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Old 06-03-08, 12:33 AM   #1
brooklyn_bike
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Nishiki Track Bike - mystery frame/fork and paint?

recently got this bike mostly to swap the components and wheelset (all SunTour Superbe Pro) to another frame. i've done many searches on Nishiki Track frames but there's not much info out there. frame came bare with no decals or model name callouts. had one sticker on the seat tube that says "SUPERBE PRO '85 World championship V9 KOICHI NAKANO" the serial number on the BB appears to be: 73 0042. there's also a "W" above the serial number. frame was purchased in the early 90s so it could be from the late 80s? has nice thin pointed lugs with the "Nishiki Crown". very light weight.

the Track Forks are stamped SHIMANO. the front Fork has no name or numbers but has "DURA ALL" stamped Dropouts??? some research on BF mentions this might be an Aluminum Fork sometimes used by SR or Glan Well but possibly not stock on this bike?

PAINT: for people with frame painting experience. either this frame has sloppy paint from the factory or its been re-painted at some point. especially around the BB there are thicker and thinner areas where paint has pooled or run a bit. the absence of decals etc would probably indicate this has been repainted? might just strip it down and repaint...

any additional info you might have would be welcome! it would be great to know something about this frame/fork - like the model year or type of steel the frame is made of etc.

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Old 06-03-08, 09:26 AM   #2
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I think the fg/ss forum would like to see this.
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Old 06-03-08, 09:48 AM   #3
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I suspect the fork is not original and not a track fork. Can we see a photo of the rear brake or seatstay bridge, is it drilled too? If yes it may have had the drop-outs added to a nice Nishiki road frame like a competition of something. it's a touch call.
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Old 06-03-08, 09:50 AM   #4
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That's a new one, I've never seen a Nishiki track frame, I'd bet it was made for the Japanese local market and perhaps for Keirin. I doubt that the aluminum fork is original, that would not be allowed for track racing, AFAIK. And the paint could certainly be a respray, but it seems like just a fast'n'dirty "candy color" job (what the British called "flamboyant" back in the '40s ) which is transparent lacquer over a plated or metallic base coat (in this case it looks like silver base paint). The thin lacquer does what you'd expect (and you can really see it on paint jobs like this): it pools in the recesses and low points and stretches thin over the high points and raised edges...runs and drips, too.
I'd guess Tange or Ishiwata tubing, but which set I can't say: what's the seatpost size?
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Old 06-03-08, 11:22 AM   #5
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That's a new one, I've never seen a Nishiki track frame, I'd bet it was made for the Japanese local market and perhaps for Keirin. I doubt that the aluminum fork is original, that would not be allowed for track racing, AFAIK. And the paint could certainly be a respray, but it seems like just a fast'n'dirty "candy color" job (what the British called "flamboyant" back in the '40s ) which is transparent lacquer over a plated or metallic base coat (in this case it looks like silver base paint). The thin lacquer does what you'd expect (and you can really see it on paint jobs like this): it pools in the recesses and low points and stretches thin over the high points and raised edges...runs and drips, too.
I'd guess Tange or Ishiwata tubing, but which set I can't say: what's the seatpost size?
seatpost size is 27.2. info you had about paint is great thanks
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Old 06-03-08, 11:30 AM   #6
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I suspect the fork is not original and not a track fork. Can we see a photo of the rear brake or seatstay bridge, is it drilled too? If yes it may have had the drop-outs added to a nice Nishiki road frame like a competition of something. it's a touch call.
here's a photo of the seatstay bridge. its not drilled for a rear brake. it also has some really nice thin diamond lugs with small circles cut in. thanks

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Old 06-03-08, 12:34 PM   #7
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That's a new one, I've never seen a Nishiki track frame, I'd bet it was made for the Japanese local market and perhaps for Keirin. I doubt that the aluminum fork is original, that would not be allowed for track racing, AFAIK. And the paint could certainly be a respray, but it seems like just a fast'n'dirty "candy color" job (what the British called "flamboyant" back in the '40s ) which is transparent lacquer over a plated or metallic base coat (in this case it looks like silver base paint). The thin lacquer does what you'd expect (and you can really see it on paint jobs like this): it pools in the recesses and low points and stretches thin over the high points and raised edges...runs and drips, too.
I'd guess Tange or Ishiwata tubing, but which set I can't say: what's the seatpost size?
+1

My Colnago Super with "Saronni Red" has the same sort of darker areas where the paint is thicker.
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Old 06-03-08, 12:43 PM   #8
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Looks like a really nice frame. Good find.

