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  1. #1
    rjl
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    RE: Nishiki Custom Sport information

    This question is something I hope the famous and talented T-Mar or the great Sheldon Brown can answer… I have an older Nishiki Custom Sport road bike, which I’m hoping to obtain more information on. I feel like I got a great deal on it, and have built it up with some fairly decent parts; now I just want a bit more info as to its age. It’s serial number is KC 38338, and it has a nice rich burgundy red and gold paint (with gold pinstriping around the lugs). The steel is Tange double butted (no further indication as to whether it’s the Champion #1, Infinity, etc. type tubing – just “Nishiki Double Butted Chromoly Tange” on the decal). It has the “handcrafter by Kawamura” sticker I’ve seen on practically every decent Nishiki I’ve come across.
    The reason why I liked this frame so much originally was that the paint was practically perfect, and appears never to have been built up. Once I did begin to build it up, several things were interesting to me. First, despite the relatively good quality of the tubing, there isn’t a brazing for a rear derailleur threading (although there are braze-ons for brake cables, under-the-bottom bracket cable guides, and one bottle cage). Also, despite ample clearance for what I believe were 27” wheels, the brake holes are drilled for later recessed, allen-type brake bolts, as opposed to the older nutted brakes. Seems strange to me that a frame with good quality tubing, designed for more “modern” brakes and with a good set of braze-ons, was designed for older standard 27” wheels and no rear derailleur braze-on, no? And for others reading this forum, this Custom Sport is great. I built it up with Suntour Symmetric DT shifters, Vx-GT rear derailleur, Suntour sprint front der, Campy Record cup and cone BB, Stronglight 99 model 86mm BCD cranks (47/32T) that are pimpy nice and low-Q, and (although a HUGE anachronism, a set of Alex ALX330 rims that look kind of out of place – 20 spokes rear, 16 front – I’m looking for a more classic set of hoops to build up, but in the meantime, it’s nice to go so fast with such little effort!) The wheels have a 12-32 cassette I built up from a mix of parts I had in the bin. It’s a good range, I think.
    This forum is great – I’ve read it for a long time. Having a late 80’s Miyata 610GT and a mid-80’s Univega Viva Sport, an ’80 Trek 412, and an ’83 Trek 830, this resource is a valuable one for me to answer questions. Previously I would able to figure out an older bike’s age thru the stampings on its components, but having purchased the Nishiki as a frame and fork only, I couldn’t go this route. Any help from any of the member on this forum would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Sounds like an 83, but photos would help!

    Besides, photos are necessary to be able to admire the paint job .

    Oh, and welcome to BikeForums and C & V!

    East Hill
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  3. #3
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    I think your bike might be a little newer than 1983, just guessing. For information, my 1987 Nishiki Custom Sport's serial number is GC736191. The frame color is a two-tone job, mostly black with green seat tube and head.
    I previously owned an 83 Sport and an 83 Century. The 87 Custom Sport is way nicer than the other two. The serial numbers of the two 83's are: Sport 3185386 and Century 3159531. I'll post pics and add some other comments later.
    East Hill, could you provide the serial number and age of your Nishiki?
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  4. #4
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roccobike View Post
    I think your bike might be a little newer than 1983, just guessing. For information, my 1987 Nishiki Custom Sport's serial number is GC736191. The frame color is a two-tone job, mostly black with green seat tube and head.
    I previously owned an 83 Sport and an 83 Century. The 87 Custom Sport is way nicer than the other two. The serial numbers of the two 83's are: Sport 3185386 and Century 3159531. I'll post pics and add some other comments later.
    East Hill, could you provide the serial number and age of your Nishiki?
    I'll scrounge them up later, it's off to bed for me in the next few minutes . I've got five of them, remember ?

