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  1. #151
    Senior Member CustomSteel's Avatar
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    Not bad, not bad at all

  2. #152
    Senior Member Duane Behrens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
    Sorry to say it, but your brake levers are mounted "too high" on the hooks. If you place a straight edge beneath the flat portions of the drops, running forward, and then align the bottom tips of the levers to that edge, you'll have it better. Of course, this will also affect the safety lever reach from the tops.

    My suggestion would be to untape the handlebars and try the lever placement again. PG
    How's this?

    re-aligned hoods.jpg

  3. #153
    Mike J
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duane Behrens View Post
    Yep. That's about how mine are set. Looks a lot better, but comfort is key. See how it feels.

  4. #154
    Senior Member Duane Behrens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jj1091 View Post
    Yep. That's about how mine are set. Looks a lot better, but comfort is key. See how it feels.
    It feels better - I took it for a short ride around the block (in the dark) . . . and it seems to FIT me now. Thanks much. DB

  5. #155
    Professional Decal Maker JRrestore's Avatar
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    Beautiful restoration, I like the yellow. Very nice.

  6. #156
    Senior Member Duane Behrens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    For the sake of the current and next owners, make sure that stem and seatpost are in far enough to prevent damage.

    I'm 5'8" and can tell that bike would be far too small for me.
    You - and everyone else here who advised that this frame would be too small for me - were wrong. Here is why:

    As it turns out (and you can check this), the TOP TUBE length on a 50 cm Nishiki steel bike is exactly the same the top tube length on a 56 cm Nishiki. Nishiki made the bikes "smaller" by shortening the seat tube and the head tube. Thus, a taller rider need only raise the seat and change out the quill stem to make the ergos on the two bikes identical.

    I'm 5' 10". My wife and I rode 30 miles this morning, and I finished with a 1200 ft. climb up to home. The bike fits me like a glove and, in the last month, I've been on it more than on my Tarmac. Here's a pic as set up now. The brake hoods were moved forward and the seat post was turned 180- degrees. I'd intended to sell it, but with four sets of new bearings, new paint, new cables and new FD. . . . well, I think I'll just keep it. Thanks.

    80 Nishiki 2.jpg
    Last edited by Duane Behrens; 02-22-14 at 04:22 PM. Reason: added photo

  7. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duane Behrens View Post
    As it turns out (and you can check this), the TOP TUBE length on a 50 cm Nishiki steel bike is exactly the same the top tube length on a 56 cm Nishiki. Nishiki made the bikes "smaller" by shortening the seat tube and the head tube. Thus, a taller rider need only raise the seat and change out the quill stem to make the ergos on the two bikes identical.
    Wow, that's disturbing. I feel sorry for the for the 5'2" woman or man who bought one of those thinking it would fit. I guess that's why they sell 40 mm stems. I hope no other maker followed the same design book.

  8. #158
    Senior Member Duane Behrens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Wow, that's disturbing. I feel sorry for the for the 5'2" woman or man who bought one of those thinking it would fit. I guess that's why they sell 40 mm stems. I hope no other maker followed the same design book.
    I think other manufacturers of older steel-framed bikes did the same. I don't have another Schwinn to compare against, but the top tube length on my 1988, 56 cm Schwinn World Sport measures 54 cm - a full 2 cm SHORTER than my 50 cm Nishiki. And I'll admit, it feels a slight bit more precarious (i.e. less comfortable) than the 50 cm Nishiki. It's not a bad thing, really, if one can make a shorter bicycle frame fit a larger human frame so well. And you are correct; a quill stem with a longer stem length, combined with an extended seat height, makes all well again. Best. DB
    Last edited by Duane Behrens; 02-23-14 at 12:53 AM.

  9. #159
    Mike J
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duane Behrens View Post
    I think other manufacturers of older steel-framed bikes did the same. I don't have another Schwinn to compare against, but the top tube length on my 1988, 56 cm Schwinn World Sport measures 54 cm - a full 2 cm SHORTER than my 50 cm Nishiki. And I'll admit, it feels a slight bit more precarious (i.e. less comfortable) than the 50 cm Nishiki. It's not a bad thing, really, if one can make a shorter bicycle frame fit a larger human frame so well. And you are correct; a quill stem with a longer stem length, combined with an extended seat height, makes all well again. Best. DB
    Hey Duane, how's it going? Still lovin' that new yellow bike? Hope the weather's allowed you to do some serious riding.

