Japan's Bicycle Guide 1971

Japan's Bicycle Guide 1971 - front cover main image

My earliest English language Shimano catalogue dates from 1972 and my earliest English language SunTour catalogue from 1973, so this, 1971, edition of Japan's Bicycle Guide provides a sliver of, much needed, additional information.

It is a classy, high quality, production - reflecting the growing aspirations and confidence of the Japanese bicycle industry. The artily marbled cover is extremely subtly embossed with the words 'Japan's Bicycle Guide' and is decorated with an image of a mask that I would ignorantly guess is something meaningful from Noh drama. This is a publication conceived to promote Japan as sophisticated, cultured and world-class, it is not a publication designed to sell on price alone.

The most interesting derailleurs shown are:

  • The SunTour V series of the generation that had 'screwdriver', rather than Allen, heads on their main bolts.
  • The Shimano Falcon. This was a two speed derailleur that had no cable or lever, but changed gear when you back pedalled.
  • Two DNB models, the DNB 66 that is in this collection and the rather funky looking DNB Danube - which I have never seen in the flesh.