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Know It All
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone and welcome to Name That Frame, the game show where you uncover the make and model of a previously unidentified frame. Today's mystery frame has some history on this forum. I bought it because it seemed to be a gem hidden under a wretched paintjob. It was advertised as a Miyata, but that remains unproven – it seems to lack splined tubing, has a different seat stay cap, and different head tube lugs from the Miyatas in the catalogs.

Braze-ons include a chain hanger, a pump peg, down tube shifter mounts, and mounts for two bottle cages.

It came without decals and covered with thick yellow paint (not original). I only discovered the serial number after stripping it. I then applied a (poor) white and metallic blue paint job and used it as a commuter. It has retired from that role, and because the metallic blue chipped like mad, I've now started stripping it in preparation for a better paint job.

Below are pictures to help you identify the frame. The winner will receive my praise, and is entitled to beer (or other food/drink) if he or she is in Madison, WI.

The fork: There's no guarantee the fork is original, but I think it is. You can't see it, but the steering tube has "Tange.5.I" and a 'J' and 'S' in a circle stamped on it. Also, the crown race was originally JIS sized (since cut down to ISO), which indicates a Japanese origin for the fork, if not the frame. Note the shape of the fork crown and the lack of eyelets.



The whole frame:



The bottom of the bottom bracket, including the serial number. It seams to be “IS513786”. Also note that there is a chainstay bridge.



Headtube front: Note how the lugs have points in the middle.



The dropouts: The top reads “Shimano”. The bottom reads “EP” or “EF” (it's not clear). Note that there are no eyelets.



The seat cluster: Note that the top of the seat stay cap has a flat surface and has nothing written on it.



Head tube side: Note the pump peg.



Bottom Bracket side: Note the lug shape.



Downtube shifter mounts:



Stays: Note the chain hanger.



If you think more pictures might help, just let me know where to point the camera.

Happy hunting.
 

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Know It All
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Discussion Starter #2
I should add that I've been searching for this frame's identity for some time, and one thing which has ruled out many frames is the tips on the front of the head tube lugs. Most of the usual suspects (Miyata, Panasonic, etc.) don't seem to have them. If you've seen that style of lug on a bike, that could help narrow down the company. I've seen them on Schwinn and Lotus bikes (example).

Also, does anyone know the format for Miyata serial numbers? I've got my doubts about whether this is really a Miyata, so knowing that could settle this issue. In other words, if you've got a Miyata serial number, post it here and -- even if you don't know what it means -- we can see if it has two letters followed by six numbers.
 

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Could be a Bridgestone made Schwinn?
 

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Know It All
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Discussion Starter #7
Richard said:
Could be a Bridgestone made Schwinn?
I've been wondering if it could be a Schwinn -- I know I've seen similar ones. The problem is all the ones I've seen have riveted head tube badges, and this frame definitely doesn't. Also, I think I checked and it didn't fit the Schwinn serial number scheme.

Did some of Schwinn's outsourced bikes have different serial number formats/no head tube badges?
 

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Second that Centurion call. I just had a look at a 1987 Centurion parked outside at the rack, and the bottom bracket lug and bridge look identical. If the paint remnants are original, then that would also support that, as 1980s Centurions had different colored seat and head tubes like the mystery frame appears to. They were usually a lighter color than the rest of the bike, going from memory.
 

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Know It All
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Discussion Starter #10
aptivaboy said:
Second that Centurion call. I just had a look at a 1987 Centurion parked outside at the rack, and the bottom bracket lug and bridge look identical. If the paint remnants are original, then that would also support that, as 1980s Centurions had different colored seat and head tubes like the mystery frame appears to. They were usually a lighter color than the rest of the bike, going from memory.
The current paint scheme is not original -- the paint I first saw it with was all yellow, but I don't know if that was original either.

One problem with the Centurion theory is that the serial number doesn't fit the theorized format. Of course, that's not set in stone -- if you can find a serial number that counters that theory, that would be interesting.
 

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yea that is ture on the serial number theory.but mine has all of the small little details like the pump peg and that little knob above the rear derailer mount.looks identical though.
 

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If memory serves me right, the Schwinn Prologues and Circuits (Japanese sourced, some from Panasonic and some from Bridgestone, but I'm not sure which) did not have riveted head badges.

Scooper would be the one to know.
 

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I never knew that little knob was a chain holder. Never asked what it was on my last frame.
 

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Know It All
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Discussion Starter #14
I hadn't considered Schwinn since I didn't think the serial number matched, but I had only been looking at the format for bikes made in Chicago. A little googleing shows some serial numbers starting with two letters and ending with 6 numbers. Looks promising. I'll PM Scooper tomorrow.
 

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Know It All
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Discussion Starter #16
Scooper reports that the serial number doesn't fit any of the Schwinn formats he knows, so it looks like Schwinn is out.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Good point -- I agree that the signs point to Japan. Now just to figure out which manufacturer...
 

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I think you can rule out a Japanese made Fuji also. If memory serves me right, the better Fujis had Suntour dropouts.

Univega maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Richard said:
I think you can rule out a Japanese made Fuji also. If memory serves me right, the better Fujis had Suntour dropouts.

Univega maybe?
That's a good point. I hadn't ruled out Fuji because the serial number almost fit their format (although not quite). Although the 1985 catalog isn't detailed enough to really see the frame, I do see that it's all Suntour, so I think you're right.

I'll look in to Univega.
 

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Know It All
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Discussion Starter #20
I haven't had much luck finding info on Univega serial numbers. Did they have one format or did they vary with the manufacturer?
 
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