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Old 07-02-03, 07:12 AM   #1
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Where to find info

On a 1975? ish Niskiki Kokusia.. I picked one up that seems to be completely original, and before I do anything rash, I would like to find out more about it. It has really nice lug work, and some interesting components.
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Old 07-02-03, 07:33 AM   #2
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William,

I was going to say Go straight to Classic Rendezvous
but they don't have any Nishiki, strange.
Tell you what go there (CR Main ) send an e-mail to Dale the guy who runs it
(I can send address if you need it) and ask him to start
a Nishiki page, then he'll feature your bike).
Get on the CR mailing list (there are instructions for
gettin on list, and post question about the bike
there are more than a few collectors of japanese bikes.
Oh yeah, unless you like ALOT of e-mail get the digest form
comes about 3 times a day with days posts. Most responses
get sent to both list and private e-mail so you don't wait
for digest for your answer.
Also, try writing to Sheldon Brown he might have specific
info on Nishiki.

Hope this helps,
Marty
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Old 07-02-03, 09:02 AM   #3
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Thanks, and I'll do that.

What's kind of cool is the bike comes with a bike liscence that expired in 1976 from the City of Los Angeles, and it has the sticker from the dealer in Beverly hills. It has small plastic right ends that I beleive are for a bike pump. It's a pretty nice gold color as well.

I'm gonna look into what it is before I hack it up.
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Old 07-02-03, 09:49 AM   #4
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William,

Don't hack it up, its a nice example of a bike boom era
bike. Nishiki were really nice bikes, the problem came when
they started marketing to dept stores and their reputation
nosedived.
What kind of components are on it?
What kind of tubing (I'd venture a guess, Tange tubes).
I'd agree that the plastic ends are for a frame pump.

The Kokusai model became the International in 1973 so
I'd say the bike is early 70's minimum. It was a mid level
bike in their line up (below Pro and semi-pro models).
There were some Nishiki frames that were Colnago
produced and branded with Nishiki stickers. I'm trying
to get info on those, they were marketed by Bikeology
in Ca. I believe (and this is verified info) I'm thinking the
model was maximum or something similiar?

Marty
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Old 07-02-03, 10:11 AM   #5
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The sticker on the tube says that it's chromemolybendum (spelling). The name of the bike is "Kokusai". It doesn't appear to have anything on it saying that the model is different. It has some Suntour parts, diacombe center pull brakes, the cranks I believe say "Maby" or "Moby" on them. There are heart shaped raised metal portions where the wire routing is. The handle bars appear to be some sort of polishable alloy. I can't for the life of me remember the name of the bike shop on the sticker... I'll look at it and post it, but it was from the Beverly hills area.
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Old 07-02-03, 10:17 AM   #6
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I also subscribed to the list, thank you.

I'm a littled tossed on what to do. Collecting bikes would SURELY make the spouse pretty upset!! HAHAHA
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Old 07-02-03, 10:26 AM   #7
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William,

find a really nice vintage bike for her.
it kind of worked for me (now how do I tell her
about the Ciocc frame I'm chasing?).

oh well, as 1oldroadie says "welcome to the addiction"

Marty
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Old 07-02-03, 11:24 AM   #8
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Nice idea, however, I don't think it's gonna happen like that!!

Well, we'll see when ever I get done with the research.
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Old 07-02-03, 11:33 AM   #9
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Nice post to the CR list (I just got my digest!)
I love the wheelbuilding wars going on
and I'm just dying to know the secret sauce
(I'm gonna post to that one).
Your bike is pre 1973, not 1974/5 timeframe
(at least thats my best guess).
If you figure out what to tell your wife let me
know, I'm still (always) working on that one.

Marty
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Old 07-02-03, 11:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by lotek
Nice post to the CR list (I just got my digest!)
I love the wheelbuilding wars going on
and I'm just dying to know the secret sauce
(I'm gonna post to that one).
Your bike is pre 1973, not 1974/5 timeframe
(at least thats my best guess).
If you figure out what to tell your wife let me
know, I'm still (always) working on that one.

Marty
Marty,

Thanks for all the info you've given me so far. When I get the pictures downloaded, I can email them to you. Pretty interesting find I've gotten. The bike is almost older than I.

Hopefully CR will have some insight. I've emailed Sheldon Brown also, but he got caught by the digital key on my email. I've got to attempt to resend now.

Thanks again Marty!
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Old 07-02-03, 12:38 PM   #11
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To add another possible source you might try oldroads.com. They have numerous discussion boards. Scroll to the Vintage Lightweight Board and post your info. Nishikis get mentioned quite abit and I believe that John E. (from this board and OldRoads as well) used to work in a shop that sold Nishikis during the timeframe of your bike.

Posting is easy as pie, don't even need to join.

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Old 07-02-03, 05:01 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone.

I got a hold of serveral people who gave me a ton of info. John E pointed out some potential flaws that may hicup what I had planned to do with the bike, so it may have to go back to the thrift store, or something I"m not sure.
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Old 07-03-03, 03:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by lotek
There were some Nishiki frames that were Colnago
produced and branded with Nishiki stickers. I'm trying
to get info on those, they were marketed by Bikeology
in Ca. I believe (and this is verified info) I'm thinking the
model was maximum or something similiar?

