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Show us your Zebrakenko!

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Show us your Zebrakenko!

Old 09-12-20, 03:55 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Rherdegen
A bit late to this discussion...but my 1976 Zebrakenko Wind looks nearly identical to yours, with the most obvious exception of the bar end shifters. I bought this new in ‘77, and with the exception of the replacement seat (I still have the original which is in decent condition) and toe clips it is all original. Still have the spoke protector, though i have no idea what became of the reflectors (which came off immediately anyway).


The other significant difference I noticed is that your Zebrakenko Golden Sports has chrome sox - front and back, as does mine. I am not sure the model of my 1979 Golden Sports, nor am I sure that I have the original components (I received it for the discounted cost of the components from the bike co-op, because the seatpost was seized, and the model decal was gone). I had stripped and stored the frame and components separately and just managed to get the seatpost free last week, and I built it back last night. I will take pix today and post pix of mine tonight.

-Will
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Old 09-12-20, 05:51 PM
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1979 Zebrakenko Golden Sports model?

Last year I bought this 1979 Zebrakenko Golden Sports 25" ten speed from the local bike co-op for the value of its components ($50, I think), because the seatpost was seized in the frame, and after my initial efforts did not succeed, I stripped its parts and bagged them and stored the frame with my other "projects". Well, with the availability of used parts significantly restricted, last month I turned to my seized frame collection and tried carefully holding the frame in a vice with 2x4s while trying to turn the seatpost with a pipe wrench and I was able to get it turning! After hitting it with penetrating spray and working it around with the pipe wrench I got the seatpost out (not without some "surface" damage to the seatpost you may note in the photos below). There was never any indication of the model, and this is not a maker or brand that I have seen in Vancouver before, but the chrome sox and Suntour GS dropouts (front and rear) called out to me. If you know what model it is, I would be very interested to learn. The components on it (which have date codes suggesting it was assembled in the spring of 1979) were:

Suntour gears with Vx FD and ratcheting power shifters on the DT and Suntour 14-28 freewheel
The brakes are Diacompe G with drilled levers that have threaded adjusters on the back of the levers where the housing enter that appear to have never had "safety" levers
Super Maxi swagged double crankset with 52-42 chainrings and 165mm cranks
Shimano hubs laced with galvanized spokes to Araya 622mm rims that do not have hooks
Winpista handlebars and stem

This photo is the bike as I received it (including the very early 1980s angle on the handlebars), except that I replaced the RD with one that I thought was more likely to be original, and I added the saddle, pedals, tires and the seatpost binder bolt.






This is not all the damage in getting the seatpost out, I also broke the adjuster ring on my father's 14" pipe wrench...

Last edited by Random Tandem; 09-12-20 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 09-30-20, 08:33 PM
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I own a few, a 1978 Storm, a 1980 Storm, a 1978 Thunder Mixte, a 1977 Wind, and a 1980 Blue Sky - which I sold..

This thread has the 1981 Zebrakenko brochure - 1981 Zebrakenko Brochure
Here is my thread on the 1978 Storm restoration - 1978 Zebrakenko Storm
Here is my thread on the 1980 Storm restoration - 1980 Zebrakenko Storm
I have not restored the 1978 Thunder Mixte yet, but here it is along side the 1978 Storm.




Here is the 1977 Wind, not fully restored. The frame was powder coated and the head badge unfortunately was not in good shape. I tried to paint it with the black and gold colors, but it did not turn out well, so ended up painting it all gold.


1977 Zebrakenko Wind

Here is the 1980 Blue Sky, which I no longer own.



1980 Blue Sky
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Old 10-01-20, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Random Tandem
Last year I bought this 1979 Zebrakenko Golden Sports 25" ten speed from the local bike co-op for the value of its components ($50, I think), because the seatpost was seized in the frame, and after my initial efforts did not succeed, I stripped its parts and bagged them and stored the frame with my other "projects". Well, with the availability of used parts significantly restricted, last month I turned to my seized frame collection and tried carefully holding the frame in a vice with 2x4s while trying to turn the seatpost with a pipe wrench and I was able to get it turning! After hitting it with penetrating spray and working it around with the pipe wrench I got the seatpost out (not without some "surface" damage to the seatpost you may note in the photos below). There was never any indication of the model, and this is not a maker or brand that I have seen in Vancouver before, but the chrome sox and Suntour GS dropouts (front and rear) called out to me. If you know what model it is, I would be very interested to learn. The components on it (which have date codes suggesting it was assembled in the spring of 1979) were:

