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  1. #1
    Senior Member bigwoo's Avatar
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    Unknown 80's Japanese Road Bike i.d. Help Please

    Long time, my friends..... Hope everyone is well. Can the Japanese experts help me with an i.d.?
    Stumbled across this at a GS this weekend and the parents didn't know much about its history as the hipster youngsters had flat-blacked it to be "stealthy" before leaving for college...
    Of course they left this behind when their friends told them they "had" to have track bikes for getting around college, and being cool...

    I sensed upon lifting that it is at least along the lines of Tange Champion #1/2 or maybe Infinity so I grabbed it.
    The sad thing is that I seem to recall having a very similar bike in my collection some years ago; Nondescript rear drops w/ micro adjusters, simple but elegant lugs, unusual cable guides on the BB shell, Signature series cranks, unusual Araya Red Label 27 X 1" rather than 1 1/4, a mix of 600 and LePree, etc...
    Serial is stamped straight across the BB and reads "MA XX856" Wondering about Nishiki but am unsure.

    Appears that it had decals only as I don't see any sign of rivets ever holding a head badge on the head tube.

    The reason that I'm interested in this bike is because I'd like to try out Grant Peterson's sizing theory about using larger frames with a shorter TT, so this is a perfect candidate for me.

    Thanks for your thoughts folks...
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    Last edited by bigwoo; 07-25-10 at 06:43 PM.
    "Mommy's all right, Daddy's all right, They just seem a little weird"

    BICYCLE- The simplest and noblest machine:And they're all fun to ride, really

  2. #2
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Lugs look awfully plain for Champion 1 to me. I would expect to see a fair amount of chrome as well for Champion 1. Looks like someone to a grinder to that rear drop out.

    Kind of has a Fuji look to it to me.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bigwoo's Avatar
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    Not sure, weight-wise the bike is comparable to or lighter than my Serotta, Miyata and Paramount's.....and they are all 56/57cm so it's got to be some sort of good CrMo.. Parts are certainly only low/mid-range, but this happened to many good framesets in the 80's. And who knows how much of this is retrofitted....

    I can't count the number of sweet Champion/Infinity/Prestige Univega's and Nishiki's that I've had or seen that had plain lugs and little to no chrome...
    I'm hoping that someone will recognize the serial format before I proceed...
    I am seeing what appears to be chrome on the stays and fork but there's no way I'm going to start stripping until I know what this thing is. Been there, done that and don't want to go back....

    Sorry for the poor dropout image... No grinder, just a bad angle shot on my part....

    Good call on the Fuji, I never thought of that over Nishiki. I can't recall if Fuji's switched over to head tube decals or if they kept the Mt Fuji head tube badge into the mid-late 80's... There are no signs of any holes ever existing on the head tube.

    Darn Hipsters, blacking out a perfectly good bike..... The kid who did it did quite a good job of laying it on thick and smooth. It doesn't want to come off :^(
    Last edited by bigwoo; 07-25-10 at 06:32 PM.
    "Mommy's all right, Daddy's all right, They just seem a little weird"

    BICYCLE- The simplest and noblest machine:And they're all fun to ride, really

  4. #4
    Prodigal road guy MajorA's Avatar
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    I went throught the same kind of inquiry about four years ago when I bought an all-105 bike from 1986, based on the Shimano date codes; it had been branded "Hunter" and was a good-looking 62 cm bike in my size coming in at about 23.5 pounds. Best theory was that it was a Kawamura frame, imported, built up and decaled by a stateside firm. The best answer I got is that it was a UJB .... Universal Japanese Bike. Whatever it is, I like it.
    Last edited by MajorA; 07-25-10 at 07:20 PM. Reason: Crapulous keyboarding

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