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First post-Kobe Cobra Serial No.

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First post-Kobe Cobra Serial No.

Old 07-05-15, 08:44 PM
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First post-Kobe Cobra Serial No.

Hi BikeForums! I found a Kobe Cobra at goodwill today for 50 bucks and picked it up cause I've been searching for a steel frame bike for quite a while, as I'm kind of a big guy and wanna lose the weight, but want a bike that can hold up to me til I lose it. Test ride of 5 miles went well so I was looking around for the serial number whilst cleaning it up a bit and the only number i could find on the bottom of the bike near the crank was M 7. Wondering if that's where it's located on this particular make/model or I should check elsewhere. Once I get it cleaned up I'll drop some pics!
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Old 07-05-15, 09:10 PM
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Your machine may be one sold by the R.E.I. stores. They carried the brand in the mid to late 1970's. Cobra was the base model in their lineup.
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Old 07-05-15, 09:20 PM
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Found one other number on the headtube up near the handlebar:73
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Old 07-05-15, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Remedytech View Post
Found one other number on the headtube up near the handlebar:73
this likely refers to an angle of the head lug. is it a number stamped into the lug rather than the tube?
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Old 07-05-15, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
this likely refers to an angle of the head lug. is it a number stamped into the lug rather than the tube?
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Old 07-05-15, 10:29 PM
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thank you for the picture.

yes, the number refers to the angle in degrees between the lug's socket for the top tube and the opening in the top of the head tube.

many bicycles have numbers like this marking the lugs.

Last edited by juvela; 07-05-15 at 10:30 PM. Reason: spelling correction
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Old 07-05-15, 10:40 PM
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Cool! Noob here so that helps. So I'll go with the REI suggestion for now unless I uncover some numbers while cleaning it. In the mean time here's some more pics of it. Disregard the crappy room, temporary living arrangement.

I believe it's all stock still. MKS Quill 2k pedals, suntour shifters/derailleurs, shimano quick-change hubs with stock tires.

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Last edited by Remedytech; 07-05-15 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 07-05-15, 11:00 PM
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thank you for the photos. she looks as though she may hail from about 1975.

wrt your serial number search -

the two most common spots for placement are the underside of the bottom bracket shell and the outside face of one of the frame's dropouts. the bottom bracket shell is the cylindrical housing in the frame for the crank bearings. the dropouts are the flat pieces at the rear of the frame where the rear wheel locks in.

sometimes the numbers can be somewhat faint and may be difficult to make out due to paint. get those two areas free of dirt and examine them under strong light. the serial number may appear.

in case you are curious about the specific date for your bicycle the parts are marked with codes which can yield one.

here is a guide to assist you:

Date of Manufacture of Bicycle Components can be used to date a bike: component dating
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Old 07-06-15, 06:37 AM
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made an error above regarding model name. it is two up the line from the base. base model was called capri. here is a 1976 magazine review of the cobra model:

<------ Bicycling Magazine 09-1976 ------> Special Kobe Cobra / Zebrakenko Wind (there are three pages)

this forum has had a number of threads discussing kobe brand bicycles. alas, the search function is down at the moment. looks like you made a fine buy there.
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Old 07-06-15, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
thank you for the photos. she looks as though she may hail from about 1975.

wrt your serial number search -

the two most common spots for placement are the underside of the bottom bracket shell and the outside face of one of the frame's dropouts. the bottom bracket shell is the cylindrical housing in the frame for the crank bearings. the dropouts are the flat pieces at the rear of the frame where the rear wheel locks in.

sometimes the numbers can be somewhat faint and may be difficult to make out due to paint. get those two areas free of dirt and examine them under strong light. the serial number may appear.

in case you are curious about the specific date for your bicycle the parts are marked with codes which can yield one.

here is a guide to assist you:

Date of Manufacture of Bicycle Components can be used to date a bike: component dating

Well if I go by the Sugino cranks Code 5 decsription:

It is of the form L-N or L-NN (where L is a letter and N is a numeral).
The letter indicates year, where F=1976, G=1977, H=1978, I=1979, J=1980. This year estimate is probably accurate to +- 1 year. The code may extend to before and after these years.
The number, N or NN probably indicates the month of the year, ranging from 1 to 12.
I get J-2 or February of 1980, but I'm still gonna check the dropouts for serial number because I wanna write down the serial number for reference. Also is there any particular way to clean the frame and cranks/derailleurs?

