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  1. #1
    Member adamdouze's Avatar
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    Nishiki International (Touring?)

    Hi all,
    I've been looking for something on which to build up a touring bike for a few months with little success. The other day I remembered that my ex-roommate had a gorgeous Nishiki International ('83-ish) that she was sort of open to selling to me.
    I thought I'd run it by people more familiar with Nishikis before I made the purchase.
    Would an International be a decent bike on which to do multi-day tours sticking almost entirely to roads?
    "There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results."
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    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamdouze View Post
    Hi all,
    I've been looking for something on which to build up a touring bike for a few months with little success. The other day I remembered that my ex-roommate had a gorgeous Nishiki International ('83-ish) that she was sort of open to selling to me.
    I thought I'd run it by people more familiar with Nishikis before I made the purchase.
    Would an International be a decent bike on which to do multi-day tours sticking almost entirely to roads?
    Does it have braze-ons for racks and fenders?
    Riding 19 Years of Specialized Sirrus Tradition.
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  3. #3
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirrus Rider View Post
    Does it have braze-ons for racks and fenders?
    Yes, I believe the Kokusai/International always did. The weight dropped somewhat and geometry tightened significantly through the 1970s, but I think any of these bikes would be quite decent for touring. You might want to substitute a triple chainring for loaded touring in the mountains.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  4. #4
    Retro Grouch in Waiting geekrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamdouze View Post
    Hi all,
    I've been looking for something on which to build up a touring bike for a few months with little success. The other day I remembered that my ex-roommate had a gorgeous Nishiki International ('83-ish) that she was sort of open to selling to me.
    I thought I'd run it by people more familiar with Nishikis before I made the purchase.
    Would an International be a decent bike on which to do multi-day tours sticking almost entirely to roads?
    Adam,

    I recently bought an '86 International, and I looked at the pics, unfortunately I did not see any fender braze-ons. It may well work for long distance touring, if you're willing to forego fenders and maybe adjust the bars for a more comfy upright ride.

    geek
    Flipping bikes sure beats flipping burgers!

  5. #5
    Member adamdouze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E View Post
    You might want to substitute a triple chainring for loaded touring in the mountains.
    That's the plan. I also was considering throwing a sealed cartridge BB and a touring fork on it. Would it be sacrilege to add some canti-posts to the seat stays?
    "There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results."
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamdouze View Post
    That's the plan. I also was considering throwing a sealed cartridge BB and a touring fork on it. Would it be sacrilege to add some canti-posts to the seat stays?
    To some maybe. Not me. I added a disc mount and got a disc only carbon fork for my 1988 REI Tange No 1 bike. Love it.

  7. #7
    dmp
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    That was my 1st good bike, bought back in about 1980. I toured on the back roads from Richmond, Va to Washington on it.

  8. #8
    Old Skeptic stronglight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geekrunner View Post
    Adam,

    I recently bought an '86 International, and I looked at the pics, unfortunately I did not see any fender braze-ons. It may well work for long distance touring, if you're willing to forego fenders and maybe adjust the bars for a more comfy upright ride.

    geek
    It would seem this model went through various stages of evolution. I saw one Nishiki International frameset sell on eBay (6 to 12 months ago) which was indeed a full loaded touring frameset with cantilever posts, rear rack braze-ons on the upper seat stays, and double eyelets for both racks and fenders. I suspect this example dated from the early 1980s, or at least very late 1970s.

    Here is the auction photo:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...1&d=1227819695

    The winning bid was $128 plus $46 shipping.
    [No, not mine... I just sometimes save images and data on interesting bikes]
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Member adamdouze's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the info and advise guys.
    Now, if I could just get her to commit to selling it, I'll be set.
    "There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results."
    -Peter F. Drucker

  10. #10
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    You're one year short of full braze-ons (aside from low riders which are not needed as u-clamps are stronger) and cantilever bosses. You can fit a 32mm tire with fenders, great for on road loaded touring, a little noddle like in the 62cm frame size, at least that's my experience.

    Personally, I'd pass on the '83 and keep looking for other late 1980s tourers with cantilevers.
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  11. #11
    Senior Member Gordo Grande's Avatar
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    Funny you should ask...

