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Kobe Bicycles?

Old 03-31-05, 06:55 PM
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randya
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Kobe Bicycles?

When my Fuji S-10-S frame gave out, I rebuilt the bike by putting the original components on a Kobe frame that I had picked up somewhere and was laying around in my garage. I've googled 'Kobe Bicycles' and all I can find is a reference to a Kobe Bicycle Company, a wholesaler in the San Jose area in the early 80s. Anyone have any more info on Kobe bicycles? Thanks!
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Old 03-31-05, 09:31 PM
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Kobe was actually a US company that had bicycles manufactured for them in Japan and Hong Kong. They jumped onto the bicycle boom bandwagon in the mid-1970s. Like most Japanease manufactured bicycles of the period, they are well designed, nicely manufactured, sturdy and dependable. However, they tended be a bit heavy and lacked the lively ride of their European counterparts of the period. Most Kobe models tended to be slightly flashier than most Japanese models of the era, with pinstriped, European style lugwork and pearlescent paint.

The model I recall being the most popular was the Cobra. Hi-tensile frame with chrome stay and fork ends, Sugino Super Maxy crankset, Dia-Compe CP brakes, SunTour VGT/SL deraileurs with bar ends, Suzue large flange QR hubs laced to Araya aluminum rims. Ironically, this model was competition for your S10-S.

The company certainly was not a major player and I'm not sure if they even lasted into the 1980s.
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Old 03-31-05, 11:22 PM
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Thanks! The Kobe frame I've got has a shorter wheelbase that the S-10-S frame and is certainly a rougher ride. The S-10-S was very smooth. Otherwise I agree that the Kobe is a well made frame, but it lacks the chromed rear seat and chain stay ends and rear dropouts that the S-10-S had so I would judge it to be a model down the line.
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Old 04-01-05, 08:20 PM
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It might be the Kobe Kona which was the entry level model. It had SunTour Honor/Spirt derailleurs, with steel components (hubs, rims, CP brakes, cottered crankset).

BTW, thanks for the jolt. Time to dig out my copy 'Back in the USA', fire up the old turntable, crank up the volume and enjoy some Detroit punk rock in all it's distorted glory - after the wife and kids go out. Yikes, it's older than the Kobe!
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Old 09-26-16, 02:58 PM
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Kobe Cobra

I found a Kobe Cobra at the local Habitat Restore for $15.00 and bought it. I find the right crank arm is stripped out at the pedal end. Otherwise, new tires and tubes, cleaning and adjusting and it looks good. Ancient paint could use some work but I probably won't bother. Chainstays are chrome all the way up, even under the painted area. hope to get the paint off and let it shine. I am quite heavy and I think this frame will support me.
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Old 09-26-16, 03:37 PM
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Welcome to the forum. You may want to reconsider stripping the upper stays. While they may be chromed, typically they weren't polished like the exposed portion and they will probably display a lot of small scratches, file marks and other minor blemishes that are hidden by paint. This doesn't bother some people but others can't tolerate the transition from smooth chrome to scratched chrome.

I'd appreciate you frame's serial number for my database. The data is used to help identify and decode manufacturers' serial numbers. TIA.
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Old 10-03-16, 07:44 AM
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Is the serial number typically on the bottom of the bottom bracket? Please advise and I will check and let you know.
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Old 10-03-16, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by malpar View Post
Is the serial number typically on the bottom of the bottom bracket? Please advise and I will check and let you know.
The serial number could be any number of locations, depending on the contract manufacturer. Typical locations include the bottom bracket shell, lower seat tube, upper seat tube, seat lug, head lug and rear dropouts.
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Old 10-10-16, 12:51 PM
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Found serial number on lower seat tube: A7602376. Can you interpret it for me?
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Old 10-10-16, 01:02 PM
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I don't have very few Kobe serial numbers and the the serial could be reverse engineered several ways. but the most probable possibilities indicate a 1976 or 1977 model.
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Old 08-08-19, 05:16 PM
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kobe bike.

does anyone know anything about a bike I have, it is a kobe kona, made in hong kong, maybe what year it is, and value , if any.
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Old 08-08-19, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ral ral View Post
does anyone know anything about a bike I have, it is a kobe kona, made in hong kong, maybe what year it is, and value , if any.
As was mentioned, the Kona was a heavier model, lower down in the pecking order, having cottered cranks as I recall.

I've not seen any frame failures in this brand, and the components were mainstream-typical of similarly-priced Nishiki and Azuki bikes of that era.

The Cobra model is the one that I kept, it's from ~1977 and made in Hong Kong. It came with alloy rims and a sleek Cinelli-style fork crown, and has good geometry and riding qualities for a typical low-to-mid-priced bike. It somehow has defied my few attempts at selling it, ...not sure why, it's metallic silver/grey and in good condition. My Kobe Kona sold readily, but perhaps just because of my "aggressive" pricing to students (or because "Kona" also happens to be a premium brand of bikes???).
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