[CR]Re: ...Shimano Myth or Truth??? (a view from 30 yrs ago)


Example: Racing:Wayne Stetina

Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2004 21:32:09 -0700
From: john jorgensen <designzero@earthlink.net>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Subject: [CR]Re: ...Shimano Myth or Truth??? (a view from 30 yrs ago)

Of Shimano & resistance: View from a bike shop 30 years ago.

Shimano was interesting to watch, working their way up the quality & price point ladder. The bike shops first saw Larks & such from dept. store bikes. By the time Dura-Ace was not just vaporware, it was rarely (can¹t recall ever) specified by the OEM¹s. Teledyne was the first to endorse it with the equipment featured in display ads on a built ³pro² bike. Shimano for its part did make special bits for Teledyne, such as the oversize top tube cable clips and seatpost binder bolt.

The problem with Shimano was lack of spare parts availability & support. A shop could not depend on getting small replacement bits, this was later addressed by an order direct scheme, a shop could order from Shimano to be billed through a distributor of one¹s choice. Also, threading was easily available in British, sometimes Italian, if one wanted other than 36 hole hubs...well, Chain rings were a problem as well, Shimano had an idea for 52/39 rings, as their spider allowed but it was an idea whose time was not yet. Alternate ring sizes were not easily avail. as they were with the others.

The basic verdict for 1st generation Dura-Ace, good brake calipers once toed in. Brake levers on a par with Weinmann. Nice hubs, (had chromed oil clips and outer nuts) smooth but durability then suspect. Crank arms nice, BB variable, Headset, good but heavy & only British treading. Rear derailleur, nice but Suntour shifted better, Front was harder to keep in adjustment than Campagnolo. Everything worked better with Campagnolo cables & housing. Dura-Ace ten for the track was neat but expensive and very unobtainable. Recall that Shimano¹s first attempt at index shifting was Positron, with the front freewheel system!

As Shimano progressed, the shop¹s saw a pattern of reinvention and abandonment, a shop would be reluctant to inventory after quickly learning that they could be quickly orphaned stock.

John Jorgensen
Palos Verdes, Ca.