shifted to almost entirely Japanese equipment on most of their models by then. Even in the 70's, the odd Japanese component would show up on Europen bikes. I recall the Sugino Mighty crank, a very good Campy NR clone, on the Gitane Tour de France as early as 1974. I also have a circa 1972 Follis model 172 with a Sun Tour front derailleur. At first I thought this must have been a replacement, but another list member has a model 172 of about the same age with an identical SunTour, and this model was not one wdely seen in the replacement parts market, so I think it is original. The SunTour ratcheted barend shifters also made big inroads in the 70's on account of being about 3 times better than the Campy and Simplex competition
> Does anyone know of a site or has a list of japanese components? I'm trying to get a date for some Suntour Superbe, Shimano Dura Ace & 600 'Arabesque' and a couple Sugino and SR Sakae parts. Are they even within the CR timeline?
> Also what were some bikes that came with these? I would like to put the Shimano group onto period correct frame. Seems like most of what I've seen on this list is Campy components on Euro frames. Did any quality Euro frames have Japanese parts or only Japanese frames?
> Eric Acuna
> Santa Rosa, CA
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