    My experience with this was on my Nobilette, it was 49cm CTT, and had a 53cm TT. I rode it initially being thrilled with the "find", had to adjust my seat high up. Then, it seemed like I was way too close to the bars forward-wise, and the bars were way too low, so I found a Technomics stem that had a 165mm height (old one was 100mm), and a 110mm reach (old one was 105), and though it was hardly any difference in reach, the height put me in more of an upright style with the higher seat position. Still seemed something was wrong, so I slammed the seat back on the rails. At that point I could ride it nearly comfortably, as long as I was just cruising, but to get down on it and do serious cranking for a few miles was excruciating, because the geometry had me way behind the cranks with little down-force in my stroke, all pushing, and pushing at a weird angle, trying to force me off the seat. Toe clips helped overcome some of that, since I could gain force on the up-stroke, but there was nothing left to adjust, and in time-trials over my normal route markers, I could never top 15mph steady. Hills were like lead in my legs, and if I had to turn, my feet hit the front tire (partly why I had to use toe clips to keep my feet from being forward on the pedals).

    Long story short, it just wasn't good exercise, which is why I ride. That exercise should be enjoyable, and if it has no reward, which to me is a ride where all parts get their share of the work, then it's not a good time. You can ride a bike like you're discussing here, it's just not a pleasure. Still a beautiful bike, the Nobilette, but not a regular rider. It's my Sunday cruiser, coffee-shop Queen. I made a purpose for it, but to get out and feel the wind, my '78 Fuji S10S Ltd, with 58cm CTT and 58cm TT, rides like a dream. On my first ride with it, even without the tweaking we do, I made almost 18 mph for 4 miles. I'm closing in on 20 now, getting used to the geometry.

  10. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duane Behrens View Post
    I think other manufacturers of older steel-framed bikes did the same.
    Bridgestone, among others, didn't. My first "good" bike was a 1985 Bridgestone 400, the bottom of Bridgestone's road bike line, and the top tubes on these were all proportional to the frame size.

    I consider using the same top tube length on the entire range of frame sizes almost malfeasance. You happened to benefit from it in this particular case but it's generally a lousy idea. Short bicycle frames are supposed to fit short people.

  11. #161
    Senior Member Duane Behrens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Bridgestone, among others, didn't. My first "good" bike was a 1985 Bridgestone 400, the bottom of Bridgestone's road bike line, and the top tubes on these were all proportional to the frame size.

    I consider using the same top tube length on the entire range of frame sizes almost malfeasance. You happened to benefit from it in this particular case but it's generally a lousy idea. Short bicycle frames are supposed to fit short people.
    From reading your two posts (above) it DOES appear as if I got lucky. When I bought it the seller, at 6'-0", insisted he'd been riding it comfortably for 2 years before the FD seized. He seemed nice enough so I took a chance. Unlike "JJ's" experience, I've been able to adjust the ergos on the 50cm Nishiki to make them identical to those on my 56 cm Tarmac - including offset between crank and seatpost. The result is a bike that has been a pleasure to ride. And I love the questions I get at the coffee shop afterwards. "Is it new?" "What are these levers for?" etc. :-)

    DB and Nishiki.jpg

  12. #162
    Senior Member Duane Behrens's Avatar
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    The LBS - Safety Cycles in Torrance - has a great selection of Brooks saddles on hand. I know nothing about them, but I'm picturing the Nishiki with a nice tan Brooks saddle. Hmm . . . my birthday is around the corner.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  13. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duane Behrens View Post
    .....has a great selection of Brooks saddles on hand. I know nothing about them....
    Expensive, heavy, require care to protect and maintain the leather. Also require a fairly long "break in" period for most riders and there is a debate as to whether the saddle conforms to you or you conform to the saddle. Beloved by many, disliked by about as many.

