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Old 06-29-07, 08:51 PM   #1
Billy29
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Kabuki Submariner

My dad gave me his mint 1977 Kabuki Submariner. I want to know how good are these bikes and is it worth it to upgrade them. The bike fits me nicely.
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Old 06-29-07, 11:23 PM   #2
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IMHO, it's a "novelty" bike: fun and interesting due to its stainless tubing and unique construction, but not one I'd ride daily or upgrade...and if it's "mint" you'd be better off NOT upgrading in case you ever find some collector who will pay you for it.
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Old 06-30-07, 02:47 AM   #3
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I have a Kabuki (not a Submariner) from about the same era. I upgraded to alloy rims and the difference was like night and day. It's still no racing bike, but the ride was much better. They were just the cheap 27" rims from Nashbar. I would upgrade the wheels and brake pads and leave the rest alone. Some day you will be able to pass Grandpa's bike on to your kids.
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Old 06-30-07, 09:42 AM   #4
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I am more into mountain biking but wanted a road bike too so my dad gave me his old bike. He likes to ride an old Maruishi Mountain bike. I just purchased not so long ago a canondale f600 so I dont have too much money for another bike. I figured this might be a quality bike to play around with.
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Old 07-03-07, 03:51 PM   #5
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Billy, IMHO the Submariner gets a bad rap from people who have never owned one.

Is it a classic? No, and it never will be. Do not keep it as an investment. It was entry-level, quirky and Japanese before being Japanese was considered a positive attribute by most people. But, it was well (if oddly) made, decently equipped and holds up over time.

Think of it as an entry-level light touring bike and you will be much happier than if you try to see it as racer wanna-be. It's definitely not a light weight, but if you compare it to things like the Koga-Miyata Randonneur (39.6 lbs. for $2100) with similar geometry along with racks and fenders it starts to make more sense.

Mine is older and may be differently spec'ed from yours, but with the original 48/36 crankset, 650A wheels and 12 1/2 inches of bottom bracket clearance (!) it is not only a smooth comfortable commuter, but a blast on dirt or gravel roads and non-technical single-track.

The only mods I've made are alloy rims, a newer SunTour Vx derailer in place of the SunTour Honour unit the previous owner put into the spokes, SunTour bar-end shifters and 45cm randonneur bend Nittos in place of the original 40cm bars. I usually keep both the racks on, but leave the full fenders off most of the time. What that's given me is a fun bike for the days when I want gears but am headed someplace I wouldn't want to take the Paramount.

Ride it, enjoy it and don't worry about what other people think of it. Just don't drop a lot of cash into it 'cause you'll never get it back.
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Old 07-03-07, 04:57 PM   #6
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I'm redirecting the thread a bit, but one statement from 2 different posters sticks out: "upgraded to ALLOY rims"...you mean this Stainless Steel and aluminum-lugged bike came with regular rust-prone STEEL rims? What was Bridgestone thinking?
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Old 07-03-07, 08:34 PM   #7
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Your right. Ironic since the point was that the rest of it wouldn't rust. But normal for the price point and period.
In their defense I've got to say that the original rims on mine are spotless and have an amazing shine, but that may be because they are relatively ding-free. Steel hubs too which are also rust free.
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