Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Asian Serial Number Guide

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Asian Serial Number Guide

Old 10-30-21, 03:19 PM
  #476  
Chuck M 
Well Oiled
 
Chuck M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 491

Bikes: Hi-Ten bike boomers, a Trek Domane and some projects

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 147 Post(s)
Liked 355 Times in 184 Posts
T-Mar I picked up this Japanese built Raleigh Racing USA Competition today. I was suspecting it to be an '84. I'm still trying to get better with your serial number decoding but I think this may fit the Matsu****a format. It is 4B5R0024 and on the bottom bracket. Raleigh 555 double butted main tubes and the decal says all tubes are Chrome Moly. Thanks again in advance for your help. Edit: It may fit the National format as well.








__________________
Chuck M is online now  
Old 11-07-21, 05:40 PM
  #477  
Minidb
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Kimberley, BC, Canada
Posts: 4

Bikes: 85 Merckx, 72 Gitane, 70's Apollo, 90's Giant, 2013 Cevello

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Limited info, trying to ID a recent find

Hi Folks, I recently pick up a free-bee and am trying to ID her. It's a woman's bike, with downtube shifters that I believe to be from the 70's. The only badging on it is on the Headset and says "Premium" and a made in japan on the forks. It's got a Shimano Thunderbird front derailleur and Shimano Eagle on the rear
S/N on the BB is S310 049
I haven't been on the sight long enough to post pictures yet so this is the best I can do. I'm trying to decide if I should restore it or just use it as a donor.
Minidb is offline  
Old 11-08-21, 07:43 AM
  #478  
T-Mar
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 21,903
Mentioned: 580 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4158 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1,774 Times in 1,242 Posts
Originally Posted by Minidb View Post
Hi Folks, I recently pick up a free-bee and am trying to ID her. It's a woman's bike, with downtube shifters that I believe to be from the 70's. The only badging on it is on the Headset and says "Premium" and a made in japan on the forks. It's got a Shimano Thunderbird front derailleur and Shimano Eagle on the rear
S/N on the BB is S310 049
I haven't been on the sight long enough to post pictures yet so this is the best I can do. I'm trying to decide if I should restore it or just use it as a donor.
The Shimano Eagle and Thunderbird are typically entry level fare for the early and mid-1970s. The only photos currently in your gallery album are of a blue and white Eddyy Merckx.
T-Mar is offline  
Old 11-08-21, 09:31 AM
  #479  
Minidb
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Kimberley, BC, Canada
Posts: 4

Bikes: 85 Merckx, 72 Gitane, 70's Apollo, 90's Giant, 2013 Cevello

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks T-Mar, I hadn't realized that I could set up albums. I've added a few photos of the find as well as the EM
Minidb is offline  
Old 11-10-21, 06:17 AM
  #480  
T-Mar
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 21,903
Mentioned: 580 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4158 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1,774 Times in 1,242 Posts
Originally Posted by Minidb View Post
Thanks T-Mar, I hadn't realized that I could set up albums. I've added a few photos of the find as well as the EM
I don't recognize the Premium brand but it would appear to be a a brand for a department, hardware or similar chain store. The components are all entry level and steel. This bicycle is probably 30+ lbs. However. it lacks the typical brake safety levers, stem mounted shift levers and pie plate chain guard of most entry level, chain store bicycles. This suggests it is pre-boom, from the late 1960s or very early 1970s. Still, this doesn't increase it's value or collectability. This would have been a sub-$100 CDN bicycle in it's day and I don't see much value, especially considering that it's a step through frame style and appears to have a bent fork. Pre Covid-19, in my region, this would have been on of those free to $20, garage sale bicycles. Photo assist...
T-Mar is offline  
Old 11-15-21, 02:22 AM
  #481  
degan
Mote of Dust
 
degan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Oregon
Posts: 885
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 105 Post(s)
Liked 50 Times in 35 Posts
Just picked up a Schwinn Impact #GS023606. If the Giant serial number system continued into the 90s then this appears to be from the 19th fortnight of 1990.
degan is offline  
Old 11-15-21, 10:44 AM
  #482  
T-Mar
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 21,903
Mentioned: 580 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4158 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1,774 Times in 1,242 Posts
Originally Posted by degan View Post
Just picked up a Schwinn Impact #GS023606. If the Giant serial number system continued into the 90s then this appears to be from the 19th fortnight of 1990.
Thank-you for posting. The Giant s/n format didn't change in the early 1990s. That's late enough in the calendar year that I would suspect a 1991 model. Regardless, it's easy enough to distinguish between the two model years based on the frame features. The 1990 model still had the derailleur cables running along the down tube, while the 1991 model had them running along the top tube. There were two versions of the Impact in 1990, an MOS version ( SunTour XCM/XCT, $350 US MSRP) and a Pro MOS version (Shimsno 300 LX, $399 US MSRP). In 1991, only the Pro MOS version was offered, though the MSRP had increased to $425 US. Enjoy your new acquisition.
T-Mar is offline  
Likes For T-Mar:
Old 11-15-21, 12:12 PM
  #483  
degan
Mote of Dust
 