Suntour gears with Vx FD and ratcheting power shifters on the DT and Suntour 14-28 freewheel
The brakes are Diacompe G with drilled levers that have threaded adjusters on the back of the levers where the housing enter that appear to have never had "safety" levers
Super Maxi swagged double crankset with 52-42 chainrings and 165mm cranks
Shimano hubs laced with galvanized spokes to Araya 622mm rims that do not have hooks
Winpista handlebars and stem
I'm going to say that it is also a Wind. The brakes, the brake levers, the crankset, all point to the Wind. The model name decal would of been on the crank side chainstay. The chrome sox seemed to have dissappeared as of 1980 on all of their bikes. My 1977 Wind had them, but they were so badly pitted that it was one of the main reasons I went ahead and powder coated the frame. I do like the ratcheted shifters on this model, and prefer it to the un-ratcheted friction shifters on the later models.
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Old 10-01-20, 09:29 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Trueblood
I'm going to say that it is also a Wind. The brakes, the brake levers, the crankset, all point to the Wind. The model name decal would of been on the crank side chainstay. The chrome sox seemed to have dissappeared as of 1980 on all of their bikes. My 1977 Wind had them, but they were so badly pitted that it was one of the main reasons I went ahead and powder coated the frame. I do like the ratcheted shifters on this model, and prefer it to the un-ratcheted friction shifters on the later models.
Thanks. I agree with your suggestion regarding the model: Wind. After reading the 1981 Zebrakenko catalog that you linked to above, I noted that there seemed to be very few differences between the Wind and the Lightening, but the top on the seat stays seems to indicate that mine is the lower Wind. Either way, it is a lovely late 1970s Japanese ride I enjoy. When used parts get more available, I am planning on replacing the seatpost...but otherwise keep it original.

-Will
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Old 03-09-21, 05:14 PM
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Zebra Tempest

I saw a listing for a zebra tempest and was wondering if it is worth the purchase. It is in very good condition and is going for about $100.
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Old 03-09-21, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by swimgal
I saw a listing for a zebra tempest and was wondering if it is worth the purchase. It is in very good condition and is going for about $100.

I think that is pretty high for what I know about that model. Roll up to see the retail price on that model on the picture of the dealer pricing.
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Old 12-03-23, 09:14 AM
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Here I go again!
Okay the HEAD BADGE sold me on this one. Looks like this is a 1980 Zebrakenko Wind. Serial number 7 80 M DnK2919
I needed a winter project anyway - right? Everything looks to be original to the bike except the seat - Frame cleaned up nicely.



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Old 12-03-23, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by tjfastback66
Here I go again!
Okay the HEAD BADGE sold me on this one. Looks like this is a 1980 Zebrakenko Wind. Serial number 7 80 M DnK2919
I needed a winter project anyway - right? Everything looks to be original to the bike except the seat - Frame cleaned up nicely.



Nice looking bike! I'm curious, what is the crankset on it? Looks like some kind of super record copy?
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Old 12-03-23, 08:48 PM
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Sugino but just noticed 165 length?
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Old 12-04-23, 04:58 PM
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I have a 77 Wind, very similar, but has chrome socks, which they stopped doing. Same wonderful ratcheted shifters.
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Old 12-05-23, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Trueblood
I have a 77 Wind, very similar, but has chrome socks, which they stopped doing. Same wonderful ratcheted shifters.
GOT ANY PICS?

I feel that the real score here is the quality of the frame build.I really did not know much about ISHIWATA but the more I researched:

The material [022] is virtually identical to Columbus SP/SL/SLX. The top range of tubes were seamless double-butted and the finish quality [as delivered to the builder] was much higher than Columbus. The tubing gauge of the 022 is 0.9/0.6 mm, exactly the same as Columbus SP. It's called "022" because the frame tube set weighs 2.2 kilos. The same material drawn thinner to 0.8/0.5 mm is called "019" because it weighs 1.9 kilos, just like Columbus SL. Many builders, then and now, mix gauges so a small frame might be all 019 but a 56 would have 022 chainstays and downtube for example.

Trek in the late '70s built three racing frames, one with Ishiwata, one Reynolds 531 and one Columbus. Geometry and weight were identical. The prices were unreasonably different because of the cachet of Italian tubing, making the Ishiwata frame the best value. Marketing took over later as the Ishiwata was dropped completely. With the advent of aluminum, the currency crash and the Japanese depression, Ishiwata closed the doors in the early '90s.

I am stoked about building this one!
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Old 12-08-23, 11:05 AM
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Yep, up-thread, message 28 - Show us your Zebrakenko!

