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Old 06-16-07, 03:29 PM   #1
Kommisar89
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Somebody once loved it...Panasonic PT-3500

...I had to take it home. I was on my way to the plumbing supply house this morning to pick up a part for the sprinkler system when I passed this pawn shop with a drop-bar bike sitting outside. I stopped to look and it was a late '80's Panasonic PT-3500 touring model. It appears to be in excellent condition - the chain is rusty and the tires flat but otherwise everything seems to be there, paint and decals are good. Frame is lugged, double-butted Tange 1000 CrMo with Mangaloy fork, Shimano Deore group, triple crank, cantilever brakes. Has a nice Blackburn rack and a Brooks saddle. Like most Japanese bikes it's a bit aesthetically challenged but it seems like a nice mid-range touring rig of the period and it's just my size. Cost me $30.

And...seat post and stem are NOT stuck and it's 6-speed index shifting. Didn't know there was such a thing. Frame spacing is 126mm. Serial number is 8C04545 so it appears to be an '88 model.


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Old 06-16-07, 03:43 PM   #2
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A steal...

I went to my fave Thrift this morning I got nothin"...
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Old 06-16-07, 04:15 PM   #3
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I sold that exact bike on ebay for $300+. Mine was blue. Nice score!
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Old 06-16-07, 04:50 PM   #4
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A little chain lube, some oil, dumped the plastic toe clips, adjusted the seat and stem, and pumped up the tires and it was ready for a ride around the block. Shifting and braking are excellent. Steering is rather heavy like my Pug UO8. I think it's the cheap, heavy 27x1 1/4 tires. I'm not real fond of that but it needs tires anyway. The ones on it are cracked at the sidewalls. The biopace chain rings are kinda weird but I guess they're ok.
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Old 06-16-07, 07:36 PM   #5
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Nice!! It probably never saw enough use for the seat to be laced. It looks too clean to have been used for actual touring. Damn, why can't I find something that cool. Crockett would be jealous of the paint scheme.,,,,BD
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Old 06-16-07, 09:00 PM   #6
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More pics... http://s195.photobucket.com/albums/z77/Kommisar89/
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Old 06-17-07, 03:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kommisar89
The biopace chain rings are kinda weird but I guess they're ok.
Should you decide you can't live with the Biopace rings let me know, as I have a couple of sets of Shimano 50, 40, and 30 rings that'll fit that crank.
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Old 06-17-07, 05:30 AM   #8
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FWIW, I changed my old 27" wheel bike over to 700c, and it was as easy as putting the new (used) wheels on. The canti brakes required only a slight adjustment to get the pads centered on the rim. I've also got 9 speeds with friction shifting with only minor adjustments to the rear derailleur. It handles a lot better on 700c wheels.

That looks like a great commuter bike for $30.

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Old 06-17-07, 06:17 AM   #9
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The rack or the saddle are worth them 30 beans alone, nice score.
A set of Randonneur bars, some bar-cons, replace the rusty chain and it'll be a nice ride....
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Old 06-17-07, 07:14 AM   #10
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How can it handle "a lot better" on 700's? What's the difference in diameter between 700 and 27"? Like 4mm or something?,,,,BD
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Old 06-17-07, 08:36 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bikedued
Nice!! It probably never saw enough use for the seat to be laced. It looks too clean to have been used for actual touring. Damn, why can't I find something that cool. Crockett would be jealous of the paint scheme.,,,,BD


Now THAT's a Crockett paint job...

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Old 06-17-07, 09:48 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bikedued
How can it handle "a lot better" on 700's? What's the difference in diameter between 700 and 27"? Like 4mm or something?,,,,BD
You know it's a burning question - I have 3 bikes with 700cx23 tires and they handle like sports cars. I have two with 27x1 1/4 tires and they handle heavy and sluggish. My theory is that it doesn't really have anything to do with 27 vs 700c but rather with the narrow, lightweight, high pressure Vredstein Fortessas or tubulars that are on my 700C bikes vs the cheap, wide, heavy, low pressure tires on the 27's. IF the 27's were narrow enough that I could successfully mount those sweet 7/8" 27's they're selling at Harris Cyclery then I suspect you wouldn't see a difference but both bikes with 27's have fairly wide rims too. Fixing that would mean a rim swap and if I were to go through that trouble I'd probably go with the 700C for better selection.

That's one thing that will be far easier with this Panasonic. I'm not a "collector" per se of Japanese bikes so I won't be as concerned with keeping it original as I am with my Bottecchia. Fear not, I wouldn't want to completely change the character of the bike but if I'm goona use it regularly as a commuter/touring bike it may end up with a Nitto bar, Honjo fenders, 700C wheels and a 9-spd Shimano drivetrain.
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Old 06-17-07, 10:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by beakgeek
Nice find. The seven is the second digit in the year and the D is the month. A = January.....D = April.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Mar
Why take it apart when you don't have to? All the Shimano parts should have two digit date codes. Like on the back of the rear derailleur parallelogram or the back of the front derailleur cage. If it's 1986 the code will start with K. L is 1987, M is 1988 etc. Work forward or back from these, as applicable.
So according to our esteemed fellow forum dwellers, the 8C04545 serial number would indicate a manufacture date of 03/88 and as I do see L's on the Shimano components which would indicate '87, I'll go with the early 1988 date for the bike. That seems reasonable with the indexed shifting and biopace chainrings though I was a bit surprised they were still using the non-aero brake levers with gum hoods that late. That, along with the cotton bar tape and 27" wheels made me think early '80's but that just shows you how little I know (but at least I can do a little research ).

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Old 06-17-07, 10:31 AM   #14
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How can it handle "a lot better" on 700's? What's the difference in diameter between 700 and 27"? Like 4mm or something?,,,,BD
The percieved difference in handling is likely due to weight difference, then tire pressures and of course availablity of better handling tires.
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Old 06-18-07, 11:58 PM   #15
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So I bought some of those Forte 27x1" tires (http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=5420) from Performance today for $10. I only rode around in a circle in front of the house so I can't say how they really ride yet but the percieved handling was much improved. Interestingly (and I know Sheldon Brown has pointed out this discrepancy before) the 27x1" tires are really 22mm wide according to my micrometer! That's actually a 7/8" tire. Not that I'm complaining as I was looking for a narrow tire but that is a huge difference from 25.4mm that they should nominally be.
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