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Old 02-01-06, 12:56 PM   #1
Little Darwin
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Nishiki Custom Sport

I found some road bikes at a local thrift store (I have been looking for the elusive Schwinn Paramount, and possibly a nice alloy 27" wheel set).

I haven't checked the serial number or components for dating the bike yet. However, I bought a Nishiki Custom Sport 12 speed with Suntour Power Shifters (stem mounted) and Suntour AR derailleurs. The frame is a 24" lugged Tange Champion #5 seamless hand crafted by Kawamura, in decent shape except for some nicks, especially on the seat stays.

My plan is to remove the wheels, possibly seat post and Diacompe brake calipers to use as spares. I have tried to determine if the frame would be worth anything to anybody, but I am having trouble getting the information to help in determining the quality of the tubing/frame. When I pick it up, the weight feels reasonably light. Can anyone tell me whether Tange Champion #5 is a nice tube set? This is mostly just for my curiosity, because:

If anyone wants this bike stripped of wheels, seatpost and brake calipers, and want to pick it up in Wilkes-Barre or are within a reasonable distance for a drop off, it is yours... Will also part out and ship components if you are looking for Suntour AR dearailleurs etc. I haven't looked too closely at anything other than the alloy wheels, but will provide whatever information would be helpful. I know it still shifts, and is missing the chain guard, but has the bolts for it in the chainring. The cranks are Sugino, but I forget which model, and I believe the crank length is 175 mm.

I would seriously consider keeping it, but it is a bit too large for me. Does anyone want to save the frame from the land fill? I will keep it for a couple of weeks, then I will get it out of my way. I don't want to keep more than three bikes.
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Old 02-01-06, 01:25 PM   #2
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Tange #5 is a straight/plain gauge CrMo tubing. Strong and reasonably light. One step above hi-tensile steel. The stays are probably hi-tensile steel and maybe even the fork. The AR derailleur would peg it somewhere around 1981-1986. I'll be interested in knowing the serial number.
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Old 02-01-06, 01:47 PM   #3
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T-Mar,

Thanks for the info on the tubing. I found info online for Tange Champion 1-4, but nothing for 5. After thinking about it, I assumed it was straight gauge since I saw no reference on the label to it being butted.

Your estimate on the date matches what I was guessing (early 80's) by the 12 speeds, 27" wheels, suicide levers and foam grips...

I saw another thread where you were requesting serial numbers for Nishiki bikes, and was already going to provide serial numbers and component dates and/or codes for you. I will probably get to it tonight. I'll post all details in this thread for your use, and for specifics in case anyone is looking for any parts I might be able to provide for them.

Thanks again for the info.
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Old 02-01-06, 03:06 PM   #4
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The original early 1970s Custom Sports were gas pipe boat anchors. Yours is considerably superior, and would probably make a decent commuter/transportation bike for the right person.
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Old 02-01-06, 05:19 PM   #5
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A few other pieces of information for T-Mar (and others if you find it useful).

Serial Number C 00338

Has a deep large W (or M) on the bottom bracket

Derailleur date codes: Front YJ, Rear YE These indicate 1982 according to the Vintage-Trek site

Diacompe Brakes, N500 have two numbers 5583 and 0283M I assume based on Vintage Trek that these might indicate 1983... but in two different formats, neither of which fits the examples exactly. ???

My guess based on the component codes is that the bike is a 1983 or 1984. T-Mar, what does the serial number tell you?

If it weren't for the nicks in the paint, I would have to classify this bike as NOS. I think it has the original tires (Cycle Pro Touring Gum), and they still have nubs on them. The chain and gear cluster look new, and the chainrings just have some very light rust discoloration that I should be able to clean off with polishing compound in about 2 minutes.

I am not even going to replace the tires before I ride them... depending on how they look when I pump them up. But I plan to use them on my short distant commuter (Schwinn Suburban, 2.5 miles each way) I don't know if I would trust 20+ year old tires on a long trip.
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Old 02-01-06, 05:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgregory57

Serial Number C 00338

T-Mar, what does the serial number tell you?
Thank-you for posting the serial number. However, it appears incomplete. All the Kawamura serial numbers that I've seen were comprised of two letters followed by five or six numbers. A missing letter, could indicate a subcontracted frame, but you said it was handcrafted by Kawamura. The first letter in a Kawamura serial number is normally a K or C, so I don't now if the first or 2nd letter is missing and consequently can't date the frame, based on the serial number. Would you mind having a closer look?

Tange #5 tubesets used 0.9 mm main tubes, 0.8mm seat & chain stays and 1.0mm fork blades, Advertised weight was 2460g. Hopefully this is enough to allow comparison with Tange 1-4.
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Old 02-01-06, 07:44 PM   #7
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That is good info on the tube set. Thanks.

The serial number, there is no sign of another character, but there is a blank spot between the C and the numbers.

Attached are images of the serial number, and the decal on the left chain stay.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg serial.JPG (51.0 KB, 83 views)
File Type: jpg left chainstay.JPG (46.0 KB, 66 views)
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Old 02-01-06, 08:36 PM   #8
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Those are very good impressions and based on the decal it is a Kawamura frame, but the serial number format does not match anything else I have from that period, so I can't establish a vintage on that basis. Probably a mute point anyway, given your intentions to dispose of the frame. But thank-you for submitting the info and providing another variable for my analysis.
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Old 12-21-06, 06:54 AM   #9
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I'm bring this thread back to life since I too have a custom sport
the # is KB 07224

anyone have any info?
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Old 12-21-06, 09:09 AM   #10
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The big "W" stands for "West Coast Cycle Supply," one of Nishiki's larger distributors.