degan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Oregon
Posts: 885
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 105 Post(s)
Liked 50 Times in 35 Posts
Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Thank-you for posting. The Giant s/n format didn't change in the early 1990s. That's late enough in the calendar year that I would suspect a 1991 model. Regardless, it's easy enough to distinguish between the two model years based on the frame features. The 1990 model still had the derailleur cables running along the down tube, while the 1991 model had them running along the top tube. There were two versions of the Impact in 1990, an MOS version ( SunTour XCM/XCT, $350 US MSRP) and a Pro MOS version (Shimsno 300 LX, $399 US MSRP). In 1991, only the Pro MOS version was offered, though the MSRP had increased to $425 US. Enjoy your new acquisition.
Mine is a non-Pro and has shift cables on the downtube, thus a 1990. Also found it in the 1990 catalog.
degan is offline  
Old 11-22-21, 12:24 PM
  #484  
Santuri32
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 158

Bikes: Some 80s MTBs

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 19 Posts
Did Kawamura made a 1982 mountain bike for Cycle Pro?

Cycle Pro Ram KB14082
Santuri32 is offline  
Old 11-23-21, 07:18 AM
  #485  
T-Mar
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 21,903
Mentioned: 580 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4158 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1,774 Times in 1,242 Posts
Originally Posted by Santuri32 View Post
Did Kawamura made a 1982 mountain bike for Cycle Pro?

Cycle Pro Ram KB14082
The earliest confirmed model year that I have for a Cycle Pro ATB is 1983. While the serial number is 1982 calendar year and appears low, I'm not postiive that there isn't some additional cronological stratifier built into the number string. Consequently, I can't rule out the possibility of a 1983 model manufactured in late 1982. Are there any clues provided by the components, eitther the models and/or date codes?
T-Mar is offline  
Old 11-23-21, 10:30 AM
  #486  
Santuri32
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 158

Bikes: Some 80s MTBs

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 19 Posts
Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
The earliest confirmed model year that I have for a Cycle Pro ATB is 1983. While the serial number is 1982 calendar year and appears low, I'm not postiive that there isn't some additional cronological stratifier built into the number string. Consequently, I can't rule out the possibility of a 1983 model manufactured in late 1982. Are there any clues provided by the components, eitther the models and/or date codes?
The crank set is stamped 2 GC (March 1982?). I do believe is an '83 model year bike, but with a built date of February 1982 U believe all any additional info the serial could add is 29 days more on that month. So why would they build such an early frame for the next year? Other companies sometime began making their current year bikes much later than that, Fisher and its 1985 Excalibur (July-85?), 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper Sport XT and SC (February and March 1984). So it was a company's decision but, I would consider this a defective production strategy.

The bike is apparently set for Suntour's dirt group Tech derailleurs, those were made mid 1982, so that could have been the set back.

I appreciate your comments
Santuri32 is offline  
Old 11-23-21, 12:28 PM
  #487  
Santuri32
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 158

Bikes: Some 80s MTBs

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 19 Posts
Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
The earliest confirmed model year that I have for a Cycle Pro ATB is 1983. While the serial number is 1982 calendar year and appears low, I'm not postiive that there isn't some additional cronological stratifier built into the number string. Consequently, I can't rule out the possibility of a 1983 model manufactured in late 1982. Are there any clues provided by the components, eitther the models and/or date codes?
Here are some Ram bikes, I found three years all early 80, here's the earlier style and two BB serial suggesting February and march 1983 construction. Both of these bikes were made in Japan by Kawamura suggesting higher end than the Taiwan built 1983 Skyline. So perhaps was their first and top line MTB/ATB and perhaps was available in mid 1982 as a very early 1983 model bike. Yet I think these should be considered with the Alpina Sport and Stumpjumper one of the first production MTBs. Apart from the first 500 October 1981 Stumpjumpers and the 18 or so January 1982 Schwinn Prototype Mountain Bike frames, this predates all 1982 Stumpjumpers and the earliest March 1982 Alpina Sport I have seen. Anyone with a catalog?





