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Thread: Nishiki Sport

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    Nishiki Sport

    Bought this bike for my mother today. Never heard of the brand or know anything about it. Thought the price was right at $50 and I found it on craigslist. Going to clean it up for her so we can go riding together. The bike has Suntour components








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    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    "Sport" often indicates a bike at the bottom of a brand's product line, and I believe that's true in this case. This bike would be equivalent to, say, a Schwinn World Sport (there's that Sport thing again!) Having said that, though, it is a good bike for the price you paid, assuming nothing major pops up. It should be a good bike to get her started again. Although not very high-end, Suntour AR derailleurs are pretty durable and provide consistent shifting.

    One thing that sets this bike apart is the paint. I always thought Nishikis had better paint than the other brands. The paint on yours looks excellent.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

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    I started on a 83 Sport. 3.5 hours of cleaning and everyone thought it was brand new.
    Rode it 1500 miles. That Red one will clean up to look like new.

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    Senior Member KOBE's Avatar
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    Mixtes are very nice bikes, much better than the a standard girl frame. The drawbacks to this bike is the bolt on wheels and the rust. But the rust should clean up nicely from the chrome. For $50 you did well, cleaned up with new cables,tires,tubes and brake pads and it would be worth $125.

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    Nishiki was US brand owned by West Coast Cycle Supply Co, of Carson, California. They had been improrting bicycles manufactured by the Kawmura company of Japan under the American Eagle brand name since 1965 but changed the name to Nishiki during 1972. Nishiki refers to gold thread used in wedding kimonos. Nishiki was a popular and well respected brand, offering a full range of models.

    The Sport was typically the bottom model in the line. Yours appears to be circa 1981-1986. By this time, manufacturing of most of the entry level models had been moved to Giant in Taiwan. Giant manufactured frames have an open format date code stamped on one of the rear dropouts, format Gmmyy, where G= Giant, mm = month and yy = year. If by chance, it happens to be a Kawamura frame, the serial number should be under the bottom bracket shell, format zyxxxxx, where z = intended market (C = Canada, K = USA pre-1985, W = USA 1985-1987) and y = year (A = 1981, B = 1982, C = 1983, etc), xxxx is a sequential manufacturing number. I'll appreciate the serial number for my database.

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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
    I'll appreciate the serial number for my database.






    Awesome information T-Mar! So its a Giant manufactured frame made Feb of 83?

    Not sure what the other number starting with 3 means on the other side of the bike. Also the letters on the suntour derailers front to back YJ & YE

    I cleaned it up and took it for a ride and it was very smooth, shifted well and all around a nice ride. I've done a couple google searches on ways to remove light surface rust on chrome or paint and there are so many products out there. From your experiance what do you all use?

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    $50 was a steal for that bike, a few hours and some fresh lube and that'll be like new.
    The Sport was a plain steel bike but it rode well. I've got one I turned into an upright bar cruiser for daily riding. Pretty much the same as yours in a men's frame with MTB bars and brake levers, plus a new set of alloy wheels.
    Any ridable bike is worth far more than $50 just for transportation purposes. Ad some age and style and it's worth even more.
    If that were mine and for sale, I'd have gone through it top to bottom, given it a good cleaning and polish and put a $325 price tag on it. As it sits I'd have to say around $125 to $150. Face it, you can't buy it new, there just isn't anything even close to that made new, at least not that's sold in the US these days, mixte frame or otherwise. Mixte frames also weren't made as just woman's models, they were billed more as a unisex type design. They are far more rigid than a ladies frame and far better looking. They are a bit rare these days as there simply never were a lot of them sold. I'd venture to guess about 40 to 1 mens to mixte frames? Maybe even a bigger gap than that. Not that rare in this case adds big money but if your after that style bike, it can be hard to come by.

