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z-man99

Nickle Era Redline Questions

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My first race bike was a squareback I bought from a guy who posted a classified ad in 1981. At the time I had no idea I bought a 5 year old frame. After following the old school scene for years now I feel like I'm still ignorant on this early era for Redline. If you can post an ad or catalog scan or just drop some facts I'd appreciate it.

Three questions
#1-what's with the serial numbers? I remember a few years back someone thought that they had unlocked the code, at least for the early ones. I notice guys labeling some squarebacks 76 and others 77. Here are two of mine, a squareback and a gussetted mxII:
76squareback1.jpg
77redline3.jpg
What numbers go with what year? I don't even know what set of numbers I should be reading on the second bike...


#2- When did Redline start selling bars? I always assumed the really deep v version were the earliest. Around 1977? I ran across the first set of bars on a Roger Decoster that also had some nickle forks. No stamp on these. The second set of bars are nickel plated and have the Redline stamp, but the V is more gentle like the later bars. I assumed these came later, but the earliest Redline ad I found introducing the bars had the flatter crossbar pictured. blink.gif
redlinedeepvbars1.jpg
IMG_4556.jpg


#3: Which forks are the earliest? Both sets are nickle plated, not drilled for brakes. All the 75-76 papers and magazines show the shorter fork legs. The first photo I found of the long legs is from 77. Or are the long legs even older than 75? My squareback came with the short legs, but I don't know its history before 1981, FWITW.
redlineforks2.jpg
redlineforks1.jpg
76squareback2.jpg


Tags: Redline v bars, redline nickel

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I've been looking at oval stamp red-line vbars. During my search... I've come to the tentative conclusion that there were first the Nickel bars and I believe those were unknurled and unstamped. Then came the oval stamp with double band knurling. Then the other more linear style of stamp... then the stu bars. Your evidence already contradicts this to a degree.

 

I hope some Redline expert can set the record straight and will hopefully be able to add more specific dates. Later when I have time I will look for the pics I have to illustrate this.

 

 

I love this Advertisement. Really good. I'm pretty sure this would be what I'm searching for - a chromoly oval stamp with double gnurling. Can't see those details, but I think that's what it would have been in 79 when this ad rad in BMXA.

RedlineBarsAdA9g79bmxa.jpg

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My nickel plated Vbars are unknurled and no stamp.

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The fork with the longer "Maico" fork legs is the earliest one

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Pretty sure the V-Bars were first advertised for sale by Redline in December 1977. Someone else may have more exact details...

A couple early ads:

nov82bars.jpg
dec77bmxa1.jpg

One of my pairs with the oval stamp:

DSC08079.jpg
DSC08080.jpg


Tags: Redline nickel, Redline v-bar, Redline forks

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great useful shots in this thread. :bravo:

 

 

alas, mostly off site hosted... :bored:

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These were widened back in 81 by my dad.

I had them powdered for my build and to protect them. They were pretty sad before powder.

Resize_of_2009_09_20_002.JPG

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Thanks for the posts, guys. These are helpful.

 

So do the long leg forks pre-date most all Redline frames? I know that was their first bmx product.

 

And just to clarify on the bars, I should be looking for knurling and logo stamps, not the shape of the v-bar?

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Based on interviews with Linn Kastan, it would seem the very first versions with the extra long fork legs (which he said were patterned after the look of Maico Motorcycle forks) would have preceded any frames.

 

Not quite sure if the oval stamp appeared on the first version of V-Bars... I researched but couldn't confirm for sure. Someone else around here should know.

 

Reposting these two ads using the onsite hosting as per SB's suggestion.

dec77bmxa1.jpg

nov82bars.jpg

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Thanks for mounting the photos here Pete.

 

 

Sorry fellas, meant to add this earlier but got caught up in busyness. I am pretty sure I posted this earlier this past summer though.

 

 

from the June 1975 issue of Minicycle BMXaction

RedlineFork_MinicycleActionJune1975_1.jpgRedlineForks_MinicycleAction_June1975_2.jpg

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Man... I've been casually looking into the v-bar timeline. There seems to be a considerable variation.

 

We really need someone to drop science and set the record straight. G-Ryde... are you "the one"? Somebody knows... Marcos? Carbiz? We need a definitive breakdown of dates and differences.

 

Anybody tight with Lin Kastan?

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My first race bike was a squareback I bought from a guy who posted a classified ad in 1981. At the time I had no idea I bought a 5 year old frame. After following the old school scene for years now I feel like I'm still ignorant on this early era for Redline. If you can post an ad or catalog scan or just drop some facts I'd appreciate it.

