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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Easy upgrades for new/old roadbike.

    Hey guys.. Glad to be a new member of the forum..

    I am a total beginner when it comes to biking knowledge, so bear with me.

    I recently picked up my first road bike.. and a good catch i think. It is a old steel lugged Panasonic road bike from maybe the early 90's or 80's. I picked it up on craigslist and immediately road to the local bike shop to see what else I was going to have to do to it to make it run well. To my surprise/delight they were astonished at what good condition the bike was in.. Original everything (including tires, which have since been replaced). There is no rust or wear of any type and it had even been serviced within the past couple of years, as there was a sticker on the frame and the chain was still pretty well lubed (just filthy).

    Either way, I simply replaced the tires and left the store, per recommendations of the shop owners.

    I understand due to the inherent weight of the frame and level of the components there will be inherent limitations in making this bike anything more than just an easy rider, but I was wondering any easy upgrades or tricks to make this bike perform up to spec and beyond.

    Thanks for your help, and thanks for the wealth of info provided here.

    Mitchell

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    What do you mean by "up to spec and beyond"?
    My hunch is it pretty much will do that as is.
    Depending on the cogset in the rear, you might be able to try a different combination of cogs that MIGHT better "tune it" to your riding conditions.
    Without knowing what gears you currently have, or riding conditions, that's just conjecture however.

  3. #3
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Get a better seat.

    Your shop was right, the level of the bike doesn't really justify going the upgrade route, but those bikes came with "contractor grade" seats that will become uncomforable after only a few miles.

    After all, it's your hinnie!
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  4. #4
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    A few things. Wheels with sealed bearing hubs, new rear der/shifter, and new drivetrain, being cassette, chain & chainrings. Check BB. bk

  5. #5
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    Seat, fenders, stainless steel chain. Consider new handlebars if you see a style you like better. Look at new pedals.

    Rebuild with an internally geared hub rear wheel.

    For more $$$.
    http://sandsmachine.com/
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
    Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
    2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
    1996 Birdy, Recommend.
    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  6. #6
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
    A few things. Wheels with sealed bearing hubs, new rear der/shifter, and new drivetrain, being cassette, chain & chainrings. Check BB. bk
    Spend at least $500 on a bike that's worth maybe $100?

    Are you serious?
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  7. #7
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geo8rge View Post
    Seat, fenders, stainless steel chain. Consider new handlebars if you see a style you like better. Look at new pedals.

    Rebuild with an internally geared hub rear wheel.

    For more $$$.
    http://sandsmachine.com/
    Stainless steel chain? Internally geared rear hub? On an old Panasonic?!

    The insanity must be spreading!
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  8. #8
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    1. Chop off the roadie bits: derailleur hanger, cable guides, frame bosses
    2. Slap on cheap fixed rear wheel
    3. Post on craigslist

    $$$$ Profit! $$$$
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  9. #9
    WNG
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    If it's in that good a condition as claimed, then throwing new parts at it isn't the wisest move. Just give it a tune up, overhaul/regrease the hubs, BB and headset. Replace the cables and possibly the housings for newer lined version. New brake pads. Possibly a new chain too if needed.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by WNG View Post
    If it's in that good a condition as claimed, then throwing new parts at it isn't the wisest move. Just give it a tune up, overhaul/regrease the hubs, BB and headset. Replace the cables and possibly the housings for newer lined version. New brake pads. Possibly a new chain too if needed.
    This is what I suspected.. I appreciate the help. I proably will get a new seat, too.

    I have too many other random things i throw all my money at to get too into it.. I guess I'll just come back when I am ready to buy a nice bike. I didn't know if there was an easy way to make this bike tolerable to ride for a good distance and have a prayer of keeping up with a nicer bike.

  11. #11
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    An older road bike like that in decent shape will likely serve your needs for now as is. Cables, housings, pads, grease should all be looked at and refreshed if needed. Otherwise just hop on and have a good time. Newer bikes with fancy components do make a difference to many riders in many circumstances, but you can write that check when you find you need those fancy bits.

    For now, you have a retro-stylish solid bike that is reliable, cheap, easy to fix, and provides decent performance.

    jim
    Cross Check Nexus7, IRO Mark V, Trek 620 Nexus7, Karate Monkey half fat, IRO Model 19 fixed, Amp Research B3, Surly 1x1 half fat fixed, and more...
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  12. #12
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    Good pair of bibs (or shorts) to go along with that new saddle, and after a while you may want some clipless pedals and a good set of shoes to match. Inexpensive jersey (to start) with rear pockets.

