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Old 07-11-09, 03:04 PM   #1
Stanger
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My first road bike: 1985 Panasonic DX-4000 - *Pic Warning*

I decided this spring that I wanted to get into a road bike. Being in college, I can't even come close to affording anything new, so I've been watching Clist for a vintage. I sold my BMX bike that had been collecting dust for $180 and made that my budget. St. Louis seems to be a very competitive area, and it has been difficult trying to buy road bikes. I was seriously checking Clist every 15 mins or so to find a deal. I found a lot, but still couldn't call fast enough, the flippers steal them all too fast. Well, I finally beat the flippers to a couple of deals. The first is what appears to be an all original 1985 Panasonic DX-4000 for $100. It has all of its Shimano 600 components and Turbo Bernard Hinault seat. The only thing that was missing were the pedals. I've spend quite a bit of time cleaning and polishing, but it was in very nice condition, just dirty. The second deal was a pair of Spinergy Xaero X Ironman wheels for $50. Someone even tried to outbid me on the wheels(I can't catch a break!), but the seller was a good guy and sold them to me for the agreed upon $50. The wheels are in great shape and perfectly true, but the rear cassette is a 9 speed vs. the bike's original 6. So, I guess I need a 9 speed chain to make this work properly? When installed the chain shifts itself because it is too wide. Don't worry, this was not tested under load and did no damage. Also, the rear dérailleur does not reach all of the gears, but that isn't an issue to me, I'll just use the gears it can reach.

So, here is the bike. I plan to change the bar tape to the original white soon and replace the cracked hoods.



















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Old 07-11-09, 03:05 PM   #2
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Old 07-11-09, 03:10 PM   #3
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That SR Laprade seatpost could stand replacing with something of higher-quality and modern-design. Like a Thomson Elite. While the SR Laprade was good in it's time - though lower cost than others - it's a weak link in an otherwise excellent selection of components.
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Old 07-11-09, 03:13 PM   #4
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Holy crap, it's beautiful.
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Old 07-11-09, 03:18 PM   #5
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Holy crap, it's beautiful.
Thanks!

Quote:
That SR Laprade seatpost could stand replacing with something of higher-quality and modern-design. Like a Thomson Elite. While the SR Laprade was good in it's time - though lower cost than others - it's a weak link in an otherwise excellent selection of components.
That is actually why I posted a closeup of it. I know nothing about it and wanted some info. My initial reaction was that it must be heavy if it is machined aluminum. Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 07-11-09, 04:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Stanger View Post

That is actually why I posted a closeup of it. I know nothing about it and wanted some info. My initial reaction was that it must be heavy if it is machined aluminum. Thanks for the feedback!
The post is nothing special, but personally I'd keep it, as I think it looks right for the bike, and I don't think it's that outclassed by the rest of the build. The weight is not really an issue. If you swap stuff out, I would keep the original components in a drawer somewhere.
I do wonder how easy it's going to be to find replacement hoods for those levers.
It's a very nice bike, BTW, and I like the AX stuff a lot. You did a great job with your budget, which shows what some patience, diligence, and persistence can accomplish. There's a lesson here for the folks who seem to be anxious to post about every "great deal" they find their first day of looking for a bike.
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Old 07-11-09, 05:41 PM   #7
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There is a Shimano 600 "aero" post, and they show up on eBay occasionally. Good luck finding replacements for those hoods! At least you didn't end up with AX cranks/pedals with that weird "one-year-only" thread! I like the Araya wheels, myself.

Seriously nice bike! Beginner's luck.
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Old 07-11-09, 05:53 PM   #8
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Holy crap, it's beautiful.
+1
Mother's aluminum polish on the seatpost.
Might these hoods work? $12 bux.
http://www.loosescrews.com/index.cgi...d=590678531847
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Old 07-11-09, 06:09 PM   #9
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http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=320376116820

Would look great. Nice build
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Old 07-11-09, 06:12 PM   #10
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Very nice find. Patience pays off.
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Old 07-11-09, 06:33 PM   #11
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I wouldn't replace that seatpost, but I'd clean it up. What material do you expect to be lighter than machined aluminum? Titanium? Carbon fiber?

A Thomson would be completely out of place on that bike.
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Old 07-11-09, 06:43 PM   #12
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Thanks alot everyone! Searching this forum was my sole source of information when shopping. Without the forum I would have purchased the first World Sport I ran across at the thrift store.

Quote:
The post is nothing special, but personally I'd keep it, as I think it looks right for the bike, and I don't think it's that outclassed by the rest of the build. The weight is not really an issue. If you swap stuff out, I would keep the original components in a drawer somewhere.
I do wonder how easy it's going to be to find replacement hoods for those levers.
It's a very nice bike, BTW, and I like the AX stuff a lot. You did a great job with your budget, which shows what some patience, diligence, and persistence can accomplish. There's a lesson here for the folks who seem to be anxious to post about every "great deal" they find their first day of looking for a bike.
I don't plan on swapping the post any time soon unless I find a heck of a deal. But, if I were to swap it, I would definitely keep the original. The wheels aren't going anywhere either. I didn't realize these hoods were going to be so tough to replace. They aren't any more than a cosmetic problem right now, but I would like to replace them at some point. Thanks for the compliments!

Quote:
There is a Shimano 600 "aero" post, and they show up on eBay occasionally. Good luck finding replacements for those hoods! At least you didn't end up with AX cranks/pedals with that weird "one-year-only" thread! I like the Araya wheels, myself.

