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Kestrel 200SCI 58cm What year is it?

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Kestrel 200SCI 58cm What year is it?

Old 06-29-17, 01:19 PM
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khalib
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Kestrel 200SCI 58cm What year is it?

I recently bought this bike and I am trying to determine the year of manufacture and any other info I can ascertain. It is not yet in my possession (it's being shipped), so I'm hoping I didn't't get 'a lemon' with hidden damage. I'm a bit concerned with the gouge near the BB (presumably from the chain slipping off). Are there other things I should be concerned with? I also would love some "best bang for my buck" upgrade tips. What should I replace first (if anything) for a smoother, faster, lighter ride? I've read here on another post that a new crankset would be the the best bang for buck upgrade. I'd love some thoughts/advice on that. What else should I consider upgrading without breaking the bank? New wheels/hubs/tires? The reason I bought this bike is I needed a commuter/leisure ride that could potentially handle long distances or maybe a race, and my budget wasn't very high. I also leaned towards this vintage bike after reading good things about it on this forum and my experience with my last bike. Before it was stolen, my first ever road bike was a 58cm 1996 Trek 5200 OCLV. I loved this bike and it seemed like a great fit for me. Is sizing/fit similar between Treks and Kestrel? Any info I am missing that would help access what I've got here? Some components are 600 Ultegra.

Any input or advice is greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance,
Khalib
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Old 06-29-17, 02:51 PM
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I recently picked up a Kestrel SCi frame/fork, with a few other bits. Mine's white. I looked online to see if I could tell the year of manufacture from the serial number or other info, and found nothing helpful. Apparently these frames looked very similar from year to year. I know that they were originally made in the US, and then in Japan. Below the headbadge on mine is says 'Made in Japan' so I know it's a slightly later one, but I couldn't even find the exact years they were made in either the US or Japan.

I'm not sure changing the crankset is going to get you much. The Shimano 600 Tricolor stuff is quite good, especially for the money. Your chainrings look to have some wear, but they don't appear critical just yet. I have read some reports that the Mavic Reflex rims are weak and damage prone, but that's second hand and anecdotal.

The paint on these things is VERY thick, and prone to chipping. This apparently doesn't affect the structural integrity. That's probably the gouge you're seeing. Overall your frame/fork looks in vastly better shape than what I bought, and your components look just fine. I'd adjust it, lube it, and ride it. For comfort/fit, I find messing with saddle (both position and type) and handlebars (both position and width) are more important than subtle frame geometry differences. Also, I'm not a fan of that stem, but if it works for you, use it.

Can you do me a favor? If you pull your seat post out of the frame, can you shine a light down there and tell me what you see? The seatpost is stuck in the frame on mine, and I'm patiently putting PB Blaster and ATF/Acetone in there, but I'm not sure if it's open from below. If you shine a light in there, can you see down to the bottom bracket? Thanks!
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Old 06-29-17, 02:52 PM
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Also, welcome to the forums, and good job posting good photos on your very first posts.
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Old 06-29-17, 05:17 PM
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The components suggest early to mid-90's. I don't think the bike needs any upgrades unless the tires are bad or something like that. It's all nice high-end equipment. Ride it for a while and see how you like it, how it fits, and then decide what (if anything) you want to change.

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Old 06-29-17, 07:08 PM
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Check the bottom bracket and make sure all is well down there.

Yours looks just like mine except color and mine was made in the US. The ride is smooth and stable. Once you climb on and go, you will experience what makes these bikes special.
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Old 06-29-17, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Kevindale View Post
I recently picked up a Kestrel SCi frame/fork, with a few other bits. Mine's white. I looked online to see if I could tell the year of manufacture from the serial number or other info, and found nothing helpful. Apparently these frames looked very similar from year to year. I know that they were originally made in the US, and then in Japan. Below the headbadge on mine is says 'Made in Japan' so I know it's a slightly later one, but I couldn't even find the exact years they were made in either the US or Japan.

I'm not sure changing the crankset is going to get you much. The Shimano 600 Tricolor stuff is quite good, especially for the money. Your chainrings look to have some wear, but they don't appear critical just yet. I have read some reports that the Mavic Reflex rims are weak and damage prone, but that's second hand and anecdotal.

