The history of Japan became less mysterious in 1868.
That year, the ports of the Land of the Rising Sun reopened their piers to European ships, and commercial trade with the West was again set in motion. Kobe and, above all, Osaka were the two main ports where western cargo ships docked.
It was there, amongst all the merchandise imaginable, that the bicycle also went ashore.
And it was precisely in Osaka’s suburb of Sakai that, in 1921, Shizaburo Shimano founded Shimano Iron Works with the intention of producing freewheels, the most technically sophisticated bicycle mechanism at the time.
Fast forward to the 1970s when the Dura-Ace groupsets suddenly demonstrated to Europe that Shimano‘s technical potentials were extremely high, enough to make them broadly popular on the Old Continent as well.
One can say that the huge technological and commercial success of Shimano was a sign of what was soon to come to velodromes around the world, with the decade-long and absolute domination of professional sprinter Koichi Nakano and the introduction of a speciality which, up to that point, was still the story of legends: Keirin.
Shimano was effectively the ambassador of a new era in cycling when it became clear that cycling had resoundingly gone beyond Europe’s borders.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Shimano Iron Works in a memorable way, Wilier Triestina has decided to cross into art, just like Shimano had done with its components making them genuine technological masterpieces.
Japanese artist Jun Inoue has therefore been asked to put his signature on the new Unico project, the third of the series.
Jun’s artistic journey encompasses Shodo – the ancient Japanese art of calligraphy – and his works are a mix of the mystique of Ancient Japan and the excitement of its modern society.
Hence, Wilier Triestina has decided to celebrate a century of Shimano with the art of Jun Inoue uniquely captured in the Unico series frame of the Filante SLR, in a special edition consisting of two hundred pieces.
Two hundred times in which a frame is transformed into a canvas, creating an unrepeatable emotion.
THE BIKE OF THIS ARTICLE
FILANTE SLR – UNICO
The Filante SLR aerodynamic frame of the Unico series is a tribute to those who, in the space of a century, starting from tradition, have radically changed bicycle technology.
Filante SLR’s frame became Jun Inoue’s artist’s canvas in this new UNICO project: we explored new horizons and new decorating techniques with Jun.