Seriously nice bike! Beginner's luck.
Thanks for the tip! I doubt that post will sell in my price range, but I will keep an eye out. Yeah, I'm glad I don't need any other hard to find parts. It sounds like I'll enough fun with the hoods.

Quote:
+1
Mother's aluminum polish on the seatpost.
Might these hoods work? $12 bux.
http://www.loosescrews.com/index.cgi...d=590678531847
Anyone else know if these will work?

Quote:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=320376116820

Would look great. Nice build
I agree, that is a great looking post. A little expensive for me now, but maybe when the funds are up. Thanks for the compliment!

Quote:
Very nice find. Patience pays off.
Thanks! I agree, patience does pay off. It took me a little while and a bit of hassle to sell the BMX and even more to find and buy this Panasonic. But, that was the only way I could afford to get something decent.

Quote:
I wouldn't replace that seatpost, but I'd clean it up. What material do you expect to be lighter than machined aluminum? Titanium? Carbon fiber?

A Thomson would be completely out of place on that bike.
Thanks for the input. I figure if it is machined aluminum, then the walls must be pretty thick which would equate to high weight. It doesn't bother me though, I haven't even checked the weight, merely an observation.

Last edited by Stanger; 07-11-09 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 07-11-09, 06:51 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Dirtdrop View Post
I wouldn't replace that seatpost, but I'd clean it up. What material do you expect to be lighter than machined aluminum? Titanium? Carbon fiber?

A Thomson would be completely out of place on that bike.
I wasn't counting the grams. Just that the Laprade was the lower-tier of the SR's that were everywhere back then. Even a SR from further up the product-line. That bicycle is staggeringly nice.
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Old 07-11-09, 06:51 PM   #14
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Wow
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Old 07-11-09, 07:17 PM   #15
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Dude, you scored. Better post this in "catch of the day" for posterity.
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Old 07-12-09, 10:42 AM   #16
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Thanks guys, I'll put it in the "Catch of the day". I'm hoping to put a few miles on it today if my studying goes well.
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Old 07-12-09, 11:03 AM   #17
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That is an incredibly nice bike... once you get the 9 speed chain you should be able to dial in that rear d to handle things via friction.

I have a 600 aero post stashed somewhere in the bin o' parts that I'd trade for that laprade and shipping... if I can find it and if it fits it's yours.
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Old 07-12-09, 12:45 PM   #18
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Will those biopace rings handle a 9 speed chain? The derailer dosent reach.? May be easier to just go to 7 speeds on the back with a spacer.
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Old 07-12-09, 12:53 PM   #19
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awesome bike, great deal.

also, it looks like it came with an araya/600 wheelset? i would just use those if it did and ride the cracked hoods until they fall off. sell the spinergy wheelset (which looks "off" to me) and put the profits toward next semester's book budget :-)

edit: or maybe some nicer pedals/clips
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Old 07-12-09, 01:19 PM   #20
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also, it looks like it came with an araya/600 wheelset? i would just use those if it did and ride the cracked hoods until they fall off. sell the spinergy wheelset (which looks "off" to me) and put the profits toward next semester's book budget :-)
I gotta admit, I agree about the spinergy. at least take the decals off if possible.

otherwise, great, beautiful bike.
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Old 07-16-09, 09:31 PM   #21
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I have a 600 aero post stashed somewhere in the bin o' parts that I'd trade for that laprade and shipping... if I can find it and if it fits it's yours.
Yeah man, I'm interested if it fits. Just let me know. I also noticed a tooth is broken off of one of the gears. It doesn't seem to hurt functionality, but I'd like to get it replaced. I believe it is 19t, so if anyone has one or knows of any, let me know.


I'd take the decals off the wheels, but I was worried it would hurt resale if I got in a rut and had to sell them. I'm keeping them for now though. I'm hoping to do a tri next summer and thought some lighter wheels might not hurt.

Also, would these bars be an upgrade or a downgrade? I know someone selling them cheap($10). If I removed the original bars, I would keep them with the bike, but I'm just looking for functional purposes right now. The shape looks like it might be more comfortable in the drops, but I really don't know as I'm new to all this.



http://www.bikesomewhere.com/bikesom...ct/28/132/7481

Last edited by Stanger; 07-16-09 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 07-16-09, 11:41 PM   #22
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I have some of those hoods (NOS) if you have trouble finding them near you.
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Old 07-16-09, 11:49 PM   #23
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Those Araya red labels are very good wheels...
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Old 07-17-09, 12:18 AM   #24
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Wow, that thing is beautiful! The paint and decals photograph like new. I personally really like the black bar tape on it, but if you still go with white I would recommend against cork. Something like white fizik tape can be wiped clean so it stays nice looking for a long time.

I would keep the stickers on the wheels, I kind of like the look of the modern rims on your bike. If you are worried about killing the value then I say thats reason enough to leave them.

This is definitely a catch of the day, or catch of the week! Enjoy it!
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Old 07-17-09, 12:21 AM   #25
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Oh yeah, I would get a really decent U-lock!!! Or never let it out of your site!

About the bars, thats all personal preference. I would use what you have for now and see how they feel. Then go to the local bike shop and test out bikes with modern bars to feel the difference. Then you know whatever your decision, you made it based on what was right for you.
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