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    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vintagebicycle View Post
    $50 was a steal for that bike, a few hours and some fresh lube and that'll be like new.
    The Sport was a plain steel bike but it rode well. I've got one I turned into an upright bar cruiser for daily riding. Pretty much the same as yours in a men's frame with MTB bars and brake levers, plus a new set of alloy wheels.
    Any ridable bike is worth far more than $50 just for transportation purposes. Ad some age and style and it's worth even more.
    If that were mine and for sale, I'd have gone through it top to bottom, given it a good cleaning and polish and put a $325 price tag on it. As it sits I'd have to say around $125 to $150. Face it, you can't buy it new, there just isn't anything even close to that made new, at least not that's sold in the US these days, mixte frame or otherwise. Mixte frames also weren't made as just woman's models, they were billed more as a unisex type design. They are far more rigid than a ladies frame and far better looking. They are a bit rare these days as there simply never were a lot of them sold. I'd venture to guess about 40 to 1 mens to mixte frames? Maybe even a bigger gap than that. Not that rare in this case adds big money but if your after that style bike, it can be hard to come by.
    You must live in a hot market. Around here, that bike fully refurbished would bring $150. I sold a Panasonic just like this one fully refurbished for $140. I would be interested in how many mixtes have you sold for $325, and into what market? I have a couple in the queue, so would like some insight I could use to improve my return. I would love to get a lot more for them.

    Nutted rear axle, stem shifters, claw derailleur hanger, steel chainrings, steel seat post, turkey levers, steel rims (I am not sure about that aspect) = bottom end bike. Great paint, mixte frame, all are desirable.

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    Thanks for all the good info guys. The only thing I would like to know is what the best way to clean this thing. Like I said above if I do a google search, so many things come up and so many people have different opinions on cleaners. How about some first hand experiance? With the frame and chrome parts? Removing light surface rust, and cleaning the chain? Thanks

  10. #10
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    On the chrome bits, I like to use aluminum foil and lemon juice. The slightly acidic lemon juice loosens up the rust and the aluminum foil is softer than the chrome so it won't harm the finish. (An alternative to the aluminum foil is fine brass wool. Don't use steel wool as it will remove some fo the chrome.) For the painted surfaces, I like to use automotive cleaning wax.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

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    Actually I wouldn't consider my area to be a hot bike market at all, I find very little interest locally in vintage road bikes, old Schwinns are a different story.

    I find that sellability often depends more on condition and how new a bike looks, regardless of what model or what rung on the ladder its from.
    Another thing is nostalgia, a guy that owned one of what ever your selling say 40 years ago will most likely want that same model even if its bottom of the line. If it's a dead ringer for his old bike, you have a buyer.
    Another type of buyer is the guy that always wanted one and remembers how he couldn't afford it then, but can now. These are the guys that will pay anything when they come across a mint example of that bike they ogled at as a kid and couldn't have. The next is the guy that wants one of everything, and the one you have may just be the one he doesn't yet have.

    I find original paint condition to be the single most important item, all else can be fixed with new old stock parts or some polishing. In other words, if it's been painted over with house paint, it's no longer that same bike they remember from way back when. The average buyer won't mind or maybe not even notice that say a derailleur is a year or two newer than the bike, or if the crankset isn't the right model, but they will notice if it's lacking it's original decals or if it don't look like the one in the original catalog they Googled up online.

    I've had bikes that were mint originals and well equipped not sell or not bring any decent offers, on those I put them away till they either come of age or the right buyer comes around. I won't give away a bike for cheap just to move it. With the internet these days, if won't sell in NY, there's always someplace where it will. The right buyer just needs to find it.
    Just the same, I've got some bikes that I personally just like, and the more I like the bike, the more someone will have to cough up to get me to part with it. I don't care what its 'Worth' if you want me to part with it, someone has to pay me enough to change my mind.
    The worst situation to be in when buying a bike is buying it from someone that don't need the money, but that can be said of most things. Deals can be had when the seller either is letting it go either because they NEED money, or NEED the space it takes up. I can't count how many bikes I've bought because someone needed to make a car or house payment, or how many people just wanted it gone because it was something their kids left behind after they moved out. The best bikes also come from inside of peoples homes, not out in sheds or under tarps, there's nothing better for a bike than to have been kept for the past 20-30 years in a heated and air conditioned spare room all covered up and tucked away far from the damp concrete or leaking roof of some old shed or garage.

