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Shogun Bicycles

Old 03-04-20, 01:43 PM
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Shogun Bicycles

I've built a website about classic japanese bicycles and one of the pages is about the history of the different brands. Can't seem to find much on the
web about Shogun bicycles. If anyone has any information or can direct me to information regarding the history of this brand I would appreciate it.
Thank you,
Jim H
Las Vegas, NV
USA
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Old 03-04-20, 02:41 PM
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Shogun was a full range marketing brand originally owned by the Japanese trading company Marui. Shogun bicycles debuted for the 1977 model year and were contract manufactured by various sources including Merida, Miki, Tano, Yamaguchi and several unidentified sources. Since 2004, the brand has been owned by Kent International of New Jersey.
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Old 03-04-20, 03:05 PM
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The west coast of the US and Australia and New Zealand seem to have more Shoguns. T-Mar would know.
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Old 03-04-20, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by dweenk View Post
The west coast of the US and Australia and New Zealand seem to have more Shoguns. T-Mar would know.
Well, I see a lot of used Shogun bikes in the Boston area. Must have been a major distributor around here back in the day.
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Old 03-04-20, 04:43 PM
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I'm not a resource person like T-mar but what I think I remember was that they were distributed by some west coast distributor. What was interesting to me is that the models I saw were made with Tange Prestige thin wall tubing. That combination was seldom used by production makers and usually only made by custom builders. This is why few people have ever tried riding a frame with heat treated .7/.4/.7mm double butted tubing. Again if my memory is correct on the models I saw, they used the 'Hellenic" style triple triangle seat stay attachment (like GT) .
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Old 03-04-20, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by cirp View Post
I've built a website about classic japanese bicycles and one of the pages is about the history of the different brands. Can't seem to find much on the
web about Shogun bicycles. If anyone has any information or can direct me to information regarding the history of this brand I would appreciate it.
Thank you,
Jim H
Las Vegas, NV
USA
And do you have a link to your website?
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Old 03-04-20, 05:08 PM
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Shogun 2000
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Old 03-04-20, 05:53 PM
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Shogun 800, Tange 2 tubing
excellent riding frame

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Old 03-04-20, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Well, I see a lot of used Shogun bikes in the Boston area. Must have been a major distributor around here back in the day.
And in Maine as well. Must have been a New England distributor.

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Old 03-04-20, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf View Post
And do you have a link to your website?
Here it is: Classic Japanese Bicycles - Road Mountain Track

Jim H.
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USA
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Old 03-04-20, 07:30 PM
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Thanks everyone for the input.and pictures!

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Old 03-04-20, 08:12 PM
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Shogun Selectra 12...

..bought used from owner in Western Mass about 2010.








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Old 03-04-20, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by cirp View Post
I've built a website about classic japanese bicycles and one of the pages is about the history of the different brands. Can't seem to find much on the
web about Shogun bicycles. If anyone has any information or can direct me to information regarding the history of this brand I would appreciate it.
Thank you,
Jim H
Las Vegas, NV
USA
There is a whole thread here discussing or documenting Shogun Database
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Old 03-04-20, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by chainwhip View Post
..bought used from owner in Western Mass about 2010.







That's really nice. I picked up my Shoguns in northern NH and Central Mass.
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Old 03-05-20, 06:10 AM
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Old 03-05-20, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by TriBiker19 View Post
That's really nice. I picked up my Shoguns in northern NH and Central Mass.
Thanks!
Not my "best" bike, but definitely a favorite.
Warm here today...might get it out on the road.

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Old 03-05-20, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by dweenk View Post
The west coast of the US and Australia and New Zealand seem to have more Shoguns. T-Mar would know.
Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Well, I see a lot of used Shogun bikes in the Boston area. Must have been a major distributor around here back in the day.
Originally Posted by Doug Fattic;21353286}[color=#222222
I'm not a resource person like T-mar but what I think I remember was that they were distributed by some west coast distributor. What was interesting to me is that the models I saw were made with Tange Prestige thin wall tubing. That combination was seldom used by production makers and usually only made by custom builders. This is why few people have ever tried riding a frame with heat treated .7/.4/.7mm double butted tubing. Again if my memory is correct on the models I saw, they used the 'Hellenic" style triple triangle seat stay attachment (like GT) .
Originally Posted by top506 View Post
And in Maine as well. Must have been a New England distributor.
Every so often, you run across a case where everybody is correct. In the early 1980s, Shogun was distributed out of New Jersey. Sometime in the late 1980s they moved to dual distributorship, out of New York and Washington. In 1990 they dropped the east coast distributor and focused on Seattle Bicycle Supply in Kent, Washington.

However, I'm going to take exception to the Prestige tubing statement. It could be found on many models sourced from Asian mass volume manufacturers, including such big brands as Bianchi, Centurion, Giant, Nishiki, Panasonic, Schwinn and Specialized, However, Tange Prestige may not have seemed so visible due to the timing of it's introduction in the mid-1980s. The market was starting to shift to ATBs and road bicycle sales would continue to erode throughout the late 1980s. If you look at ATBs, you'll find an even broader variety of Prestige tubed models. The road bicycle market also shifted, with an emphasis on mid-range, where Tange Prestige was too expensive. Finally, high end sales shifted to smaller, typically Italian companies, favouring Columbus.

