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Thread: Zebra Bikes

  1. #1
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    Zebra Bikes

    Has anyone heard of a Zebra bicycle? I found one in Galveston Texas last year at a thrift store, and dragged it home to rebuild for a rainy day commuter (1 1/2 mile of gravel and the rest paved) I'd never heard of them before. It came equipped with a rear c-brake, front center pull, shimano 24 spd components (deore) and sis thumb shifters. I replaced the bottom bracket and crank with new low end shimano. (who needs to run a great crank in mud?)

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    I rescued one from curbside trash collection last fall. It is a 24 inch tire "Junior Racer", labelled as made in Japan. The components were pretty standard Japanese groups (can't remember if Suntour or Shimano, it's tucked away in the back of the garage, but my son has begun bugging me about getting it ready for him for the spring). I've done a lot of googling and searching of bike sights, and not really found any info about Zebra. There was a brand/make called Zebrazenko that seems to have disappeared in the 70's or 80's, perhaps this is a successor.

  3. #3
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    I had one of these that was silver-gray with pink writing. Very cool color. The one I had had Suntour ARX deraillers with stem shifters and Dia-compe sidepulls; nothing special, but all quite usable. I converted it to a ss town ride for a friend, and it rides lovely--he loves it. A good no-name name.

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    Zebra bicycles started appearing in 1985, just after Zebrakenko disappeared from the market. I'm guessing that they just wanted a more consumer friendly name, but the distributors were different, so maybe it's just a coincidence (hmm, I'm getting deja vu). If it is related to Zebrakeknko, then the company origins go back to around 1900.

    The late 1980 Zebra were typical, good Japanese bicycles. But a 24 speed would indicate something around the mid-1990s or newer and I'm not familiar with the brand from that period. 24 speed and thumb shifters are a strange mix. I would have expected trigger shifters.

  5. #5
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    I've got a ZebraKenko. Seems to be a decent bike, very light, good componentry. Not sure of the one you have though??
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

    '89 Raleigh Technium PRE

    '79 Motobecane Super Mirage

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    I Bought a Zebra in 1983, i guess...Called a sport touring model, It had ''alloy'' tubing, suntour parts, Front and back QR hubs...I put a lot of miles on that thing till i drove it into a bus and bent the fork.
    Was told back then it was short for Zebrakenko ... I swear I saw the name Zebrakenko come out after my bike was bought. Did they think they were doing good enougg to put that ridiculous name across the entire down tube? This was was probably the kiss of death.

  7. #7
    Senior Member derailled's Avatar
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    Yes I just bought one. 1970s ten speed made in Japan.
    Called a 'ZEBRA BICYCLE'

    Company is Golden Sports - Sarkenk[?] with a huge lion's head badge.
    Mine is red translucent paint over silver base.
    Low halfs of forks are chrome.
    Cottor pinned cranks.
    Has a chainwheel similar to a Typhoon Espirit des Champions of the same period.
    Lower middle range bike.
    I will get the deraillers details later.


    Head Stock Badge got damegd by basket mount.


    ZEBRA BICYCLE Decal on front down tube.



    'MADE IN JAPAN' Decal AND MONOGRAM for Zebra Bicycles n seat post
    Last edited by derailled; 10-22-10 at 12:19 AM. Reason: want to add pics

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by derailled View Post
    Yes I just bought one. 1970s ten speed made in Japan.
    Called a 'ZEBRA BICYCLE'

    Company is Golden Sports - Sarkenk[?] with a huge lion's head badge.
    Mine is red translucent paint over silver base.
    Low halfs of forks are chrome.
    Cottor pinned cranks.
    Has a chainwheel similar to a Typhoon Espirit des Champions of the same period.
    Lower middle range bike.
    I will get the deraillers details later.
    That sounds very much like the Zebrakenko headbadge with Sarkenk in place of Zebrakenko, It sounds like it may be a different brand from the same manufacturer and that Zebra may be the model and not the brand name. Pics would be appreciated, especially one of the head badge.

  9. #9
    Senior Member derailled's Avatar
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    ^^^^Hi T-Mar,

    No... you are right it is ZEBRAKENKO.


    The badge was damaged by a basket or h/light mount so misinterpreted it.
    Search 'zebrakenko' for some pleasing results on the badge and a nice lime green 'ZEBRA BICYCLE' FRAME GRAPHICS SHOT AND TH WHOLE BIKE WITH A SOLID FORK BRIDGE.

    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
    That sounds very much like the Zebrakenko headbadge with Sarkenk in place of Zebrakenko, It sounds like it may be a different brand from the same manufacturer and that Zebra may be the model and not the brand name. Pics would be appreciated, especially one of the head badge.

  10. #10
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    I found a Zebra 12 speed at a local thrift shop a couple of weeks ago and since I wasn't familiar with the name didn't pay much attention to it. A couple of days ago I decided to do some research and discovered this thread. Long story short, yesterday I did a test ride and decided to bring it home. Frame is Tange 900 double butted cr-mo made in Taiwan. The other bikes listed in this thread have frames made in Japan. I wonder if the manufacturer turned to Taiwan for it's lower end frames in the 80's like some of the other brands (i.e. Centurion). It does not have a fancy head badge, just a painted flared Z where the head badge would be. Suntour a-3000 group. Araya rims. I'll post some pictures when I get it cleaned up.

  11. #11
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    Most Japanese manufacturrs turned to Taiwan for at least their entry level models after the big Yen revaluation circa 1985. Alpha 3000 group would put this circa 1987-1988 and with an orignal price of about $300-$400 US.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the feedback T-Mar.

  13. #13
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    I used to sell them on Long Island in the mid 80's. Good bikes with decent components.

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