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My Next Project: Takara Road Bike Conversion

Submitted by on July 10, 2010 – 6:09 pm5 Comments

This is the “Before” part of my bike article.

I might be the last person on Earth to do it, but I’ve decided to take a vintage steel lugged-frame road bike and convert it to a single-speed, fixed-gear bike. It’s one of the few bike types that I don’t already have, I like the simplicity of a single-speed, and it just sounds like fun. So for quite some time, with that in mind, I’ve been looking for a good candidate bike to tear down. Last week, in south Irving, I think that I found it. It’s a Takara ten speed road bike:

The Takara was apparently yet another mid-level Japanese road bike imported in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s. I found some information on bikeforums that indicated that the frames were built by Kawamura, the same company that built Nishiki’s frames. Whatever! My main consideration was that I paid $65 for it.

I am going to powdercoat this one, but I think that I’ll keep the chrome front forks.

I like the sculptural Dia-Compe neck, too. It’s a keeper.

The components are pretty decent, so I’ll  clean them up and put them on CL to try to get some of my money back out of this bike.

More Suntour. I haven’t cleaned this stuff up yet, obviously, but it will look nice when I’m done:

I might be able to use the Sugino crank, I’m not sure yet.

Sweet Suntour downtube shifters. Curnutt is going to end up with these if he’s lucky:

Another view…….maybe I should keep them……..

I figure that I should throw in these graphics for posterity’s sake, since this will all be stripped off the bike. Looks like early 1980s to me……

This headbadge will be removed and placed back on the bike after powdercoating to preserve its’ provenance.

This photo shows the lugged frame…..

As does this image of the rear. The tiny paint chips in this photo underscore one reason that this bike is a good candidate for a powdercoating and restoration. There are several significant damaged spots in the paint that really detract from the look of the bike, and that go down to the frame. It doesn’t look good enough to ride, but it isn’t damaged enough to discard. It just needs a new coat of paint or powder.

And, yes, I’m going to leave one set of brakes. I like being able to stop.

A few more random images. Kuwahara!

Cute quick release hub:

So there you have it: the Project Bike. This might take me a while, because I don’t really know what I’m doing. But it won’t take me long to take this bike apart, because if I don’t at least do that, I’ll sell it for beer money sometime in the next month.

Anybody know a good powdercoater?



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Michael W. Hubbard

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