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  1. #1
    Senior Member PatLuc's Avatar
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    Takara Deluxe Touring 12spd

    Hello everyone. Well, much to the dislike of the wife I picked up another thrift bike today! :-) A Takara "Deluxe Touring" 12spd. It's in almost perfect condition. Really nice blue paint with a cool headset tag and neat pinstriping around the lugs. Alloy rims, perfect tires, no seat tears, etc. Only thing rough is the bar tape. The components are Shimano Altus, so they don't do much for me. Nice things are the Dia-Compe drop forged stem and the Nikko alloy bars. Alloy chainrings too. Brakes are Shimano 500. I think this will make a really nice road bike. Nothing exotic, but a nice mid level bike. Seat is date coded "81", and that looks like the right era. Swap on some better derailleurs and new bar tape and I think this will be a good workhorse.

    Anyone ever have/see one of these? I've found little info on the net.

    Take care, and thanks ahead for the input. You folks are great to keep entertaining my old bike habit!
    Pat
    1993 Specialized Globe 7 - main commuter, love this bike!!!
    1965-ish Firestone 3spd hunk of misc parts - winter beater
    1971 Jeunet - single speed French monstrosity
    1973 John Deere 3spd - family ride

    Virginia Tech Hokie for life!

  2. #2
    SLJ 6/8/65-5/2/07 Walter's Avatar
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    Lower line bike boom. From the mid-70s thru early 80s bikes like this were pretty common. LBS sold dozens of them for every high line model. Their primary function was to compete with Schwinn "Varsinentals" and compared to the Schwinns they were indeed "lightweight."

    Good solid bike. Not a fan of stem shifters or "safety" levers but the levers can be removed and barcons are readily available. You've already got alloy rims/bars so you'll end up with a bike comparable to my Motobecane Nomade which I bought in 1977. I'm sure I put more miles on that bike than I have on probably all the other (more expensive and lighter) bikes I've owned since.
    “Life is not one damned thing after another. Life is one damned thing over and over.”
    Edna St. Vincent Millay

  3. #3
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    Just got a Takara frame and fork over e-bay. Also purchased a very used B5N Brooks with post, and a cowhorn bar and stem to go along with making it into a fixed. Impressed with the quality of the frame, and sans forks, it seems surprisingly light. None of my stems fit-they are all 22.2 mm. One of the five quills goes into the steerer tube, and into the steerer locknut, but none of the stems will sink in. Guess it is a 22 mm. Sheldon Brown says a 22.2 stem can be made to fit by sandpapering down-it only has to be reduced by .1 mm, so I guess it is possible. Your frame looks newer than the one I just got. I am also considering putting a lighter fork on it and seeing if it can be a real sleeper with a narrow single crank and pedal set. Good Luck!

  4. #4
    Senior Member PatLuc's Avatar
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    Thanks Barnaby. I like the quality too. I know it's not much when compared to modern bikes, but to be able to find a bike with alloy rims, alloy stem and bars, and 3-piece cranks is a find for $10.00. Especially if everything works. So many cheap thrift bikes are bike-boom department store stuff with crappy everything.

    The only thing I don't like on this bike is the deraileur components. They are all steel low end Shimano. It's funny how bikes are equipped. The '78 Kabuki I picked up recently has better deraileurs (alloy Suntour), but lesser rims and bars. It's interesting where different mfg's decided to put the $$$.

    That's weird about your stem. I'm pretty sure mine is 22.2. Only the French would go odd with that 22.0 deal. That's why I like this bike - everything is "standard" when compared to the French Jeunet I recently did. Upgrades are tough to come by for the Frencher's.

    Remove the lock deal on the end of the stem and try it. Lube it good first. Maybe there is some rust scale or something in the forks? Run some sand paper around in there a few times.

    When you complete your bike, update the forum.

    Good luck as well.
    Pat
    1993 Specialized Globe 7 - main commuter, love this bike!!!
    1965-ish Firestone 3spd hunk of misc parts - winter beater
    1971 Jeunet - single speed French monstrosity
    1973 John Deere 3spd - family ride

    Virginia Tech Hokie for life!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatLuc
    Thanks Barnaby. I like the quality too. I know it's not much when compared to modern bikes, but to be able to find a bike with alloy rims, alloy stem and bars, and 3-piece cranks is a find for $10.00. Especially if everything works. So many cheap thrift bikes are bike-boom department store stuff with crappy everything.

