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Bridgestone Kabuki Synchro-Memory, unknown year

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Bridgestone Kabuki Synchro-Memory, unknown year

Old 04-13-14, 12:14 PM
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Tessou
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Bridgestone Kabuki Synchro-Memory, unknown year

I picked this up last weekend and coaxed it back to life with a little rubber and a lot of grease. Grant Peterson, formerly of Bridgestone, was unable to help on unearthing the mystery of this model since it was before his time with the company, so I'm at a loss as far as rarity or value goes. There is, as I've found out, very little information on Bridgestone bikes out there. I therefore turn to the community at large to assess the damage.

The big oddity/gimmick on this bike is the piggyback index shifter assembly on the right side of the down tube. They're goofy, but they work pretty well. They feel really light, as if they aren't made entirely of metal.







The shifters lead to a Suntour Vx front and an SMS Max rear (protected by an SMS Max-labeled bash guard). The frame is typical hi ten and there's nothing of real significance in terms of components, which leads me to assume that this is a Super Speed or a Skyway drummed up with the shifter setup and SMS Max as an advertising rig to get people interested at the entry level (and failed spectacularly). I cannot find a catalog with this bike, or anything that would really help figuring out what year or years this was sold in. Grant tells me that it's "1982 at the latest".

To answer the burning question, I bought it for $100, brought down from the initial asking price of $150. Did I get snaked, or did I come out ahead?
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Old 04-14-14, 05:22 PM
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Sorry for my tardiness here. We had a freak snowstorm yesterday that prohibited me from progressing much on this bike until a few hours ago when things warmed up a bit. I hate Iowa sometimes.

The Vx date code is UH (uhhhhhhhh...). August 1978.
SMS Max date code is VB. February 1979.

Puts it right in the year range we believed it was from (dad said late 70's, grandfather said late 70's to very early 80's. I have a good feeling this is just an entry level bike with a wonky shifter setup and some fancy text on top tube. The oddity of the shifters are the only thing that really led me to want it, aside from the Bridgestone name and that sweet Kabuki head badge.

EDIT: Got an email from Grant a few minutes ago:

"I found out this----


This system was developed for a “junior supports” bike called “Sprinter" in 1979.

It is co-developed by Bstone-Suntour. Since the derailer was similar design to Huret DuoPar, they couldn’t get a patent.
It is an index system before SIS or AccuShift. The indexing is in the rear derailer, not the shifter...





--
Grant "

Last edited by Tessou; 04-14-14 at 06:16 PM. Reason: addx info
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Old 11-29-14, 11:24 PM
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Dr. Tim
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I (reluctantly) sold dozens

Originally Posted by Tessou View Post
Sorry for my tardiness here. We had a freak snowstorm yesterday that prohibited me from progressing much on this bike until a few hours ago when things warmed up a bit. I hate Iowa sometimes.

The Vx date code is UH (uhhhhhhhh...). August 1978.
SMS Max date code is VB. February 1979.

Puts it right in the year range we believed it was from (dad said late 70's, grandfather said late 70's to very early 80's. I have a good feeling this is just an entry level bike with a wonky shifter setup and some fancy text on top tube. The oddity of the shifters are the only thing that really led me to want it, aside from the Bridgestone name and that sweet Kabuki head badge.

EDIT: Got an email from Grant a few minutes ago:

"I found out this----


This system was developed for a “junior supports” bike called “Sprinter" in 1979.

It is co-developed by Bstone-Suntour. Since the derailer was similar design to Huret DuoPar, they couldn’t get a patent.
It is an index system before SIS or AccuShift. The indexing is in the rear derailer, not the shifter...





--
Grant "
I worked at Ware's in Milwaukee in the late 70s, and as Grant said, it was an early stab at indexed (rear only) shifting. I assume these and the ridiculous crank-chainring freewheel setups were manufacturer's bait to reel in folks who wanted to look cool but couldn't figure out shifting while pedaling. Walking and chewing gum? Synchro Memory actually worked ok, but knowing what we all know, Bridgestone also made some REALLY nice stuff, some that didn't need shifting (track bikes). This made selling die-cast Kabuki Synchro-Memories hard to do, but I needed the $. I have never seen one since then.
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Old 12-01-14, 09:18 PM
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Before you modify or trash the shifter assembly, know that there are some folk who constantly search the Bay for stuff they haven't seen in years but for some reason still WANT.
This is unique enough that it might find a home with a collector (such as the EXO Powercam crank and Cool Gear seat I sold recently). Not particularly efficient in function nowadays, but someone's Grail parts apparently.

And I for one don't think you got snaked.
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Old 12-10-14, 06:10 PM
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Are the three main tubes steel or aluminum?
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