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What’s a Bridgestone Kabuki?

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What’s a Bridgestone Kabuki?

Old 05-03-21, 02:21 PM
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What’s a Bridgestone Kabuki?

Hey guys, this is gonna be a very generic question so I apologize in advance, I just don’t know a lot about Bridgestone stuff that doesn’t have an NJS stamp. I have an opportunity to buy a rideable Kabuki for $50. Does that seem like a reasonable value? And could anyone possibly tell me more about these? All I know is it has a cool head tube badge and hi-ten tubing.
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Old 05-03-21, 02:42 PM
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Kabuki was a brand owned by C. Itoh, a Japanese trading company, who had some bicycles manufactured by Bridgestone. Kabuki was a full range brand but this one sounds like it's entry level. Some of these were no better than department store bicycles but others can be decent. Whether it's worth the money or not depends on the model and its condition, though most bicycles that are rideable, are worth $50 these days. Please post photographs for a more thorough response.
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Old 05-03-21, 02:45 PM
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Not a bad deal on a Kabuki as long as it doesn't really need anything and rides well and fits you. IMO Kabukis don't have any vintage value and probably never will. If I understand correctly, the Kabukis were sort of a lower end line of bikes that were marketed by Bridgestone.
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Old 05-03-21, 04:08 PM
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Old 05-03-21, 04:30 PM
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Here's a picture of the head badge if that helps with identification at all. Also what sort of groupset should I be looking for?
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Old 05-03-21, 04:34 PM
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It looked like steel lugs originally, however, Technart uses their aluminum lugs with bonded/flared tubes. They used steel and stainless steel tubes using this system. They also used a quill seat post because the aluminum lug would not work well as a seat post clamp.

The seat cluster lug looks like a steel lug. The Technart lugs look fatter and square cut.

We may need pictures of the lugs. Well, that is if you buy the bike.

If the bike fits and everything looks to be in good shape, $50 is ok for this bike. I think it had SunTour derailleurs on it. Does it have aluminum rims? It look like aluminum from here.

If you get it, post some pictures.
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Old 05-03-21, 04:38 PM
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some advertisements from that era....





Steve in Peoria
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Old 05-03-21, 04:41 PM
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As with any purchase, look it over carefully. Insist on checking to make sure the stem and seat post are not stuck. I always check to make sure the fork steerer isn't bent too. I've never found on that was, but doesn't hurt to check. If those rims are aluminum, I think it is worth every penny. But if you intend to ride it, the fit is more important than most anything else.
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Old 05-03-21, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule View Post
quill seat post
So don’t lose it, roger that.
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Old 05-03-21, 05:56 PM
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That's definitely a Technart frame with the die cast aluminum lugs. The front derailleur has the chain on the small cog with the shift lever pulled back, indicating a top normal SunTour derailleur, likely an Spirt of Compe-V. Looks like aftermarket QR skewers and pedals. It appears to be a late 1970s Super Speed or Skyway. I'm leaning towards the latter, which was 2nd from the bottom of the line. Easily worth $50, if there are no major issues. In the overall picture (non-drive side ), the fork looks bent, but that may be due to it being turned slightly.
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Old 05-03-21, 05:57 PM
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Alright, gave him 35 bucks for it. Model appears to be a Syd, with aluminum lugs. It's got a Suntour GT-V Luxe rear mech and a Compe-V front mech and everything freely moves on it. The front hoop is a steel Araya and the rear is an aluminum Weinmann, my guess is the Araya is the original but I could be wrong. It is a little big for me though, s



eatpost is slammed and it's definitely a little low but probably only about an inch or so. I'll probably give it a good service, a good scrub and then give it to my sister, she's about 3 inches taller than me and has been wanting a bike.
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Old 05-03-21, 06:00 PM
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SYD is the product acronym for the Skyway model. Serial number will tell us the manufacturing date.

edit: SYD = Skyway Diecast
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Old 05-03-21, 06:19 PM
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A785366
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Old 05-03-21, 08:16 PM
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I have owned a few Kabukis and the bonded cast lugs tend to be heavier bikes. I still own my first , a Diamond Formula that has actual steel lugs with regular gage tubing. It is not anything special but with vertical drop outs and very light , a very nice bike to ride. I have upgraded to all Campagnolo with a nice Brooks saddle . It was my transportation for almost three years and was kept on the deck of our sail boat. The bike survived as I had put 700c Gentleman Super Champion wheels with stainless steel spokes right after I bought it. I was young , strong and very fast on that bike. I rode about 20 miles every day and longer rides for the weekend. It still rides very well and I maintain it.
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Old 05-04-21, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by LNKFixed View Post
A785366
The S/N indcates that your Skyway is a 1977 model.
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Old 05-06-21, 02:31 PM
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Man, looking at Kabukis is a stark reminder that outside of the Grant Petersen-era Bridgestone USA, Bridgestone saved all of their actually cool bikes for the Japanese market.
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Old 05-06-21, 02:47 PM
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I bought a Kabuki in 1980. The receipt says 27" but I think it was a 25" frame with 27" wheels, SYD.

Serial number X923508.

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Old 05-06-21, 04:37 PM
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There’s something I haven’t seen in a long time...

Bridgestone self centering brake set.
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Old 05-06-21, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by LNKFixed View Post
Alright, gave him 35 bucks for it. Model appears to be a Syd, with aluminum lugs. It's got a Suntour GT-V Luxe rear mech and a Compe-V front mech and everything freely moves on it. The front hoop is a steel Araya and the rear is an aluminum Weinmann, my guess is the Araya is the original but I could be wrong. It is a little big for me though, seatpost is slammed and it's definitely a little low but probably only about an inch or so. I'll probably give it a good service, a good scrub and then give it to my sister, she's about 3 inches taller than me and has been wanting a bike.
Wow, looking at that frame, your sis must be TALL!

An aluminum-rimmed front wheel is an essential upgrade for this bike. Steel rims just really perform poorly for braking. The braking performance of an aluminum rim will be night and day versus that steel one, and the front brake is the most important for stopping safely and quickly. A 27" aluminum rimmed front wheel should be easy to come by. Hell, if you can't find one for cheap locally, I'd send you one for the cost of shipping (shouldn't be much via Shipbikes or Bikeflights).
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