    My wife's first good bike was an '83 Nishiki International, and yes, we did do a fair amount of touring with it. I have also done a great deal of touring on my '82 Centurion Super LeMans. My Centurion has made the run from San Francisco to Los Angeles twice, and the Nishiki has done that same tour once. Both bikes have done numerous centuries and shorter tours. The thing to remember is that these are sport touring frames, i.e. longer than a race bike, but not quite as long as a full-on tour bike. The chainstays are shorter, the wheelbase is shorter, and the geometry is not quite as relaxed as a full touring bike. They both did a great job, but it's not the same as a bike designed specifically for loaded touring.

    We changed both of our bikes to triple-cranks, swapped out the freewheels for ones with larger cogs, and added long cage derailleurs. No, the International doesn't have rack braze-ons, but you can mount the racks securely with p clamps instead. We've never had a problem there.

    There are some compromises. On both bikes we had a problem with chainstay clearance for the inside chainring. My buddy, who was a top mechanic in L.A. at the time, had the unorthodox fix. He took a mallet and a thick cold chisel, and with two swats tapped a small indentation into the stay so the crank would fix. Pretty scary, huh? He had done it before, and knew what he was doing, but it was still hard to watch.I just went out and eyeballed both bikes for you. It seems that there aleady was an indentation on the right chainstay put in my the manufacturer. He just extended it by an inch or so for the extra needed clearance.

    There is one other compromise, which involves the larger diameter of touring tires. We ran 27 x 1 1/4" on my wife's bike, and 27 x 1 3/8" on mine. On both bikes, it was necessary to mount the wheel in the frame BEFORE pumping it up. If you pumped it up before mounting the wheel, there wasn't enough clearance between the tire and the frame. A minor annoyance as far as I'm concerned.

    That said, I have to tell you that both bikes were extremely comfortable touring bikes. I put many long hours in the saddle of my Centurion, and never really regretted not having a longer bike. In fact, my last century ride was on my wife's International. That was about 16 years ago. BTW, I rode the Nishiki just about a week ago, and it still rides great. I ride the Centurion just about every day. I've had both bikes fully loaded with rear panniers, front panniers, tents, sleeping bags, etc. and they both handled great.

    I hope this helps. My suggestion would be to take the bike to your LBS and see what they say about adding the triple-crank. If it's feasible, I'd say go for it. One of our cranks was an old SR triple, the other was a Sugino AT, but then, that was 25 years ago.

    If you like, I could go out and take some pictures of the setup and post them for you. BTW, I fully intend to start touring again, with both bikes.
    Last edited by Gordo Grande; 12-02-08 at 10:46 PM.
    Rip Van Winkle went to sleep for twenty years, and when he woke up, all the bicycles had changed!

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  12. #12
    Member adamdouze's Avatar
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    If anyone out there is still watching this thread...
    What would be a fair price for the bike? I checked out the serial, and it's a 1982.
    It's in pretty nice shape. I actually can't think of anything I feel like it needs. I fixed it up for her when I lived there. It's even got some Ultra Gatorskins on it- with very little wear.
    "There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results."
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    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamdouze View Post
    If anyone out there is still watching this thread...
    What would be a fair price for the bike? I checked out the serial, and it's a 1982.
    It's in pretty nice shape. I actually can't think of anything I feel like it needs. I fixed it up for her when I lived there. It's even got some Ultra Gatorskins on it- with very little wear.
    I would say between $75-$100.
    But of course this would vary depending on your area.

  14. #14
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    If you can get a Nishiki International for under $100, grab it FAST! That's a double butted chromoly frame. I believe it's Tange 2 seamless tubing. I've not seen Nishiki Internationals for sale around here. Similiar bike frames with other badges are selling for $150 to over $200.
    I just paid $180 for an 85 International (Tange 1) and it needs a lot of work (it was transformed to a flatbar). I know that's a little high considering the condition, but finding seamless, double butted lugged steel frames is becoming difficult.
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  15. #15
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roccobike View Post
    If you can get a Nishiki International for under $100, grab it FAST! That's a double butted chromoly frame. I believe it's Tange 2 seamless tubing. I've not seen Nishiki Internationals for sale around here. Similiar bike frames with other badges are selling for $150 to over $200.
    I just paid $180 for an 85 International (Tange 1) and it needs a lot of work (it was transformed to a flatbar). I know that's a little high considering the condition, but finding seamless, double butted lugged steel frames is becoming difficult.
    You can't touch a Nishiki in my area for less than $100. I don't even see them that often.