    Floor pump, patch kit, water bottles, spare tubes, saddle bag.
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  13. #13
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    1. Chop off the roadie bits: derailleur hanger, cable guides, frame bosses
    2. Slap on cheap fixed rear wheel
    3. Post on craigslist

    $$$$ Profit! $$$$
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  14. #14
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
    right.. that might be pretty good advice

  15. #15
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellb View Post
    right.. that might be pretty good advice
    Maybe, if you want to turn a quick profit.

    I was laughing at the implied gullibility of those who would buy it.
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  16. #16
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    The best way to make the bike faster is to ride it a lot!!!

    Hincapie could ride circles around all of us on that bike, no matter what modern wonder bike we were riding.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

  17. #17
    WV is not flat.. brandenjs's Avatar
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    I'm taking an 80's Nishiki and adding a few things such as bars,stem,seat and a Shimano SIS drive train that I purchased on Ebay to it(I may even just keep the Suntour friction stuff on it for awhile). I plan on using it for training and some centuries that are coming up in the spring and summer. Granted it might not be as flashy as a new Trek Madone or Orbea but there is something to be said for the steelies out there. And I think it will be nice riding something that I've customized for my riding style and speed. All for under $200 and a little elbow grease. I'm fairly new to cycling also and have grown to love just getting on and riding. So I recommend that first then come up with what works for you to be comfortable and safe.

  18. #18
    BEEP BEEP IMMA JEEP darksmaster923's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
    Maybe, if you want to turn a quick profit.

    I was laughing at the implied gullibility of those who would buy it.
    or
    1. (blah blah)
    2. ?????
    3. Profit!!
    [Insert Signature here]

  19. #19
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Here's an example of what I was talking about:

    http://sandiego.craigslist.org/bik/503864607.html

    Check out the Numbskull of the Day thread that's stickied at the top of C&V.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  20. #20
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    Here's an example of what I was talking about:

    http://sandiego.craigslist.org/bik/503864607.html

    Check out the Numbskull of the Day thread that's stickied at the top of C&V.
    jerks like them are why the lock for my bike was more expensive than my bike..

  21. #21
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
    Spend at least $500 on a bike that's worth maybe $100?

    Are you serious?
    What's wrong with that? Why is the bike only worth $100? Because of the components? So, if you add $500 worth of upgrades that you want, is the bike still worth only $100? I like the older steel frame bikes. But I don't like the older brakes, one of the first things I do is buy new handlebars and brakes.
    Though I don't think his Panasonic will need anything to be a great ride, but if he wants to spend $600 dollars on a bike, then buying an old steel frame and upgrading is a good way to go.

  22. #22
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    I agree with the cables and brake pads being the major changes needed on that bike. If the bike has steel rims, it might be a good investment to buy an inexpensive 27' inch aluminum front rim. Steel rims brake very poorly if wet.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by WNG View Post
    If it's in that good a condition as claimed, then throwing new parts at it isn't the wisest move. Just give it a tune up, overhaul/regrease the hubs, BB and headset. Replace the cables and possibly the housings for newer lined version. New brake pads. Possibly a new chain too if needed.
    Brake levers and calipers too, if the old style feel bothers you that much. I switched out the caliper on my 1984 Panasonic pretty much immediately, after being spoiled by my more modern 2004 Nishiki.

  24. #24
    . blickblocks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
    What's wrong with that? Why is the bike only worth $100? Because of the components? So, if you add $500 worth of upgrades that you want, is the bike still worth only $100? I like the older steel frame bikes. But I don't like the older brakes, one of the first things I do is buy new handlebars and brakes.
    Though I don't think his Panasonic will need anything to be a great ride, but if he wants to spend $600 dollars on a bike, then buying an old steel frame and upgrading is a good way to go.
    If it's Tange 1000, then I wouldn't spend over $300 in total. If it's a higher end frame then by all means, it's worth spending more on. Good steel is good steel, no matter what the year.

    Tange 1000, which most of the Panasonics around are made of, is pretty heavy (but durable!) stuff.

  25. #25
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    What model Panasonic?

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