Saturday, May 28, 2011

Vintage and Classic: SR Bicycle with Shimano 600ax...


I stopped by the Velo yesterday on my way home from GMR and immediately spotted this bike on the patio rack. It is an SR frame with Shimano 600 AX components. That is all well and fine, but what I noticed about it first, was the tubing - it is early aero. Both the seat tube and down tube incorporate what we today clearly recognize as aerodynamic shapes. 




The sticker above the headbadge spells it out - Shimano aero dynamic. The larger sticker on the seat tube says Shimano aerodynamic racing components. Both the Dura-ace and 600 lines came in the ax models. From what I have read, the ax line was introduced in 1981, as an attempt to redefine the design of modern racing components. It was one of those design developments widely considered to be "ahead of its time," and like many such creations, was not well received by the public. Production ended after only two years. 

I just wanted to update the above paragraph a little - you know, the more time you spend researching, the more you find out. I mentioned only two levels of components in the ax line. Of course there was a third, called Adamas, it was the lower end of the three; less high-performance, more everyday workhorse.





The SR bike line is a little more problematic. Information I have read is a bit muddied. There are three possibilities: 1) Some people say that SR refers to the well-known Sakae Ringyo, precursor of SR Suntour. 2) Others say that SR is of no relation to Sakae Ringyo, that instead SR was a manufacturer of mid-priced Japanese sport bikes built in Osaka in the 1970s. 3) There was an SR bikes being manufactured in the San Diego area in the 1980s, which produced several different models of sport and touring frames. Which is correct for this bike? I will not be able to let go until I find out. Which ever turns out to be true, this almost seems like a sort of project bike developed in partnership between the two companies. It seems likely that the aero-frame would have been designed in conjunction with Shimano releasing their aero-dynamic ax line of components. But that is all conjecture right now. There is another example here. It is more high-end, Shimano frame, with Dura-ace AX components. 



20 comments:

  1. I have some questions about a bike my husband brought back from Holland in 80s. Appears to be Aero frame, not with identical decals, but has Shimano racing parts, and limited decals. Basic silver frame...wondering if someone can confirm if frame is authentic or not.
    I can send photos.

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  2. Hello Deb, not sure how much help I can give, but if you want, go ahead and send some photos, and I will see what I can do. mtowagner@verizon.net

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  3. Here's a little about my SR bike, originally labeled "Made In Japan". http://abikeblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/sr-retro-restoration.html
    FWIW, I understand the first story to be closest to the truth, with the additional info that they were distributed by Windsor Industries in San Diego. So there's your San Diego Connection.

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    1. I have a catalog from SR and you are correct about it being built for Windsor Industries in the San Diego area (the Windsor bikes were also made for them). However, I disagree with your assessment that the first story is truth. I own a 1980 SR Semi-pro frame and have a few SR bike documents here. I don't believe SR Bikes had any relationship to SR (Sakae Ringyo). In fact the SR bikes used other manufacturers parts which were in direct conflict with ones made by Sakae-Ringyo. However, Sakae-Ringyo is listed in the SR Bike catalog as one of many component companies that provide parts for the bikes. All the legalize text appearing in the SR Bike catalogs never mention Sakae Ringyo, only "SR Bikes". if Sakae Ringyo was in any way the parent company of SR Bikes they sure went out of their way to hide it in the SR Bike catalog or SR Bike User manual.

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    2. Thanks for contributing that info, Don.

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    3. I agree with Don B's info. I bought an SR Gran Course from Nigel at the bike shop in Mira Mesa. I believe the confusion comes from the fact that the head tube badge for SR bikes simply said "SR" however the (stock) handlebars were engraved with the Sakae Ringoyo logo. Our family actually had 4 of these. 2 Gran Tours and a semi-pro racing. Mine was a little different than the rest in that it had Sunshine hubs with a steel clip covering the lubrication hole. I put thousands of miles on that bike including the inaugural rides that allowed cyclists to cross the Coronado Bridge. If you rode the San Diego Trolley south through National City you could see the warehouse with the SR logo on it- I assume this must have been Windsor as well. Seems to me like these were popular regional (southern Cal) bikes that I never saw outside of California. I also had an SR Mountain bike in about 1985 that was a direct competitor (though cheaper) than the Bianchi Grizzly or the Stumpjumpers.

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    4. Thanks for joining in on the conversation Jef182. Sounds like SR was well-regarded by your family.

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  4. Chromatonic, thanks for the link and info. Your SR certainly looks sharp with those Porteur bars.

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  5. By looking out for my bike in google I found out that I own a classic is an SR road bike in pretty good shape.
    Are this worth any money?

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  6. Hello Juan, most SR bicycles were standard steel frames, and not really worth very much. This one was a little more special because of the aero tubing. From what I have seen most older SR bikes these days only sell for $200 or $300. Of course a lot depends on the components on the bike, the condition, size. Good luck.

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  7. I own an 1980 SR Maxima size 52 with all original Suntour Superbe component group. It's in excellent condition and I was wondering how much it's worth and what would be the forum to sell it? thanks!!

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  8. Correction: 1984 SR maxima. It says its "made in Japan" with Champion 2 butted tube

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  9. While I can usually notice a unique bike such as the aero SR, I really couldn't begin to put a price to one. The vintage market has always seemed kind of inconsistent, fluctuating all the time. Your best bet for finding a value of your bike would be a classic and vintage group such as that on BikeForums.net, the general cycling public are less likely to "get it". Keep in mind that anyone qualified to give you an opinion on value will, or should, want to see photos first.

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  10. Is SR stands for Scout Regalia as well ? Just asking thanks

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    1. Though older brands do sometimes get remade, I am not aware of any connection between the two.

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  11. I'm looking to buy a old sr anyone have any idea where I might find one?

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  12. I'm looking to buy a old sr anyone have any idea where I might find one?

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  13. I have not seen any lately, William. Of course I also have not looked for one lately. Will keep my eyes and ears open.

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  14. Thank you very much.i had one year's ago. Would love to find one again.

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  15. Thank you very much.i had one year's ago. Would love to find one again.

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