Some dates to fill in Jerry's recollections:
1972- Schwinn LeTour introduced with relabelled Shimano Titlest rear derailleur. Fuji Finest available with Sugino Mighty cranks, Suntour derailleurs.
1973- Shimano Crane derailleurs and other Dura Ace components start to appear.
1974- Shimano Dura Ace group widely available- complete bikes include Fuji Ace. Suntour has introduced Suntour Cyclone deraillers and then entire Superbe group
Great Notch, NJ
> 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
> 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
> Jerry Moos
> Huston, TX
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "e a" <email@example.com>
> To: <Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
> Sent: Monday, September 01, 2003 2:47 AM
> Subject: [CR]Japanese components and what bikes?
> > 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?
> > thanks,
> > Eric Acuna
> > Santa Rosa, CA
> > ---------------------------------
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