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What do I have here... Kuwahara

Old 08-01-20, 02:54 PM
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acreman
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What do I have here... Kuwahara

I picked up this Kuwahara Newport bike for free last week which needs new tires and shift cables. I've since replaced the cables and am in the process of sourcing tires (currently has Continental 700x23c). The frame looks solid to me (I'm far from an expert, I believe newbie would be the correct title) and it changes through the gears very smooth and has strong braking power. On the frame it says "Hand Built by Kuwahara Original Factory Japan". And it also says "Guaranteed built with EX 4130 Triple Butted Chrome Moly Tubes Ishiwata". What exactly do I have here? I'm trying to decide if I should replace the tires and try and sell it, or if I should use it myself. The problem with the latter scenario is I'm a big guy at 6'1" and currently 300lbs. Do you think this bike would support me? If I did use it should I change out the tires to something wider since I'm not a small individual?





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Old 08-01-20, 03:37 PM
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If you do ride it, make sure the seatpost fits down at least an inch past the seat lug in the seat tube, maybe even further.

But it doesn't look big enough for a guy 6'1". I may be mistaken. I'm 5'10" and ride 56-57cm frames. A lot of folks here in c&v are my size and ride even bigger, 58.

But if it fits, sure, mount new rubber and ride it. Big guys might be better off telling you the benefits of wider tires (28mm) vs more narrow (25mm) in relation to stability and comfort for their size. I doubt you can fit anything wider than 28mm in the frame.
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Old 08-01-20, 03:48 PM
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To find out the size of the bike I measure from the center of the crank to the... top of the seat tube or center of the top tube?
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Old 08-01-20, 04:00 PM
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I just measured from the center of the crank to the top of the seat tube and it's 58cm.
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Old 08-01-20, 04:08 PM
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I always measure center-to-center, c-c, not c-t.

And I measure both the seat tube and top tube. Both are equally relevant.

So, measure from the center of the crank, along the seat tube, to the center of the top tube.

And then again, from the center of the seat tube, along the top tube, to the center of the head tube.
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Old 08-01-20, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
I always measure center-to-center, c-c, not c-t.

And I measure both the seat tube and top tube. Both are equally relevant.

So, measure from the center of the crank, along the seat tube, to the center of the top tube.

And then again, from the center of the seat tube, along the top tube, to the center of the head tube.
Center of crank to center of top tube and center of seat tube to center of head tube are both 57cm.
​​​​​​
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Old 08-01-20, 08:28 PM
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Kuwahara is one of the oldest bicycle manufacturers on earth that's still in business today. Their stuff doesn't attract much attention but, they produce very fine bikes. A Kuwahara hand built in the original factory in Japan is a desirable high quality item. A world class bike. From the parts & graphics it looks like a mid 1980's model. You lucked out. Be good. Have fun.
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Old 08-01-20, 08:43 PM
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That is a very good score . Why not ride it once you get some new tires. If you are worried about strength for your current weight, see if you can find a mountain bike seat post ( they are longer) and get as much post as possible swallowed up in the seat tube. I really don’t think you will have a problem if you don’t fly off of sidewalk curbs and stuff. Besides , the more you ride it the lighter you may get!
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Old 08-01-20, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by acreman View Post
Center of crank to center of top tube and center of seat tube to center of head tube are both 57cm.
​​​​​​
I am 61 and have a couple of 57cm ctc bikes. I can ride a fairly aggressive setup but the drop from seat height to bar height would be too much for me on this bike. This is one where I would use a 90 degree stem and it would be fine. As far as your weight, should not be a problem. I make it a habit to lift off the saddle on bumps and keep my stroke as smooth as possible to avoid bobbing up and down.
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Old 08-02-20, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by plonz View Post
I am 61 and have a couple of 57cm ctc bikes. I can ride a fairly aggressive setup but the drop from seat height to bar height would be too much for me on this bike. This is one where I would use a 90 degree stem and it would be fine. As far as your weight, should not be a problem. I make it a habit to lift off the saddle on bumps and keep my stroke as smooth as possible to avoid bobbing up and down.
I haven't set the seat height for myself yet and the way it's currently setup is too high for me. I'm going to loosen it up and see how much seat post I have down in the tube to make sure that it's strong enough.
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Old 08-03-20, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
If you do ride it, make sure the seatpost fits down at least an inch past the seat lug in the seat tube, maybe even further.

