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Old 07-13-09, 06:30 AM   #1
sheldon123
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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.
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Old 07-13-09, 06:51 AM   #2
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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?
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Old 07-13-09, 06:54 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 07-13-09, 06:55 AM   #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.
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Old 07-13-09, 08:04 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 07-13-09, 08:21 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 07-13-09, 01:43 PM   #7
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It has a shimano 600 rear derailer
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Old 07-13-09, 02:07 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 07-13-09, 02:28 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 07-13-09, 02:44 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 07-13-09, 07:04 PM   #11
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Is it worth the money to replace the shift levers to ones that are on the brakes
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Old 07-13-09, 09:25 PM   #12
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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!
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Old 07-13-09, 11:05 PM   #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
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Old 07-14-09, 11:14 AM   #14
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Thanks for all the help.
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