 

Three questions

#1-what's with the serial numbers? I remember a few years back someone thought that they had unlocked the code, at least for the early ones. I notice guys labeling some squarebacks 76 and others 77. Here are two of mine, a squareback and a gussetted mxII:

76squareback1.jpg

77redline3.jpg

What numbers go with what year? I don't even know what set of numbers I should be reading on the second bike...

 

 

#2- When did Redline start selling bars? I always assumed the really deep v version were the earliest. Around 1977? I ran across the first set of bars on a Roger Decoster that also had some nickle forks. No stamp on these. The second set of bars are nickel plated and have the Redline stamp, but the V is more gentle like the later bars. I assumed these came later, but the earliest Redline ad I found introducing the bars had the flatter crossbar pictured. :blink:

redlinedeepvbars1.jpg

IMG_4556.jpg

 

 

#3: Which forks are the earliest? Both sets are nickle plated, not drilled for brakes. All the 75-76 papers and magazines show the shorter fork legs. The first photo I found of the long legs is from 77. Or are the long legs even older than 75? My squareback came with the short legs, but I don't know its history before 1981, FWITW.

redlineforks2.jpg

redlineforks1.jpg

76squareback2.jpg

 

 

Tags: Redline v bars, redline nickel

 

 

Your Squareback is a 76, 4529 is a late 76 number. The largest number I have seen on a Squareback was 5200?

 

Your MX II, 10539 is an early 78, I am curious though if yours has one bend or two bends in the seat stays. The 77's had one bend and the 78-79's had two bends but I haven't been able to narrow down exactly when the switch took place. I'm not sure if it was in late 77 when they moved to Chatsworth or in early 78.

 

The long leg forks are 74-75 and the shorter leg forks are 76-79 the later 78-79 were factory drilled and the early ones were not drilled.

 

I haven't done a lot of research on the V-Bars though, I do know the nickel ones are the earlier and they didn't start knurling them til around 79 or 80 and I don't think they started stamping them til around 80

 

I have done a lot of research and read several interviews with Linn Kastan and there is a few variations in them depending on which one you read, but with all the research I have done and interviews I read, I narrowed down the years by the following.

 

He started making forks in early 74 and started making frames by Nov 74

 

Serial numbers are as follows based on all the info I gathered and bikes and frames I have seen.

 

101 to around 250 is a "74"

 

251ish to around 700ish is a "75"

 

700ish to around 5200ish is a "76"

 

5200ish to around 10,000ish is a "77"

 

10,000ish to around 19,000ish is a "78"

 

19,000ish to around 24,000ish is an early "79"

 

Mid 79 the serial numbers switched to the six digits (3xxxxx) and the ones starting with an "R" is Japan made.

 

The five digits around 30,000 were made in Australia and the second generation MX II's with no serial numbers were also made in Australia.

 

According to info I have read, Linn still has his records that shows exactly what serial number started each year but it has not been reveled.

 

I had come across Linn's email address a while back and he did reply to a question I sent him. I didn't want to bother him again but if I was only smarter at the time I would have offered to pay him for this info, it would have been money well spent and would have finally confirmed how to determine the exact years of the early Redlines.

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Some other info I gathered,

 

There were 637 first gen "74-75" Square backs built.

 

37 Mono shock Redlines built in 1975

 

3 loop tail Redlines built in 1974

 

and approximately 4000-4500 second gen "76" Squarebacks built.

 

Also bikes with serial number larger than around 7800ish-8200ish had the vertical head tube decal. I believe these to be the bikes made after the move to Chatsworth which happened in the later half of 77. This is based on serial number 77xx that I seen with original horizontal head tube decal on line and serial number 82xx that I seen on line with an original vertical decal. I have a Proline with serial number 8400 and it has the original vertical decal.

 

Another thing that I seen in Linn's interviews that is confusing is in one interview he says they designed the Proline in March 78 but in two other interviews he said they started designing it in March 77 and it was available later in that year which I believe to be the accurate time line since I have seen a few early Prolines with the horizontal decal and I own serial number 8400 which would not have been built in 78 since he had already built 10500 frames by March 78 and he stated they started with serial number 100 and kept them conceutive.

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nice... thanks very much. Those are stirring insights.


I would just add one observation about the V-bars. While the first nickel bars seem to have been unstamped and "maybe" later stamped... I have noticed that there are two different types of knurling on chrome bars. One has two relatively thin bands spaced widely. Another type of knurling also has two bands but they are wider in breadth and maybe etched deeper, giving them the appearance at least of being spaced closer.

I am not sure of a date on the latter type... but the former, which I post pics of first here below was out in 1978. By the end of the year it was advertised and showed up in product profiles. These are both from BMXA, Dec. 1978. The left is from an Everything Bicycles Ad and the right is from the year end equipment guide. Micro-lines are listed as 23 inches wide and Pro at 26 wide.

