Kona Titanium Frame Serial Numbers - List on Page 9:

Pipmeister

Senior Retro Guru
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Re: Re:

viengsavanh":dnamb2re said:
Here,s my HeiHei number ,whats it mean?

I have been giving this some thought, and I am going to suggest that it may be a custom size frame.

Thanks to Al-onestare, we recently discovered that the Kona Hot was available in a custom size. A retailer price list Al got hold of dated Sept '93 shows an option for the Hot costing $150 for a "Custom Size". Tom Teesdale was welding the Hot at that point, and I have read that an extra letter "C" was included in his TET serial number on these Custom frames.

Perhaps your frame has an extra "G" for Geometry (change), which may have been for a Team Rider. If you measure the length of the Top Tube, from the centre of the Seat Tube to the centre of the Head Tube, it may reveal something.

Just a thought ;)

Pip
 

24pouces

BoTM Triple Crown
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Re: Re:

pipmeister":2b836eg1 said:
Yes a 16", but a 1993 would have a Canti Bridge across the Seat Stays, and different Dropouts like this:




Pip

Those are the early 92 dropouts in the same design as Mc Mahon and Sandvik.
 

Woz

Old School Grand Master
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Re: Kona Titanium Frame Serial Numbers:

From elsewhere on the web, Mongoose used 'BM' for MTB, and 'BR' for Road. DBR is....DBR.

I really believe there is not much science behind this and no fancy coding involved; just a very very basic
system to keep track of things within TST. I believe there is nothing whatsoever to do with dates.

The three digit sequential number probably had a matched card in a paper file system with some sort of a
reference to a spec. sheet (and sales contract?), punch list with welders initials, dates, then signed off with a
last QC by the foreman....so the welder could get paid and the books in order!

I think too the shells were stamped right at the start with the three digit sequential number - signifying
the start of a work piece. After last QC, the rest of the digits and prefixes were added and the tally
of how many frames actually went to Kona or whoever was updated. The dud ones going in the skip
or back in the production line for correction.

Remember, we are talking low volume bikes and the traceability requirements would be no where near as
strict as for the aircraft industry.
 

Woz

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Re: Kona Titanium Frame Serial Numbers:

I'll post this here before it disappears from the web one day (took me ages to find it again) - will be of interest to the Ti bike nerds.

https://www2.sandvik.com/sandvik/0140/i ... enDocument

"History
Sandvik Special Metals (SSM) was formed in 1966 in the Tri-Cities area of the
state of Washington in response to an Atomic Energy Commission’s
requirement to diversify the Hanford Atomic Products Facility.
The production of seamless zirconium alloy tubing for commercial nuclear power
plants began in the new plant in January 1968. In the following years SSM
managed to efficiently and effectively produce high quality zirconium tubing.
SSM tubing is used in the construction of over 100 commercial power
reactors worldwide.In the early 1980s the lower build rate of nuclear power
plants prompted SSM to start manufacturing titanium hydraulic tubing for the
aerospace industry. SSM used its knowledge gained from producing
seamless zirconium tubing for manufacturing titanium tubing. This has
resulted in the highest quality titanium tubing available. The first orders
for commercially pure titanium for U.S. navy subcontractors
and for commercial heat exchangers and condensers were produced in 1983.
Two years later SSM further diversified with the development of titanium tubing for
medical implants and dental applications, such as drill handles. Its unique
properties, such as corrosion resistance, low modulus, and high strength, make
titanium very suitable in these environments. At the same time sports products were
being developed and produced in a new plant. The first sports product to hit the market
was the Ti-shaft, the titanium golf club shaft. Over 2 million golf shafts have been
manufactured since then. The golf shaft was soon to be followed by bicycle frames
and light weight wheelchairs. ( Note the sports facility was sold in July of 1997 )"

So, prior to July 1997, it was in house Sandvik at a specific plant that later became TST.
 

Pipmeister

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Re: Kona Titanium Frame Serial Numbers:

Woz":ppa6jd56 said:
.....I really believe there is not much science behind this and no fancy coding involved; just a very very basic
system to keep track of things within TST. I believe there is nothing whatsoever to do with dates.

