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More History and restoration questions for buffs...(18 posts)

More History and restoration questions for buffs...Lone Gunman
Feb 24, 2002 11:40 AM
Approximately what year did cork ribbon appear on bicycle handlebars?

What year was year 1 for Durace?

When did Shimano begin selling full groups, (matching brakesets, shifters, and hubs)?

Thanks Buffs
Feb 24, 2002 12:04 PM
The first year for Dura-Ace was 1973. Beyond that, I have no idea.
Dura-Ace "gruppo"boneman
Feb 25, 2002 1:20 AM
I bought a full set of Dura-Ace in 1973. There was no seatpost at that time but included crank, BB, brake calipers and levers, clamp on DT levers, clamp on derailleur cable guide, front and rear derailleurs, and both HF and LF hubs. The DA rear derailleur was called Crane.

The stuff was nicely finished and bearing quality was very good. Brakes, calipers and levers, were Campy Record knock offs without the refinements while the hubs were total knock offs although the QR's had nicely curved levers, pre-dating Campy's shift to the curved lever. The rear derailleur was total crap. It was in between the SunTour and Campy Record in terms of top pulley location. It didn't shift was well as the SunTour or run as smooth as the Campy. The thing eventually broke at the forged body by the dropout bolt.

Crank set was nicely finished with good bearings in the BB but rather expensive at the time compared to Sugino offerings and Campy.

I still use the hubs and have everything else except the crank which I sold. I've ridden a lot of hard miles, mostly in Boston commuting year round. The stuff works well and lasts (except for the rear derailleur). For collectors, the biggest problem will be finding replacement brake hoods. You can still get replacement rear axles for 126mm spacing as the originals came for 120mm spacing. The hubs are worth collecting. The HF's come up now and then on EBay although I haven't seen a LF pair in years.
Dura-Ace "gruppo"The ACE
Feb 25, 2002 7:16 AM
I have a Fuji Ace I bought in 74/75. Came with all dura-ace. Have all parts still except derailleurs which I had the shop change to Sun Tour. I had never heard of shimano before.
re: cork ribbon...guido
Feb 24, 2002 12:53 PM
handlebar tape appeared in US bikeshops around 1987 or '88.

I think full groups were available years before Dura Ace appeared, itself being a group. I had a 1980 Puch equipped with Shimano 600EX, about the same as Sora might be now. There must have been some older versions of 600EX during the "boom" years of the '70s.
I wonder why...Lone Gunman
Feb 24, 2002 2:18 PM
If those parts showed up (DA) around 1973, they are so rare on the old parts swap sites? Lots of Campy stuff (and expensive!) but virtually no DA. Not sure about the 600 stuff being low grade or if the EX denotes a grade lower. Come to think of it I don't see a whole lot of 600 stuff around either. Could be wrong about this but 600 eventually became Ultegra I think.
I also recall now that I think about it...Lone Gunman
Feb 24, 2002 2:41 PM
buying some buckskin suede type bar tape for a brown schwinn continental I used to have and that would have been around '73 or so. Just wondering if I would go with cotton bar ribbon or cork on my restoration project. I like cork so cork/foam it is!
re: More History and restoration questions for
Feb 24, 2002 2:57 PM
I'd push the cork ribbon back a few years as I remember using it on a new set of Cinelli bars possibly in '85 and definitely no later than '86. I doubt I used the first roll imported but remember that I was one of the first in a fairly active cycling community at the U. of Central Fla to try it out.

To my recollection Shimano has used "600" to denote their highest non DA equipment since the 1970s anyways. I bought a 600EX gruppo again in either 85 or 86. It was discounted out as the switch to SIS was beginning. 105 came out shortly later and there were a # of other gruppos in the mid to later 1980s, Exage, Sante and so forth. I think 600s were the first full gruppo but do not know when they were first marketed.
Wow. Flashback ...Elefantino
Feb 24, 2002 3:29 PM
I remember when I took my McDonald's money and went shopping for my first "real" race bike back in the early '70s. Raleigh was the brand, built from Reynolds tubes, with Campy parts (except Weinemann centerpull brakes; I couldn't afford the bike with Campy sidepulls).

