Thursday, August 6, 2009

The New Ride

I haven't had time to work on my new acquisition yet, but my son really wanted to go for a ride. I figured this would be a good opportunity to figure out what works and can stay on the bike and what has to go. After a short ride full of squeaks and other annoying sounds I realized just how much work is to be done.

The bike looks nice from a distance. You cant make out all the scratches and paint chips. That stuff doesn't bother me too much. This is nearly a thirty year old bike.

I didn't realize that the rear wheel has forty spokes. I figured this out when trying to remove that ugly yellow spoke protector. That thing was practically crumbling in my hands. When I removed the rear wheel and skewer I realised that I needed a two notch Suntour freewheel removal tool which I don't have.

It looks like the rack was original equipment on this bike. It is surprisingly sturdy despite the fact that it doesn't bolt to the seat stays.

I wanted to get rid of the stupid front reflector, but I'll have to buy another cable hanger.

People must have been really skinny in the mid 80's as every set of road bars I've ever tried from the era seem to be extremely narrow. This is a 58cm bike but the bars would be right at home on a 49cm girls bike.

For alpine gearing.

I like the feel of these shifters.

From the 1979 Takara catalog. I guess she's about fifty years old now.
Photo borrowed from jonmilesnyc.


  1. That looks like a "half step & granny" front setup. That 40 spoke rear wheel will be perfect if you decide to carry heavy loads with the bike.

    I think the narrow handlebars is more of a Japanese thing. My wife's Nishiki has narrow bars, while my own contemporary French bike doesn't. Frankenbike, with Cinelli bars, also doesn't have narrow bars.

  2. I have the two-notch Suntour tool. Maybe this weekend I can get it to you. We can set something up.

  3. Is the rack a Blackburn? I have a Blackburn I bought in 1984 that looks just like it. And attaching to the rear brake bolt was pretty standard back the day.

  4. Steve A-Now that you mentioned it, most of the old bikes I've ridden were Japanese. Interesting.

    Doohickie-Thanks, that would be great!

    The rack is some generic Chinese model. It's not bad looking and is fairly sturdy. I'll probably leave it on for a while, although the two rear stays angle inward. I hope they don't cause problems when I mount a rear fender.

  5. Those shifters are actually pretty cool. The "Symmetric" nomenclature refers to the automatic front derailleur trim mechanism built into them

    As you shift the rear shifter, a cam inside the shifter housing moves the shifters forward or backward, adding or subtracting tension on the front derailleur cable.

    As the chain moves toward the wheel, tension to the front derailleur lessens, and the derailleur moves toward the frame. As the chain is moved away from the rim, the front cable tension increases and moves the derailleur outboard.

    This prevents the chain from rubbing on the inside of the derailleur cage, and precludes the rider from having to trim the front derailleur adjustment.

    Pretty cool, actually, and found mostly on Japanese touring frames of higher quality.

  6. It looks like a fine machine. Great photos.

  7. The first sentence in the third paragraph should read "As the chain moves up the cogstack, on the rear, toward the wheel, etc...."

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  9. I'm gonna measure the bar width of my "old Japanese" versus "old European" bikes...