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Old 07-04-12, 12:21 AM   #1
98LowRanger
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Picked up my first vintage road bike

Hey everyone, I'm new here and looking to learn a lot. Anyway, I haven't rode a bike since I was 15 (I'm 30 now), but with my 6 year old son riding a bike I thought it would be something fun we could do together. I fell in love with vintage road bikes a few months ago after reading on a car forum about a guy who bought vintage road bicycles and fixed them up to mostly resell. I love the vintage and simple look of them, how you can personalize and customize them, and the overall idea of giving something old new life.

After not finding any good, affordable, vintage road bikes on Craigslist in my area my Brother-in-law let me know that I could have his 27" 10 speed Takara from the 70s for the unbeatable price of....FREE. Yes, I know this is a mid level bike at best, but given the fact that I didn't have to pay a dime for it I had to take it. Also it's my very first road bike so I thought it would be a good bike to learn on.

I picked it up a few days ago and it's in pretty good shape. He informed me that it had a shifting problem (derailleur issue most likely?) and it would need new tires. I already cleaned it up pretty good and the paint is in decent condition. It does have a few scratches and chips, some light surface rust, and the decales are a little weathered. Not sure if I want to repaint it or not. Being that it is a lower end bike I don't think painting it would hurt it's value. At the same time having the original paint/decals is kind of neat. What do you guys think?

My plan for the bike is to completely go through it. I don't want to put a lot of money into it, but I want to do things like change the rear hub bearings just for the experience. I am going to learn as much as I can on this bike and hopefully get to enjoy riding it a little too. I plan to resell it down the road, but I don't expect to make any money if any. Here are a few pictures of the bike after I got it home. Let me know what you guys think.










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Old 07-04-12, 01:00 AM   #2
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Hey, that's a really nice starter vintage bike. As I recall from the 70s when I first started getting into biking, Takaras offered a lot of bang for the buck. Enjoy it! You can't beat the price...
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Old 07-04-12, 01:00 AM   #3
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My first vintage bike is a takara too! Just made a post a couple days ago. Enjoy!
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Old 07-04-12, 01:27 AM   #4
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You couldn't have picked a better bike as a learning platform. Everything is basic but good quality, durable components.

Start with a good cleaning, de-cabling the bike and inspecting the cables. Pick up some basic brake shoes from the LBS,
some degreaser and chain lube and you're good to go. As you start to get deeper into the bike go slow, see how things
come apart, and if you get hung up on something definitely ASK!

Good Luck, and congrats!

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Old 07-04-12, 03:47 AM   #5
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Welcome to the Bike Forums.

First off, though not meaning to offend, the bikes looks to me to be entry, not mid level, but that is of little importance.

Your build plan is a good one but I would like to suggest modification...

Spend as little as possible to make the bike road worthy and then ride it. Do not go the whole nine yards, building and restoring, without first taking a test ride(ensure the bike is safe to ride). If you like the ride and the bike, then consider spending more money to complete the refurbishment/restoration build. I failed to do this on my first build and look at all the mistakes that I made on Big Green, my first vintage road bicycle.

And, as for money, you will not make a penny fixing the bike up the way you want to and then selling it. You will, however, learn a great deal about the bike and that will be invaluable for this or your next build.

Good luck with the project and keep us posted.
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Old 07-04-12, 04:55 AM   #6
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regrease your hubs and bb
buy new tires, tape and saddle (i.e. - pimp it!)
then ride the heck out of it with mad grin

go with some white red or gold in your color scheme
btw - looks cottered - sweeeeet....
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Old 07-04-12, 05:15 AM   #7
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Welcome to vintage bikes and vintage bike wrenching.

Get yourself a Glenn's and do some reading over at Sheldon's place.
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Old 07-04-12, 05:51 AM   #8
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Derailleur issues usually are result of too little cable tension or friction from old old cables. Go splurge $4.97 at Wallyworld or Sports Authority for a Bell 4 cable kit with housing. Grease the cables first.

I had a Takara to convert to SS. Heavy gas pipe frame. Ended up selling it as is after taking off the derailleurs.
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Old 07-07-12, 12:49 PM   #9
98LowRanger
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First off, I'd like to thank everyone for the encouragement and welcoming! I didn't expect so many replies with such an entry level bike.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Roypercy View Post
Hey, that's a really nice starter vintage bike. As I recall from the 70s when I first started getting into biking, Takaras offered a lot of bang for the buck. Enjoy it! You can't beat the price...
Yes sir, price was right! Thanks!