    The only thing I don't like on this bike is the deraileur components. They are all steel low end Shimano. It's funny how bikes are equipped. The '78 Kabuki I picked up recently has better deraileurs (alloy Suntour), but lesser rims and bars. It's interesting where different mfg's decided to put the $$$.

    That's weird about your stem. I'm pretty sure mine is 22.2. Only the French would go odd with that 22.0 deal. That's why I like this bike - everything is "standard" when compared to the French Jeunet I recently did. Upgrades are tough to come by for the Frencher's.

    Remove the lock deal on the end of the stem and try it. Lube it good first. Maybe there is some rust scale or something in the forks? Run some sand paper around in there a few times.

    When you complete your bike, update the forum.

    Good luck as well.
    Pat
    Hello All,

    I'm a first-timer here, although i've been "lurking" for some time. Anyway, I bought a Takara "Super 12" touring bike off of eBay several months ago. I'm very tall (6' 9"), and the frame on the bike was a righteous 27" from center BB to top of seat tube. It had (and still has) a Suntour "7" derailleur group, with alloy wheels.

    The crankset was a Suntour alloy with odd-ball/bcd steel rings. I swapped out the crankset with a Sugino Alps all-alloy, put a different chain, freewheel, seat/post, stem, and Richie handlebar on it. I replaced the stem shifters with a set of Sutour "Power Ratchet" downtube clamp-ons. I had to grease everything, and retained the three-piece bottom bracket after new bearings, etc. Voila, a sweet ride. It's become my favorite bike, not so much because it fits well (it does), but because of the way it rides.

    Now, the reason for my post...my bike takes a 21.1 (.833) stem. It took me a while to sort that out. That's the same size as BMX bikes and department store cheapies. All of those stems are solid steel and heavy, but they fit. My Takara is better quality than that. I was looking for an alloy stem with more extension, to replace the original alloy stem. I searched the internet for a better-quality 21.1 stem, and came up short. I finally had to laboriously file down and sand a 22.2 Specialized stem that I had on hand, and it's now a perfect fit.

    Hope this helps someone...I really like the bike!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heavy Rider
    Hello All,

    I'm a first-timer here, although i've been "lurking" for some time. Anyway, I bought a Takara "Super 12" touring bike off of eBay several months ago. I'm very tall (6' 9"), and the frame on the bike was a righteous 27" from center BB to top of seat tube. It had (and still has) a Suntour "7" derailleur group, with alloy wheels.

    The crankset was a Suntour alloy with odd-ball/bcd steel rings. I swapped out the crankset with a Sugino Alps all-alloy, put a different chain, freewheel, seat/post, stem, and Richie handlebar on it. I replaced the stem shifters with a set of Sutour "Power Ratchet" downtube clamp-ons. I had to grease everything, and retained the three-piece bottom bracket after new bearings, etc. Voila, a sweet ride. It's become my favorite bike, not so much because it fits well (it does), but because of the way it rides.

    Now, the reason for my post...my bike takes a 21.1 (.833) stem. It took me a while to sort that out. That's the same size as BMX bikes and department store cheapies. All of those stems are solid steel and heavy, but they fit. My Takara is better quality than that. I was looking for an alloy stem with more extension, to replace the original alloy stem. I searched the internet for a better-quality 21.1 stem, and came up short. I finally had to laboriously file down and sand a 22.2 Specialized stem that I had on hand, and it's now a perfect fit.

    Hope this helps someone...I really like the bike!
    Thanks for that reference to the stem thing, Heavy Rider. After posting and remeasuring with a metal tape, I came out with a figure of 20 mm or so, until I bought a vernier digital caliper which agrees with your 21.1 measurement. All I can find as well to fit are the heavy steel stems, and was tempted to go this route until I read your post. If you can sand down an alloy stem by 1.1 mm and get it to work I am prepared to do that as well. Are you concerned that this may weaken the stem too much? The prospect of a snapped stem downill at 168 rpm concerns my insurance salesman.

    My frame came in two parts, and as I said the frame feels very light and is in great shape. The fork with the thicker steerer tube feel heavy, and as well as adapting a stem to fit, I am also considering getting a lighter 1" threaded fork to go with it as an option, and then using the older forks with the fender eyelets for possible touring. I have a 109 mm Shimano sealed BB to put on it, and will swap in my fixed wheeset with OPen Pro rims and Tufo tubular clinchers pumped up to 140 lbs., and see what kind of personality I end up with. I am not sure if forks are that interchangeable however.