  14. #164
    Senior Member Duane Behrens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRrestore View Post
    Beautiful restoration, I like the yellow. Very nice.
    Thanks. My wife gave me a Brooks saddle for my birthday. I installed new Cane Creek brake hoods. And I've got some Power Shifters to move the shifters to the down tubes. It's a beautiful thing.
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  15. #165
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    screw what all the haters say...if you have the time, the ability (or the ability to learn), and the money then do what you will. i posted questions on what components to use or info on the model and was immediately hit with derogatory comments. not once did i ask if it was worth the rebuild, but it still came. the worth of any particular item is determined by the person holding it. it may be a different story if you try to resell, again haters will hate. as for me, i would take it as far as i could afford, not caring if some critic in a far off state says its not worth a second look. main thing is you enjoyed or learned from the experience and it furthers your love for cycling.

  16. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antieverything View Post
    screw what all the haters say...if you have the time, the ability (or the ability to learn), and the money then do what you will. i posted questions on what components to use or info on the model and was immediately hit with derogatory comments. not once did i ask if it was worth the rebuild, but it still came. the worth of any particular item is determined by the person holding it.
    I don't recall your exact thread but the "derogatory" (actually informative) comments may have been made assuming you had no idea what the cost or problems would be in "upgrading" the bike you were discussing. We get a lot of questions about updating older bikes the OP has no idea what he/she is getting into and those warning comments are intended to head off a disappointing money pit for the uninformed. They aren't "haters" and characterizing them as that is unfair and unreasonable.

    If you are aware of the pitfalls and potential expense and want to go ahead anyway, have at it. Just don't say you weren't warned. Also, if you are aware, it would be nice to say so right up front so the "haters" won't have to let you know what's coming.

  17. #167
    Senior Member Duane Behrens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    I don't recall your exact thread but the "derogatory" (actually informative) comments may have been made assuming you had no idea what the cost or problems would be in "upgrading" the bike you were discussing. We get a lot of questions about updating older bikes the OP has no idea what he/she is getting into and those warning comments are intended to head off a disappointing money pit for the uninformed. They aren't "haters" and characterizing them as that is unfair and unreasonable.

    If you are aware of the pitfalls and potential expense and want to go ahead anyway, have at it. Just don't say you weren't warned. Also, if you are aware, it would be nice to say so right up front so the "haters" won't have to let you know what's coming.

    Please refer to my signature line. As it turned out, my restored Nishiki Sport is my favorite, best looking and most comfortable daily ride. I'm 5' 10" and I can't stay off it. The bike is a 50 cm frame (with a friggin' 56 cm top tube).

    Go figure. Better yet, go take a ride.
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  18. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duane Behrens View Post
    Please refer to my signature line. As it turned out, my restored Nishiki Sport is my favorite, best looking and most comfortable daily ride. I'm 5' 10" and I can't stay off it. The bike is a 50 cm frame (with a friggin' 56 cm top tube).

    Go figure. Better yet, go take a ride.
    I wasn't replying to or referring to you, I was replying to "Antieverything". He seems to think that any warning that a project may not be the best idea is from "haters".

    You were duly warned pages ago and decided to proceed anyway but you knew what you were getting into by then. I'm thrilled it worked out but the bike you lucked into bailed you out with its oddball geometry.

  19. #169
    Senior Member Duane Behrens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    I wasn't replying to or referring to you, I was replying to "Antieverything". He seems to think that any warning that a project may not be the best idea is from "haters".

    You were duly warned pages ago and decided to proceed anyway but you knew what you were getting into by then. I'm thrilled it worked out but the bike you lucked into bailed you out with its oddball geometry.
    I was "warned" by at least 5 posters that restoring a 50 cm frame for a person of my height (5' 10") was a bad idea. Each of these warnings was read and pondered. After reading them, I'd often-as-not go out and throw a leg over that old bike. And each time I did so I thought, "well wait - this WILL work!" And it did, to a degree I couldn't have anticipated.

    The warnings, however well-intended, were borne from ignorance. You're correct - I got lucky. But I got lucky because I ignored the critics. And I wonder how may of those critics will now think twice before dismissing a concept of which, as it turns out, they know very little.

    Probably none. After all, they're all so much smarter than me. :-) Thanks for your input. Take care. DB
    Last edited by Duane Behrens; 03-27-14 at 09:03 PM.
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    Love the color, black Brooks would look good,imo. I notice both your seatpost and stem have an extraordinary amount of extension. Does this result in any instability in the steering or other handling detriments? I know mountain bikes often have long seatposts but I have the impression they are designed for it.

