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Old 02-21-08, 11:06 AM   #1
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Nishiki Serial Number Database

As some you may be aware, I have been collecting Nishiki data for several years in an attempt to more accurately determine their age and create a timeline of models. I now have sufficient data sets and confidence to report the results for serial numbers from the 1970s to mid 1980s, however sufficient data is lacking for the late 1980s onward.

To this end, it would appreciated if any Nishiki owners would submit posts with pics and specs of their Nihiki. A full, drive side view is the preferred pic. Requested info is model, year (if known), frame material and make, model and date codes of major components. For component date code format, location and decypher, refer to http://www.vintage-trek.com/component_dates.htm .

Thank-you in advance for your contributions. Where possible, I will answer questions as they arise. General developments in the database will be reported in this post (ie post #1 ) below:

Kawamura manufactured frames (1972-1987*)

Serial number format XYZZZZZ where:

X is a letter indicating the market using the following codes:
A= Australia
C = Canada (pre-1986*)
E = Europe
K = USA (pre 1985)
W = USA (1985-1987*)

Y is a letter indicating the last digit of the manufacturing calendar year, where A =1, B = 2, C = 3… J = 0. Exception is letter S, used on all frames prior to 1975.

ZZZZZ is a five or six digit number, apparently representing a sequential frame manufac turing number for the year (or era in the case of pre 1975 frames)

Example 1: KA24587 is the 24,787th frame produced in 1981 for the US market.

Example 2: CG231117 is the 23,117th frame produced in 1977 for the Canadian market.

Example 3: WE54612 is the 54,612th frame produced in 1985 for the US market.

* Serial number format may extend beyond 1987, but there are no reported examples, to date.


Giant manufactured frames (1978-1986*)

Two part serial number, with first part designating manufacturer, month and year. The date codes data is generally stamped on the drive side dropout.

Serial number foramt Gmmyy where,
G = Giant
mm = month where 01 = Jan, 02 = Feb, etc.
yy = year where 80 = 1980, 81 = 1981, etc.

Example: G0384 is a frame that was manufactured by Giant in March 1984.

* The serial number format changed in 1987. The format precedes 1978 though no samples have been reported on Nishiki bicycles.

Giant manufactured frames (1987-1989*)

Serial number formatt Gfyxxxxx where,
G = Giant
f = letter indicating fortnight (i.e A = weeks 1-2, B = weeks 3-3,... Z=weeks 51-52)
y =last digit of calendar year of manufacture (i.e. 7 = 1987, 8 = 1988, etc.)
xxxxx = numbers probably indicating a sequential manufacturing number during the fortnight

Example: GD706959 was the 6,959th frame manufactured during the 4th fortnight of 1987.

* The serial number format appears to started in 1987 and is known to extend beyond 1989 on Giant branded models, though no Nishiki examples have been reported, to date.

Derby Manufactured Frames (1989-1992*)

Circa 1989, Nishiki was acquired by Derby International, which also owned Raleigh and some manufacturing was done at their Kent, Washingtion facility.

Serial number format Rydddyxxxx where:

R = Raleigh, Kent, Washington
y...y = year
ddd = day of year
xxxx = sequential manufacturing number

EXAMPLE: R9035167879 is the 7,879th frame built on day 35 (i.e. February 04) of 1991.

* The serial number format may extend beyond this range, in either direction, but to date no examples have been reported.

Katakura manufactured frames (1971-1973*)

Serial number format Kmyxxxx where:

K = Katakura
m = letter indicating month of manufacture (i.e A = January, B = February,... L = December)
y = number indicating last digit of calendar year (i.e 1 = 1971, 3 = 1973)
xxxx = four numbers probably indicating the sequential manufacturing number during the month

Example:KI20182 is 182nd frame manufactured during September 1971.


Other manufacturers

Over the years numerous other serial number formats have cropped up. Some are known manufacturers, while others are unidentified. These appear to have been smaller, subcontracted orders and constitute a a very small portion of the overall Nishiki volume. As such, they will not be covered here but will be addressed by individual forum response when they crop up.