Quote:
Originally Posted by i0s View Post
My first vintage bike is a takara too! Just made a post a couple days ago. Enjoy!
I'll definitely check out your thread. I might have a question or two for you along the way since I can't seem to find much info on them or many people working on one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldskoolwrench View Post
You couldn't have picked a better bike as a learning platform. Everything is basic but good quality, durable components.

Start with a good cleaning, de-cabling the bike and inspecting the cables. Pick up some basic brake shoes from the LBS,
some degreaser and chain lube and you're good to go. As you start to get deeper into the bike go slow, see how things
come apart, and if you get hung up on something definitely ASK!

Good Luck, and congrats!

Thanks! I was intimidated at first at removing the cables so I haven't done any of that yet. I have cleaned 95% of the bike as best I could. Now I just need to get some oxcilic acid or other Phosphoric acid based cleaner to remove the surface rust. Got the wheels removed to take the tires off and get the wheels trued. That is my next step before I put new bearings in the hubs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Welcome to the Bike Forums.

First off, though not meaning to offend, the bikes looks to me to be entry, not mid level, but that is of little importance.

Your build plan is a good one but I would like to suggest modification...

Spend as little as possible to make the bike road worthy and then ride it. Do not go the whole nine yards, building and restoring, without first taking a test ride(ensure the bike is safe to ride). If you like the ride and the bike, then consider spending more money to complete the refurbishment/restoration build. I failed to do this on my first build and look at all the mistakes that I made on Big Green, my first vintage road bicycle.

And, as for money, you will not make a penny fixing the bike up the way you want to and then selling it. You will, however, learn a great deal about the bike and that will be invaluable for this or your next build.

Good luck with the project and keep us posted.
Not offended at all, your right it's a very entry level bike. Good advise about riding it first. After the wheels are trued, new tires on, and new cables and brake pads I think I will get it back together and ride it. See if the shifting problem is fixed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marley mission View Post
regrease your hubs and bb
buy new tires, tape and saddle (i.e. - pimp it!)
then ride the heck out of it with mad grin

go with some white red or gold in your color scheme
btw - looks cottered - sweeeeet....
Yea the seat has a small hole in it, but I like the cross stitching in it. Might see if I can find a simple one that looks like the original. The bar tape is in pretty good shape so may leave it for the time being. I definitely agree with you on the white and gold in the color scheme to match the decals/emblems. Excuse my ignorance, but what does "cottered" mean?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
Welcome to vintage bikes and vintage bike wrenching.

Get yourself a Glenn's and do some reading over at Sheldon's place.

Thanks you sir. Already been to Sheldon's website and bought a Zinn Road Bike Maintaince how to book. Also picked up a nice Nashbar bike tool set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
Derailleur issues usually are result of too little cable tension or friction from old old cables. Go splurge $4.97 at Wallyworld or Sports Authority for a Bell 4 cable kit with housing. Grease the cables first.

I had a Takara to convert to SS. Heavy gas pipe frame. Ended up selling it as is after taking off the derailleurs.
I was surprised how affordable the cable kits are. Jagwire seems to be one of the better cables or are they all pretty much the same quality? Also what kind of grease should be used on the cables?



Thanks again for all the replies guys! I will be updating this thread soon when I actually have some progress to share...haha. One last question, how do you know the correct freewheel remover socket for your bike?

Last edited by 98LowRanger; 07-07-12 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 07-07-12, 01:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by 98LowRanger View Post
One last question, how do you know the correct freewheel remover socket for your bike?
One way, post a picture here. But I'd guess the Park FR-2. If you look at it and then at pictures of the removal tools should be easy to match up.

Two more random bits. Take like a million pictures of everything as it comes apart. Could be invaluable on reassembly. And I got a mix pack of like 100 of the most common ball bearing sizes from an amazon vendor for cheap. Also a cheapo digital caliper, no longer have to bother with cleaning tiny bearings.
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Old 07-07-12, 01:45 PM   #11
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I'd think grease would attract dirt and bind things up. You could use some dry chain lube like the White Lightning stuff, or if you replace the housings along with the cables, you could get away with no lube at all. The Jagwire basics are decent inexpensive cable/housing, but I'm sure there are others as well.
Think of this bike as your gateway drug . That looks like it should clean up very well.
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Old 07-07-12, 02:11 PM   #12
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Lower that stem, as I think you are above the minimum insert line (it should be marked).

Find a co-op in your area if possible. They are a godsend, and will provide tools, expert advice and usually cheap parts.

Good luck!
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