Last edited by Santuri32; 11-23-21 at 12:35 PM.
Santuri32 is offline  
Old 11-24-21, 10:20 AM
  #488  
T-Mar
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 21,903
Mentioned: 580 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4158 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1,774 Times in 1,242 Posts
Originally Posted by Santuri32 View Post
The crank set is stamped 2 GC (March 1982?). I do believe is an '83 model year bike, but with a built date of February 1982 U believe all any additional info the serial could add is 29 days more on that month. So why would they build such an early frame for the next year? Other companies sometime began making their current year bikes much later than that, Fisher and its 1985 Excalibur (July-85?), 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper Sport XT and SC (February and March 1984). So it was a company's decision but, I would consider this a defective production strategy.

The bike is apparently set for Suntour's dirt group Tech derailleurs, those were made mid 1982, so that could have been the set back.

I appreciate your comments
I don't see where you are getting a February 1982 date for the frame? As for the crankset, I'm not convinced that the 2 and GC represent a date code. Of the dozens of Sugino GT cranksets that I've seen over the years, I can't recall one that didn't have the GC embossing, though the embossed number varied. Also, these characters appear to permanently incorporated into the tooling die itself. If it's a date code, it needs to be easily changed. This is why most dates are typically stamped into the components. Sometimes, they'll use a replaceable die insert but then you'll typically be able to see the outline of the insert on the component.

I can appreciate the variation in introduction dates for some of the smaller manufacturers but the mass volume manufacturers typically start buildng the new models around September. Generally, the first of the new models are ready for the autumn trade shows. Autumn is used to build up inventory and allow time for trans-oceanic shipping and processing though the importer's distribution channels. The aim is ensure that the shipments of new models are in stores for the lucrative Christmas season.

Of course, if bicycle manufacturers are building in September, the component manufacturers have to start producing their new product prior to that. It's not unusual to see mid-year dates on components that represent the upcoming model year. So, while the Tech components were introduced for the 1983 model year, you'll find some mid-1982 date codes.

While I believe the subject frame to be a 1983 model, I don't see any evidence to suggest it was built in early 1982 and not late 1982.
T-Mar is offline  
Old 11-24-21, 11:02 AM
  #489  
T-Mar
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 21,903
Mentioned: 580 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4158 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1,774 Times in 1,242 Posts
Originally Posted by Santuri32 View Post
Here are some Ram bikes, I found three years all early 80, here's the earlier style and two BB serial suggesting February and march 1983 construction. Both of these bikes were made in Japan by Kawamura suggesting higher end than the Taiwan built 1983 Skyline. So perhaps was their first and top line MTB/ATB and perhaps was available in mid 1982 as a very early 1983 model bike. Yet I think these should be considered with the Alpina Sport and Stumpjumper one of the first production MTBs. Apart from the first 500 October 1981 Stumpjumpers and the 18 or so January 1982 Schwinn Prototype Mountain Bike frames, this predates all 1982 Stumpjumpers and the earliest March 1982 Alpina Sport I have seen. Anyone with a catalog?
Again, I'm not seeing how you figure February and March for those serical numbers? All the evidence suggests that the B and the C represent the 1982 and 1983 calendar years, respectively.

The few Skyline models I've seen from this period were manufactured by Dodsun of Taiwan, so I'd agree that the Kawamura models are higher grade.

I know that a lot of people consider the Stumpjumperer to be the first production ATB but the numbers were so small that I don't award it that distinction. My choice is the Univega Alpina Sport. Its sales were more than 1/2 of the total ATB sales in the USA for 1982.

A lot of people dismiss the 1981 Schwinn King-Sting and Sidewinder as adult BMX bicycles. Yet, when you look at the other early ATBs, they were borrowing equipment from road and MX. One could argue that with their dirt background, upsizing a BMX bicycle and adding derailleurs and wider gearing, made a lot of sense, at least until the the Japanese starting manufacturing dedicated ATB components. Schwinn did miss the mark with the sidepull brakes and double crankset but then it was a new, fast evolving discipline. There were a lot of poor choices. I guess it all depends your personal criteria but I include these Schwinn models with the early ATBs. They beat the Univega to market by a year, but their sales weren't high enough to dislodge the Univega Alpina Sport as my choice for 1st Production ATB.
T-Mar is offline  
Old 11-24-21, 01:28 PM
  #490  
Santuri32
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 158

Bikes: Some 80s MTBs

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 19 Posts
Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Again, I'm not seeing how you figure February and March for those serical numbers? All the evidence suggests that the B and the C represent the 1982 and 1983 calendar years, respectively.