Last edited by T-Mar; 05-08-16 at 09:10 AM. Reason: updated Canadian market timeframe
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Old 02-21-08, 11:40 AM   #2
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I'll start it off T-Mar. This should be a cool thread. These are some pics I took of my 83 Century when I first brought it home from the thrift store. It looks alot better now. I will repost when I get the serial number and some date codes off of the components I replaced. I'm not sure of the frame material there were no stickers on the seat tube when I got it. I hope someone can tell me what it is.



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Old 02-21-08, 11:56 AM   #3
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I'll start it off T-Mar. This should be a cool thread. These are some pics I took of my 83 Century when I first brought it home from the thrift store. It looks alot better now. I will repost when I get the serial number and some date codes off of the components I replaced. I'm not sure of the frame material there were no stickers on the seat tube when I got it. I hope someone can tell me what it is.
I thought I had already posted on this in another thread. We determined it was a 1983 and thought it was one step above the base Sport model as it was identical with the exception of having aluminum rims.
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Old 02-21-08, 12:18 PM   #4
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Well, I just updated the Nishikis in my sig based on this info. I had previously made them a year newer based on component dates and a poor memory. (The Claud is dated from the serial number and the Jeunet dated by the saddle for lack of any other stampings.)

Edit: Interestingly, my Ultimate has a U.S. serial number, even though it was sold in Canada. These bikes were not in any catalogue and only a small handful were sold in Canada, so I don't imagine Nishiki made a special batch with Canadian serial numbers.

Last edited by OLDYELLR; 02-21-08 at 12:55 PM. Reason: additional information
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Old 02-21-08, 12:39 PM   #5
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Nikishi Sport.

Serial G1180 which I just found out thanks to you means it from November 1980. It's a solid, but kinda POS Tiawanese model that is hopefully getting sold in about 30 minutes from now





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Old 02-21-08, 12:58 PM   #6
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I thought I had already posted on this in another thread. We determined it was a 1983 and thought it was one step above the base Sport model as it was identical with the exception of having aluminum rims.
Yep, It's very close to the Sport that -holiday76 just posted. Mine had a steel wheel on the front and alloy on the back when I got it. I wish mine had the center pull calipers though.
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Old 02-21-08, 07:07 PM   #7
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T-Mar, you had to know that I would post on this thread, how could I resist.
I had three Nishiki road bikes. I picked up this Century about a year ago and have subsequently sold it. It's a basic, 10 speed with Suntour derailers, chrome rims, no QR's. The right dropout had a Giant date number: G0683. According to my records, the serial number is 3159531. It rode real well for an entry level bike. I noticed it's nearly identical to brandenjs's Century.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Nishiki Century 001.jpg (88.4 KB, 584 views)
File Type: jpg Nishiki Century 002.jpg (89.4 KB, 398 views)
File Type: jpg Nishiki Century 003.jpg (87.3 KB, 397 views)
File Type: jpg Nishiki Century 004.jpg (85.7 KB, 379 views)
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Old 02-21-08, 07:31 PM   #8
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T-Mar, I gotta ask...

What is it that drives you to make these serial number database collections? Not that I don't find the threads both informative and full of nice pictures...

That's not intended as a hostile question, if it reads that way. Simply curiosity.

As a complete random tangent, long before I was into cycling I knew what a Nishiki was because of a Tori Amos song. I'm embarrassed to say that at this exact moment I don't remember which song.

