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Asian Serial Number Guide

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Asian Serial Number Guide

Old 05-23-19, 06:48 AM
  #151  
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Originally Posted by danco View Post
Need your help in identifying this Free Spirit FS10 age, or any info that can be found.

I am trying to determined age or year of this Taiwan made "FS10" Free Spirit bicycle.
I have two numbers stamped on bottom of bottom bracket shell.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
The numbers are:
489-471370
31C1C416
I have pics but, because I am new to the site, I am not allowed to post them at this time.
However, the bike appears to be a "twin brother" of the bike pics posted by Frank Horrigan on his FS10 thread.
Thanks in advance for and answers, help, or direction that might be offered.
Thanks!Dan Oaks
Sorry, I don't recognize the number format. About the only one of Frank's photo's that is of any value is that of the crankset, which would be typical for 1980s. You can post photos to the site. They will not show up in your posts but their is a repository where members can view them.
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Old 05-24-19, 02:08 AM
  #152  
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I have this "Bridgestone" frame that I got off CL as a beater. I really wasn't concerned with the brand at the time, because of the goal. A few times I wondered if it was a Bridgestone but since there was no tubing stickers or even a model or name I figured someone just slapped some Bridgestone stickers on it for the heck of it.

The serial says J41718(or 6)2. Though it looks like some of the numbers that have been related to other Bridgestone's in this thread, when I throw in the Gregorian, Fortnight or Imperial Japanese thing then it doesn't make sense

Can anyone help me ID this frame?











Last edited by jskita; 05-24-19 at 02:15 AM.
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Old 05-29-19, 07:44 AM
  #153  
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Originally Posted by jskita View Post
I have this "Bridgestone" frame that I got off CL as a beater. I really wasn't concerned with the brand at the time, because of the goal. A few times I wondered if it was a Bridgestone but since there was no tubing stickers or even a model or name I figured someone just slapped some Bridgestone stickers on it for the heck of it.

The serial says J41718(or 6)2. Though it looks like some of the numbers that have been related to other Bridgestone's in this thread, when I throw in the Gregorian, Fortnight or Imperial Japanese thing then it doesn't make sense

Can anyone help me ID this frame?
The serial number format is consistent with Bridgestone, though it could be Bridgestone contract manufacture, as opposed to Bridgestone brand. The serial number format could also be interpreted as Miyata. Assuming it is Bridgestone, the serial number, in conjunction with the short dropouts and top tube cable tunnels, should make this mid-1984 manufacture. The lack of down tube shifter bosses suggests entry level and further evidence of this status is offered by the flat cut seat lug, steel headset and lack of finishing at the stay to dropout transition. However, I am surprised to see a forged dropout without a hanger, given the apparent era. Still, I see that it's single speed, so we shouldn't rule out the possibility that the hanger was removed and the frame repainted as part of a conversion. Given the apparent era and level, I'd assume it was designed for 27" wheels? What brand are the dropouts? What size seat post does it use? It may not help but I'd appreciate an overall picture.

Last edited by T-Mar; 05-29-19 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 06-02-19, 08:37 PM
  #154  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
The serial number format is consistent with Bridgestone, though it could be Bridgestone contract manufacture, as opposed to Bridgestone brand. The serial number format could also be interpreted as Miyata. Assuming it is Bridgestone, the serial number, in conjunction with the short dropouts and top tube cable tunnels, should make this mid-1984 manufacture. The lack of down tube shifter bosses suggests entry level and further evidence of this status is offered by the flat cut seat lug, steel headset and lack of finishing at the stay to dropout transition. However, I am surprised to see a forged dropout without a hanger, given the apparent era. Still, I see that it's single speed, so we shouldn't rule out the possibility that the hanger was removed and the frame repainted as part of a conversion. Given the apparent era and level, I'd assume it was designed for 27" wheels? What brand are the dropouts? What size seat post does it use? It may not help but I'd appreciate an overall picture.
T-Mar. The dropouts are Suntour and the seatpost is 27.2mm. The thing came with 700c on it, so as for the rims that it came with originally, I haven't the foggiest idea.


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Old 06-03-19, 10:13 AM
  #155  
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Originally Posted by jskita View Post
T-Mar. The dropouts are Suntour and the seatpost is 27.2mm. The thing came with 700c on it, so as for the rims that it came with originally, I haven't the foggiest idea.
Thank-you for the additional information and pictures. The presence of down tube water bottle bosses also support 1984 manufacture. While these and the brake cable tunnels could have been added by a previous owner, it seems unlikely given the short dropouts, which are consistent with the era. I'm not aware of SunTour having manufactured hangerless dropouts, so it would appear that the dropout hanger has been removed. However, I doubt that it ever had brazed-on shift lever bosses, given the presence of the clamp stop.

