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Why I donít like 80ís bikes staringÖmy 1988 Panasonic PT-3500

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Why I donít like 80ís bikes staringÖmy 1988 Panasonic PT-3500

Old 09-11-08, 08:38 PM
  #1  
Kommisar89
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Why I donít like 80ís bikes staringÖmy 1988 Panasonic PT-3500

(This is tongue in cheek so donít be hatin' on me ya'll ) Just like the unfortunate child whose parents always seem to favor his brothers and sisters, my Panasonic gets no love. While the Bottecchia and the Peugeot and even my modern Bianchis seem warm and inviting , the Panasonic leaves me cold. Itís not its fault really. No, it tries really hard. It brings me to and from work every day, makes trips to the grocery store, carries me to the restaurant for a bite to eat. It can even do a fair job of carrying a bottle of wine and a baguette. But alas like Rodney Dangerfield, it gets no respect. "Why is that?" thought I. I mean itís not like it did anything to me personally. No, when it comes down to it, itís just butt ugly. Yeah, I guess that makes me shallow and uncaring but I just canít seem to bring myself to like it. Well the more I thought about it, the more I realized itís because itís a completely typical 80ís bike.

To start with is this absolutely hideous paint job. What the heck are those pastel powder blue, pink, and white splotches? They look like a cross between a Picasso and that crazy guy who threw paint at the canvas. It screams ď80ísĒ louder than a hair band and groupies in snake skin miniskirts (come to think of it though I rather liked the snake skin miniskirts ).



Then there are these ugly, short, stubby lugs Ė brazed with robotic precision. Where are my graceful Prugnats or Nervex lugs? Blah!



And what is that ugly gray fork crown? Where is my chrome? None to be found anywhere. This is no entry level machine. Itís a solid mid-range bike. Surely it should have a chrome fork at least? Chrome lugs would be too much to ask for I guess.

And what happened to the aluminum? Was it caught in a sand storm in shipment? Why is everything dull? Whereís the shiny bling? Meh!



I guess this was all somebodyís idea of new style and improved function. Just looks bland to me. Yuck! Oh give me a classic 60's or 70's bike any day. On the other hand, it's unmolested out at the bike rack every day with ne'ry a complaint, ready to take me where I need to go. And at least it's not sitting out back leaning against the wall with a flat tire like my mountain bike. I guess you can't have everything.
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Old 09-11-08, 08:50 PM
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I like 80s bikes if they have bright florescent paint jobs (occaionally I get in that mood!) but otherwise I agree with you. One nice thing is at least most tend to come with 700c rims and not 27", another nice thing is its possible to find a good real bike from the 80s, where as 95% of the 70s bikes I come across are department store gas pipe junk! Guess you have to live in europe to get a real road bike from that era.
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Old 09-11-08, 08:57 PM
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Looks like she has nice geometry and fits fenders well - two things that I had no luck on with the two tourers I've since tried (the Raleigh Alyeska and the '82 Trek 728/720).

-Kurt
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Old 09-11-08, 08:57 PM
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I love 80's Japanese bikes.

However, as the owner of an identical Panasonic to yours, it *pains* me to look at the photos without the lovely yellow BioPace decals on the chainrings....

(I bought a very nice version of this bike for my son to ride and take to college. He rode it all summer, and took off for college 3 weeks ago...still waiting for him to call to ask me to box it up and send it to him...he loved the bike but *hates* the color and pastel blotches. I keep trying to explain the value of owning a bike that won't get stolen but which is actually quite a nice bike under the paint...).
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Old 09-11-08, 09:08 PM
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Want to sell it? I don't think it's ugly at all
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Old 09-11-08, 09:17 PM
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Lest you forget, C-Record is a product of the '80s. My late-'80s bike has Prugnats with cutouts, fastback seat stays and a classy paint job.
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Old 09-11-08, 09:41 PM
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Reminds me of my Schwinn Impact, which is a dumb name for a mountain bike if you ask me. At least the impact is smoked chrome though. It's a not a bad looking bike, and I happen to love 80's touring bikes so I may be a little biased. My Shogun doesn't see much road action, but I do enjoy riding it.,,,,BD
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Old 09-11-08, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by spider-man View Post
Lest you forget, C-Record is a product of the '80s. My late-'80s bike has Prugnats with cutouts, fastback seat stays and a classy paint job.
You get an exemption There were a few really sweet bikes from that period, particularly Italian ones. My favorite is the Bottecchia SLX/Record in red/white/chrome. But I wouldn't call it typical of the 80's.
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Old 09-11-08, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
I love 80's Japanese bikes.