There were some bikes in the shop that had "Shimano" parts, but we all felt at the time that "Made in Japan" translated into "cheap."

My dad, however, who did a lot of business in Japan (49 trips), said that one day Shimano would rule the bicycle world, and you'd see Shimano win the Tour de France. He told me to get the Shimano bike. I got the Raleigh.

How things change. I wouldn't touch a Raleigh now. And while Shimano may not rule, it's got three straight Tours.

And all my bikes are Shimano-equipped.


PS: My dad was one of the first American businessmen allowed into Japan by MacArthur after the war. On one trip in the late '40s, he was introduced to a young Japanese engineer who had an idea to mass-produce four-stroke motorcycle engines. He needed money. My dad was in the chemical business, not manufacturing, so he introduced this man to some American financier friends of his. The man was forever grateful.

His name? Soichiro Honda. True story. I told it at my dad's funeral last August.

Never did get a free Honda out of it, though...
Wow, great story...Lone Gunman
Feb 24, 2002 4:02 PM
I went and did some poking around on a old parts site and ran across Shimano Crane F&R derailers. Funny thing it looks just like my 600/60 R&F derailers, even has the same type of black accents around the face plate on the RD. Yea, Raleighs were a hot bike bike in around '71-2. I remember a few of the rich kids having them, and my friend had the lime green Paramount. Wow if I could get my hands on one of those now... Simplex derailers on the Raleigh I believe. I never did like the cloth ribbon, cork for me.
re: cork and cloth?johan burnt eels
Feb 24, 2002 4:13 PM
before x-mas i placed an order for a few things that amounted to a pretty coin w/ excel sports. i gues it was a freebie or something but they thew in non-gratis a set of cinelli cork ribbon that im sure they must have had thousands of rolls of and would never be able to sell. (a mottled purple, blue and white...yuck! )

i offered it to all my cheap-ass riding buddies in need of new tape and even they said no thanks. not knowing what to do with it i used it on my fixie/commuter bars and then slathered it with a uhu stick before wrapping over them with cloth tape. till now it has worked ok and is quite comfortable. its a little hard to get the barend plugs in but i get a retro finish and a little comfort.

not bad.
A little confused...MISTERendo2U
Feb 25, 2002 3:49 PM
...Excel charged you for the putrid tape (non-gratis)?
sorry gratis....(free) ;-)johan burnt eels
Feb 26, 2002 5:31 AM
re: More History and restoration questions for
Feb 24, 2002 5:06 PM
I thought about this some after dinner and Elefantino's post hit some memory chords as well. I'm pretty sure Shimano first entered the US on dep't store 10 speeds. Having had to ride a few I remember the chromed steel and nearly non-functioning "Eagle" these probably go back to at least a few years before the US debut of DA. In the mid and thru the later 70s there was the experiment with indexing called Positron. These actually got out of the dep't store and appeared on some Schwinns, usually in conjunction with a front free-wheeling system. More show than go. I remember Cranes from a friend's Viscount of maybe 1977 vintage. FWIW, even though I found my 600EX gruppo satisfactory, when it comes to Japanese components I was firmly in the SunTour camp. Of course we all know how that war ended.
re: More History and restoration questions for buffs...Lone Gunman
Feb 24, 2002 6:33 PM
Yes, had some experience with the Eagle on a Western Flyer that I had. Not sure if you're aware or not but I am in the middle of a restore project with a Viscount, not a high value collector at all, a sentimental restore to far better than new. Now I am really gonna be upset after all this work the thing rides like the western flyer.
Gregg! This thread could go on the new Retro board! nmscottfree
Feb 25, 2002 5:21 AM
I have found a board that will...Lone Gunman
Feb 25, 2002 7:20 AM
give me all the retro information I will probably need, Classic Rendevouz. I had signed up for that board but my email address was blocking messages for some reason but I got that corrected and now I can ask all my retro crouch questions over there.
re: More History and restoration questions for buffs...2muchair
Feb 25, 2002 6:36 PM
Am I being screen out or what? I have a bike I want to restore but I can't post my question what's up with that... I have been riding for ten years.. and I am passionate about riding but this is really starting to piss me off.. Let me ask my question....I'm trying to figure out what type of frame I have.. It has a unique imprint on it..