A 27.2mm post suggests an Ishiwata tubeset, as both Tange and Miyata (who drew their own butted tubes) would use a post no larger than 26.8mm useless it was Tange Prestige, in which case I would definitely expect brazed-on shift lever bosses and better overall workmanship standards. The major Ishiwata users during this era were Bianchi, Bridgestone, Fuji, Kabuki, Maruishi, Ross and Schwinn. The serial number format does not fit Bianchi, Fuji, Maruishi or Ross. Both Kabuki and Schwinn were contract manufactured by Bridgestone, so it does appear to be at least Bridgestone manufacture, if not a real Bridgestone.

A 27.2mm seat post is quite large. Ishiwata 022 used this size of post but the lack of brazed-on shift levers bosses would be atypical for an 022 frame of this era. More likely, it is seamed Ishiwata EX-F, possibly with lower grade Magny (carbon manganese) or hi-tensile forks and stays.

My leading candidate would be Bridgestone 400. The frame was an unspecified triple butted CrMo main triangle and this would be consistent with Ishiwata EX. The stays and forks were hi-tensile steel. The frame features are also consistent for a Bridgestone 400, with the exception of a derailleur hanger and dropout eyelets, which as discussed earlier, were probably removed. Even the steel headset, which is the component most likely to be OEM, is correct.

Last edited by T-Mar; 06-03-19 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 06-06-19, 09:40 AM
  #156  
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Nishiki Optima XRS

So I just would like to confirm that what Iím thinking is correct. I have a Nishiki Optima XRS, a 700c wheeled hybrid. I believe it to be a 1993 or 1994 based on component spec and various websites (know your bike and bikepedia, bicycle blue book). The frame has two serial numbers stamped on the bottom of the BB shell: F2K03288 on the drive side, and R935020176 on the non drive side. Is this a Fairley built frame, November 1992? All the Shimano date codes appear to either be 0 (or Q) and a letter, i.e., 0G (or QG) etc. If the 0 is actually a Q, then that would make better sense as the components are all Shimano 400CX or 700CX, which were only produced for a few years in the early 90ís. But the two numbers stamped into the BB shell are tripping me up. Any thoughts?

EDIT: After stumbling on T-Marís excellent Nishiki Serial Number Database post here on BF, I believe the R935020176 sn to be the correct serial number. That would therefore place it as a Derby manufactured frame, Kent Washington, on the 350th day of 1992, sequential production number of 0176. The component date codes would further support this as they were all manufactured sometime in 1992. But what is the other F2K number? Both numbers have factory paint down in them so were applied at the factory before painting. And I find it hard to believe the frame was made in the USA given the relatively low MSRP of $569 (according to bikepedia or bicycle blue book). But stranger things have happened, right?

Last edited by Smokinapankake; 06-06-19 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 06-07-19, 07:21 AM
  #157  
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Originally Posted by Smokinapankake View Post
So I just would like to confirm that what I’m thinking is correct. I have a Nishiki Optima XRS, a 700c wheeled hybrid. I believe it to be a 1993 or 1994 based on component spec and various websites (know your bike and bikepedia, bicycle blue book). The frame has two serial numbers stamped on the bottom of the BB shell: F2K03288 on the drive side, and R935020176 on the non drive side. Is this a Fairley built frame, November 1992? All the Shimano date codes appear to either be 0 (or Q) and a letter, i.e., 0G (or QG) etc. If the 0 is actually a Q, then that would make better sense as the components are all Shimano 400CX or 700CX, which were only produced for a few years in the early 90’s. But the two numbers stamped into the BB shell are tripping me up. Any thoughts?

EDIT: After stumbling on T-Mar’s excellent Nishiki Serial Number Database post here on BF, I believe the R935020176 sn to be the correct serial number. That would therefore place it as a Derby manufactured frame, Kent Washington, on the 350th day of 1992, sequential production number of 0176. The component date codes would further support this as they were all manufactured sometime in 1992. But what is the other F2K number? Both numbers have factory paint down in them so were applied at the factory before painting. And I find it hard to believe the frame was made in the USA given the relatively low MSRP of $569 (according to bikepedia or bicycle blue book). But stranger things have happened, right?
The two serial numbers suggest the bicycle was manufactured in two different facilities. This is not unknown the bicycle industry. The F-number is definitely not Fairly but the format suggests it represents November 1992. This is 2-6 weeks prior to the date of the Kent serial number. This suggests that the F-number represents the frame's contract manufacturer. Given that both numbers are under the paint, it may have shipped in a phosphated or primed finish, being painted and assembled by Derby's Kent facility.

