Campagnolo 101 Elektron 4H
Possibly the first Campagnolo wheel widely available in Japan, thanks to Koyama-san of Far East (FET) who came across the wheels in his travels and recognized their unique craftsmanship and design. That was sometime in the mid seventies (one source say 1976, another, 1978) but the 101 design had been in production in Europe since 1963 under the model name Ragno. Later, Japanese market friendly productions of the wheel have a size, offset, JWL marking and more cast onto the wheel face, where as earlier production are void of most of those details.
The wheel was available cast in either conventional aluminum, or Campagnolo’s proprietary Elektron magnesium alloy, which was said to offer much of the benefit of magnesium, without the corrosion issues that other magnesium wheels were faced with. The benefit of the special alloy seems questionable. Elektron models were actually heavier than the standard wheel.
Today, the wheel is still relatively common, and with only mild sizes offered, is quite affordable. That said, the history of this wheel is significant… even if Tullio Campagnolo eventually discovered that he couldn’t cut it in the JWL world, and resigned himself to making bicycle parts instead.