Shimano may not be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of their iconic Dura-Ace Groupset, but we think it's a pretty big deal, and as the other half of the story, we created a Limited Edition frameset to mark that landmark occasion. Only 50 pieces are available and will be sold as complete bikes, or frame sets.
In 1965, Shimano began serious efforts to sell its products in Europe, with little success. Seven years later in 1972 Shimano Europe was established in Düsseldorf, Germany and was tasked with persuading a European professional team to use Shimano components (which at this time didn't even exist). Pro teams were supplied by Italian and French manufacturers and the thought of Asian components of professional bikes was considered a joke. Laughable.
The Flandria team, however decided to give the newcomer a chance, and struck a deal with Shimano, whose engineers began work on a new range of components to equip the Flandria team in 1973. The new parts needed a name. It was decided on "DURA", taken from the duralumin alloy used for production, and "ACE", simply meaning The Best: "DURA-ACE" was born.
Over the course of the season, the parts suffered many failures, especially the rear derailleur which could not withstand the gruelling conditions of the European racing circuit. With constant feedback from the Flandria team, improvement after improvement was added to new versions.
This was the first time in history that an Asian manufacturer was participating in European races. The first ever professional victory for Shimano was on 16th February 1973, when Walter Godefroot won Stage 5 of the Ruta del Sol.
Shimano didn't need to wait long for their first Tour de France victory either, as Godefroot once again rode his DURA-ACE equipped Flandria to first place on Stage 5, (5th July 1973 Nancy - Mulhouse, 188 km).
Despite the problems with failures, Flandria racked up an impressive 74 victories riding the new DURA-ACE components, including 3 Tour de France stage victories, and 2nd places in the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and the World Championship Road Race. Riding the newly minted DURA-ACE in 1973, Flandria won more races than any other Pro Team and were awarded the UCI World Cup for Teams, as the best team that year.
Shimano could not have wished for a better debut in Professional Road Racing. Thanks to the prestige given to these new parts by the Flandria team, the desirability of Shimano components grew, and Shimano DURA-ACE now represents the pinnacle of racing bike components.The Flandria / Shimano Dura-Ace partnership also continued for the 1974 season.
Limited Edition - only 50 pieces total
High Modulus full carbon monocoque frame design with full carbon fork
Belgian frame geometry for smooth, stable handling
Fully internal routed
Aero down tube
Generous clearance for up to 32mm tyres
Full carbon seat post and integrated carbon cockpit included
Metal head tube badge
Average frame weight 1125g / fork weight 483g
Colour: Flandria Red with Limited Edition graphics
Available builds: Shimano DURA-ACE, Ultegra, or 105 Di2. Bike shown with DURA-ACE for illustrative purposes. **Original 1973 Team Jersey not included **Freddy Maertens' original Flandria-Dura Ace bike not included