[CR]How Shimano kicked the s--- out of Camapgnolo


Example: Component Manufacturers:Chater-Lea

From: ABB3330002@aol.com
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 2004 09:15:33 EDT
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]How Shimano kicked the s--- out of Camapgnolo

How did Shimano vault past campagnolo in the bicycle industry? A question that rivals Canon and Nikons decimation of the camera market and Toyota and Nissans ( Datsuns) total triumph over Great britain in the international auto market. anyone who was at the 1980 New York Bicycle Show at the Coliseum remembers the introduction of the"aero" concept with sleekly dressed Shimano riders demonstrating the wind-tunnel proven advantages of the ovalized tubing and the AX group. Shimano totally secured the language, the buzz, of the international show and defined the concept of the 80s as aero, or lowering of wind resistance. With the AX group Shimano defined their ability to capture the imagination of the bicycle world and to have others define it as they did.Within two years the Italians ( unthinkably) were using AX rear derailleurs (and other parts) on their high end pro aero models. Campagnolo's super record and nuovo record looked dated and fussy on the sleek ovalized tubing and they created C-record as a design response to the AX components. Unfortunately for Campagnolo, Shimano had redefined the market by the time c-record was fully developed and the 7400 group was prioritizing click shifting, mountain bike components and touring derivatives. Shimano now ruled the mid-level spec of the sport bike market-- I remember ordering a custom Romic from Ray Gastriowski ( Romic) in 1987and asking him what to spec. If I was a pro rider ( i was not) he was still recommending Super record, but for sport riding he said ( i imagine rather sadly given his long racing history and use of Campagnolo) that the mid-level Shimano components (equivalent of the 600) were superior to the Victory and Triompe lines. The AX group has maintained an interested following, part historical and part functional ( something like Tucker collectors, I imagine) and the band was of course greatly cheered when Lance chose an AX brake for his time trial bike ( something like an MG TF winining Indianapolis).More to the point, Shimano demonstrated that a 20% budget for research and development would define the future and in effect, commandeered the rules of bicycle development for the future.Others could either play catch up orĀ  wither. Tombstones litter the industry. Is Shimano collectable? I believe that the late 1970s (10 pitch) and early 1980s AX components are totally original and inspiring. Prior to that, its Campagnolo setting the pace and Zeus, Shimano and other wannabes hoping to be spec'd as near-Campys. Doesn't interest me. See you at the Cirque. Alan Bernstein ( sunny NYC)