But it doesn't look big enough for a guy 6'1". I may be mistaken. I'm 5'10" and ride 56-57cm frames. A lot of folks here in c&v are my size and ride even bigger, 58.

But if it fits, sure, mount new rubber and ride it. Big guys might be better off telling you the benefits of wider tires (28mm) vs more narrow (25mm) in relation to stability and comfort for their size. I doubt you can fit anything wider than 28mm in the frame.
I adjusted the seat height for myself and I now have 4.5" of seat post in the post tube.
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Old 08-03-20, 10:09 AM
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The 4.5" is adequate, but are you sure you have the proper leg extension (easiest way to come close to optimal FME is to sit on the bike with your heel on the pedal and pedal backwards; your leg should be extended fully at the "bottom", that is the position where it's most extended, of the stroke)? Otherwise I think they are a manufacturer of premium bikes.
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Old 08-03-20, 10:23 AM
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Since you had to lower the saddle I would say it's not too small to ride. It looks like the handlebar stem is all the way down too. "Slammed," as they say. You may be more comfortable if you raise it a bit, but observe the insertion limit marked on the stem. It is a beautiful bike. Should you keep it? I say ride it regularly for a month- then you will know.
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Old 08-04-20, 06:24 PM
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The current tires are 700x23c, based on these photos how big of a tire do you think I could put on here? Would I need to change the rims?

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Old 08-04-20, 07:52 PM
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If you're going to keep the drop bars on it & use it as a fast riding racing style bike I would just keep with 23 or 25mm tires. If it's a bike that you want to ride around on mixed surfaces I would recommend something simple & easy like Continental Gatorskin tires. Don't forget new tubes & high pressure rim tape too.
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Old 08-04-20, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
If you're going to keep the drop bars on it & use it as a fast riding racing style bike I would just keep with 23 or 25mm tires. If it's a bike that you want to ride around on mixed surfaces I would recommend something simple & easy like Continental Gatorskin tires. Don't forget new tubes & high pressure rim tape too.
So 25 is the widest you would go?
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Old 08-04-20, 09:13 PM
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If I were you, I'd look for a 59 or 60cm at your height. But a lot depends on your leg length vs. torso length.
should you have short legs a 57 might be OK. But you might need a longer stem.
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Old 08-04-20, 10:19 PM
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I weigh 270 so I'm speaking from some experience here, I would definitely get rid of those 23c tires. It looks like you *might* be able to fit 28s on there but it could be pretty tight on the front. Maybe see if a local bike shop would let you test-fit a 28? If not 25 would be OK.
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Old 08-05-20, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by acreman View Post
So 25 is the widest you would go?
Yes. 25mm is a good standard size for road riding. Plenty of choices in that size too.
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Old 08-05-20, 06:57 AM
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I used to ride all sorts of gravel roads in this part of South Carolina with tires that actually measured 26 mm, and they worked, though they also presented opportunities to develop some skills and techniques. That's a good thing, though.
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Old 08-05-20, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by PatTheSlat View Post
I weigh 270 so I'm speaking from some experience here, I would definitely get rid of those 23c tires. It looks like you *might* be able to fit 28s on there but it could be pretty tight on the front. Maybe see if a local bike shop would let you test-fit a 28? If not 25 would be OK.
Would the 28's fit on a 23 rim?
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Old 08-05-20, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by acreman View Post
Would the 28's fit on a 23 rim?
Yes
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