I'd get rid of the fork immediately and replace it with a chrome track fork. I think Euro Asia Imports distributes track forks - there's probably a shop in your area that can get them.
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Old 06-03-08, 12:43 PM   #9
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Looks like powder coat to me.

Likely a Kawamura frame, Ishiwata steel. Very nice, I think.

I'm refreshing a 1980 Nishiki Superbe. There are a number of similarities between the two.
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Old 06-03-08, 07:13 PM   #10
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The serial number suggests a 1973 model, but the stamped stay caps would not be typical for that period. Interestingly the serial number does not follow the Kawamura formats for either the 1970s or 1980s. This frame was probably hand built for a racer that Nishiki was sponsoring, possibly on the Keirin circuit as suggested by Unworthy1. If so, it may not have been a catalog model. I'd like to see a better pic of the W on the BB. Thxs.
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Old 06-03-08, 07:31 PM   #11
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The serial number suggests a 1973 model, but the stamped stay caps would not be typical for that period. Interestingly the serial number does not follow the Kawamura formats for either the 1970s or 1980s. This frame was probably hand built for a racer that Nishiki was sponsoring, possibly on the Keirin circuit as suggested by Unworthy1. If so, it may not have been a catalog model. I'd like to see a better pic of the W on the BB. Thxs.
i was hoping you'd comment T-Mar! i always notice very thorough comments on vintage japanese bikes coming from you. here's a photo of the "W" and serial number. the color's a little off since i had to boost the contrast to make it show up a bit better. BTW i noticed that all the components chosen (saddle, fork, handlebars, stem etc) are very lightweight stuff maybe to get the total weight as low as possible...THANKS in advance!!!

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Old 06-03-08, 08:17 PM   #12
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OK, that's not either of the known W imprerssions used by Kawamura on its Nishiki models. I was hoping it would be one of the two known impressions, which would aid in determining the age. This looks more like a W from a standard stamp, which further leads me to believe that it is probably a custom, hand-built frame. The chosen builder probably had a preference for a certain bottom bracket over the standard Kawamura offerings and only used the Nishiki stay caps and lugs.

FWIW, the fixed cup appears to have an FA code. If so, and it's Shimano (I can't quite make it out) that makes it 1981, though it may not be original.
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Old 06-03-08, 08:33 PM   #13
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I'd be willing to bet $5 that the frame is fully chromed and then painted, and that it was built just the way we see it, with the exception of the aluminum fork.

is the front dropout stamping "Dura-Ace"?
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Old 06-03-08, 08:51 PM   #14
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I'd be willing to bet $5 that the frame is fully chromed and then painted, and that it was built just the way we see it, with the exception of the aluminum fork.

is the front dropout stamping "Dura-Ace"?
you might be right about the chrome? in the few areas on the rear forks and the BB where the paint has scratched it looks silver underneath but i'm not sure if its the first layer of silver paint that has the translucent blue layer over it - unworth1 mentioned or the bare metal of the frame. front dropouts say "DURA ALL" some research on BF shows this might be an Aluminum Fork sometimes used by SR or Glan Well...
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Old 06-03-08, 08:57 PM   #15
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OK, that's not either of the known W imprerssions used by Kawamura on its Nishiki models. I was hoping it would be one of the two known impressions, which would aid in determining the age. This looks more like a W from a standard stamp, which further leads me to believe that it is probably a custom, hand-built frame. The chosen builder probably had a preference for a certain bottom bracket over the standard Kawamura offerings and only used the Nishiki stay caps and lugs.

FWIW, the fixed cup appears to have an FA code. If so, and it's Shimano (I can't quite make it out) that makes it 1981, though it may not be original.
thanks T-Mar. this is amazing info. very helpful. makes me think i'll be building this bike back up and riding the hell out of it. the fixed cup is SunTour Superbe Pro and the rest of the text DOES read "FA 1.37x24T JAPAN".
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