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Help Identifying Beautiful Vintage Japanese Bike

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Help Identifying Beautiful Vintage Japanese Bike

Old 08-08-20, 10:28 PM
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DanielC94
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Help Identifying Beautiful Vintage Japanese Bike

Hello! I'm a new user and looking for help identifying a vintage Japanese road bike and whether it is worth holding onto and refurbishing.

It has decals and stickers that say "Rollsracer" and "Supreme." It is a steel lugged frame with chrome tipped forks. It has a complete Suntour Groupset with dia-compe brake levers. My guess is it is a 1970s era road bike though that is just a guess.

The front wheel was quite out of true (may have been from an accident or hit by a car parallel parking) and I was able to true it as best I could (and it somehow got more true after a test ride) but may have to invest in a new front wheel just to be safe. The frame itself looks to be in great condition with superficial rust.

Any and all help is much appreciated! I have done a bit of research already but haven't been able to find any information on the bike manufacturer or anything. I would love to learn a bit of the history of the bike and whether it is a quality frame (no sticker denoting type or quality of steel) or if I should donate it.

Thanks!
-Daniel
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Old 08-09-20, 12:00 AM
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Never heard of a Rollsracer Supreme. Chrome fork points to 70s. What size wheels? How many gears? Does it have a forged dropout or stamped with a claw adapter? Is there a sticker on the bike regarding the steel its made of? Pictures would probably get you the best results.
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Old 08-09-20, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by DanielC94 View Post
Hello! I'm a new user and looking for help identifying a vintage Japanese road bike and whether it is worth holding onto and refurbishing.

It has decals and stickers that say "Rollsracer" and "Supreme." It is a steel lugged frame with chrome tipped forks. It has a complete Suntour Groupset with dia-compe brake levers. My guess is it is a 1970s era road bike though that is just a guess.

The front wheel was quite out of true (may have been from an accident or hit by a car parallel parking) and I was able to true it as best I could (and it somehow got more true after a test ride) but may have to invest in a new front wheel just to be safe. The frame itself looks to be in great condition with superficial rust.

Any and all help is much appreciated! I have done a bit of research already but haven't been able to find any information on the bike manufacturer or anything. I would love to learn a bit of the history of the bike and whether it is a quality frame (no sticker denoting type or quality of steel) or if I should donate it.

Thanks!
-Daniel
Hi Daniel, welcome aboard, glad you found us.

You're in the right place, we have many of the best C+V minds on the planet here, these folks are fantastic at this.

As noted we will need pics, good ones and lots of them, especially the drive side, you can post them and they will go to your gallery until you have 5 posts X 2 days to post them here.

Go around, comment on threads that interest you and or continue to respond here and you will get there in no time.

We're glad to help but we need pics and info to do that.
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Old 08-09-20, 12:41 AM
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Welcome to BikeForums. This appears to be a pretty low end bike. Ride it if you like it but there is no upside to refurbishing.

Picture album.

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Old 08-10-20, 07:15 AM
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DanielC94
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Originally Posted by degan View Post
Never heard of a Rollsracer Supreme. Chrome fork points to 70s. What size wheels? How many gears? Does it have a forged dropout or stamped with a claw adapter? Is there a sticker on the bike regarding the steel its made of? Pictures would probably get you the best results.
Hi Degan! The wheels are 27" x 1 1/4" (that's what's quoted on the tires and etched on the inside of the wheel rim) It has a 5 speed cassette/free hub (haven't taken that apart to actually know) and 52/40 chainrings in the front. The dropouts are *stamped with a claw adapter* and there is no sticker that I could find on the bike that says what type of steel it is. Apologies for the lack of photos! I'm still racking up posts so I can get the website permission to post the photos to this thread. I believe they can be found in my photo gallery if you navigate there. - Thanks!

Last edited by DanielC94; 08-10-20 at 08:02 AM. Reason: Forged to Stamped Correction
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Old 08-10-20, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by DanielC94 View Post
Hello! I'm a new user and looking for help identifying a vintage Japanese road bike and whether it is worth holding onto and refurbishing.
It looks like a solid bike and would be great as a commuter. Yes, it's worth "refurbishing" but I would not upgrade any of the components. Keep in mind that any bike this old should have all of the bearing points cleaned and re-packed with new grease.

What is your definition of "refurbishing"?
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Old 08-10-20, 08:02 AM
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Actually, the dropouts are stamped. This bike pre-dates the wide use of cassettes by several years; it's almost certainly a freewheel. Worth a tune-up as mentioned above, since it doesn't appear to have been left out to the elements.

Steel wheels, steel three-arm crank, stem shifters, "turkey" levers, add up to this being a bike-boom bike.

Last edited by madpogue; 08-10-20 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 08-10-20, 08:12 AM
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I'd donate. Likely hi-ten steel. Cool color, but I'd spend my overhaul time, effort, and money elsewhere.
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Old 08-10-20, 09:02 AM
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I agree that this is not high or even mid-end bike. Bikes like this make good town bikes or all around bike. Bikes that you can lock up somewhere and probably won't get stolen and if they do, you won't have lost a too much.

I have a low end Schwinn World that should be I picked up to sell. I put upright bars on and have been riding this bike a whole lot and enjoy it.

Your bike is in nice shape. I have never heard of Rolls Racer. It is probably a private label. I like that it has double eyelets so you can put on a rack and fenders in the rear. I prefer good aluminum rims. To me, that is more important than the frame, however, your bike looks like it has steel rims. My Schwinn World also has steel rims. They are fine for now. They are chrome plated and look shiny, so some people that don't know better like them. You could always keep an eye out for some better wheels.

So, low end - yes. Name brand - No. Usable - Yes.

Last edited by Velo Mule; 08-10-20 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 08-10-20, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
It looks like a solid bike and would be great as a commuter. Yes, it's worth "refurbishing" but I would not upgrade any of the components. Keep in mind that any bike this old should have all of the bearing points cleaned and re-packed with new grease.

What is your definition of "refurbishing"?
In terms of refurbishing I was going to do very little. All of the components seem to be working in good condition. The frame can use a wash and that was about all I would do to it (I would avoid sanding and repainting since the rust seems to just be superficial). I would also put new handlebar tape on and make sure the brake levers are properly secured since one was knocked off alignment (it was loose enough to be rotated back into place). The biggest investment would be to find a replacement for the front wheel since it was badly warped when I found it. I was able to true it fairly well by tightening the spokes but there is still a little section where the wheel wobbles and brushes up against the front brakes. I've done most of my own bike maintenance but I'm a complete novice when it comes to stuff that is more involved like installing new ball bearings.
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Old 08-10-20, 05:52 PM
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I like the lugwork of the frame and the chromed fork crown. The bike overall is in the same class as a Raleigh Grand Prix or Peugeot UO8, entry level sport/commuter bike.

As previously stated, the tubing is hi-tension and the dropouts are stamped steel, nothing wrong with either of those attributes. Since the front wheel is not running true and you have already tweaked the spokes, (not a good idea unless tensioned properly) then a replacement should have an aluminum rim for better braking. The stem looks way too high, make sure there is enough of it inside the headtube for safety reasons.
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Old 08-20-20, 01:13 PM
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DanielC94
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Thank you everyone for the insight and for helping me learn more about the bike and for giving me new ways to better identify the bike's quality!

I've ultimately decided to donate the bike to a co-worker who recently got their beater/commuter bike stolen. Despite it riding fairly well and how enticed I was to breath a little bit of new life into it, I'm gonna hold out in hopes for a better vintage find (better brand, frame, and components) that I can justify keeping.

Thanks again everyone!
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