I've seen 2 Echelons in the past year. They were both the same color blue as yours and had white Echelon decals in script font. They both had excellent workmanship.
Last year a friend bought a complete Echelon with NR components in excellent condition for "a price too low to publish"!
It was ridden at one time by a SF Bay Area racer who I was told was part of a local team that was sponsored by the Echelon importers.
According to several people knowledgeable about Echelons, the frames were made in Japan by Toei.
Most Toei bikes that I've seen pictures of were built as French randonneur style bikes in the Rene Herse mold.
The second Echelon was a frame only that was recently repainted and had Toei decals put on it. I thought that it was a bit of a sacrilege especially since the paint was in great shape but I guess that it was worth more as a Toei than an Echelon!
Chas. Colerich Oakland, CA USA
-----Original Message----- From: Robert Troy Sent: Thu, Jul 16, 2009 4:28 pm Subject: [CR] Help dating/identifying possible Echelon/Cherubim?
Are any listmembers acquainted with either 70s Echelons or Cherubims?
I recently acquired a bike from the original owner, who said that friends of his from CA owned DIN Importers in the 1970s and gave him this unlabeled frameset, which they'd purchased in bulk from an unknown (to him) shop in Japan and which they intended to brand as "Echelon," and re-sell.
A little CR list research indicates that DIN importers did indeed import bikes and sell them under the label, "Echelon." Supposedly, they bought them from Cherubim. Supposedly, Yoshi Konno was a builder at Cherubim in the mid/late 70s?
Over the top bb cable guides, brazed-on top tube guides, clamp on DT shifters, braze-on bottle holders, nutted brakes; this frame is right on the cusp of 70s/80s? The owner was adamant that he was given the frameset in 1975. The parts (early 70s NR, Gran Compe brakes, early logo Cinelli bar/stem combo, etc.) were all transfers/add-ons, and won't help date the frameset.
There is no serial number anywhere, and no markings on the fork tube. It has Shimano SF dropouts, and appears to be fully chromed underneath the original paint. 56/55 cm frame (ctc). 69 mm bb width? Right on the cusp of fitting me. I put on a longer stem and will take for a long ride tomorrow.
Photos were taken quickly on the way to work. Didn't even wipe off the cobwebs.
So, what do you think? I have no doubt that it was an "Echelon." But, anybody out there have any corroborating or contradictory evidence that this was built by Cherubim? Any clue what year? Any chance that it was built by Yoshi himself?
Thanks in advance for any light that you can shed.