And I call myself a fan...
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Old 02-21-08, 07:31 PM   #9
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The first Nishiki road bike I found was this Sport. I believe I found this about a year ago, just before I picked up the Century I previously posted. I believe this to be a 83 Sport. At the time, I based this on the frame number on the right drop out and the front derailer which had an October 1982, Suntour date code. I can not find the document that had the Giant date code, but I do remember it had the usual "G" and four digit code ending in 83. I'm certain of the year because it was the same as the Century I owned. I recorded the serial number on a previous BF thread, it was 6185386.
The Sport had a QR front hub, at least a partial Chromoly frame, a crank that was a step up from the Century and this bike was a 12 speed. Since a previous owner replaced the rear DR, I'm not certain if it started out as a 12 speed or was converted. I hated to sell it because I really liked that black paint, but I was given a really nice offer and sent it off to fixie land.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Nishiki Sport 001.jpg (60.9 KB, 623 views)
File Type: jpg Nishiki Sport 002.jpg (72.0 KB, 472 views)
File Type: jpg Nishiki Sport 003.jpg (54.8 KB, 440 views)
File Type: jpg Nishiki Sport 004.jpg (54.8 KB, 406 views)
File Type: jpg Nishiki Sport 005.jpg (50.0 KB, 422 views)
File Type: jpg Nishiki Sport 006.jpg (31.6 KB, 477 views)
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Old 02-21-08, 07:38 PM   #10
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ok , I guess I posted the build date but not the serial number? Where do I find that? I thought I was selling the bike today, but of course the craigslist guy didnt show up..
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Old 02-21-08, 08:00 PM   #11
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ok , I guess I posted the build date but not the serial number? Where do I find that? I thought I was selling the bike today, but of course the craigslist guy didnt show up..
Try on the bottom of the bottom bracket housing. As I recall, that's where mine were.
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Old 02-21-08, 08:02 PM   #12
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I have 4 (I think) I will post when I have time to take pictures and jot down serial numbers for you. Three are mine and they're all silver. How does that happen?
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Old 02-21-08, 08:42 PM   #13
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I kept one of my three Nishiki road bikes, this '87 Custom Sport. As I understand the Nishiki line-up, this is considered an entry level bike. I think it's pretty nice for an entry level bike. The frame is double butted chromoly with braze-ons for bottles and shifters. The crank is a Sugino VP, the shifters are Suntour Accushift index, 12 speed with a Suntour Alpha 3000 rear dr. The rims are 27 inch by 1 inch Araya alloy and more closely resemble 700C rims of the era than the typical 27 inch rim. The brake levers are hooded, but not aero (nuts!) The brakes have a release and both hubs have QRs. The seat post is alloy. I've added Continental Ultra Sport tires. IMHO, not bad for entry level.
EDIT: the serial number is GC736191.
EDIT: Date codes for the front and rear derailers, DC, DB, both Suntour
EDIT: This was the last year for the Custom Sport, the model name was dropped in 1988.
EDIT: One more edit so that a direct comparison can be made between this bike and BlankCrows 87 Sport. The brakes are DiaCompe with release, the levers are DiaCompe hooded, no safety levers. Like the Sport, the bars are Champion. The seat post is alloy.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Nishiki Custom Sport 001.jpg (97.0 KB, 619 views)
File Type: jpg Nishiki Custom Sport 002.jpg (90.2 KB, 447 views)
File Type: jpg Nishiki Custom Sport 004.jpg (88.8 KB, 406 views)
File Type: jpg Nishiki Custom Sport 1987 001.jpg (94.7 KB, 436 views)
File Type: jpg Nishiki Custom Sport 1987 002.jpg (96.0 KB, 464 views)
File Type: jpg Nishiki Custom Sport 1987 004.jpg (96.8 KB, 430 views)
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Old 02-21-08, 08:57 PM   #14
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Nishiki Seral touring bike. serial KC 23779. That would indicate a US model made in 1983. I checked the dates on the crank, stem, and front derailleur which I believe to be original and they all indicate 1983 as well. Specs are: Tange double butted Chrome moly with Suntour dropouts, Tange fork, Sugino AT triple crank, Dia Compe cantis and non-aero brake levers, and Suntour shifters and derailleurs (front is Cyclone Mk.II, rear was not original). The wheelset was Suntour 'sealed' bearing hubs laced to 27" aluminum rims.




or higher res pic

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Old 02-22-08, 03:08 AM   #15
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T-Mar, here's a later 1980's one for you which I found yesterday. A mixte Sport model with a red and white fade paint job.