However, as the owner of an identical Panasonic to yours, it *pains* me to look at the photos without the lovely yellow BioPace decals on the chainrings....

(I bought a very nice version of this bike for my son to ride and take to college. He rode it all summer, and took off for college 3 weeks ago...still waiting for him to call to ask me to box it up and send it to him...he loved the bike but *hates* the color and pastel blotches. I keep trying to explain the value of owning a bike that won't get stolen but which is actually quite a nice bike under the paint...).
It's still a biopace ring - the big one anyway. It was originally a 50/46/28 which I found pretty useless(can't blame that on the 80's though, that's totally old school). I changed it to 50/40/26 so only the big ring is original now. And much more useful. That whole setup might get changed out evetually to something like a 52/36/24 though.
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Old 09-11-08, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by purevl View Post
Want to sell it? I don't think it's ugly at all
Nope, sorry, remember it gets me to work every day
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Old 09-11-08, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Looks like she has nice geometry and fits fenders well - two things that I had no luck on with the two tourers I've since tried (the Raleigh Alyeska and the '82 Trek 728/720).

-Kurt
It's actually quite a well designed bike. Just ugly. And heavy as sin. With the fenders, racks, lights, and empty panniers it weighs 31-lbs! With a better paint job and some polishing it would be a dramatic improvement aesthetically. I was thinking British racing green with gold Panasonic decals and maybe a contrasting cream on the headtube. It'd be sweet if I could find a chrome fork too but finding one with braze-ons for the canti brakes would be hard.
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Old 09-11-08, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikedued View Post
Reminds me of my Schwinn Impact, which is a dumb name for a mountain bike if you ask me. At least the impact is smoked chrome though. It's a not a bad looking bike, and I happen to love 80's touring bikes so I may be a little biased. My Shogun doesn't see much road action, but I do enjoy riding it.,,,,BD
Black chrome was one of those 80's ideas like the snake skin mini skirts - looked great at the time, not necessarily so much on a vintage frame
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Old 09-11-08, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by divineAndbright View Post
I like 80s bikes if they have bright florescent paint jobs (occaionally I get in that mood!) but otherwise I agree with you. One nice thing is at least most tend to come with 700c rims and not 27", another nice thing is its possible to find a good real bike from the 80s, where as 95% of the 70s bikes I come across are department store gas pipe junk! Guess you have to live in europe to get a real road bike from that era.
Hmmm...I don't think I get in that mood very often And nothing is worse than one of those Colnagos that looks like it was attacked by a whole class of 3rd graders with cans of silly string. You're right though, it is easier to find a decent quality bike from the 80's. Not as much fun though maybe. I thoroughly enjoyed upgrading my UO8 and it's one sweet looking bike. This one came with 27" wheels that were still common on loaded touring bikes at the time. I'll probably change that one day when I get the urge to learn how to build wheels. I'm idiot 'cause I lived in Europe at that time (late 80's) and never rode a bike the whole time I was there. Guess where I was
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Old 09-11-08, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Kommisar89 View Post
And nothing is worse than one of those Colnagos that looks like it was attacked by a whole class of 3rd graders with cans of silly string.
I assume you're talking about bikes like mine. Smile when you say that, partner. It's like calling someone's kid ugly. It would be a pretty boring world if we all liked the same thing, wouldn't you agree? A paint scheme you may view as tasteless and over-the-top, others like me see as imaginative, and a much welcome departure from the conventional.

