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Thread: Nishiki Superbe

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    Senior Member ga_mueller's Avatar
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    Nishiki Superbe

    I just purchased (and probably embarrassingly overpaid for) a Nishiki Superbe on ebay which looks to be in very nice shape. It's said to be a 1978, but has a supposedly original Cyclone GT rear der, and a Superbe front. Could the rear der be original? As the Superbe line came out in 1977, I'd have thought both front and rear would be on this bike. I guess I'll look at the various component date codes when I get it, to understand more. I've only found a little info on this model in this forum, and would appreciate any comments on it that other members might have.

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    Senior Member caotropheus's Avatar
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    pictures, please

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    Senior Member ga_mueller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caotropheus
    pictures, please
    Here are some pics...
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    My bikes became Vintage OLDYELLR's Avatar
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    Well, here's an '83 Superbe which is very similar, but has aero brakes.
    1981 Nishiki Ultimate
    1977 Nishiki Landau
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    "index shifters = frets on a fiddle"

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    Senior Member ga_mueller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLDYELLR
    Well, here's an '83 Superbe which is very similar, but has aero brakes.
    Thanks! The '83 Superbe has Cyclone front and rear ders, but they are of the newer variety. So maybe the question is, why Superbe front der on a '78?

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    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    man sorry can't help you parts and stuff but that is freakin' sweet! those rear drop-outs.. could they be replacements? The frame is exactly like my comp II, lugs etc.. (besides the dropouts of course)... except mine 2 braze on cable guides. Mines was full 1st generation cyclone, same brakes, same cranks, and strangely I have replaced the oridinal aero post with a sugino one that looks a lot like that only with the flutes painted blue which matches my blue frame kinda... oh man I just checked out the auction that is sweet! You didn't overpay at all!
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  7. #7
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Very nice! By the late 1970s, Kawamura really had its act together.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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    Senior Member ga_mueller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclotoine
    You didn't overpay at all!
    Thanks, I feel a little better. But you need to stay handy, for when I explain this purchase to my wife!

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    The full Suprebe derailleur group was standard on this model in 1978, hence the model name. I've got literature that shows it equipped with Superbe derailleurs as late as 1981, but in 1982 Cyclone II were spec'd. I'm wondering if the derailleur is an aftermarket item to accommodate that freewheel? Not all the catalogs indicate the freewheel size, but based on the specs and pics, the 1978, 1981 and 1982 models were 21T, maybe 24T at the most. Maybe the orignal owner could not handle the gearing and changed the freewheel and derailleur? This was fairly common. Also, the saddle appears to have been switched for something a bit more cushy, would would fall in line with the other suspected changes.

    Based on the 1978 literature, yours would appear to be sligthly newer. The 1978 literature does not show brazed-on shift levers, recessed nut brakes, a integral slopping fork crown, a chromed chain stay or a decal on the headtube. It looks like it's time to start checking component date codes. What's the serial number?

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    Senior Member ga_mueller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar
    Maybe the orignal owner could not handle the gearing and changed the freewheel and derailleur? What's the serial number?
    Hello T-Mar,
    Thanks a lot for your reply. I'm thinking the "new owner" needs the wider-range gearing, also! This was also my thought, based on the GT cage of the Cyclone rear der. The serial number is KH05848. If you have any original literature on this model, I would very much appreciate a scan of this. BTW, I'm awaiting delivery of the bike this Tuesday, at which time I'll datecode the crap out of it!
    Thanks, George
    (ps: were you working the Cat's Criterium this weekend?)
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    100% USDA certified the beef's Avatar
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    Looks very nice! How much did you pay for it?

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    Based, on my current understanding of the Nishiki serial numbers it is 1978 or 1979, but the number is so low that 1978 is most probable. It's very strange that there are this many discrepancies with the literature I have. Sometimes they will make a change or two during a production year, but this is lot. Another person that I exchanged correspondence had a claimed 1978 Superbe and it was a perfect match against what I have. Go figure!

  13. #13
    Senior Member ga_mueller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar
    Based, on my current understanding of the Nishiki serial numbers it is 1978 or 1979... .
    I received and assembled the Nishiki Superbe today, and it looks really great. The only rust is on the brake quick-release levers. Paint is super, and everything is newly lubed. It's very nostalgic, as it reminds me very much of the first decent bike I purchased in the early '80s, a Fuji Finest. I put on toeclips/straps, a chrome Silca pump I had (it fits!), and a toolbag, and I'm ready to ride tomorrow.

    As far as date codes go, with info from the Trek site, (bike advertised as a '78),
    Crankset (Super Mighty), G10, 10-77
    Front der (Superbe), TH, 8-77
    Rear der (Cyclone GT), TH, 8-77

    So it looks like it really is a 78. I've attached a shot of it, ready to ride tomorrow.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ga_mueller
    I received and assembled the Nishiki Superbe today, and it looks really great. The only rust is on the brake quick-release levers. Paint is super, and everything is newly lubed. It's very nostalgic, as it reminds me very much of the first decent bike I purchased in the early '80s, a Fuji Finest. I put on toeclips/straps, a chrome Silca pump I had (it fits!), and a toolbag, and I'm ready to ride tomorrow.

    As far as date codes go, with info from the Trek site, (bike advertised as a '78),
    Crankset (Super Mighty), G10, 10-77
    Front der (Superbe), TH, 8-77
    Rear der (Cyclone GT), TH, 8-77

    So it looks like it really is a 78. I've attached a shot of it, ready to ride tomorrow.
    Maybe not. The Vintage-Trek model for the SunTour codes may be off by one year. Recently, a case surfaced of a chainring manufactured for SunTour by SR. The chainring had what appeared to be both the SR open format date code and SunTour's encrypted date code. In this case they were "91" and "GG". This would make your SunTour components late 1978 and if so, the bicycle would likely be a 1979 model. However, whether it's 1978 or 1979, it's a very nice bicycle. Good luck finding the correct derailleur and freewheel.

  15. #15
    Senior Member ga_mueller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar
    Good luck finding the correct derailleur and freewheel.
    Rear Superbe's can be had pretty cheaply from eBay, but I actually bought this bike to ride! I did a 45mi ride yesterday, and found myself standing for the entire 2 mile climbing portion. On the way home, I stopped by our local retro bike shop (Sloughs), where the owner put two new cogs on the freewheel for $10, including labor! I now have 54/46 and 15/17/20/24/28/32. A Superbe wouldn't support this gearing. Should be about perfect, and I'm heading out right now to try it!

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Had one of these new in the late '70s early 80's... it was a very responsive sweet ride... the thing was a "sportscar" bike compared to my earlier Nishiki International.

    The rear wheel clearance always amazed me... I could barely get a little finger in there.

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