The paint on these things is VERY thick, and prone to chipping. This apparently doesn't affect the structural integrity. That's probably the gouge you're seeing. Overall your frame/fork looks in vastly better shape than what I bought, and your components look just fine. I'd adjust it, lube it, and ride it. For comfort/fit, I find messing with saddle (both position and type) and handlebars (both position and width) are more important than subtle frame geometry differences. Also, I'm not a fan of that stem, but if it works for you, use it.

Can you do me a favor? If you pull your seat post out of the frame, can you shine a light down there and tell me what you see? The seatpost is stuck in the frame on mine, and I'm patiently putting PB Blaster and ATF/Acetone in there, but I'm not sure if it's open from below. If you shine a light in there, can you see down to the bottom bracket? Thanks!
Thanks a lot for your reply and insight Kevin. How much longer (hours of riding) do you think I'll have on the chainrings before the wear is critical? And from what you can see is the cassette fairly worn as well?

I'm not sure if you can see the gouge/chip in the close up picture of the chainrings. Thats what I'm referring to. Hopefully it is just in the paint.

Thanks for the advice on the saddle and handlebars, I'll definitely try to get that dialed in first.

I'm also not a fan of the stem aesthetically, but I wouldn't know where to begin selecting a suitable replacement. Does it need to be threaded or I'd need an adapter of sorts? Any suggestions?

I'll take a look in the seat tube and let you know (assuming it isn't stuck).
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Old 06-29-17, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Kevindale View Post
Also, welcome to the forums, and good job posting good photos on your very first posts.
Thanks a lot!

Originally Posted by kroozer View Post
The components suggest early to mid-90's. I don't think the bike needs any upgrades unless the tires are bad or something like that. It's all nice high-end equipment. Ride it for a while and see how you like it, how it fits, and then decide what (if anything) you want to change.
Great advice, much appreciated.

Originally Posted by tg16 View Post
Check the bottom bracket and make sure all is well down there.

Yours looks just like mine except color and mine was made in the US. The ride is smooth and stable. Once you climb on and go, you will experience what makes these bikes special.
Would that mean just checking if it's loose (or too tight), or if it grinds, or clicks, or visually inspecting the BB as well? If so what should I look for? I've read the older BBs can be repaired and some newer ones would need to be replaced.

I can't wait to experience what this baby can do!!! I'm curious how much the ride will differ from my last bike (96 Trek 5200 OCLV same size, same groupset). Anyone have any insight or thoughts on that?

It's going to be a long week waiting for it to arrive!
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Old 06-30-17, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by khalib View Post
Thanks a lot for your reply and insight Kevin. How much longer (hours of riding) do you think I'll have on the chainrings before the wear is critical? And from what you can see is the cassette fairly worn as well?
I have yet to wear out any chain rings, so I'm the wrong person to ask. I know that when the cogs look like shark fins, you've been using them too long. What I can see of your cassette cogs look fine to me. Probably the firs thing to do when the bike arrives is measure the chain with a steel ruler. If it's worn, it'll wear the cogs and chain rings much faster. I tend to have a low threshold for replacing chains, but I'm not a high-mileage type, so even then I don't have to replace them very often. Here's Sheldon Brown with lots of useful thoughts on the subject.

Originally Posted by khalib View Post
I'm not sure if you can see the gouge/chip in the close up picture of the chainrings. Thats what I'm referring to. Hopefully it is just in the paint.

Thanks for the advice on the saddle and handlebars, I'll definitely try to get that dialed in first.

I'm also not a fan of the stem aesthetically, but I wouldn't know where to begin selecting a suitable replacement. Does it need to be threaded or I'd need an adapter of sorts? Any suggestions?

I'll take a look in the seat tube and let you know (assuming it isn't stuck).
I see the gouge now. Looks like the chain got wedged between the frame and small ring. I've read that these bikes were over-engineered. I'd probably clean that up, prime it, and paint it with some glossy black paint. I'm guessing if you don't see any evidence of cracking in the underlying CG, you're fine.

I wouldn't worry about the stem for now. Ride it and figure out if you need a slightly longer or shorter stem, and spend some time seeing what's available. I think mine came with a 1" threadless (it's in another city now) and the stem doesn't fit modern bar diameters. Once I get the seatpost out I'll start thinking about what stem I need, but I know the headset on mine is toast, so that will come first.

