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Panasonic DX-5000 chrome finish

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Panasonic DX-5000 chrome finish

Old 05-07-13, 02:21 PM
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Panasonic DX-5000 chrome finish

I've had a DX-5000 in my stable for many years. It spent the last 4 years as a long term loaner / once-in-a-while commuter for my brother and he has recently returned the bike to me. While the frame is very structurally sound with absolutely zero rust, it was in dire need of a fresh coat of paint.

I have heard talk about how much chrome is actually under neath the paint job of a DX-5000. All speculation, really. I was so interested in this subject that I once emailed the guys at yellowjersey to find out more. They told me that, aside from the immediately visible chain area, there was an extra inch of chrome and that's it.

So today I began the stripping process. The chrome is clearly visible, for anyone who is interested:

So, it appears as though roughly half of the rear triangle has been dipped. Not bad, I guess. For reference, the tubing on my bike is Tange Champion 1. Panasonic also made the DX-5000 in Columbus steel. I don't know how much chrome is under that version.
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Last edited by Mike552; 05-07-13 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 05-07-13, 03:05 PM
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But how much is finely polished smooth 'show chrome' and how much is rough? the presence of chrome on the other areas is simply because of the expedient process of dipping the whole rear triangle in the tank.

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Old 05-07-13, 06:48 PM
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That's a good point. It looked the same at first glance. I'll finish stripping the frame, polish up all the chrome, and have a closer look. You may be right.

Also, would that mean that I can smooth out the inferior chrome with a cutting compound?
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Old 05-07-13, 09:55 PM
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Panasonic did make some full chrome DX-2000 / DX-4000 models in the early 80's when chrome was king but most beyond that were dipped similar to yours as far as I know. Rather than Columbus steel, I suspect you're thinking about Tange Prestige for other DX-5000 models, well model actually -1988. You had to buy a Team Japan, Team America or Team Europe to get the Columbus tubing.

You could try to smooth out more of the chrome but may find that it isn't as think at the ends so go slow if you do try it. Sounds like a fair amount of work just for a little extra chrome though.
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Old 05-08-13, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuckk
Chrome finish depends on the work done on polishing the base steel.

Sometimes the raw finish on Japanese tube is so good that the chrome over unprepared tube looks OK.
What he said. Even if you sent that to a chroming firm, the prep to get it smooth enough would cost more than it's worth.

Even when the raw finish is very good, there are always marks and brazing discoloration that detract from considering the bike to be anything close to "full chrome."

The Centurion Turbo is an example, Tange 1 chrome. Often, 90% of the frame is so smooth, it can pass for polished at first glance, but the lack of any plating in places like the BB shell and seat lugs means painting is generally required. Then, that same smooth chrome makes painting it difficult, and powder-coating it even harder.
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