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  1. #1
    Are you with me Flash's Avatar
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    1985 Panasonic Team rebuild done (modem blaster)

    I posted questions at various times re: this project. I've been riding it for a couple of months now, finally got around to posting pictures. The frame is a 1985 Panasonic Team. The fork is original but I painted it in an attempt to match the "night blue" frame color. It was silver. Touched up the frame quite a bit as well.

    The frame was de-rusted on the inside using that cool product whose name escapes me at this moment. Then framesaver. I think the pics cover all the key components. Not period-accurate across the board, but I got what I wanted. Weight is a shade over 21 lbs. My favorite part of the bike: the original anodized Araya 20A rims.

    Notable are the Shimano 600 top mount shifters which are rarely seen in the wild. And yes, the delicate shifter internals are problematic in index mode as described by Sheldon Brown. I just use friction, which is quite smooth once you get the feel for right tension.

    The spokes are dt swiss competition, the threaded hub is a Maillard with 6 spd Shimano 14-28 freewheel. Shimano 600 crank, 39-52 rings. The bottle cages are original made in Japan, close to period-correct.

    cheers, and thanks for the help along the way










    ---------------------------------
    must...teach...lesson.

  2. #2
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Nice job, it's always nice to see a nice old bike brought back to life.

    One thing I'm curious about: why the brake hoods pointing up? I think you'll find they're very ergonomic (i.e., comfortable) in a more horizontal position. They create a nice shelf to rest your hands on if installed correctly. As they are, I see wrist pain. But to each their own; and again, nice job-

  3. #3
    Are you with me Flash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by well biked View Post
    Nice job, it's always nice to see a nice old bike brought back to life.

    One thing I'm curious about: why the brake hoods pointing up? I think you'll find they're very ergonomic (i.e., comfortable) in a more horizontal position. They create a nice shelf to rest your hands on if installed correctly. As they are, I see wrist pain. But to each their own; and again, nice job-
    thanks, and I agree on the hoods. I'm rotating the bars downward a bit with each ride and finding I like the positioning better. The hoods may eventually get moved themselves. cheers
    ---------------------------------
    must...teach...lesson.

  4. #4
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    Beautiful

    I've recently started scouring FleaBay and CL, in my area, for a similar project bike. Idle hands, as they say....

    Thanks for posting the pics. Many happy miles!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Benjamino's Avatar
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    Well done!

    I was this close to selling my NOS Tange 1 Lotus frame before I saw your post. Not anymore.

    Thanks!!

  6. #6
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Looks like you have RX100 chainrings from the early 1990's on that Shimano 600 crank. It's a nice-looking build.

    I had the same thoughts about the handlebar being rotated way too much up. If you need that to get a comfortable fit, it may be that the stem is too long (in terms for forward extension) for you.

    Looks like you're running the Shimano 105 (1050) front brake, although no clear picture of that. I've had that brakeset on a few of my bikes at various points in time, and it works well. The levers are nothing to write home about though - they work fine but the shape wasn't as comfortable for most people's hands as the updated Shimano brake hood shape that debuted in the early 1990's and is still made today (although in low quantities because of STI). I prefer the larger Tektro brake hoods myself, patterned after Campy Ergopower shape, but I have large hands.

  7. #7
    Are you with me Flash's Avatar
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    wow, thanks for all the details. Nice to know others out appreciate these Japanese bikes. I dream of the day I will acquire one of the higher end Panasonic Team bikes from the mid-80s range. See below for my comments/answers:

    Quote Originally Posted by A.Winthrop View Post
    Hi,
    .
    NICE! Love that midnight blue.
    .
    Panasonics of this period interest me because it is
    thought by many that Panasonic was the OEM for higher-end
    Centurion-branded bicycles in the mid-80s... at least
    the Shimano 600EX-equipped models ('84 Comp TA and '86-
    '89 Ironman Masters). I'm keen on Centurions.
    .
    I've got Araya 20As in both 27x1 (Comp TAs) and 700c
    ('86 Ironman x 2). I agree. Very nice wheelsets, the
    latter the better in my case because of their 600EX hubs.
    My 27x1s have Suzue hubs anodized the same bronze color
    as their rims. Nice hubs but with soft cones and poor
    water seals. All my 20As are bronze. I like yours better.
    I'm not obsessed with weight, but I'm getting there ;-) There's sort of a sweet spot for me with these bikes and it's in between 19 and 21 lbs. I always suspected the Arayas were relatively light and when I got them on the scale they turned out to be lighter than any other vintage wheels I own. They ride fabulously as well. I'm constantly on the lookout for more, espec black anodized. The night blue is such a cool color. My attempts to mix paint to match largely failed on the fork, but you need to look closely. The stock night blue looks black until you get it in the right light, then the blue pops.

