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  1. #1
    Junior Member aussy's Avatar
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    bought a bike! dx2000

    I know nothing about biking, but I'm moving to a city soon. I was thinking about picking up this one and converting it to a single speed and maybe replace a few components when I learn the ropes. From what I've read, vintage Japanese bikes are good values and the Kabuki bikes were mid level bikes produced by Bridgestone. I just want to make sure I don't pick up a pile o' junk and then regret it later when I learn more about bikes. So, I'm most specifically interested in the durability and quality of these parts/frame. Hopefully someone can identify this bike and offer some advice

    His asking price is $85 firm.

    edit: suntour components




    Last edited by aussy; 06-09-12 at 11:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Lower end but not a bad bike IMO. A couple friends had Kabukis and always enjoyed them.

    $85 is not a bad price but MAKE SURE THE SEATPOST IS FREE. That looks like one of the goofy expander wedge posts without a seat clamp bolt and they have a reputation for freezing up.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  3. #3
    Junior Member aussy's Avatar
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    Hmm, didn't notice that. Any way to modify the bike for a normal, clamped seat post? Fortunately I'm light, so I don't foresee it being shoved too far down and bulging the stem, but I imagine they're annoying to adjust.

  4. #4
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussy View Post
    Hmm, didn't notice that. Any way to modify the bike for a normal, clamped seat post? Fortunately I'm light, so I don't foresee it being shoved too far down and bulging the stem, but I imagine they're annoying to adjust.
    Not that I'm aware of. Doesn't look like there's enough seat tube sticking out to cut a slot in and put a clamp on. But maybe.

    AFAIK the issue wasn't using the post itself or the amount of weight on it, but rather the corrosion that occurred much like a stuck stem making them much more difficult to remove than a conventional post. If you keep it well greased and remove it every couple years I don't see any problem. But if the seatpost is already stuck I would run away.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  5. #5
    Junior Member aussy's Avatar
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    I'll ask him if he can adjust it. Unfortunately I'll be unable to test ride it, so this might be a bit of a blind buy. The cheapest I've seen similar bikes selling for is $150 over my past few weeks of craigslist scouting (though I know you can find these bikes for $50 and under some times) so I might just spring for this one and hope for the best.

    While I have you here, any other cheap Japanese brands I should be looking out for. I regularly search Nishiki.

    Thanks for your help

  6. #6
    Senior Member WickedThump's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussy View Post
    Hmm, didn't notice that. Any way to modify the bike for a normal, clamped seat post? Fortunately I'm light, so I don't foresee it being shoved too far down and bulging the stem, but I imagine they're annoying to adjust.
    I recently got a bike with a seatpost like yours. I took it out and it was dry so I greased it up and put it back. I suggest having the seller pull out the post for you to make sure it isn't frozen. By the photo, it looks like the post was raised a couple inches recently.
    The one I have is made such that I have to take off the seat to get at the binding screw to adjust the height.

  7. #7
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussy View Post
    While I have you here, any other cheap Japanese brands I should be looking out for. I regularly search Nishiki.
    Brand isn't too important, neither is Japanese. LOTS of manufacturers made quality bikes, most had full lines from the bottom barrel clunkers to top of the line racing machines. The quality of the specific bike is more important than the name on it.

    Some manufacturers off the top of my head: Schwinn, Trek, Specialized, Panasonic, Peugeot, Bianchi, Centurion, Gitane, Raleigh, Fuji, Cannondale, Univega, Lotus, and many many others.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  8. #8
    Junior Member aussy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
    Brand isn't too important, neither is Japanese. LOTS of manufacturers made quality bikes, most had full lines from the bottom barrel clunkers to top of the line racing machines. The quality of the specific bike is more important than the name on it.

    Some manufacturers off the top of my head: Schwinn, Trek, Specialized, Panasonic, Peugeot, Bianchi, Centurion, Gitane, Raleigh, Fuji, Cannondale, Univega, Lotus, and many many others.
    Gotcha. Guess its a shot in the dark if you don't know much about specific models. Hopefully this is one of the better Kabuki bikes...

    The seat post is in good condition, rust free and he just adjusted it recently. A friend suggested I ask about the dropouts. They're near horizontal and he says they should be suited for the single speed conversion I have in mind.

    The main thing I'm worried about is the standing height since I wont be able to try out the bike beforehand. I think it'll be perfect, but its close! My 'inseam' with shoes on is 33-34 inches. I read that you should give an inch of allowance.