    Thanks, Chris.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barnaby
    Thanks for that reference to the stem thing, Heavy Rider. After posting and remeasuring with a metal tape, I came out with a figure of 20 mm or so, until I bought a vernier digital caliper which agrees with your 21.1 measurement. All I can find as well to fit are the heavy steel stems, and was tempted to go this route until I read your post. If you can sand down an alloy stem by 1.1 mm and get it to work I am prepared to do that as well. Are you concerned that this may weaken the stem too much? The prospect of a snapped stem downill at 168 rpm concerns my insurance salesman.

    My frame came in two parts, and as I said the frame feels very light and is in great shape. The fork with the thicker steerer tube feel heavy, and as well as adapting a stem to fit, I am also considering getting a lighter 1" threaded fork to go with it as an option, and then using the older forks with the fender eyelets for possible touring. I have a 109 mm Shimano sealed BB to put on it, and will swap in my fixed wheeset with OPen Pro rims and Tufo tubular clinchers pumped up to 140 lbs., and see what kind of personality I end up with. I am not sure if forks are that interchangeable however.

    Thanks, Chris.

    Chris,

    The Specialized stem I used is (was) an older-style alloy mountain bike stem that had thick walls. Some of the other stems I looked at were very thin-walled, and I agree with you, those would be hazardous. The Specialized stem that I worked on still has a lot of beef left, and in fact is virtually the same in thickness as the original stem that came with the bike, even after the conversion. I've been using it for a while now with no problems, however I do check it from time to time. I hand-filed it (rather than use a grinding wheel or belt), as I didn't think the heat involved would be good for the temper.

    I found several steel, Huffy-style mountain stems off old bikes that would have done the same thing, but they didn't have the extension that the Specialized stem had.

    I think that ultimately I may have a quill/threadless adapter made that I can use with a threadless stem (similar to what Nashbar and Performance Bikes sells). I have a 150 mm stem that I can put on it for the extension I want. The downside is that the adapter/threadless stem, in my opinion, isn't as "elegant" in appearance. In the meantime, the Specialized will get me by for now.

    Good luck with your bike...it sounds like a good one!

    H.R.

  8. #8
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Don't underestimate the quality of the 1980's Japanese bikes - including the Takara.

    Japan was putting out fabulous bikes in the '80's; most of them touring road bikes.

    I think that because there are so many of them available at yard sales and thrift shops, they tend to get poo-pooed by a lot of cyclists. After most of them eventually end up in the land fill, they will probably become highly sought-after for their strong, light-weight steel frames and nice components.
    Mike

  9. #9
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike
    Don't underestimate the quality of the 1980's Japanese bikes - including the Takara.

    Japan was putting out fabulous bikes in the '80's; most of them touring road bikes.

    I think that because there are so many of them available at yard sales and thrift shops, they tend to get poo-pooed by a lot of cyclists. After most of them eventually end up in the land fill, they will probably become highly sought-after for their strong, light-weight steel frames and nice components.
    Boy, do I agree with this post!! Look at that sweet lugged
    steel frame along with all the other "old school" stuff.
    To many people now go out and buy an aluminum frame wonder
    bike then can't figure out why it rides like a rock. Well,
    that's ok with me because until folks'figure out that these
    older lugged steel framed bikes are the real deal I can
    pick and choose what I want for NO real money at all!!!!

    Pardon me while I wipe the drool from my chin........sweet
    bike, mate.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tightwad
    Boy, do I agree with this post!! Look at that sweet lugged
    steel frame along with all the other "old school" stuff.
    To many people now go out and buy an aluminum frame wonder
    bike then can't figure out why it rides like a rock. Well,
    that's ok with me because until folks'figure out that these
    older lugged steel framed bikes are the real deal I can
    pick and choose what I want for NO real money at all!!!!

    Pardon me while I wipe the drool from my chin........sweet
    bike, mate.
    Indeed, and what's more, once you remove all the other parts, the difference in weight between a steel frame and an aluminum frame isn't worth thinking about. Oh yeah sure, if you are a real weight weenie where every gram is a big deal, then the difference might matter.

    However, for most of us, the gain in ride smoothness of a steel bike far outweighs the minimal weight advantage of an aluminum frame.

    Bottom line is that it would be enormously expensive to replicate lugged frames with high tensile steel butted end tubes today. I am sure that welded aluminum is cheaper to produce than a really good lightweight steel frame.

    It is a shame how many of these beautiful machines are going into the landfill and being replaced by bikes of often inferior quality.
    Mike

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