The three digit sequential number probably had a matched card in a paper file system with some sort of a
reference to a spec. sheet (and sales contract?), punch list with welders initials, dates, then signed off with a
last QC by the foreman....so the welder could get paid and the books in order!

I think too the shells were stamped right at the start with the three digit sequential number - signifying
the start of a work piece. After last QC, the rest of the digits and prefixes were added and the tally
of how many frames actually went to Kona or whoever was updated. The dud ones going in the skip
or back in the production line for correction.....

Thank you Woz for your continued contribution to this thread. The link to Sandvik Special Metals is very interesting.

It would appear that you and Mark have spotted something that had not occurred to me before. The 3 digit serial number does indeed appear to be stamped into the B.B. shell at a different time (or by a different operator) from the rest of the serial number. I'll just use F.R.O.'s frame, as it happens to be a good example.



As MatBH5 was suggesting earlier, it would appear that the frames were built in batches, which may give a limited sequential order over that particular batch, but overall it seems that dating a frame from the 3 digit serial number is not possible. As I have been doing this Retrobike thing for a while now, I have pretty much documented all that I need to know with regards to dating Kona frames. I would like to think that I can refer to the information that I have collated over the years in order to reliably date a Hot, even without its original paint job, or say a Hei Hei even without its original decals.

Pip.
 

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al-onestare

Kona Fan
Re: Kona Titanium Frame Serial Numbers:

Superb thread - top, top info - and I think you've cracked it: sequential numbering that I guess changed between the manufacturer changes, who applied their own sequential numbering.

It's a great example to see, and then look at how others didn't have such a logical, organised process...random example...Altitude :LOL: Although joking aside, they made the frames in batches, in 50s I reckon, and we saw sequential numbering there.
 

manitou916

Gold Trader
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pipmeister":2dtp8bju said:
Yes a 16", but a 1993 would have a Canti Bridge across the Seat Stays, and different Dropouts like this:
You are assuming that Hei Hei frames suddenly changed at the start of each year, but they gradually evolved. Hence, late 1993 frames had 1993 decals, no canti bridge, bullet dropouts and were not suspension corrected like 1994 frames. Such as my late 1993 - B18136. Pic on the front page of velocipede.co.uk

viengsavanh's BG16012 is almost certainly a late 1993 as well. The 'G' is an oddity though, never seen that before.

Nice work trying to piece this all together though. I always assumed that the frame numbering for each Hei Hei frame size started at 001 and went up, but it would appear that this isn't the case. Interesting stuff!
 

Minifreak

Old School Grand Master
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Re: Kona Titanium Frame Serial Numbers:

Quote:

Nice work trying to piece this all together though. I always assumed that the frame numbering for each Hei Hei frame size started at 001 and went up, but it would appear that this isn't the case. Interesting stuff!


I hate to ask, but can we now say that frame B17001 is most likely the first production Hei Hei frame that TST produced? ;)
 

Woodsie

Dirt Disciple
Re:

I concur with manitou916 in that my Hei Hei B17347 has bullet dropouts, no canti bridge and 93 decals.
I believe mine to be suspension corrected but I could be wrong. I do have a page from the "Kona Mountain Bikes Specifications 1993 1/2" which shows the Kilauea as having Marzocchi XC51 forks so it appears to me that they came out with suspension corrected frames sometime mid 1993 and not just for the 1994 models.
Hope that helps :)
 

al-onestare

Kona Fan
Re: Re:

Woodsie":3190qdil said:
I concur with manitou916 in that my Hei Hei B17347 has bullet dropouts, no canti bridge and 93 decals.
I believe mine to be suspension corrected but I could be wrong. I do have a page from the "Kona Mountain Bikes Specifications 1993 1/2" which shows the Kilauea as having Marzocchi XC51 forks so it appears to me that they came out with suspension corrected frames sometime mid 1993 and not just for the 1994 models.
Hope that helps :)

I'd love to see that if you're able to post a shot.
 
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