Tsunoda Sky Lancer Restoration
Each bicycle is unique in its own way. Brands try to be different from the rest by innovating and setting a USP (unique selling proposition). Tsunoda succeeded with their out of the box concepts.
What’s distinct about the Tsunoda Sky Lancer? It runs on a fixed gear, so there is no freewheel for the hub. Instead, the bottom bracket has a free wheel mechanism which enables the rider to rest when not pedaling. Kinda weird? Yes, but this is the same concept as the spinners for the bling bling mag wheels of gangstas in the 90’s.
The Tsunoda Sky Lancer was brought to Valleybikes wrapped in dirt and with two flat tires. We replaced the inner tubes with modern Schrader tubes to make it more “Vulcanizing-shop-friendly”. The existing tires also needed replacement so we wrapped the wheels with brand new white side wall Duro tires (26 x 1 3/8).
There was something weird when you pedaled the Sky Lancer, it was as though some of the bearings were loose or missing. We replaced the pedals with new ones but the void was still there. We tinkered around with the complicated crank set and found out (after quite some time) that the crank arms just needed some tightening. Now it pedals smoothly.
Very wide springer saddle comforts the bum for the Tsunoda. No sore butt for any rider, beginner or pro. It has its weight issue… but with those racks, we are no weight weenies.
What’s wonderful about restoring vintage bicycles from Japan: the people know their bicycles. The integrated bike locks are lit! You don’t have to carry around your chain or U-lock. The security for your bike is incorporated within the bike. For the Sky Lancer, it has a rear wheel lock which locks only if you have the key. It is a simple idea, but it is a stroke of genius.
Hats off to Mark! Enjoy!