The few Skyline models I've seen from this period were manufactured by Dodsun of Taiwan, so I'd agree that the Kawamura models are higher grade.

I know that a lot of people consider the Stumpjumperer to be the first production ATB but the numbers were so small that I don't award it that distinction. My choice is the Univega Alpina Sport. Its sales were more than 1/2 of the total ATB sales in the USA for 1982.

A lot of people dismiss the 1981 Schwinn King-Sting and Sidewinder as adult BMX bicycles. Yet, when you look at the other early ATBs, they were borrowing equipment from road and MX. One could argue that with their dirt background, upsizing a BMX bicycle and adding derailleurs and wider gearing, made a lot of sense, at least until the the Japanese starting manufacturing dedicated ATB components. Schwinn did miss the mark with the sidepull brakes and double crankset but then it was a new, fast evolving discipline. There were a lot of poor choices. I guess it all depends your personal criteria but I include these Schwinn models with the early ATBs. They beat the Univega to market by a year, but their sales weren't high enough to dislodge the Univega Alpina Sport as my choice for 1st Production ATB.
I was guessing the bikes were 1982 with no year code and just month code. It was just a guess and B and C coding for year solve the issue of why a later serial number for the earlier bike. The crank I got from the Trek site that codes several components.

Regarding first Stumpjumper and Univega Mountain Bikes, I suspect that records were not kept that well. I see about 50 Stumpjumpers or more for every Alpina Sport I have ever seen. I believe there's confusion when explaining the 1982 Stumpjumpers. Books and interviews vary in the numbers of bikes produced, from 100, 125, etc. I keep records of these and the production of T1Js was around 241 and some refer to those as the 1981 or the 1982 bikes, when all Toyo frames were 1982 model year bikes. Perhaps there were even 500 T1Js, we will find our eventually. However, based on serial numbers alone and using just the TIG frames T1J to T2F these suggest that at least 1,694 TIG 1982 Stumpjumpers were made.

Then for Univega mine is the earliest I've seen and is a low Toyo as well, 1982 March number 74. But I have records of just three serial adding 159 for March 1982 and 268 for August 1982 or 427 bikes. I am missing a lot of info but just taking into consideration the frequency in which I see these bikes and the serials I have gathered I looks that 3000 Stumpjumpers and 500 Univegas were made in 1982 and not as reported.

Defining early Mountain Bikes is difficult as well, even defining production is. A bike with multiple gears, diamond frame, fat tires, and strong brakes would include the Schwinns' King Sting and SideWinders, but also Murray Bajas. And factory production requires to specify a number. So Univega imported 3000 bikes from Toyo in 1982 becoming the first production mountain bike to go over 2000 bikes. But man-factory Ritchey together with MountainBikes were the first to produce over 500 bikes in one year. Then factoring in Murray Bajas (1000s?), Lawhill pro Cruisers in 1979 (100s).
So perhaps (these numbers are just approximations from the top of my head):
1. 1979 Lawhill Pro Cruiser was the first ATB bike to be Nationally produced in over 100? bikes
2. 1981 Ritchey Mountain Bikes were the first Nationally produced ATBs in over 500? bikes
3. 1981 Murray Baja and Schwinn King Sting were the first ATBs to be nationally produced in over 1000? bikes by a large national factory
4. 1982 Stumpjumpers and Univegas were the first ATBs to be imported in numbers over 1000 bikes. Making Toyo the first exporter of ATBs to produced over 3000 bikes in one year.
I think what was more important was their contribution to ATB/MTB acceptance and promotion, with that:

1. Schwinn+Marin rider with klunkers
2. Breezer with first new frame
3. Ritchey with first light diamond frame
4. Specialized with its large promotion

Each of those built upon and in a way (build or exposure) improved on the previous, I would never say copied.

But I believe you are completely correct about the Ram being a 1983, I looked at early advertisement on fat Tire flyer and Stumpjumper S & S, Sundancer and Cyclo Pro (unspecified model) were about the first bikes being advertised by the Village Peddler in 1982.

Last edited by Santuri32; 11-24-21 at 01:31 PM. Reason: typos
Santuri32 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
T-Mar
Classic & Vintage
2465
11-17-21 08:30 AM
ryansu
Classic & Vintage
11
03-15-19 07:11 PM
sfclearwater
Classic & Vintage
18
02-22-18 05:29 AM
charlesw
Classic & Vintage
19
05-12-17 09:36 AM
istra
Classic & Vintage
2
05-26-12 04:13 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.