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Old 09-11-08, 11:32 PM
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I had a bike like this that served me well for a long time but it turned out I wanted to push it's limits. I need a stiffer and more stable frame with more pannier and tire clearance. I had to trade it in for a long haul trucker, it's a dull commuter bike but it does it's job so well that I do not miss my 1984 international one bit.
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Old 09-11-08, 11:35 PM
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Yeah, I agree with Kommisar89. Damn thing looks simply too ergonomically perfect and comfortable. ... I have mixed feelings about my 80s Schwinn Voyageur, too... also a Japanese made touring bike, in fact one which may indeed have been manufactured by Panasonic according to some sources.

Yes, everything is bland, no fancy lugs (which I too happen to love) everything is just simply and purposefully constructed, with all fittings and bosses set in just their perfect logical and efficient places. So, I can no longer even gripe or complain about why they neglected to place a braze-on fitting here or there... no more chrome Campy clamp-on bits to hold everything on the frame and to give me dirt and grime collecting niches to clean rust from... sealed bearing hubs which spin like tops and never slip out of adjustment... no more having to struggle to squeeze in a tire around an ill-fitting fender where it should never have been considered necessary... no twitchy geometry... I'm not even forced into a proper racing position so I can feel that I have strained and earned my muscle aches... and I can't even struggle with my accustomed odd French threads... Who needs a boring bike which lacks any kind of "Issues"?

Same problem I had with accursed Japanese cars of the late 1980s - They never broke down, started instantly, fit me like a glove, handled effortlessly, and never even leaked oil. They just made me yearn nostalgically for the old British Leyland cars which would always offer you a puddle of oil in the driveway, a broken knob, a rattling bit of trim, a leaky window or something electrical to tinker hopelessly with forever. Now THOSE old import cars had personality!

Japanese designers just have no Soul. Everything has to be just simple, right and perfect... where's the fun in that?
In all seriousness, I did replace the crankset on my bike with an older highly polished TA crankset...
and even added Polished alloy Honjo fenders.
So, now I at least have some tiny bits I can spend time polishing.

If I could find anything at all to fault on your PT-3500 it would be the paint job.
With simple lugs, the bike could be a perfect candidate for an equally simple powder-coat finish...
I'd actually be tempted to add a couple contrasting panels.
Funny you should mention British Racing Green and gold Panasonic decals...
here is my Voyageur:




The frameset below was at the NAHBS 2008 show in Portland, OR.
Powdercoat finish by Spectrum Powder Works of Colorado
Bike by Mike De Salvo of Portland.

A very classy & Classic look... in a super-tough modern powder-coated finish.

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Old 09-11-08, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by gridplan View Post
I assume you're talking about bikes like mine. Smile when you say that, partner. It's like calling someone's kid ugly. It would be a pretty boring world if we all liked the same thing, wouldn't you agree? A paint scheme you may view as tasteless and over-the-top, others like me see as imaginative, and a much welcome departure from the conventional.
"May"? But at least the field trip was a success and the third graders got their arts and crafts project done But if YOU like it, that's all that matters Just meesing with you man, it's a fine bike just not my cup of tea.
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Old 09-11-08, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by stronglight View Post
Yeah, I agree with Kommisar89. Damn thing looks simply too ergonomically perfect and comfortable. ... I have mixed feelings about my 80s Schwinn Voyageur, too... also a Japanese made touring bike, in fact one which may indeed have been manufactured by Panasonic according to some sources.

Yes, everything is bland, no fancy lugs (which I too happen to love) everything is just simply and purposefully constructed, with all fittings and bosses set in just their perfect logical and efficient places. So, I can no longer even gripe or complain about why they neglected to place a braze-on fitting here or there... no more chrome Campy clamp-on bits to hold everything on the frame and to give me dirt and grime collecting niches to clean rust from... sealed bearing hubs which spin like tops and never slip out of adjustment... no more having to struggle to squeeze in a tire around an ill-fitting fender where it should never have been considered necessary... no twitchy geometry... I'm not even forced into a proper racing position so I can feel that I have strained and earned my muscle aches... and I can't even struggle with my accustomed odd French threads... Who needs a boring bike which lacks any kind of "Issues"?