    I judge a bikes basic value by what it will cost me to put it right again, if the paint is done, and decals can't be had easily, it's of no value to me because it will always be a hard sell. It could be the holy grail but a repaint and cheap decals will kill it's value every time. Also, if I have a bike that I don't intend to bring back, I generally part them out online, most any bike is worth far more in parts than as a whole.
    I just parted out a Nishiki International, an older model with lots of paint loss. I sold it in bits and pieces. The brakes sold for $20, frame/fork for $75, the rear derailleur for $24, the front der. for $10, the Crankset and BB went for $30, another $12 for the stem, I scrapped the bent handlebars and rusty cables, the nylon bag under the seat sold for $30, and the well used wheels sold for $65. The bike as a whole was ugly, there's wasn't and inch of good paint on it, it had been stored outdoors for most of its life and the frame was full of acorns. I gave $10 for it at a yard sale. It was a non working bike with most all cables seized up, the tires were rotted and flat, the rear tube was broke in the middle and hanging out of the back tire dragging behind the bike, and the bar tape was black electrical tape. Even if I fixed all that was bad, the frame was faded and the decals almost unreadable. I doubt if I'd get $50 for it. But in parts, it brought in excess of $250.
    This all in a time when money is tight.
    What its worth is never more than what someone is willing to pay, to me, that just may be one piece at a time. Often it may also be a matter of waiting for the right person who appreciates it as much or more than the sum of it's parts too.

  12. #12
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vintagebicycle View Post
    If it's a dead ringer for his old bike, you have a buyer.
    Yeah, I'm still looking for a red 25" Nishiki Olympic 12
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

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    In 1983 the Sport was an entry level model for sure, but not the base level model. The Century occupied the lowest rung on the Nishiki ladder. The Sport was the next level and it had a number of improvements. The cranks and derailers were a step up from the Century and the Sport has a Chromoly seat tube as per your bike's decals, the Century does not. That bike is in very nice condition. I think you did very well to find a keeper for $50. Only one comment, that chain looks really rough, I'd replace it.
    Good luck with that bike.
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    I have a Sport that same color for only 12 bucks at a thrift shop a dozen yrs ago. I took in home and shined it all up and discovered the fork was eithe defective or bent. So up to the garage rafters it went. After a few years of mtn biking i got curious about what all the fuss was about with road bikes so i pulled it down and discovered it also had a bent frame! So i got a different fork and jumped on the frame a few times and behold! look ma...no hands! that was almost ten years ago and i still ride my little sport every now and then. It isnt a pure nishki anymore. I raided the componets off a Trek and got rid of the 27" tires for 700s.....but this was before I relized it was a classic. I now regret doing that but it's a good riding machine just the same. ( A little beat up though.) I think it just as good as some new bikes I test rode last fall that would have costed me 4 to 5 bills.
    How much for the fork?

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    Well, that's an impressive haul, Vintagebicycle! Just where are you selling parts online? Have an online store? How did you do shipping? Ever ship a whole bike and how much does that run? (What do you ship it in?) I have a dozen misc bikes, some good to roll and some parts carriers. Mainly going old skool now at yard sales and just starting Craig's List.

    One of the the gems is a fine Nishiki Sport mixte 12-spd in Coral and Maroon paint. It does have quick release axles, Dia-Comp flip release side pulls (old style) but a Champion h-bar with foam cover, so may be updated some. Now that I know what and where to look for frame numbers, will see if it's Kawamura or Giant.
    Last edited by jopower; 04-03-11 at 08:17 AM. Reason: corrections
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    thats a good looking bike. i just purchased a 1983 nishiki sport bike at a goodwill store today for $15. its a mens version in black with the same componentry as the one you have pictured. once i get it cleaned up and riding ill take some pics and post them. i hope your mother enjoyed her new ride

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