Given the very late 1992 serial numbers, the bicycle would be a 1993 model. Shimano 400CX and 700CX components were only produced for the 1993-1995 model years, though manufacturing on the 1993 model year components would have started at least as early as mid-1992. As such they should have "Q" though "T" year codes. Typically, Shimano distinguishes between the "O" and "Q" codes by overscoring a backslash (\) though the "Q".

Last edited by T-Mar; 06-07-19 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 06-07-19, 08:10 AM
  #158  
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Thank you so much T-Mar for your vast knowledge. I suspected they were Q, not 0, and your post confirms what I was thinking, but by golly it sure looks like 0, where typically you see a slash through to identify as 0... thanks again for your help!
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Old 06-11-19, 06:01 PM
  #159  
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Regarding Australian brand "Ricardo", the serial numbers consistently seem to follow the format "LyFxxxx". Is it known if 'L' stands for a manufacturer and which one it is?
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Old 06-12-19, 08:10 AM
  #160  
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Originally Posted by guidogad View Post
Regarding Australian brand "Ricardo", the serial numbers consistently seem to follow the format "LyFxxxx". Is it known if 'L' stands for a manufacturer and which one it is?

The only company that I'm aware of who used this format was Overlord, a Taiwanese based company with factories in Taiwan and China. In Canada, Overlord products were department store level bicycles sold by Canadian Tire. If you're posting about it here, I'm assuming Ricardo were a higher level bicycle but I'm not sure if Overlord ventured beyond entry low end. It may or may not be the same company. Sorry, I can't be of more assistance.
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Old 06-18-19, 09:23 AM
  #161  
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I also see my friend's frame with 2 serial numbers under the bottom brachet. top ly90 *** below 000 ****. This number is the Kawamura serial number?
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Old 06-19-19, 07:01 AM
  #162  
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Sanz, I've never seen a Kawamura frame with that serial number format.
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Old 06-21-19, 07:40 AM
  #163  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
The two serial numbers suggest the bicycle was manufactured in two different facilities. This is not unknown the bicycle industry. The F-number is definitely not Fairly but the format suggests it represents November 1992. This is 2-6 weeks prior to the date of the Kent serial number. This suggests that the F-number represents the frame's contract manufacturer. Given that both numbers are under the paint, it may have shipped in a phosphated or primed finish, being painted and assembled by Derby's Kent facility.

Given the very late 1992 serial numbers, the bicycle would be a 1993 model. Shimano 400CX and 700CX components were only produced for the 1993-1995 model years, though manufacturing on the 1993 model year components would have started at least as early as mid-1992. As such they should have "Q" though "T" year codes. Typically, Shimano distinguishes between the "O" and "Q" codes by overscoring a backslash (\) though the "Q".
I've got a vintage MTB Amust 600 with Shimano 300LX grupset with serial number F0L. On the decals produced by Nishiki is it true?
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Old 06-21-19, 09:07 AM
  #164  
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xmoksax, welcome to the forums. I'm not familiar with the Amust brand but Shimano Exage 300LX was a short lived group that would place it 1991-1992. The serial number may represent December 1990, which would be consistent with a 1991 model. Your paint scheme, with a fade from blue to yellow, was also popular during this period.

Nishiki was not a bicycle manufacturer but a bicycle brand. The rights to the brand were held by various companies and could vary from country to country. "Produced by Nishiki" is ambiguous and could be interpreted several ways. It could mean that the brand was owned by the same company that owned Nishiki. It could also mean that the owner of the Amust brand contracted the owners of the Nishiki brand to have the bicycle manufactured via one of their suppliers. Marketing people tend to push the boundary on labels like these, in an attempt to sell more bicycles. Putting a recognizable brand name like Nishiki on a minor or new brand would help to stimulate sales.