Marty
Nishiki/Azuki's were imported in the late 70's/early 80's (maybe before)by West Coast Cycle, Culver City, Ca. They did have an italian made Nishiki model, I can't even remember the model name, it was made by Viner, but West Coast Cycle brought them into the country. They were blue with silver Nishiki decals as I remember. A guy that worked at WCC at that time and is probably still in the biz was Bob Margevikis(sic). If you can find him, I'll bet he would know.
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Old 07-03-03, 07:27 PM   #14
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Coincidently, the Japanese word "Kokusai" means "International" - the English language name that Nishiki later used.

It is difficult to get a lot of good information on the early Japanese bicycles. I can tell you that the Japanese bicycle were very under-rated in the early 1970's due to the very poor image of Japanese products at the time.

HOWEVER, the early 1970's to early 1980's Japanese bikes were very often of excellent quality with parts comparable to higher-end bikes of the era.

If you are looking for a quality bike to ride, take the Nishiki seriously.

If you need some replacement parts, let me know. I might not have exactly the same components, but I have lots of parts from the same period for really cheap prices.
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Old 07-03-03, 08:12 PM   #15
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Here is a link to an old Nishiki that I restored for my daughter last year. http://home.atcjet.net/~whitlow/nishiki.jpg
It is a fine old bike. When I was working on it, I found that the frame tipped the scale at just a tad over 6 pounds, which is not bad for an old steel frame. It also has the heart shaped braze-ons, which were used to index the clampon cable stops. Built up to a really sweet bike! Enjoy yours!
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Old 07-04-03, 02:24 AM   #16
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Here is a picture: I'll load more on Monday. It's late and I've got work to do.
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Old 07-04-03, 02:31 AM   #17
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NeBill,

I am tossed about what to do with it as far as keeping it and riding it or converting it. I've kind of fallen for it looks wise (it needs some TLC), but I was impressed when I rode it this week. It has bad brakes but I'll get some koolpads for it and that will solve most of the problems. The rear AL rim has some severe corrosion in one spot. But for a 30 year old bike, it rides very nicely. I didn't get on it hard, but it was very comfortable, and very smooth. The steering is a little odd to me, but I've been riding my AL Cannondale for 3 years.. So, it's probably just me. Another BF member has been giving me tons of info and some ideas. I'm impressed that after 30 years, (with at least 3 of that being ridden from what I can guess) that it has all original (as far as I can tell) and all I had to do was fill the tires and rode off. Testiment to quality.

More photos on monday....
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Old 07-04-03, 03:44 PM   #18
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I am sure that it rides totally different than your C'dale! For one thing, I imagine it has a more relaxed geometry, which gives it a little longer wheelbase. My commuter Paramount has much the same layout as your Nishiki. Besides addressing worn parts, like the brake pads or maybe tires, the only thing I would be tempted to do is replace the stem shifters with bar end shifters, put some nice comfy cork tape on the bars, then cover that with the old style nylon bar tape in a diamond weave....then just ride and enjoy! It is a great looking old bike, glad that it has found a home where it is appreciated!
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Old 07-04-03, 10:09 PM   #19
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I concur with Nebil, get rid of the stemshifters
(maybe downtube if your so inclined.) If you go with barend
(barcons) look for Suntour, much easier to set up than campy.
Don't know of shimano made barcons but thats the beauty of
friction, you can mix n match.
what kind of corrosion on wheel? surface stuff or true
corrosion. if its corroded I'd say get a new wheel.
you can find lots of vintage rims, hubs etc. on e-bay for
next to nothing, especially if its old 10 speed.
Old steel rides really nicely. You probably have a longer
wheelbase than your c'dale, more trail so it steers a bit
slower.

Marty
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Old 07-05-03, 09:33 PM   #20
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Yup, Shimano has some nice barcon shifters....that is what I'm running on my Paramount, Liberty. On the Nishiki I fixed up for the daughter, I found this really sweet old set of Shimano downtube shifters, complete with the clamp, so they went right on. I just replaced the upper cablestop clamp with clamp on shifters, then used the original lower guides, worked like a dream!
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Old 07-07-03, 09:48 AM   #21
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More pictures:
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Old 07-07-03, 09:52 AM   #22
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The crank, which I see as rather ornate and.. dare I say pretty?
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Old 07-07-03, 10:01 AM   #23
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Does the crank say "Maxy" in that little stamping next to the bolt hole? If so, that is a Sugino Maxy crankset, old desigh, modeled after an even older french design.
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Old 07-07-03, 10:11 AM   #24
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Yes, it does say that.
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Old 07-07-03, 10:37 AM   #25
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The key identifying characteristic of this frame is the seat stay cap at the seat lug. You'll notice that it comes almost to a point, as though the tube was drawn down to a point. Early Azuki's and early Nishiki's had this seat stay cap design. I can't remember(doesn't mean they didn't exist)any other frames with this particular design.

Nishiki's with this seat stay design were the earliest Nishiki's I saw in this country, and I started seeing them where I grew up, in the midwest, around 75/76, but they were called Internationals then so this may be an earlier model. I have never seen or heard of a Kokusia before.

That kinda pearlescent color was also very distinctive to Nishiki/Azuki.

Someone made a comment about Kokusia meaning International. The International was Nishiki's mainstay model for a long time.
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