SR Sakae Litage

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

SR Sakae Litage

Postby thommo09 » Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:37 pm

Hi all,


just thought I'd share my new toy with you all.

I saw this on ebay the other day and thought I'd give it a go, I'm glad I did because its turned out to be a beauty. :D

I don't know a huge amount about it but it is almost definately completely original. It has a thermal bonded alloy lugged frame with full alloy forks, complete period Suntour GPX groupset, Suntour GPX hubs laced to Velocity Aerohead rims, Selle Italia Turbo saddle, Technicomps stem, Nitto B115 bars and it has new tyres and bar tape on the way.

Plans for the time being are to put the new bar tape and tyres on, clean and lube and ride it, however I really need some wider bars (if anyone has any 44-46cm bars that match this style let me know :wink: ) and if I can find a suitable 7-speed cassette then it might get a new set of Easton EA50SL's too. In the longer term, I'm planning on a full 5700 105 groupset, leather bar tape and a brooks saddle, but that could be a while away :(.

Anyway, enjoy the pics, I'll try to take some nicer ones at some stage and if you have any information about these bikes let me know.

Cheers
Jimmy

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by BNA » Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:58 pm

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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby LittleWheelsandBig » Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:58 pm

I can't recall the OLD of that model off the top of my head, bonded aluminium frames don't like being cold-set for wider hubs. Any modern rear road hub will 130mm, that frame could be 126 or so.
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby stnfldr » Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:58 am

I think I saw that on ebay as well..... It looked really interesting. Looks awesome!! Whats the go with bonded frames? why did people stop doing them?

Ben
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby rkelsen » Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:10 am

It does look great. Congrats on the purchase. More pics please. :D

Are the seat stays removable? If so, you have the option of converting the bike to belt drive.
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:47 am

That looks absolutely gorgeous, before you change the groupset though, have you ridden SunTour GPX before? I rode an early 90s steel frame with GPX for a while and the shifting was WAY better than any shimano stuff from the same era.
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby familyguy » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:28 am

LittleWheelsandBig wrote:I can't recall the OLD of that model off the top of my head, bonded aluminium frames don't like being cold-set for wider hubs. Any modern rear road hub will 130mm, that frame could be 126 or so.


+1 for checking the rear spacing. Please dont try respacing it, otherwise you could find yourself holding an expensive piece of wall art.

Jim
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby drubie » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:09 pm

I have little to add other than one of the locals has one of these with a mix of shimano and campy parts on it, it always turns heads (although his has been stickered by the local bike shop).

Personally, I'd stay with the narrow bars - you get used to them. I normally run 44cm but I have two bikes with 40cm on them and just gave it time. Might help to raise the stem a fraction and use the drops more.
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby LittleWheelsandBig » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:32 pm

rkelsen wrote:Are the seat stays removable? If so, you have the option of converting the bike to belt drive.


No, the bolts are for assembly only, to allow for a range of seatstay angles. They are permanently bonded. They are vertical dropouts in any case, 'magic gearing' a belt drive is unlikely.
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby LittleWheelsandBig » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:37 pm

stnfldr wrote:I think I saw that on ebay as well..... It looked really interesting. Looks awesome!! Whats the go with bonded frames? why did people stop doing them?

Ben


TIG rod and Argon gas is a lot cheaper than casting aluminium lugs for each frame size.
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby thommo09 » Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:09 pm

I actually just tried a modern 10-speed wheel and it went in easily, so I'm guessing that it is 130mm rear spacing. Hopefully I'll be able to do the whole retro/modern thing.

Something a little bit like this (hopefully at least :twisted: ):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/grbiking/512277848/
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby thommo09 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:28 pm

Just thought Id post an update on the progress we've made with the Sakae. Props to my mate Big Bird for his help and use of his awesome Bike garage! :D

Let me know what you all think:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/57750753@N05/5636825995/
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby munga » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:06 pm

i think its pretty, but that's a lot of seatpost.
pitty43 wrote:Thanks all for your help. Better change my Gumtree add now.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/retroclassiccycling/
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby Semar » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:07 pm

Seriously cool unit! :wink:
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby familyguy » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:37 am

munga wrote:i think its pretty, but that's a lot of seatpost.


+1. Too small for you? Or was it just jacked up for get it looking Pro for the photos?

Jim
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby thommo09 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:38 am

Definitely too small unfortunately, but I can still ride it short distances without it causing me too many issues. I'm contemplating selling it though to find another project - one that actually fits!
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby spirito » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:38 pm

Cool ride !!!
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby munga » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:47 pm

(i actually had a bid on this one too)
pitty43 wrote:Thanks all for your help. Better change my Gumtree add now.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/retroclassiccycling/
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby lunar_c » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:09 am

Nice bike! Love the frame. Do you still need a 7 speed cassette? I have a new 13-26 shimano hg50 for sale.
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby Demonman » Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:55 pm

Jimmy

Your post reminded me of the bike I had stored away in the shed - I have just pulled it out and its almost exactly the same I'd say. It was given to me for a 40th birthday present 9 years ago and at that time it was getting on a bit (but I did appreciate the gift!).

I ride a Colnago Dream now (2006 model) and that does my basic riding requirements so I might put the Sakae on eBay as well - can you give me an idea about what I should be expecting to get for it???