    Your bronze hubs and rims must look great. Let's see some pix!
    .
    Quote Originally Posted by A.Winthrop View Post

    Good brakeset choice! You must have followed the late
    Sheldon Brown's advice regarding Shimano 105 SLR brakes
    (XX-1050)... "The best single pivot brakes ever made"
    or something to that effect.
    Yes. Another key selling point was the textured swirls on the handles. Love those. More than anything I wanted the Shimano 600 perforated levers, but the non-aero nature of these levers rules them out. I suppose I could re-engineer them to be aero levers if I really tried ;-) I took the Blaze calipers from my 1991 Bridgestone RB-2. I had planned to use NOS rx-100 calipers but the Blaze looked like a better fit from an aesthetic standpoint. rx-100 very bulky looking.

    Quote Originally Posted by A.Winthrop View Post
    .
    Nice top-mounted shifters! Never seen them in 600EX. If
    they are SL-6802, then they have the self-destructing RD
    internal mech. As Sheldon points out, the tabs break off.
    If this is the problem with your RD lever, you will soon
    find it impossible to shift friction-only too. One or
    two more broken tabs, and you'll be tearing your hair
    out trying to get the RD to shift properly.
    .
    You can find bolt-on downtube mounts for replacement
    shifters that will work with your freewheel. Among them
    are Shimano 105 SIS 6-spd (SL-1050) or the SIS 7-spd version
    (SL-1051); Shimano 600 SIS 7-spd (SL-6400) and Shimano
    SIS 7-spd Light Action (SL-A400). The 7-spd models will
    work in both indexed and friction-only modes with your
    6-spd freewheel. I've used both the SL-A400 shifter set
    and the SL-6400 set as replacments for my self-destructing
    600EX SIS 6-spd (SL-6208) shifters on two 6-spd bikes.
    Thanks for the great tips here. Always good to know of more options. The friction shifting is already exhibiting some unpredictable tensioning, so, as you say, it's a matter of time. But I have an ace-in-the-hole! I sold the original shimano levers on ebay, but was able to re-acquire them when the buyer agreed to sell them back to me! I believe they are lower end z-series or something (panasonic bike archive has the details), but they should work.

    I have to admit that I really don't like the look of the clamp-ons.

    Quote Originally Posted by A.Winthrop View Post
    .
    I agree with the other poster that your brake levers
    should be moved down to level. You may not be able to
    rotate your bars down enough to get it right. I've got
    a pair mounted too low and must bite the bullet soon and
    fix them rather than making do with them as they are.
    I'm a great procrastinator.
    yeah, me too. don't want to tape and retape...;-)

    Quote Originally Posted by A.Winthrop View Post
    .
    Interesting the Tange #2 frameset. Slightly heavier
    (2.6 oz for a 54cm c-c frame) than the Tange #1 frameset.
    My '84 Centurion Comp TAs have all-Tange #2 frames but
    my '86 Centurion Ironman frames are a "custom mix" of
    Tange #1 and #2 (downtube and chainstays Tange #2 and,
    in my large 62cm c-c size, probably Tange #2 for the
    seat tube as well). The weight difference seems trivial.
    man, you've got a lot of bikes! While I agree that the weight difference is probably trivial, that does not stop me from searching for Tange 1, Tange Prestige frames in my size. Very curious about those...

    Quote Originally Posted by A.Winthrop View Post

    How's your short-cage RD handling that 28T freewheel
    cog? That's supposed to be the biggest it will handle.
    I plucked down from eBay last year a Mavic M40 wheelset
    with Campy hubs and a Shimano 600EX 14-28T freewheel
    but I haven't tried it yet with my 600EX SIS RD. I want
    to use that freewheel on longer rides in my area, some
    of which might require that cog, four teeth more than
    most of my freewheels largest cog.
    .
    so far so good, but I don't plan on ever being in the 52/28 combo! I did a 40 mile ride the other day with 1000 ft of climbing -- nothing too strenuous on that ride -- and did not need the 28. Nice to know it is there!
    ---------------------------------
    must...teach...lesson.

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