"An attempt by a large diversified European company to create a prestige marque in the bicycle world. They did a pretty darn good job of it too! There were some glitches, such as a full size range of bikes all sporting the same length top tube. . ." -Sheldon Brown
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
:-) Okay. I sure do respect your opinion. But here's the thing. For me, today, this bike feels tight, compact, and ready to burn. It just feels RIGHT, you know?
It might be the lower, longer frame. Or it might be the 38 cm bars. Maybe it's the replacement Cane Creek hoods that JCavilla suggested. (These really made the bike easier and more fun to ride.) Maybe it's all three. Whatever. Put them together with the supple steel frame and 1.25" tires and you've got a bike that is more concierge than machine.
What I know is this: My 56 cm carbon bike with its 42 cm bars and Ultegra gruppo was fit professionally for me, and I thought it was perfect for four years . . . until I finished the build on this one. If I'm not riding it, I'm looking at it.
EDIT: Mike, you also wrote: " . . . stems much more than 110 mm were long." Actually, the stem extension on the Nishiki is the original 70mm . Again, because of the long (56 cm) top tube length and by simply raising the bars a bit, it was a perfect fit; elbows slightly bent when on the top curve of the bars, near to or fully extended when riding on the hoods. The 100mm aftermarket stem I ordered for it is still in the box. I may put it on the 54 cm Schwinn, which has a shorter, 54 cm top tube. These old bikes are weird. :-)
I say build the bike however you wish. I feel that the value of any bike is not what it is made of or how much it costs, rather how it rides and what you use it for. If this bike is still going after 34 years chances are you get many more years of great value from it after a bit of effort and care. Without a doubt I would replace all the components with wear and tear. Spare parts are so cheap on wiggle and chain reaction that upgrading an older bike with quality components is a viable option. As an example I upgraded my old steel touring bike (at a fair guess 15 yrs old) with brand new 10 speed XT group set, Mavic A319 touring wheels, butterfly/trekking handle bars and just about everything else. The only original components on the bike was the frame, forks and seat post. Everything else was replaced brand new. The total cost of the upgrade came to about $750. I consider this to be extremely cheap when compared to purchasing a brand new touring bike to a similar spec. I wouldn't expect to get much change form $2000 for something in the same category and range as my old steel bike. I imagine my old steel bike in its current condition will outlast just about every high spec carbon bike being purchased today. Since the build I have ridden across Russia on the bike and use it as a day to day commuter. I have put about 3000 km on it since the build about a year ago and the bike never misses a beat. For me it is money well spent.
As for the paint job, I would look for a local powder coating company and ask them to sand blast the frame then powder coat the frame. This would not be the cheapest method however you will get a far better end product. Then reassemble yourself, if you run into trouble take it to your LBS.
Once it is pulled apart it; inspect the frame, particularly around the bottom bracket, carefully for any cracks. If there are any cracks then the frame is probably at the end of its life.
Good luck with the build.
That yellow paint is gorgeous. I love the ride feel of old steel 10 speeds with 27 x 1 1/4 tires.
Me too. Cane Creek hoods are on. They really improve the way the bike feels, especially while climbing. (The red bar tape is temporary - I'll replace it when I replace the seat.) I think all that's left is to move the shifters to the downtube, after which I'll just ride it. Thanks.
Shimano 105 Clamp-on Friction Downtube Shifters Shifter Road Shifters Complete Friction
At $50 they aren't cheap but they certainly are elegant.
I'm not sure which of my posts you were responding to. The Nishiki rebuild is fairly well completed now. New powder-coat paint, all new cables and housing, all new bearings, new front derailleur. The only original parts left are the rear derailleur and the chain rings.
"Hillrider," thanks for the tip on the Shimano Clamp-ons. They certainly are attractive. In this case, I'd already ordered some Suntour Power Shifters. They're sitting in the garage, waiting to be mounted.
In a way, these projects never quite end until you sell them.
Good Morning Duane,
Just after I posted my reply the other day I scrolled to the top of the page only to find there were 8 pages of posts that I had not read. Pretty silly mistake but such is life. The yellow bike looks tops and I think the red bar tape is pretty cool too. Id change them to orange if it were mine.
Even to my surprise, I don't have any good clear photos of the bike so I have attached two. There not the best photos, but they show the old bike just before I loaded it onto the front of a dingy to cross the River Volga in Russia. The Russian ferry service was awesome.
Ride your yellow bike somewhere wild and crazy!
Attachment 371957Attachment 371958
Here is the bike with its latest upgrades: (a) Suntour DT Power Shifters to replace the original stem mounts; (b) Cane Creek brake levers and hoods to replace the original cantilever ("turkey leg") levers; (c) a new B17 Brooks saddle, and (d) matching bar tape. I like the overall look of the bike much better now, and am looking forward to finding out if the Brooks saddles are worth the hype.
steering head bearings
bottom bracket bearings
wheels, tubes and tires
brake cables and housing
shifter cables and housing
All for less than $500, including the paint and the new saddle. My expensive carbon bike now sits in the garage most weekdays; this is simply a more attractive, enjoyable, and comfortable daily rider / commuter.
Didn't think much of it until you changed the tape and put the Brooks on it; now it looks pretty tight.
You just need a nice pair of pedals.
And stop taking pics from the wrong side! :twitchy:
Wow! As a former owner of a 1980 Nishiki Sport (purchased new at a lbs with some birthday and paper route money, lent to my younger brother when I left for college, sold by my Dad at a garage sale while I was studying in Europe without my permission :() I am impressed. That has to be the classiest Nishiki Sport in the country.
The velocal decal on the right side is just slightly off center. Most people don't notice it, but I do. Makes me shy of posting the right side. . . . but here it is:
I did know what he meant and am the first to admit that I got very lucky with this one. I hope you'll find another Nishiki one day . . . maybe even your old bike. :-) DB
If you're comfortable riding platforms, I say just keep 'em. My vintage-MTB-turned-commuter has platforms and they're great for the kind of riding I do on it. If you really want to do faster rides (without simply swapping pedals with your CF bike), perhaps a set of toe clips and straps to keep the vintage look?