Certainly, the serial number format is consistent with that of one of the known contract manufacturers of the Nishiki brand during this era, so there is a connection, though I can't define the exact nature of the connection. In late 1988, Derby bought West Coast Cycle, the company that owned the rights to the Nishiki brand in the USA. I don't know how many non-USA rights Derby had acquired by the 1991 model year. Can I ask the country of your location? It might provide a clue to the nature of the "Nishiki" connection.
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Old 06-21-19, 10:47 PM
  #165  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Sanz, I've never seen a Kawamura frame with that serial number format.
I just guessed it. can you help me this serial tmar?
with 2 serial numbers under the bottom brachet. Left ly90 *** right 000 ****.
writing the direction of circular bottom brachet

Last edited by Sanz; 06-21-19 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 06-22-19, 04:26 AM
  #166  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
xmoksax, welcome to the forums. I'm not familiar with the Amust brand but Shimano Exage 300LX was a short lived group that would place it 1991-1992. The serial number may represent December 1990, which would be consistent with a 1991 model. Your paint scheme, with a fade from blue to yellow, was also popular during this period.

Nishiki was not a bicycle manufacturer but a bicycle brand. The rights to the brand were held by various companies and could vary from country to country. "Produced by Nishiki" is ambiguous and could be interpreted several ways. It could mean that the brand was owned by the same company that owned Nishiki. It could also mean that the owner of the Amust brand contracted the owners of the Nishiki brand to have the bicycle manufactured via one of their suppliers. Marketing people tend to push the boundary on labels like these, in an attempt to sell more bicycles. Putting a recognizable brand name like Nishiki on a minor or new brand would help to stimulate sales.

Certainly, the serial number format is consistent with that of one of the known contract manufacturers of the Nishiki brand during this era, so there is a connection, though I can't define the exact nature of the connection. In late 1988, Derby bought West Coast Cycle, the company that owned the rights to the Nishiki brand in the USA. I don't know how many non-USA rights Derby had acquired by the 1991 model year. Can I ask the country of your location? It might provide a clue to the nature of the "Nishiki" connection.
I'm in Indonesia, I got this bike on a thrift store. There is a sticker from Japanese authorities. The Amust 600 spec's are vertical DO with a handpump placement. And it's true the colour fade purple yellow. Sorry I can't attach images of my bike, I'm new in bike forums 😁
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Old 06-25-19, 08:47 AM
  #167  
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Originally Posted by xmoksax View Post
I'm in Indonesia, I got this bike on a thrift store. There is a sticker from Japanese authorities. The Amust 600 spec's are vertical DO with a handpump placement. And it's true the colour fade purple yellow. Sorry I can't attach images of my bike, I'm new in bike forums 😁
I had a feeling that it might be Asian market. Japanese rights to the Nishiki brand were controlled by Kawamura, so maybe it was another Kawamura brand or designed by Kawamura for another company. However, it doesn't appear to have been manufactured by Kawamura given the F0L-prefix of the serial number, unless they changed their format for the 1990s. Still, based on the components, I'm quite confident that the serial number represents December 1990 and therefore a 1991 model. There's no need to apologize, I was able to find you pictures.


Last edited by T-Mar; 06-25-19 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 06-25-19, 09:17 AM
  #168  
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Originally Posted by Sanz View Post
I just guessed it. can you help me this serial tmar?
with 2 serial numbers under the bottom brachet. Left ly90 *** right 000 ****.
writing the direction of circular bottom brachet
Sorry, I don't recognize the format.
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Old 07-13-19, 04:29 PM
  #169  
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Picked up a Bridgestone Radac Thursday, I believe it's a '90 Radac 2100 based on the component dates (Shimano N) and the component group match to the '90 catalog.
But, what's up with the frame number? 9X60116 doesn't match anything I've found.
It seems like the start could be a "yF" for end of '89 build. But after that, it's a 57cm not a 60, so any meaning is off.
Even stranger, why would Bridgestone use a non-standard numbering system? Could they have been contracting them?

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Old 07-13-19, 04:44 PM
  #170  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
My leading candidate would be Bridgestone 400. The frame was an unspecified triple butted CrMo main triangle and this would be consistent with Ishiwata EX. The stays and forks were hi-tensile steel. The frame features are also consistent for a Bridgestone 400, with the exception of a derailleur hanger and dropout eyelets, which as discussed earlier, were probably removed. Even the steel headset, which is the component most likely to be OEM, is correct.
T-Mar - thank you for the analysis. Upon more careful scrutiny, I believe the derailleur hanger was removed as you suggested. That particular side is not and nicely shaped as the other.

Thanks Again!
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