Details:
Serial Number -- GC735889
Tubing Sticker: "Nishiki 4130 Chromoly Main Tubes"
Over Nishiki name on DT it says "Sport Series"
Crankset -- Sugino VP
RD -- Shimano Light Action RD-L532 with a LA date code (January 1987)
FD -- Shimano FD-Z202
Shifters -- black plastic Shimano Light Action SIS
Bars: Champion
Dia-Compe brake levers (with safety levers)
Dia-Compe sidepull calipers with a M 0187 code on them (January 1987)
Saddle: white Vetta with bag loops
Rims: Araya 27x1-1/8
Hubs: Joytek (I think) with QR
Pedals: not too fancy rat traps -- didn't note the brand but they say Taiwan on them. The toe clips are Christophe.

I didn't note the headset. The cogset still needs to be cleaned so I don't know what it is. Seat post is a straight post type and I didn't note what kind of stem it has. Cable routing is under the BB. Braze-ons: 1 set of water bottle mounts, cable guides on DT and on chainstay for RD cable. Front and rear dropouts have 1 set of eyelets each.

Other than the stem and seatpost being up in the stratosphere it is in nice shape.

Let me know if you need any other info, including other date codes and/or other photos you need.

(P.S. -- I have a Maruishi Catalog that I can get you a copy of if you want. It's a 1984 version and it reveals that a good portion of the generic labeled tubing on them is actually Tange or Ishiwata, with lots of detailed specifications for most models.)
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Old 02-22-08, 07:56 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
T-Mar, I gotta ask...

What is it that drives you to make these serial number database collections? Not that I don't find the threads both informative and full of nice pictures...

That's not intended as a hostile question, if it reads that way. Simply curiosity.

As a complete random tangent, long before I was into cycling I knew what a Nishiki was because of a Tori Amos song. I'm embarrassed to say that at this exact moment I don't remember which song.

And I call myself a fan...
Well, I guess the thing that really drives it is my frustration with the wild/uneducated cases that some (not all) people offer to well intentioned requests. While component codes get you into the ballpark, there are pitfalls such as replacement parts, poor stock rotation practices at the factory and the fact that most owners will stop at the first date code they find, which is usually the rear derailleur and one of the most commonly replaced components. The frame serial is the only truly reliable indicator of the manufacture date, though you do have compensate for late calendar year manufacturing when determining model years.

Beyond that, it exercises the skills I developed during my previous, 22 year career as a Quality Engineer. Part of that job was to make order out of what appear to be random occurences. Serial numbers are a prime example of this. And of course, I'm a bicycle fanatic.

It all started out with the perception that I was some kind of Miyata guru. Miyata had always been my favourite Japanese brand and I had most of their catalogs. As the age requests popped up on the forums, my Quality Engineer's eye was able to pick out the subtle differences between model years and I applied the model years to the supplied serial numbers and quickly decoded the format. This seemed to be a big hit with the members and the process was repeated, solving the serial number codes for Bianchi (Italian manufactue), CCM, Centurion, Fuji, Nishiki and Raleigh (Asian manufacture).

A lot of people have requested that I create a website for the various makes that I have knowledge of. Frankly, I don't have the skills or time to do this. A thread like this is the next best thing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by roccobike View Post
I kept one of my three Nishiki road bikes, this '87 Custom Sport....the serial number is GC736191....
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlankCrows View Post
T-Mar, here's a later 1980's one for you which I found yesterday. A mixte Sport model with a red and white fade paint job....Serial Number -- GC735889...
As you probably already realize, these fit neither of the two identified serial number formats. I do have a handful of late 1980s and early 1990's codes for which I do not have sufficient samples to solve. However, an educated guess is that by this time the remaining Kawamura manufacturing had shifted to several non-Japanese manufacturers as a result of the yen revaluation that started in late 1985. By 1987, the yen had doubled in value agasinst the US dollar, making Japanese manufactured bicycle much more expensive.