Same problem I had with accursed Japanese cars of the late 1980s - They never broke down, started instantly, fit me like a glove, handled effortlessly, and never even leaked oil. They just made me yearn nostalgically for the old British Leyland cars which would always offer you a puddle of oil in the driveway, a broken knob, a rattling bit of trim, a leaky window or something electrical to tinker hopelessly with forever. Now THOSE old import cars had personality!

Japanese designers just have no Soul. Everything has to be just simple, right and perfect... where's the fun in that?
In all seriousness, I did replace the crankset on my bike with an older highly polished TA crankset...
and even added Polished alloy Honjo fenders.
So, now I at least have some tiny bits I can spend time polishing.

If I could find anything at all to fault on your PT-3500 it would be the paint job.
With simple lugs, the bike could be a perfect candidate for an equally simple powder-coat finish...
I'd actually be tempted to add a couple contrasting panels.
Funny you should mention British Racing Green and gold Panasonic decals...
here is my Voyageur:
Yep, that's just what it'll look like on day Spectrum is right here in town. Pricey but they do beautiful work.
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Old 09-12-08, 12:12 AM
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I don't like 80's bike either,too old fashion.
90's bikes have better design,lighter weight !
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Old 09-12-08, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Kommisar89 View Post
"May"? But at least the field trip was a success and the third graders got their arts and crafts project done But if YOU like it, that's all that matters Just meesing with you man, it's a fine bike just not my cup of tea.
Yeah, different strokes. That's good, though, because it'll mean more Pegorettis for me.
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Old 09-12-08, 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Kommisar89 View Post
Hmmm...I don't think I get in that mood very often And nothing is worse than one of those Colnagos that looks like it was attacked by a whole class of 3rd graders with cans of silly string. You're right though, it is easier to find a decent quality bike from the 80's. Not as much fun though maybe. I thoroughly enjoyed upgrading my UO8 and it's one sweet looking bike. This one came with 27" wheels that were still common on loaded touring bikes at the time. I'll probably change that one day when I get the urge to learn how to build wheels. I'm idiot 'cause I lived in Europe at that time (late 80's) and never rode a bike the whole time I was there. Guess where I was
Colnagos are very nice bikes, but Ernesto's son-in-law must have married into the job as air brush painter. What is up with the air brush graphics? Eye balls, Planets? That is some really really bad stuff. It's funny in a way but baddddddd.
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Old 09-12-08, 09:59 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by BMX Race Bikes View Post
I don't like 80's bike either,too old fashion.
90's bikes have better design,lighter weight !
hehe...but then they wouldn't be C&V would they? But seriously, 90's bikes suffer from the same issues as 80's bikes although they are sometimes a bit lighter or have STI/Ergo drivetrains. They still often have crappy paint jobs (not as bad as the 80's usually), no chrome, and worse, no lugs, and ugly unicrown forks. Unless you're building a bottom of the line entry level bike there is no excuse for totally ignoring aesthetics. There's probably no accounting for taste and style in paint jobs but given the choice between two otherwise identical bikes back in the day (let's say mid 90's for your sake ) - one with TIG welds, unicrown fork, and no chrome for $800 and one with lugs, a fork crown, and nice chrome accents for $850, I'd take the $850 bike every time.
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1959 Bottecchia Milano-Sanremo(frame), 1966 Bottecchia Professional (frame), 1971 Bottecchia Professional (frame),
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Old 09-12-08, 10:21 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by BMX Race Bikes View Post
I don't like 80's bike either,too old fashion.
90's bikes have better design,lighter weight !
Another anti-C&V'er coming to C&V...

-Kurt
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Old 09-12-08, 12:35 PM
  #24  
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You can get that fake chrome tape at Pep Boys and put it over those wierd paint blotches.
I know the feeling. I have a couple of perfectly good 80's bikes that I just never ride. I never fix them. I never think about them. Maybe I'm just letting them season back there and I'll pull them out when people start to get nostalgic over that stuff.
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Old 09-12-08, 04:54 PM
  #25  
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I don't like it much either.
But there are many 80's bikes that have wonderful understated paint jobs and lugs.
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