  21. #171
    Senior Member Duane Behrens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
    Love the color, black Brooks would look good,imo. I notice both your seatpost and stem have an extraordinary amount of extension. Does this result in any instability in the steering or other handling detriments?
    Your comment is inaccurate. The extension on the quill stem and seat are not extraordinary, they're well within their design limits. So the answer to your question is "no."

    More than just "no." Compared to my 56 cm Tarmac, the Nishiki is more stable on fast descents. I expect that's due to its longer top tube length, greater front-end trail, and its 1.25" tires. It's just one of the aspects of this rebuild that have made it my preferred ride. DB
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  22. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duane Behrens View Post
    I was "warned" by at least 5 posters that restoring a 50 cm frame for a person of my height (5' 10") was a bad idea...... You're correct - I got lucky. But I got lucky because I ignored the critics. And I wonder how may of those critics will now think twice before dismissing a concept of which, as it turns out, they know very little.
    Not quite. You got lucky because you lucked into possibly the only bike made that had such odd-ball geometry. As a very general rule that applies to 99+ bikes out of 100, a 50 cm frame would be far too small for someone of your height. The fact that this particular frame had an abnormally long top tube that made it work for you didn't come out until way late in this thread and it's what saved your bacon.

    So, if you can learn anything from this otherwise successful experiment it's measure everything twice early in the project and don't rely on luck in the future. You've used up your allotment of good fortune.

  23. #173
    Senior Member Duane Behrens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Not quite. You got lucky because you lucked into possibly the only bike made that had such odd-ball geometry. As a very general rule that applies to 99+ bikes out of 100, a 50 cm frame would be far too small for someone of your height. The fact that this particular frame had an abnormally long top tube that made it work for you didn't come out until way late in this thread and it's what saved your bacon.

    So, if you can learn anything from this otherwise successful experiment it's measure everything twice early in the project and don't rely on luck in the future. You've used up your allotment of good fortune.
    Can't find the post anymore, but someone here suggested it was actually quite common for manufacturers of steel bikes to alter their bikes' "size" by changing the height of the steering head and seat tube only, while keeping the top tube dimension the same. A way to reduce production costs, I suppose. In other words, a 50, 54 and 58 cm bike would all have the same horizontal length. Can't verify it; maybe someone else here can. But if that's true, then your "99+ bikes out of 100" statement is suspect. Your other statement - that I got lucky - is true either way. :-) Thanks.
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  24. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duane Behrens View Post
    Can't find the post anymore, but someone here suggested it was actually quite common for manufacturers of steel bikes to alter their bikes' "size" by changing the height of the steering head and seat tube only, while keeping the top tube dimension the same. A way to reduce production costs, I suppose. In other words, a 50, 54 and 58 cm bike would all have the same horizontal length. Can't verify it; maybe someone else here can. But if that's true, then your "99+ bikes out of 100" statement is suspect. Your other statement - that I got lucky - is true either way. :-) Thanks.
    We discussed this point earlier in this thread and it's not correct. Almost all of the bikes I looked at when I was first considering a "good" bike in the mid-1980's had their top tubes proportional to the nominal frame size, even down to their entry level bikes. You frame is the only "one size fits all" I've ever seen.

  25. #175
    Senior Member Duane Behrens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    We discussed this point earlier in this thread and it's not correct. Almost all of the bikes I looked at when I was first considering a "good" bike in the mid-1980's had their top tubes proportional to the nominal frame size, even down to their entry level bikes. [Your Nishiki] frame is the only "one size fits all" I've ever seen.
    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    We discussed this point earlier in this thread and it's not correct. Almost all of the bikes I looked at when I was first considering a "good" bike in the mid-1980's had their top tubes proportional to the nominal frame size, even down to their entry level bikes. You frame is the only "one size fits all" I've ever seen.

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    Trying to agree with you, I suspect such bikes (identical top tubes but different seat and head tube lengths) are rarer than the other poster believed. But they do exist, apparently. Good for me as it turns out. Bad for any short person who bought a new '80 Nishiki! I really can't see a 5'3" man or woman ever getting comfortable on this thing; they'd be laid out on it just trying to reach the brakes . . . DB
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