The one bright spot in road bicycle sales during the mid to late 1980s was the mid-range sports/racing model. A lot a new cyclists were being attracted by Lemond's success in Europe and Grewal's gold medal at the 1984 LA Olympics. However, even more significant were the swimmers, runners and females coming into bicycle shops as a result of the exploding popularity of triathlons. Lemond-Grewal wannabes and novice triathletes wanted race worthy bicycles but didn't want to empty their bank account. Mid-range models suited the bill and the big bicycle companies took note, gearing their road bicycle marketing dollars towards triathletes. Magazines were filled with mid-range models, with triathlon oriented names and pastel colours, promoted by prominent triathletes such as Dave Scott (Centurion), Scott Tinley, (Raleigh) and John Howard (KHS).

High end road bicycle were still out there, but in sales rooms were taking a back seat to ATBs and mid-range road models geared towards triathletes. However, even what remained of the high end road market had changed over the last decade. The market had shifted from the mass volume manufacturers such as the Peugeot and Raleigh, to smaller and primarily Italian manufacturers, like Colnago, De Rosa and Pinarello, which favoured Columbus tubing. Consumers spending big dollars on a bicycle wanted someone more exclusive and exotic. The mass volume manufacturers no longer filled their needs.

So, while Prestige road models were available, the mass volume companies which supplied them, were not as popular in the high end market as they previously had been. These big companies had also shifted their marketing emphasis to ATBs and mid-range models. This made Tange Prestige models less visible to the typical cyclist, unless they were specifically looking for one.

Shogun's road model with Tange Prestige was the Ninja, while the ATB model utilizing Prestige was the Prairie Breaker Team. While imaginative, Shogun's Ground Breaker, Trail Breaker and Prairie Breaker series of model names would not be considered acceptable by many in to-day's politically politically correct society.

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Old 03-05-20, 09:20 AM
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note to self: I think my Wife's '70s "10-speed" (that she won't let me get rid of) is a Shogun ...
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Old 03-05-20, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Every so often, you run across a case where everybody is correct. In the early 1980s, Shogun was distributed out of New Jersey. Sometime in the late 1980s they moved to dual distributorship, out of New York and Washington. In 1990 they dropped the east coast distributor and focused on Seattle Bicycle Supply in Kent, Washington.
A few scans from my collection, including distributor info.
I don't remember seeing many of these - and I've never seen any of those triathlete editions anywhere from any brand, even though lots of brands offered similar models.


Does this guy look too big for that bike or WHAT?!

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Old 03-05-20, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
...and I've never seen any of those triathlete editions anywhere from any brand, even though lots of brands offered similar models...
Surely, you jest?
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Old 03-05-20, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Surely, you jest?
I jest not!
To my memory, I have never seen one of these things in person.
I also don't hang out around thrift shops - maybe they're all there.
I've seen Softride beam bikes, hammock saddle bikes, all kinds of failed designs.
And I've seen lots of bikes that real triathletes used.
Never seen a small-wheel deep drop thing like these.
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Old 03-05-20, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
I jest not!
To my memory, I have never seen one of these things in person.
I also don't hang out around thrift shops - maybe they're all there.
I've seen Softride beam bikes, hammock saddle bikes, all kinds of failed designs.
And I've seen lots of bikes that real triathletes used.
Never seen a small-wheel deep drop thing like these.
These were quite popular in the late 1980s for a short period. In addition to Shogun's Kaze, there was the Nishiki Linear, a Team Fuji version, an Aero Miyata version, a Panasonic Team Time Trial and just about every small European company offered one.

Edit: These were more of a time trial bicycle, though some people, particularly those who crossed over cycling, used them for triathlons. In triathlons, they had the disadvantage of having to carry two size of spare tubes and tyres. Whereas in time trials, if you got a flat, it was game over., so you rarely carried spares.

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Old 03-05-20, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
These were quite popular in the late 1980s for a short period. In addition to Shogun's Kaze, there was the Nishiki Linear, a Team Fuji version, an Aero Miyata version, a Panasonic Team Time Trial and just about every small European company offered one.
Ahem...Centurion.

The women’s has that oddball smaller front tire. I just can’t ride one because it would drive me crazy to see the mismatched wheels. And peach for a color is just a no in my book.
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Old 03-05-20, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by TriBiker19 View Post
Ahem...Centurion.

The women’s has that oddball smaller front tire. I just can’t ride one because it would drive me crazy to see the mismatched wheels. And peach for a color is just a no in my book.
That's a different concept. The women's proportional frames used a smaller front wheel to shorten the top tube and lower the headtube for shorter reach and a lower stand-over height. This allowed production of frames for people shorter than could be accommodated by matching 700C wheels. The TT bicycles used a smaller front wheel for the aero benefits. The top tube typically sloped or sometimes curved downwards towards the front, so there was little gain in stand-over height. They cam in normal frame sizes. Now, Centurion (Germany) did have a TT frame in this style called the Turbo TT but it wasn't offered in the USA.

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Old 03-05-20, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by TriBiker19 View Post
That's really nice. I picked up my Shoguns in northern NH and Central Mass.
I Picked up mine in Southern NH. I think it has a MA bike shop decal.
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