There are also a couple examples of a unique, unsolved Kawamura format. It appears to be for a department dedicated to high end models such as the ONP. It may have been short lived, as some other high end models such as the Ultimate use the standard format.


Quote:
Originally Posted by OLDYELLR View Post
...Interestingly, my Ultimate has a U.S. serial number, even though it was sold in Canada. These bikes were not in any catalogue and only a small handful were sold in Canada, so I don't imagine Nishiki made a special batch with Canadian serial numbers....
Yes, I suspect that is the case. The Canadian distributor would probably not have even imported any, instead obtaining them from the US distributor, as required. The other thing is that not all models sold in Canada may have had the different format. It may have been used only if the Canadian model was distinct from the US model.

Last edited by T-Mar; 02-22-08 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 02-22-08, 10:11 AM   #17
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1988 or 1989 Nishiki Modulus

Here's mine. The left chain stay is labeled Handcrafted by kawamura 100% ChromeMoly, size 64.5 cm. CrMo decals on the fork and seat tube. Shimano SIS decal on the right chain stay. Made in Japan on the seat tube. Modulus on the top tube. Serial # WG10773 on the bottom bracket. I acquired the bike from the original owner who used it as a triathlon bike. Per him he rebuilt the bike twice. When I acquired the bike it had :
Shimano Exage Sport components.
Aero Brake levers with LI code
Crank set with LH code
Square taper bottom bracket
Rd code L J
Fd code A450
Sakae seat post stamped 87
Front hub Sansin code DH, rim Araya 700c alloy
Rear hub Malliard 21st week of 89, rim malliard 700c alloy
Handlebars and Stem = Winpista
Biopace chain rings 52/42
Shifters = downtube indexed or friction code A450
Headset Hatta Vesta, Japan
Shimano 6 speed freewheel MF Z012
Dropouts: update next time I remove a wheel.

After I updated to Ultegra 6500 and Mavic Aksium wheels the bikes weight is now 20.3 lbs. I have considered dumping the old seatpost and B17 to decrease the weight even more but for now it is what it is. Lp

Last edited by Spinz; 03-14-08 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 02-22-08, 10:53 AM   #18
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Here's mine. The left chain stay is labeled Handcrafted by kawamura, size 64.5 cm. CrMo decals on the fork and seat tube. Shimano SIS decal on the right chain stay. Made in Japan on the seat tube. Serial # WG10773 on the bottom bracket. I acquired the bike from the original owner who used it as a triathlon bike. Per him he rebuilt the bike twice. When I acquired the bike it had :
Shimano Exage Sport components.
Aero Brake levers with LI code
Crank set with LH code
Square taper bottom bracket
Rd code L J
Fd code A450
Sakae seat post stamped 87
Front hub Sansin code DH, rim Araya 700c alloy
Rear hub Malliard 21st week of 89, rim malliard 700c alloy
Handlebars and Stem = Winpista
Biopace chain rings 52/42
Shifters = downtube indexed or friction code A450
Headset Hatta Vesta, Japan
Shimano 6 speed freewheel MF Z012
Dropouts: update next time I remove a wheel.

After I updated to Ultegra 6500 and Mavic Aksium wheels the bikes weight is now 20.3 lbs. I have considered dumping the old seatpost and B17 to decrease the weight even more but for now it is what it is. Lp
Than-you for posting. The original componets are so late in the 1987 year that it is almost certainly a 1988 model. Do you know the model name? I'm thinking an Olympic?
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Old 02-22-08, 11:52 AM   #19
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T-Mar its a Modulus. Lp
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Old 02-22-08, 01:21 PM   #20
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My International:

S/N KF05756 on the BB. There was also a W stamped below the S/N
RD: SunTour V-T luxe
FD: SunTour SL
Stem: Sunshine Forged 80
Bars: Champion KB?
Rims: Araya 27x1 1/4 w/o HP
Shifters: Suntour Barcons
Speeds: 10

Datecodes on the components indicated it was assembled in 1976 which is confirmed by your serial number scheme.