    East Hill
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  5. #5
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    As promised, here are the pics of the 87 Nishiki Custom Sport. The frame is double butted chromoly main frame with downtube shifter braze-ons and two water bottle braze-ons. The rims are Araya, 27 X1, they are very narrow, with dual QRs. It has a Suntour, 12 speed, Accushift Group with a Sugino VP crank and Dia-Compe non-aero brakes. The bike rides very nice.
    The Custom Sport was considered a Sport/Recreational bike, sort of a really nice entry level model or a lower level sport model. IMHO, it has it all over the Sport, Century and Rally models. In 1987, it was the first of the line to offer a double butted, Chromoly frame and the first to offer downtube, braze-on shifters. After I acquired this Custom Sport, I realized how superior it was to the two other Nishiki's I owned so I sold them.
    As far as I know, 1987 was the last of the Custom Sport models, it was dropped in 1988.
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  6. #6
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    That is a huge advance over the original ca. 1970 Custom Sport, with its gaspipe frame, cottered crankset, and steel rims.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
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  7. #7
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Nishiki Prestige (believed to be 1987)--serial number WG06 457.
    Nishiki Olympic 12 (not certain of year)--serial number KJ 17992 (with 'W' underneath number)
    Nishiki Pro (1979)--serial number NP 722 0090 (with 'W' underneath number)
    Nishiki International (believed to be 1983)--serial number KB 10428 (California bicycle license obscures what is probably a 'W' underneath)
    Nishiki Sports Mixte (possibly 1983)--serial number 4301294

    All but the Sports Mixte have the serial numbers on the bottom bracket. The mixte has the serial number on the left rear dropout.

    East Hill
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  8. #8
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by East Hill View Post
    Nishiki Prestige (believed to be 1987)--serial number WG06 457.
    Nishiki Olympic 12 (not certain of year)--serial number KJ 17992 (with 'W' underneath number)
    Nishiki Pro (1979)--serial number NP 722 0090 (with 'W' underneath number)
    Nishiki International (believed to be 1983)--serial number KB 10428 (California bicycle license obscures what is probably a 'W' underneath)
    Nishiki Sports Mixte (possibly 1983)--serial number 4301294

    All but the Sports Mixte have the serial numbers on the bottom bracket. The mixte has the serial number on the left rear dropout.

    East Hill
    Thanks East Hill, I'll bet that Sports Mixte has a "G" with four numbers on the right dropout. Both of my 83's had this number on the opposing dropout. I believe these frames where manufactured by Giant. I've got a long way to go to catch up to that impressive list of Nishikis, nice collection!
    BTW, Happy New Year.
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  9. #9
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E View Post
    That is a huge advance over the original ca. 1970 Custom Sport, with its gaspipe frame, cottered crankset, and steel rims.
    +1, the OPS Custom Sport has a nicer frame than mine as his is Tange and mine is not. These are nice bikes.
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  10. #10
    Avenir Equipped BlankCrows's Avatar
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    I've got a little burgundy Nishiki mixte squirrelled away in the garage. I'm pretty sure it is a Custom Sport model with Champion tubing. I'll dig it out soon and check the serial number and some component date codes.

  11. #11
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    Based on the serial number, RJL's frame should be a 1983 or 1984 model. While I have the 1984 specs for the Custom Sport. I only have the 1983 specs for the the standard Sport.

    The 1984 specs corroborate the Tange double butted CrMo tubing, but it is only in the 3 main tubes and is most likely Infinity given the price point. The specs also verify the bottle bosses and confirm 27" wheels. Unfortunately, I do not have pics, so I cannot substantiate the recessed brake mounting and under the bottom bracket derailleur cable routing.

    FWIW, the 1983 Sport used exposed nuts for brake mounting and over the bottom bracket cable routing. The Custom Sport was typcially an upgraded Sport (better main tubes, aluminum rims, etc.) so based on the frame features, my guess is that it is a 1984 model.

    If the OP wants to supply the the serial numbers and basic descrption for the Miyata and Univega, I should be able to identify the year.

