Name this Brand...

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

Name this Brand...

Postby t-rav » Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:24 pm

Anyone recognise this?

Image

Image

VBK? BK? KB? Made in Italy.

Quick search only got me to KB... Kuwamura Built... for Nishiki

Kawamura trademarked both names for the Japanese Domestic Market and Europe, WCC trademarked the brands for the USA. Early promotional material for American Eagle and Nishiki lines often carried the tagline 'KB Bicycles' or simply 'KB' — signifying 'Kawamura-Built.' WCC continued also to market the bicycle brands of Mundo, Caloi, Windsor, Zeus, and Mondia.

Think that is a dead end.

I grabbed the bike for spares. Frame is most probably toast with a really stuck seatpost.

Tubing...see below so. So definitely an Italian bike.

http://i609.photobucket.com/albums/tt17 ... 97b26e.jpg

Any ideas?
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by BNA » Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:35 pm

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Re: Name this Brand...

Postby morini » Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:35 pm

If that's the frames sticker then it's an Italian frame all right. Probably made by Technotrat who made lots of others companies frames including, from memory, some Colnago.

Falk tubing was made by E Bozzi who has a tangled web of involvement in Italian frames from top to bottom. Falk isn't Columbus SLX but If it was me I'd be using it. I like these frames they are good riders, so if it's a 60 or bigger and you don't want it, i'll take it off your hands.

Can you add some other pictures off the lugs, dropouts etc? It's a bit hard to see exactly what you have here.
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Re: Name this Brand...

Postby t-rav » Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:47 pm

More photos here as requested
http://s1347.photobucket.com/user/t_rav90/library/

Do you recognise the logo...VBK? BK? KB?

The post is well and truly in there and the frame is far to small for me or you at 53cm unfortunately.

Got excited when I saw the viner stem.
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Re: Name this Brand...

Postby morini » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:48 pm

t-rav wrote: Got excited when I saw the viner stem.


I would have too......once. A lot of bikes sold as Viners, among others, were not Viners at all. It seems the importers were in the habit of hawking frame/groupset combos to Aussie bike shops during the 80's with a "take your pick" arrangement on which brand you wanted. Real Viners have pantographs.

Your frame's stickers don't ring any bells with me but if had to have a guess I'd say it's State/bikeshop related. Dealers such as Europa used the same brand frame as did Campione Cycles in Victoria. There's probably been heaps of them but who'd know.

I wouldn't waste my time digging any deeper because in the end the stem might be worth more than the frame. If the maker isn't interested in branding his frames then there's a reason.
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Re: Name this Brand...

Postby t-rav » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:29 pm

So basically, the frame was made in Italy by x... and a bike shop over here branded it there own? Similar to Repco's being made by giant and various others.

Guess it is probably not worth investing the time to try and remove the post.

I was only after the bike for a few parts and I was just curious as to the branding as google returned no answers.

Thanks heaps for your help!
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Re: Name this Brand...

Postby WyvernRH » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:59 am

Bit late off the mark but the frame looks like a lower/mid end Technocrat build from Italy. As a company Technocrat made stock frames for lots of bicycle brands at various price/quality levels including for several 'premium' Italian brands that people salivate over. Europa was one Oz brand that used them extensively. Normally good, well built frames made from OK to good tubing (depending on what the contract specified). I would say this is from the OK end of the scale given the sticker and equipment.
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Re: Name this Brand...

Postby morini » Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:01 pm

All frames are worth keeping and if you can get the post out I'd do it. There are more posts around than frames.
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Re: Name this Brand...

Postby salcedo98 » Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:28 am

Hey T-Rav

I thought you might like to know I got the seat post pretty easily using the bench vice method after several days of dripping WD 40 in the gap.

I'm looking to rejuvenate the frame with a powder coat or paint job, depending on what I can get done the cheapest.

I'm only bothering cause it's my size.
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Re: Name this Brand...

Postby yugyug » Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:21 pm

I had a nice unbranded bike that John Abeni from Europa identified as being made from Falck tube. Rode beautifully, though I was surprised when I got around to weighing it that it was not very light.
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Re: Name this Brand...

Postby bog1953 » Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:56 pm

I wish to correct a comment made earlier about Viners. Not all viners have pantos. I am a great fan of Viners , I have four. Some Viners have a Viner panto, others have "V" with an elongated tail, and others have a star panto, and yet others have no pantos at all. I don't know about distributors here faking brands on bikes, but I do know that about 5 years ago the Viner factory sold a bulk lot of viners they found in storage, on ebay italy. these frames were bought by an American who then sold them on ebay US for between $395..$495, dependent on size. NONE of these had pantos, but were Viners. Also if you watch ebay Italy you will find viners without pantos. cheers
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Re: Name this Brand...