Pictures here: www.salt2salt.com/scans/SD/SD.html
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Old 02-22-08, 05:08 PM   #21
roccobike
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Originally Posted by Spinz@50 View Post
Here's mine. The left chain stay is labeled Handcrafted by kawamura, size 64.5 cm. CrMo decals on the fork and seat tube. Shimano SIS decal on the right chain stay. Made in Japan on the seat tube. Modulus on the top tube. Serial # WG10773 on the bottom bracket. I acquired the bike from the original owner who used it as a triathlon bike. Rd code L J
Lp
Yup, its a 1988.
HOW did you ever find that beautiful bike in our neck of the woods. IMHO, Your bike has one of the nicest paint schemes Nishiki used. I've searched CL, yard sales and thrift shops for three years. The best I could do is the 87 Custom Sport I posted earlier. You must live right!
Please do me one favor, check your Tange seat tube decal and confirm that it says Tange 900. Thanks.
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Old 02-22-08, 05:19 PM   #22
norskagent
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deal? http://wilmington.craigslist.org/bik/582808343.html
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Old 02-22-08, 06:01 PM   #23
T-Mar
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There's not enough info and the pic is too small to tell much. If you are serious you need to contact the seller and ask for the model name, tubeset and make and models of the major components such as crankset, derailleurs and brakes. The rims do appear to be aluminum but you should verify that and the size. It appears to be mid-1980s based on the graphics and two sets of bosses.
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Old 02-22-08, 08:36 PM   #24
John E
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Here is my information again, all in one place:
American Eagle Semi-Pro, S/N KS78091 ***** = 78,091th frame ever made for U.S. export????? *******
Purchased on 1971.03.19 at Rancho Park Cycles, West Los Angeles, $149.95
Color: yellow enamel, close match to Schwinn Kool Lemon; other options were coffee and dark green
Crankset: Sugino Mighty Compe 171mm, 54-47 rings
Freewheel: brown Maeda SunTour 888 14-18-22-27-34
Hubset: Sunshine 36-hole high-flange
Rims: Araya with angled/offset holes
Tires: IRC 27 x 1-1/4" (later models had 27 x 1-1/8" skinwalls)
Handlebars: randonneur
Derailleurs: SunTour VGT rear, Compe V front, downtube shift levers with white rubber caps
Seatpost: aluminum with mount akin to that of a steel seatpost
Saddle: cheapo padded vinyl (the first thing I removed)
Bling: suicide brake handles (the second and third things I removed), spoke protector (fourth thing removed)
Weight: 27-28 lbs.
Frame: Ishiwata double-butted CrMo main triangle, Raleigh-style wraparound stays
DiaCompe centerpull brakes (Weinmann 999 copies) -- 610 front, 750 rear
Braze-ons: rear brake cable guides and rear brake cable bridge
Chrome: bottom halves of forks only
Separate bolt-on "claw" derailleur hanger
Horizontal dropouts
Spoke lacing: 4X
Pedals: Kuokoto Pro Ace road quills
Toeclips: leather shoe protector covers on ends
Size: 23" (58.5cm) with a rather short top tube
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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
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
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Old 02-22-08, 09:22 PM   #25
Rabid Koala
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1973 Nishiki Competition, serial number KS175545

SunTour GT Rear derailleur
SunTour Compe V front derailleur
SunTour barcon shifters
Sugino Mighty crankset
Araya clincher rims
Sunshine hubs
Gran Compe stem
Nishiki Randonnneur bars
Kyokuto Pro Ace pedals*

*Original, some components changed out to better suit me such as pedals and seat.




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1971 Paramount P-13 Chrome
1973 Paramount P-15 Opaque Blue
1973 Gitane Tour De France
1974 Raleigh Professional
1991 Waterford Paramount
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