Mark
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby vandenberg » Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:30 pm

I've got one of these, been collecting a full suntour sprint group for it. I think I've got nearly everything except a headset now. Even managed to find a set of sprint hubs from a certain hoarding forum member, now I just need to get the wheels built up.
This is how it looked when I got it.
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby Velo13 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:12 am

LittleWheelsandBig wrote:I can't recall the OLD of that model off the top of my head, bonded aluminium frames don't like being cold-set for wider hubs. Any modern rear road hub will 130mm, that frame could be 126 or so.


Most likely 126mm. The last NEW Liteage I saw was prior to 8 speed. However they were still around as 8s emerged ... best to measure.

stnfldr - bonded frames are still popular. Time carbon frames are bonded (lugs to tubes). Trek OCLV and Giant carbon frames were bonded as well, though not sure if they are all monocoque (one piece) construction now.

There are many Taiwanese manufacturers that still make bonded frames, and uber premium custom brands like Serotta and Independent Fabrications bond Titanium jugs to Carbon tubes.

Bonded aluminium frames like the SR Litage did go out of vogue in the early 90s. Firstly, there was an ongoing issue with the joins between materials - different rates of expansion and contraction (under changing heat conditions) meant that these frames were prone to failure earlier than the emerging lightweight welded Aluminium frames, and started to loose favour. By the time this issue was sorted (mid 90s by the Taiwanese!) - Aluminium frames were a similar weight, considerably stiffer (in EVERY direction), and cheaper. By then, Carbon frames were visible on tyhe horizon as well, and we all started to get excited about that.

Old school (26.0mm or 25.4mm clamp diameter) bars in 44 ctc width are as rare as rocking horse farts. That Nitto is a nice unit anyways.

thommo09 wrote:Definitely too small unfortunately, but I can still ride it short distances without it causing me too many issues. I'm contemplating selling it though to find another project - one that actually fits!


Yes, be careful if you have too much pole (ahem), these frames were "cutting edge" lightweight at their time, and at the time no one ever used more than about 6 inches of pole. Any more might be too much leverage and bust something.
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby Kaizen » Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:20 am

I actually have this bike (initially purchased in 1988) mine was badged as a REPCO Vertex... full Suntour Sprint 900 Groupset. I have done over 75,000km on this bike! It has performed flawlessly with the exception of one small issue - The bottom bracket in severe heat and long riding can flex allot !! The one situation that still scares me to this day was going down hill at over 63km/h and the bottom bracket started "oscillating" by itself!! I still believe the Suntour Sprint works better and quieter than my Dura Ace! Everything is still original on my bike and in perfect condition (minus stickers) until last weekend when my rear derailleur snapped in half!
This is a beautiful bike fast light and still my favourite!!
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby satanas » Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:29 pm

FWIW, I used to own one of these, and built up a couple of others. Rear spacing on the ones I saw either was 130mm, or it didn't matter as they all ended up with 8 speed wheels and none of them broke. Nice looking frames, but sadly didn't ride as well as Alans - but still immensely better than contemporary Cannondales [shudder] or the like.
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Re: SR Sakae Litage (US cousin in midwest)

Postby srrajski » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:36 am

Heya Jimmy!

Was cruising the net looking to see who else in the world owns' on of these beauties! Yours is gorgeous though I have to say I'm quite in love with
my 60 cm Sakae Litage. Will post some pics when I get a chance but they are lovely bikes. Unfortunately mine developed a rattle in the top tube some years ago which I have not been able to remedy. I think they used bolts or screws during construction and that these are able to come undone over the years. I've had mine since probably ~2005 and before that the frame (brand new) spent from 1987 to 2005 in a box in some bike shop in Brooklyn NY. Can you believe it? I got a ~20 yo frame brand new and never even built up. It looks incredible with the Campy chorus/record gruppo and Mavic Ksyrium SSLs she's built with.

The rattle is driving me nuts though and I'm hoping to replace with something much newer soon (Argon 18 gallium pro or Felt AR-ish).

Anyway, just thought I'd say hi to another exceptionally rare Sakae Litage driver!

Sincerely,
Scott
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Re: SR Sakae Litage

Postby DavidI » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:36 am

Kaizen wrote:I actually have this bike (initially purchased in 1988) mine was badged as a REPCO Vertex... full Suntour Sprint 900 Groupset. I have done over 75,000km on this bike! It has performed flawlessly with the exception of one small issue - The bottom bracket in severe heat and long riding can flex allot !! The one situation that still scares me to this day was going down hill at over 63km/h and the bottom bracket started "oscillating" by itself!! I still believe the Suntour Sprint works better and quieter than my Dura Ace! Everything is still original on my bike and in perfect condition (minus stickers) until last weekend when my rear derailleur snapped in half!
This is a beautiful bike fast light and still my favourite!!

I have the Repco catalogue that lists these, it was the premium model replacing the Reynolds 531-tubed steel frames.
Suntour is one of the great losses in bicycle components, their stuff was better finished, better performing and more affordable than the Shimano equivalent of the day, greatly underrated (in part due ot the lower price)..... Shame they didn't have the resources of ShimaNO to stay competitive.
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