  9. #9
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussy View Post
    The main thing I'm worried about is the standing height since I wont be able to try out the bike beforehand. I think it'll be perfect, but its close! My 'inseam' with shoes on is 33-34 inches. I read that you should give an inch of allowance.
    Based on this comment, I would pass. Its a bottom end bike, nothing special for sure. Since you will not be able to try it out first, the risk outweighs the potential gain.

    PASS.

    There is all kinds of information on this forum and elsewhere all over the web on how to identify a nice vintage bike. Its not about any specific brand, its all about the frame tubing, the components used for the build, and the overall condition. Almost all the bike shop brands back then made everything from really great bikes, to mediocre bikes, and everything inbetween. The bike market is very inefficient, whcih means sometimes really good stuff goes cheap, and sometimes, basic stuff goes high. The educated buyer is then able to find those inefficiencies and buy a nice bike at an attractive (low) price.
    Last edited by wrk101; 05-29-12 at 06:36 PM.

  10. #10
    Junior Member aussy's Avatar
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    Well, my friend can't pick it up so I will probably be forced to pass. Thanks for your help everyone!
    Instead of starting a new thread, here is another bike I'm considering. Its close enough that I can try it out. Can't find much info on this brand.
    Price: 155

    Last edited by aussy; 05-30-12 at 02:26 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    Can't make out much about this bike from the pic it does look nicer than the Kabuki though. What exactly does it say on the frame I can't quit make it out from the pic.

  12. #12
    Junior Member aussy's Avatar
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    "Montarino". Apparently German in make. Have trouble finding information past that. Someone was selling one for $130, another person bought one for $25.
    edit: seems that this is the same bike
    http://re-cycle.com/bikeimages.aspx?pic=4447
    Last edited by aussy; 05-30-12 at 03:05 PM.

  13. #13
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    No way would I pay anything close to $155 for that bike. Typical private label boom bike. Cottered crank, steel rims and handlebars, steel seat post, missing grommets/guides for rear brake cable, claw RD hanger, etc..

  14. #14
    Senior Member randyjawa's Avatar
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    You need to learn a little bit, or a lot, about Vintage Bicycle Quality, before trying to make a purchase. That Kabuki, to me, is not a good place to start building, but that is just me and based on experiences I have had with similar bicycles.

    You might also benefit from having a look through How To Find Vintage Bicycles. Doing so just might help you find a deadly bike for little or no cash outlay.

    I hope this is a help and, once again, welcome.
    Learn how to find, restore and maintain vintage road bicycles at... MY "TEN SPEEDS"

  15. #15
    Vello Kombi, baby Poguemahone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    No way would I pay anything close to $155 for that bike. Typical private label boom bike. Cottered crank, steel rims and handlebars, steel seat post, missing grommets/guides for rear brake cable, claw RD hanger, etc..
    +1.
    "It's always darkest right before it goes completely black"

    Waste your money! Buy my comic book!

  16. #16
    Junior Member aussy's Avatar
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    Haha, since that one got shot down, I have two more bikes for my and your consideration!
    1. panasonic dx2000 - needs new tires (panaracer pasela?) - otherwise great condition - 130
    2. bianchi strada - owned by a bike lover so in great shape and ready to ride, already converted into a single speed - 220
    prices might be flex by $20

  17. #17
    Senior Member sonatageek's Avatar
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    The dx2000 is a decently good model. If it is in good condition and it fits you, that would be my choice.

  18. #18
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    If it's in nice shape and your size the panasonic would be a good starter bike. I would need some more info and pics on the Bianchi a lot would depend on how well the SS conversion was done but seems a little high price wise for a starter bike.

  19. #19
    Junior Member aussy's Avatar
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    I went for it! Picked up the Panasonic DX2000 for $120. Was a bit upset that I couldn't talk them down to $100 (other buyer was interested), but its in fantastic condition. I removed the gross, dried textured brake lever padding things (can you tell I'm new to bikes?), and a few stickers. Everything is original and in great shape. The tires are not cracking and have less than ten hours of wear on them. Friend is going to help me tune it up this week or next. Coming soon, the single speed conversion! Thanks for the help, everyone. I think this will be a great bike and serve me for many years to come.

    excuse the messy garage pic, its night out now

    Last edited by aussy; 06-09-12 at 11:37 PM.

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