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  1. #1
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    How to upgrade my nishiki road bike?

    I have a vintage nishiki road bike and I am looking to get into biking. What parts should I upgrade to make it suitible for riding. It does not have step in petals. It is from around the 70's.

  2. #2
    Senior Member gurry's Avatar
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    Grab a magnet and go and see if there are any aluminum stuff on the bike like handlebars, seatpost, rims, etc. Replacing steel with alloy is an upgrade in my book. What rear derailleur is on the bike now?

  3. #3
    Your mom
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    It's probably suitable for riding as is.

    There are some vintage bikes that are worth upgrading because of the quality of the frame, but these are usually higher-end machines. Your Nishiki will be a great introduction to biking, but it's probably not worth replacing a whole lot of components on the frame. Ride it until you decide you really like biking, then start looking for a newer bike.

  4. #4
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    Hmmm, "upgrading" a '70's bike to modern parts can get very expensive very fast and there are several dimensional mis-matches to consider.

    What shape are the current components in? With a good overhaul and relubing of all the bearings (hubs, headset, bottom bracket) and perhaps new tires, would the bike be usable in it's current form? If so, that is by far the least expensive and most practical way to go.

    "Clipless" (i.e. step-in) pedals are a universal fit and would be a worthwhile purchase for this bike but be careful about trying to modernize the rest of it. Unless the frame is of great sentimental value, buying a new or much more modern used bike is likely to be far more financially justified.

  5. #5
    Senior Member KZBrian's Avatar
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    If the bike has quality components, alloy rims...etc., you may be perfectly happy with it with a few minor upgrades like clipless pedals. My only bike is a 1986 Cannondale that is still mostly stock.

  6. #6
    on your left.
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    I have a 70's Nishiki....the frame (lugged steel) is in great shape and pretty light for steel. I got it from a thrift store for $20, mostly because it fits really well. If you think you might still want a steel frame, I would consider keeping the Nishiki.

    Down the road, I plan to have it powdercoated and build it up as a commuter/backup road bike.
    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    I learned this the hard way. They say that experience is the best teacher, but I would have been preferred to just read about it on the internet.

  7. #7
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    It has a shimano 600 rear derailer

  8. #8
    Senior Member gurry's Avatar
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    The Shimano 600 is a good derailleur. No pressing need to up grade that one, but if you want, you could clean up the pulleys by taking them out. Oil the bushings inside the pulleys. It's a little hassle to get them together the first time you attempt it though. This procedure is easier to do if you break the chain with a chain tool. Then you can really clean the RD.

  9. #9
    Senior Member MudPie's Avatar
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    As the others suggest, instead of upgradng, I agree that you might want to give this one a bit of maintenance and TLC. Just because a component is old doesn't mean it's no good. Yesterday's "600" line is equal to today's Ultegra line. Do a little bit of maintenance at a time. Perhaps clean and lube the wheel bearings, then bottom bracket, then drive train... There is something about a "stock" vintage bike that speaks volumes. Sure, it won't be the slickest and fastest racer, but will be a joy to ride. And the money you saved by not upgrading to new components can go towards another bike.

  10. #10
    Senior Member gurry's Avatar
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    I totally agree with MudPie, if the rear derailleur is original to the bike, it's a good indication that the Nishiki is at least a mid-level bike brand new. Would be a keeper at my house.

  11. #11
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    Is it worth the money to replace the shift levers to ones that are on the brakes

  12. #12
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheldon123 View Post
    Is it worth the money to replace the shift levers to ones that are on the brakes
    Brifters on a 1970's Nishiki?? I really think you could find some other things to do. By the time all the equipment needed to do such is totaled - you could buy a new bike. Well - almost.

    I suggest you replace all the cables and cable-housing, and the tires and inner-tubes. Here are some links to help you find your way into doing your own work:

    http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=75

    And some videos for you to view -

    http://bicycletutor.com/adjust-front-derailer/

    And this from the most knowledgeable and dedicated bike-mechanic to ever grace a repair-stand: Sheldon "Ride-In-Peace" Brown.....

    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/#articles

    Good luck - Nishiki's were/are very nice bicycles!
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  13. #13
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    have a nishiki built with shimano 105 that i use everyday for a commuter. Great bike but when my wheel broke I just took the groupo off and converted it to a single speed. don't replace parts just ride the bike until the parts break then take them off save your money for a newer bike with "gears on the brakes" already on there. ultegra levers cost more than a newish used bike with the same levers equipped

  14. #14
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    Thanks for all the help.

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