    East Hill, I believe your Olympic 12 to be circa 1980/1981. The debut year for the Olympic 12 was 1978, so we know it is no earlier than that. Post some pics or more info if you want me to investigate further.

    As Roccobike states, Nishiki with a two part serial number and one part being format Gxxxx, appear to be Giant frames.

  12. #12
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    RE: Nishiki Custom Sport information

    I have a 83 Nishiki Sport. NO.3213730 found on Left Side Drop Out.
    Bought from First Owner. He bought it in LA.
    Do you know What if Anything, the number Tells You?
    Fred

  13. #13
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    After taking a closer look, I discovered that the other half of the number of the Sport mixte had been hiding under the rear derailleur cable.

    Full number is G0584 4301294


    Here's the Olympic 12. Nothing on the bike is original--I got it as a frame/headset/fork.



    Let me know if you need closeups of anything.

    East Hill
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by East Hill View Post
    After taking a closer look, I discovered that the other half of the number of the Sport mixte had been hiding under the rear derailleur cable.

    Full number is G0584 4301294


    Here's the Olympic 12. Nothing on the bike is original--I got it as a frame/headset/fork.



    Let me know if you need closeups of anything.

    East Hill
    The Sport is a 1984 model. The serial number is an open code format, Gmmyy, where G = Giant, mm = month, yy = year.

    On the Olympic 12, does it have a headbadge or decal?

  15. #15
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
    The Sport is a 1984 model. The serial number is an open code format, Gmmyy, where G = Giant, mm = month, yy = year.

    On the Olympic 12, does it have a headbadge or decal?
    Got the Eagle headbadge .

    East Hill
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by East Hill View Post
    Got the Eagle headbadge .

    East Hill
    Then it should be a 1980, as a decal was used in 1981.

  17. #17
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
    Then it should be a 1980, as a decal was used in 1981.
    Excellent!

    So, I have:

    1979 Pro
    1980 Olympic 12
    1983? International
    1984 Sport mixte
    1987? Prestige

    East Hill
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  18. #18
    rjl
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    thanks

    Man, this is all great info - thanks everyone for your input! Had no idea that there were so many afficionados of things Nishiki. After looking at roccobike's and East Hill's rides (those are AWESOME, nice job!), I decided to build up a set of Sun CR18's to a set of 32o Suntour Sprint hubs, just to look more in keeping with the golden age (80's) lines of the road bikes of that era. After I get those on (maybe a couple of weeks?), I'll post pics. Right now the bike looks a bit silly (although as I said before, it rides SCHWEET). Yeah, TMar, I figured it was only a "main tube" Tange frame, but that's good enough for my skills (or lack thereof).

  19. #19
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjl View Post
    Man, this is all great info - thanks everyone for your input! Had no idea that there were so many afficionados of things Nishiki. After looking at roccobike's and East Hill's rides (those are AWESOME, nice job!)
    If you'd like to see all of them (including one I no longer own), here's a link to my bicycles:

    http://meandmybicycles.proboards50.c...gi?board=idusa

    East Hill
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  20. #20
    rjl
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    RE: nishiki custom sport info

    hi east hill, T Mar & all,
    finally finished my rebuild of the nishiki, i think it turned out well. here are some specifics for you nerds out there;
    wheels: suntour sprint hubs (32o) laced to SUN CR18s (the third set of wheels I've ever built, we'll see how I did down the road!) w/ panaracer pasela 32mm tires
    drive: stronglight 99 cranks (47/32T) w/ Campy record cup and cone BB, suntour cyclone pedals
    derailleurs: suntour sprint front, Vx-GT rear
    freewheel: shimano megarange 13-34T, sedis chain
    cockpit: sr laprade post, san marco concor saddle, nitto technomic stem with nitto olympiade bars
    brakes: mafac racers with dia compe gran compe non-aero levers
    accessories: zefal pump, minoura cage

    i really like this bike! rides very lightly, neutral in every respect. not the lightest thing on the block, but then again neither am I!
    oops, i can't upload, i'll try again later!

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