Redline.Vbar.EveryThingBicyclesAd.Dec78.bmxa.jpgRedline.Vbar.buyerguide.Dec78.bmxa.jpg

Redline.Vbars.jpgRedline.Vbars.knurl.png
Redline.Vbars.Stamp.jpg


Here's another style. These were described as 1982 bars, but I can't vouch for that. I'll look for ads or other such evidence in magazines.
This is the style with the wide knurling. It has an oval stamp and were described as 28 or 28.5 wide. Note the stamp is a little different... it has lines above and below the word Redline.
Redline.Vbar.WideKnurl.28.jpgRedline.Vbar.WideKnurl.28.Dtl.jpgRedline.Vbar.WideKnurl.28.Stamp.jpg

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Great info Ken and Steve. Steve, your dec. '78 ad seems to be showing the deep v crossbar like on my set, except mine don't have any knurling and the ones in your picture do. Seems possible the first sets were nickel, no stamp, no knurl, deep "v". Then knurling was added by '78, stamping and knurling added to a gentler "v" by '79, then nickel eliminated sometime in the same year.

 

Ken, thanks for the serial number info. Here's another shot of my 77-78 MXII. It's currently without a finish, but there's a little bit of red paint remaining in the BB shell. When I bought it, it was mated with the long leg forks, but based on the consensus here it would be a better match with the short leg forks.

 

77redline2.jpg

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I have a set of chrome, un-stamped, un-knurled Microline bars that came off a survivor (unused) 1979 MX-II that also had an early Redline double-clamp stem and capped nickel forks. The forks, to my surprise are factory drilled. I think the bike was built with a mix of parts the shop had at the time. I think the parts cross periods.

 

I'm curious, are those stamped nickel bars even plated any more? They almost look like raw steel. Might they have been chrome plated or even painted with the finish removed? Raw steel that has been sanded with fine-grip paper looks kinda like those do.

 

Redline_10.jpg

Redline_11.jpg

Redline_04.jpg

Redline_MX_II_08.jpg

Redline_07.jpg

Redline_08.jpg

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Hmmm....

 

Here is an image of two Redline forks. The one on the bottom came on my Webco. It was a single gusset bike and was purchased in the spring of 1975. I broke the bike over the summer and purchased my Mongoose in September of 1975. I have documented the purchase date of the Mongoose. You can see that my fork is not the earliest style and is almost identical to the chrome drilled fork with the caps. This doesn't seem to match the fork timeline being an early 1975 model.

 

IMG_4495.jpg

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Hmmm....

 

Here is an image of two Redline forks. The one on the bottom came on my Webco. It was a single gusset bike and was purchased in the spring of 1975. I broke the bike over the summer and purchased my Mongoose in September of 1975. I have documented the purchase date of the Mongoose. You can see that my fork is not the earliest style and is almost identical to the chrome drilled fork with the caps. This doesn't seem to match the fork timeline being an early 1975 model.

 

IMG_4495.jpg

 

I am wondering about the long leg forks in Z-man's photo. I just looked at the ones on my 74 and mine are not as long as them, they actually look like yours. All the long leg Redline forks I seen only hung down about 3/8" below the drop out and the ones in the photo look to hang down over a 1/2" I'm wondering if these were early 74's or possibly not Redline at all, there were a lot of copies out there. ???

Edited by KenC

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PlanetX-the stamped bars are indeed plated. Since my pics I used a dollop of polish. The nickel is actually quite nice under that tarnish.

 

KenC- I took another look at the long leg forks. The legs hang down about 3/4 inch on them. I don't know enough to say where that places them on the timeline, but I'm sure beyond a reasonable doubt that they are made by the same company as my other two Redline forks. The bend, shape and dropouts are identical. The weld quality is the same or better than the other two. The finish shows some patina on close inspection, so someone would have to go through some serious time and expense 30-40 years ago to fake the funk with these.

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here is one i got at a yard sale many years back (don't have it anymore, think someone here does) was told it was a '76 at the time, never could tell if that was supposed to be a '1' at the end of the serial number. Also told that those were the correct original forks.

 

100_1466.jpg

100_1465.jpg

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bumping this as a project reminder to myself

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Nice bump

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I may as well add one of my old Red Lines into the mix. This is my old 75, serial number 800. Believed to be one of the last of that year. I sold it a while back to a RL collector.

C80C7745-F882-46B7-AC96-507B29B79366.jpeg

3B0C4D42-BB48-4527-B7F6-C8E682CA64F6.jpeg

B235D2FC-0E03-42B4-9033-93330E20972F.jpeg

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