Postby salcedo98 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:59 am

Well I got it going again, seems to ride well and the only issue was my saddle dipping, nothing a spanner and a strong arm can't fix.

Image
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Re: Name this Brand...

Postby morini » Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:05 pm

Salcedo98

I bet you're happy you took the time and effort, it looks great.

Bog, re the Viners. It's all water under the bridge now but in the 80's a now defunct East Coast distributor of Italian bicycle brands was selling a "take your pick" list of frames and components. In other words, dealers could choose a brand name and the level of components that suited their customers. I bought a new Viner with Falk tubing and an Ofmega groupset in 1986 and it was one of these "trade frame" bikes. I loved it, but I seriously doubt my Australian delivered one came from the Viner workshops. The U.S ones might be a different story but who'd know? Stickers don't make the bike genuine so in the end if it hasn't got pantographs and an identifying serial number who'd know who made it?
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Re: Name this Brand...

Postby rangersac » Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:19 pm

Looks great! What's the verdict on the Microshift drivetrain? I've always wondered how they perform but don't know anyone who runs them.
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Re: Name this Brand...

Postby salcedo98 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:38 pm

Gimme a week or so to put some k's into it and I'll come back.

Initial impressions, I just have to get used to the shifter paddles as I am coming from SRAM though I have used Shimano previously. The shift is loud and positive and I like the trim options on the FD. The external shifting cables are not to my taste but it's hard to argue against the price.

It's not all Microshift, I've got a few first time experiments going on here. SEQ Lite cassette, KMC chain, Yokozuna cables, Aerozine compacts....
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Re: Name this Brand...

Postby t-rav » Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:40 pm

Wow, it looks great!

Glad the post came out easily.

What did you end up doing for paint?
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Re: Name this Brand...

Postby beenoll » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:19 am

Hey that's a really tidy rebuild. Motivation for me to get back to mine I think.
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Re: Name this Brand...

Postby salcedo98 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:12 am

Ok, so I've put about ~270k on the bike now and it's been pretty good.

t-rav, several weekends ago, not long after I bought the frame from you the weather was spectacular and since I have a newborn at home I cannot currently get leave passes to go riding. I got impatient waiting for the sandblaster to call me back so I just spent a few ours on Saturday stripping the paint, then on Sunday I put 3 coats of "2X ULTRA COVER SPRAY PAINT" dark grey on the frame and forks. It's one of those primer and paint all in one deals. Given that a high end pedigree couldn't be identified for the frame, I figured on a low budget build.

I have encountered some problems.
- saddle kept tilting forward, seems to be fixed with some carbon friction paste
- the post dropped a few mm, I took out a bit more metal on the inside of the clamp bolt holders so the tube around the seat post would tighten up a bit more
- one gear kept slipping, I thought it was cable stretch or maybe it was just poor Microshift stuff but it turned out to be 3 broken teeth on the cassette, big fail for SEQlite (only ~140k on it), I won't be using them again. I also moved the rear wheel right back in the sliding dropouts.
- handlebars are too skinny for me, I will be putting wider ones on this weekend but I'll have to use an ahead converter as I don't have a wide 25.4 handlebar. It's not as aesthetically pleasing but it'll do the job and hopefully I can find a silver stem on the cheap.
- tyres are rubbish and heavy, but I knew this from the start I just had them spare at the time, new ones coming

As for the Microshift, it's been great, I can't fault it, and the new Ultegra cassette I put on has made shifting quieter and way smoother. I'd definitely buy it again, and I'm hoping a hidden gear cable version is coming. But, since the design hasn't changed for several years I doubt it's going to happen.

So apart from wider handlebars, I'm probably going to invest in some lighter wheels, combined with the new lighter tyres this should make spinning up a fair bit easier.

The bike overall has been built without too much expense and I'll definitely be keeping it for now
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Re: Name this Brand...

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:47 am

I've been meqning to say, the bloke i bought the ex team merida from has a frame with that head tube decal, branded as an "Acquario" and italian made with falck tubing. he said he's seen a few of the frames under different names but the VBRK or whatever it is logo only appears on Acquario bikes.
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
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