Vintage Sanwa Bicycles History and Facts

Last Updated on March 4, 2023 by FAB Jim The Cyclist

Sanwa is a bicycle brand that was owned by Wisconsin Cycle Supply starting in 1977.  From what I have seen these were all road bikes imported from Japan.  Wisconsin Cycle was a distributor from Sheboygan, Wisconsin that distributed bikes, another brand they used was Timberlin.  Riteway would buy Wisconsin Cycle Supply in the 80s and I believe that is when the brand disappeared.  Riteway was later bought by GT. 

Sanwa Head Badge

Sanwa was also the name of a manufacturer in Japan, possibly the company that was used to manufacture the bikes for Wisconsin Cycle.  I’ve seen a lot of people connect Sanwa, Sekine, and Yamaguchi.  I believe Yamaguchi merged with Sekine who then later merged with Sanwa.  The Sanwa factory closed in 1997. 

Sanwa bikes were sold in bike shops, and I believe by Montgomery Wards. 

During the 80s at least some of their bikes were made in Taiwan most likely by Giant.

Made in Taiwan

Here is a really nice 1980s Sanwa 700 road bike:

1980s Sanwa 700 Road Bike

The frame uses Tange Champion #2 tubing.  Components are Suntour ARx, Sugino GT crank, Dia-Compe brakes, Araya rims, and Sanshin hubs. 




Dirtmaster BMX

Sport LX


110 road bike

210 road bike

212 road bike

250 road bike – mid-level road bike with Suntour AR derailleurs and Sugino GT crank.

312 road bike

400 road bike

700 road bike

Sanwa Gallery

1980 Sanwa 250 Road Bike Blue

1980 Sanwa 280 Road Bike Blue

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