Ultimately I powder coated the 77, as the chrome socks and paint were too far gone. The frame is ok, but not as nice as the other Zebras I have. One frequently reads a quote about them having a "dead" feeling to the ride, but I think that must of originated from someone who had a lower end model like the Blue Sky, or a much earlier frame. I think the Ishiwata frames produce a very responsive ride.
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Old 12-10-23, 07:08 PM
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I wish that there was some Zebrakenko product catalogs to reference - Seems to me that the geometry of the "Wind" model looks like a Touring variety - not racing.
I am reading that this brand of Bicycle has little following - thus the values out there are rather low.
This one has great paint with a few scratches and cleaned up better than I expected.


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Old 12-12-23, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by tjfastback66
I wish that there was some Zebrakenko product catalogs to reference - Seems to me that the geometry of the "Wind" model looks like a Touring variety - not racing.
I am reading that this brand of Bicycle has little following - thus the values out there are rather low.
This thread has the only "brochure" that I am aware of - 1981 Zebrakenko Brochure
There is an often quoted description of the bikes as having a "dead feel" to the ride, which I don't find to be true. I don't think they are any worse or better than many of the Japanese bike frames from the bike boom era. I always liked the head badge of the earlier Zebrakenko models - they changed the head badge in the early 80's when they added their logo to the down tube as well. I prefer the earlier models with fewer decals and the lion head badge such as the Wind you have.
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Old 12-12-23, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by tjfastback66
I wish that there was some Zebrakenko product catalogs to reference - Seems to me that the geometry of the "Wind" model looks like a Touring variety - not racing.
I am reading that this brand of Bicycle has little following - thus the values out there are rather low.
This thread has the only "brochure" that I am aware of - 1981 Zebrakenko Brochure
There is an often quoted description of the bikes as having a "dead feel" to the ride, which I don't find to be true. Having ridden others, I don't think they are any worse or better than many of the Japanese bike frames from the bike boom era. I always liked the head badge of the earlier Zebrakenko models - they changed the head badge in the early 80's when they added their logo to the down tube as well. I prefer the earlier models with fewer decals and the lion head badge, such as the Wind you have.
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Old 12-15-23, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Trueblood
Yep, up-thread, message 28 - Show us your Zebrakenko!
............... I think the Ishiwata frames produce a very responsive ride.
I would like to agree with you on this but - winter in Minnesota is not much fun for riding any bike. Hopefully we will have an early spring! This will be a budget ride as it came with new tires and tubes plus all components seem to be in proper working order.
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Old 12-15-23, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by tjfastback66
I would like to agree with you on this but - winter in Minnesota is not much fun for riding any bike. Hopefully we will have an early spring! This will be a budget ride as it came with new tires and tubes plus all components seem to be in proper working order.
Ah, ok, well, that's where you'll find 'em. When I was trolling craigslist a few years back, most of the hits came up in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Not sure why that was, maybe lots of them sitting in basements and garages for years. This time of year may not be the best for searching.

Search using the following boolean - site:craigslist.org zebrakenko This will pull up ALL of the listings on craigslist, not just the local listings. Useful boolean for searching for any old bike frames, or anything else for that matter.

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Old 12-17-23, 01:00 PM
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Maybe there was a regional importer in WI/MN? I picked up a 1981 Wind in central WI four years ago, clone of tjfastback66 's. No dealer / shop sticker, alas.

Hmm, curious that the brochure lists the Wind as having 700C wheels/tires. I'd have to go look, but I could swear mine came with 27s.

(So if Zebrakenko were making bikes today, would they have model names like "Bomb Cyclone", "LandCane", "Polar Vortex", "Atmospheric River", etc?)
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Old 12-17-23, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue
Maybe there was a regional importer in WI/MN? I picked up a 1981 Wind in central WI four years ago, clone of tjfastback66 's. No dealer / shop sticker, alas.

Hmm, curious that the brochure lists the Wind as having 700C wheels/tires. I'd have to go look, but I could swear mine came with 27s.

(So if Zebrakenko were making bikes today, would they have model names like "Bomb Cyclone", "LandCane", "Polar Vortex", "Atmospheric River", etc?)
Mine are 700C Rims made by Aria (Presta valve) and Sunshine Hubs - they made products for Suntour.
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Old 12-18-23, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by tjfastback66
Mine are 700C Rims made by Aria (Presta valve) and Sunshine Hubs - they made products for Suntour.
I just checked, and mine are definitely Araya 27" rims drilled schrader on Sansin hubs. 'Course, it also has LePree derailleurs, another departure from the catalog entry. (Rear mech is a three-pulley, which is the primary reason I bought the bike.)
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Old 12-18-23, 04:07 PM
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My Zebra. More here: 1977 Zebrakenko Olympic-Ace

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Old 12-19-23, 07:12 AM
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Nice Bike! Love the color, well done!
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