You've probably seen this, but here's a very useful BF thread on Kestrel 200SCIs.
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Old 06-30-17, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by khalib View Post
Would that mean just checking if it's loose (or too tight), or if it grinds, or clicks, or visually inspecting the BB as well? If so what should I look for? I've read the older BBs can be repaired and some newer ones would need to be replaced.
Hopefully others will speak to this, but I'd recommend taking the chain off and just turning the cranks and feeling/listening for any grinding or hitching or noise. I'm guessing this came with a cups-and-cones BB that you can disassemble and check. If it has one of these, I'd only take the adjustable (left) cup off and replace the bearings and grease. It may have been switched to a cartridge type BB, or you can switch it now if the current BB has damage and you want something a little easier to deal with. I think you do need to be careful with the BB on these frames, and it might be a job for a LBS if you don't have the tools and confidence.
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Old 06-30-17, 10:37 AM
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The bottom bracket sits in an aluminum sleeve that is attached to the carbon. If that sleeve is loose, it can be a real problem. Some say it can be re-glued, others say no. Mainly, see if the bottom bracket grinds or makes any noises. Another thing to do is to hold each arm of the crank set and gently rock. There shouldn't be any play there. If there is, have the bottom bracket and sleeve checked. Someone mentioned preferring external cups for this bike and that makes sense. Kevindale's advice should be followed.


As far as the make, I've attached a photo of mine. Serial number and place of origin are on the bottom of the frame. There's a lot of good info and you may find this thread good reading. It is a thread by Kevindale. https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...l-200-sci.html


I can't say enough good about these old 200sci's. They are quick and you can opt to make them look somewhat vintage or modern.
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Old 06-30-17, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Kevindale View Post
I have yet to wear out any chain rings, so I'm the wrong person to ask. I know that when the cogs look like shark fins, you've been using them too long. What I can see of your cassette cogs look fine to me. Probably the firs thing to do when the bike arrives is measure the chain with a steel ruler. If it's worn, it'll wear the cogs and chain rings much faster. I tend to have a low threshold for replacing chains, but I'm not a high-mileage type, so even then I don't have to replace them very often. Here's with lots of useful thoughts on the subject.



I see the gouge now. Looks like the chain got wedged between the frame and small ring. I've read that these bikes were over-engineered. I'd probably clean that up, prime it, and paint it with some glossy black paint. I'm guessing if you don't see any evidence of cracking in the underlying CG, you're fine.

I wouldn't worry about the stem for now. Ride it and figure out if you need a slightly longer or shorter stem, and spend some time seeing what's available. I think mine came with a 1" threadless (it's in another city now) and the stem doesn't fit modern bar diameters. Once I get the seatpost out I'll start thinking about what stem I need, but I know the headset on mine is toast, so that will come first.

You've probably seen this, but here's a very useful on Kestrel 200SCIs.
Thanks a lot Kevin. I have read and bookmarked that thread. I will be revisiting it.

Originally Posted by Kevindale View Post
Hopefully others will speak to this, but I'd recommend taking the chain off and just turning the cranks and feeling/listening for any grinding or hitching or noise. I'm guessing this came with a cups-and-cones BB that you can disassemble and check. If it has one of these, I'd only take the adjustable (left) cup off and replace the bearings and grease. It may have been switched to a cartridge type BB, or you can switch it now if the current BB has damage and you want something a little easier to deal with. I think you do need to be careful with the BB on these frames, and it might be a job for a LBS if you don't have the tools and confidence.
Good to know, thanks.

Originally Posted by tg16 View Post
The bottom bracket sits in an aluminum sleeve that is attached to the carbon. If that sleeve is loose, it can be a real problem. Some say it can be re-glued, others say no. Mainly, see if the bottom bracket grinds or makes any noises. Another thing to do is to hold each arm of the crank set and gently rock. There shouldn't be any play there. If there is, have the bottom bracket and sleeve checked. Someone mentioned preferring external cups for this bike and that makes sense. Kevindale's advice should be followed.


As far as the make, I've attached a photo of mine. Serial number and place of origin are on the bottom of the frame. There's a lot of good info and you may find this thread good reading. It is a thread by Kevindale.


I can't say enough good about these old 200sci's. They are quick and you can opt to make them look somewhat vintage or modern.
Thanks so much for your helpful tips! I have seen that thread, and will revisit it.
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Old 07-03-17, 02:02 PM
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make sure to post pics and bump the thread when you get it. that is one of the cleanest kestrel 200 series I have seen. very nice find - every time I see one of these in person I am taken aback at how beautiful they are. the designer was an artist as well as an advanced engineer.
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