Dogpound, please post details regarding components, to help us guess the age of your Custom Sport, although yours sounds more like the 1970s era serial numbers with which I am familiar.
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Old 12-21-06, 09:29 AM   #11
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well, I just have the frame, it was converted to a fixed gear bike, it too has the W stamped on the bottom.
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Old 12-21-06, 11:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogpound
I'm bring this thread back to life since I too have a custom sport
the # is KB 07224

anyone have any info?
Quote:
Originally Posted by John E
Dogpound, please post details regarding components, to help us guess the age of your Custom Sport, although yours sounds more like the 1970s era serial numbers with which I am familiar.
Based on the serial number it should be a 1982 model, possibly 1983.
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Old 12-21-06, 11:23 AM   #13
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great, thanks.
it's a great frame.
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Old 12-21-06, 02:26 PM   #14
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Hay has any one taken up the frame offer yet? I am looking for something to do with a parts set I have and that frame sounds perfict for me is the offer is still there.
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Old 12-21-06, 04:43 PM   #15
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a shot in the dark, but Darwin if you did pick up the bike i am still lookng for a part to dia compe brakes for a miyata mixte. it is a caliper centering adjuster. if you don't need it that is. original post http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=250667

cheers

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Old 12-21-06, 04:46 PM   #16
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You sure that frame is not too big for you Tolfan? We met briefly in York a few months ago, I would have guessed that frame is way too big. Maybe if the stem and posts are put right down on the deck, and if you have longish legs. I am a big fan of these run of the mill Nishikis though. Nothing that anyone will ever get real excited about; but solid and sort of light and I think they handle very respectably. I have an old International that I hardly ride anymore, but it is a good bike.

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Old 12-22-06, 11:17 AM   #17
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I think 24 should be just about right. I like the stand over a little closer than the old schwinn broshures say. I think the bike looks better with the seat all the way down.
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Old 12-22-06, 12:42 PM   #18
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Yeah, I am pretty much doomed to having the stems and posts of my bikes all maxed out all the time. Makes them look spindley. Oh well. j
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Old 04-01-08, 11:31 AM   #19
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I'm resurrecting the thread again

Last edited by olderbikerzzz; 04-01-08 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 04-01-08, 01:39 PM   #20
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T-Mar thought 1982. How does he do that, ladies and gentlemen?

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Old 09-19-08, 03:33 AM   #21
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back to nishiki? i have a nishiki custom sport SN# KB 07861 with W on bottom, suntour AR derailleurs, suguino cranks, says chrome moly on the down tube at the top and japan at the bottom. red w gold or yellow pinstriping. does not have the handcrafted by kawamura on it. i am curious to find the correct tires for this bike, the rims appear to be the original alloy rims. i put 27x1/14 on it and they look enormous. the original tires were so disintegrated i couldn't read the size on them. i didn't realise this bike was as cool as it was until i researched it and found this site. seems to be a lot of knowledgable cyclists here. any help would be appreciated, thanks.
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Old 06-09-09, 10:17 PM   #22
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Hi, sorry for resurrecting this thread once again. I'm pretty new to biking but have recently picked up interest in building a road bike. Long story short, I obtained an old Nishiki Custom Sport for free a couple weeks ago and am now in the process of "renovating" it. Originally I thought I was just going to do some simple things, re-paint the frame, new wheels/tires, new seat, etc. but as I've become more involved with this project I've decided to overhaul pretty much everything besides the frame and fork. So, the question is:

What size/type of bottom bracket will fit the bike? I've tried measuring it myself but like I said I'm pretty new to this and and the only thing I've determined (at least I'm pretty sure) is that it's not a standard/popular size. So any info would be great.

As for the exact model and year I'm really not sure. If I had known I was going to get this involved with the build I would have payed more attention to the markings before stripping the frame and ditching a lot of the old components. If it helps at all I'm pretty sure this bike: http://velospace.org/node/10725 is the same model. I found that while attempting to google info about my bike. Oh and my bike was marked hand crafted by Kawamura. If necessary I can get any markings that were stamped into the frame, fork, crank, stem, or handlebars. So again thanks and hopefully somebody can help me...
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Old 10-16-14, 07:42 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Thank-you for posting the serial number. However, it appears incomplete. All the Kawamura serial numbers that I've seen were comprised of two letters followed by five or six numbers. A missing letter, could indicate a subcontracted frame, but you said it was handcrafted by Kawamura. The first letter in a Kawamura serial number is normally a K or C, so I don't now if the first or 2nd letter is missing and consequently can't date the frame, based on the serial number. Would you mind having a closer look?

Tange #5 tubesets used 0.9 mm main tubes, 0.8mm seat & chain stays and 1.0mm fork blades, Advertised weight was 2460g. Hopefully this is enough to allow comparison with Tange 1-4.
I recently picked up one of these that will end up in the parts bin and trash. Though the frame has very nice paint, was hanging in storage for 2 decades and less than 100mi, it fails to hold my attention otherwise. It is near identical to the bike of this thread.

Serial number is very similar: C 3008 with the cast large W or M just rearward of the SN.
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