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Old 07-06-15, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
Your machine may be one sold by the R.E.I. stores. They carried the brand in the mid to late 1970's. Cobra was the base model in their lineup.
Cobra was perhaps their top model, actually.

I believe there were three road models, the base model would be the Kona, much heavier and with cottered cranks, steel rims and a bolted-in derailer claw among the various downgrades from the Cobra.

The Cobra is actually a pretty good bike!
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Old 07-06-15, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Remedytech View Post
Well if I go by the Sugino cranks Code 5 decsription:

It is of the form L-N or L-NN (where L is a letter and N is a numeral).
The letter indicates year, where F=1976, G=1977, H=1978, I=1979, J=1980. This year estimate is probably accurate to +- 1 year. The code may extend to before and after these years.
The number, N or NN probably indicates the month of the year, ranging from 1 to 12.
I get J-2 or February of 1980, but I'm still gonna check the dropouts for serial number because I wanna write down the serial number for reference. Also is there any particular way to clean the frame and cranks/derailleurs?

Try pulling the alloy seatpost, that's where I got my Cobra's late-1970's date code from. The Suntour derailers might also have reliable 2-letter date codes, the first letter will count backward from Z, with Z being 1983 (A was 1984).
The DiaCompe levers often have self-explanatory numerical date code stamped inside of each lever, on the drive side, above the cable catch barrel.

For cleaning, start with purely mechanical removal, using a large terrycloth rag and some credit-card stock for scraping hardened detritus. The pullies and sprockets can have the gunk scraped off as they are kept moving by turning the pedals backward, using a screwdriver tip to shed off hunks of dirt, oil and grease.

Followed with WD40 or other mild lubricating solvent, most of the remaining visible dirt should come right off. With the rag covering your hand, you can get your nails into corners such as around the headset cups, and a toothbrush with WD40 can scrub irregular surfaces like hub flanges/spokes, to good effect.

Up until at least 1977, these Cobras came with a "Made in Hong Kong" decal on the seat tube, perhaps the very first sign I had seen that modern lightweight Asian bikes would come from anywhere but Japan.

BTW, your bike's shifting will improve dramatically if you replace the old "bushing-style" chain with any current 6-7-8-speed chain, such as from SRAM or KMC. Avoid the WalMart/BELL (TaYa) brand chains as these are inferior in performance and reliability.
SRAM PC-851 or any KMC X-series chain are inexpensive yet excellent chains.

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Old 07-06-15, 09:34 PM
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My Kobe Capri's serial number is on the underside of the bottom bracket. The number is 82075 and I am pretty sure the 75 is the year because I purchased it in June 1975. I wished I could have bought the Cobra back then but the additional saving up $75 (my Capri was $150) would have pushed into the next riding season. The Cobra was a much better bike.
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Old 07-06-15, 10:37 PM
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Some more pics! New rear tire(Giant 27x 1 1/4") as the original one was quite dry-rotted, the front one in the opinion of the local bike guy could wait til the 16th when I get paid. Old-school tape, black in color, nothing too special, but will wait for new brake levers to put that on. Next up on the purchase list: SRAM PC-870, break lever set(if anyone's got a recommendation for a good set a great price I'm open to suggestions.), new front tire(probably the same Giant, as it's 14.95.) The decal on the seat tube is kinda missing some of itself, should I peel it off carefully? All it is, is a big gold "K". Love the community help so far guys and gals, thanks!


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