    I've had, and have, some nice bikes. My fondest memories of riding still center around my Nishiki that I drug from to Texas, to California, to Florida, Connecticut, Washington, Hawaii, and back to Washington, where I lost my mind and sold it after buying a spiffy new 1988 Cannondale.

  16. #16
    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    If you do get a bike like the one pictured, you will have no trouble with a triple crankset.
    They came from the factory with them!

  17. #17
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    Santa Cruz is a university town, so $50-$100 would be very underpriced for a clean, ready to ride example. $200 would be more in line with that market, and anything less would be a very good deal.
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  18. #18
    Old Skeptic stronglight's Avatar
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    If your International frameset is not already set up with cantilevers bosses, I would just use something like the Dia-Compe cnter-pulls currently sold by Rivendell (and others). These were probably the nicest looking and newest evolution of that basic classic design... or also a long reach Tektro side pull dual-pivot brakeset would very give satisfactory braking performance and would have arms wide and long enough to mount wide tires and fenders.

    These are just a couple photos from the Rivendell website,
    but there are other equally suitable models shown there as well ~




  19. #19
    Broom Wagon Fodder reverborama's Avatar
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    My International ('76) came standard with Dia Compe centerpulls. I was able to put 700cx32 wheels on it and the brakes had enough reach. If you don't already have them on the bike they should be available for cheap. If not, I sure like the look of the Tektro R536's! I was even able to fit studded tires in there with fenders so I think you'd have plenty of room with touring tires.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Gordo Grande's Avatar
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    It's nice to see that these quality Japanese frames are getting the respect they deserve after all these years. I can remember at the time that some folks would turn up their noses a bit because they weren't Italian with Columbus or Reynolds tubing. My Japanese bikes have given me years of great service, and they still ride great.

    I thought the Nishikis might have been Tange No. 5. I just went out to check, but I can't tell because there is a clamp for the pump right over the label. :-)

    I would buy this bike if I were you, especially if you know that it's in good shape.

    I just used the standard Dia-compe sidepulls that came with the bike. I don't think they would be a problem, as long as you kept them properly adjusted. OTOH, those center-pulls and tektros sure are pretty.

    You might need to get some wheels with wider rims. The rims that came standard with ours would only mount tires as wide as 1 1/8" which really isn't wide enough for load carrying.

    One last note about the point about frame clearance: The problem with the wider tires wasn't with brake clearance. It was with the clearance between the wheel and the bottom bracket. You might not have the same problem, depending on the frame size. Ours is a 21"

    I hope this helps. I'm going to watch this thread to see if you end up getting it.
    Rip Van Winkle went to sleep for twenty years, and when he woke up, all the bicycles had changed!

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  21. #21
    Member adamdouze's Avatar
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    Thank you, everyone, for the advice.

    Good news/bad news mix- she took too long deciding whether to sell it or not, and I found the exact bike that I had jokingly said I'd ideally want. So, after all this I'm not getting it, but now that she's definitely going to sell it, I can tell her with some accuracy what to ask.
    Again, thanks.
    "There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results."
    -Peter F. Drucker

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    What a great bike. My then girl friend (now wife) got me an '83 International as a graduation gift from law school. Still looks and rides great. Beautiful deep sky blue color.

    She was a keeper! Just got me an '09 Madone for Christmas.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Gordo Grande's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gettingold View Post
    She was a keeper! Just got me an '09 Madone for Christmas.
    The wife or the bike?
    Rip Van Winkle went to sleep for twenty years, and when he woke up, all the bicycles had changed!

    Santana Tandem, Cannondale racing bike, Centurion Super LeMans, Bianchi Limited, Nishiki International, Diamondback Ascent, CW Racing MTB, Schwinn Traveller, Union Flyer St. Croix, American Eagle Tourist 10, 2 Dahon folders, Equinox trailer

  24. #24
    Senior Member Gordo Grande's Avatar
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    OK, the suspense is killing me. WHAT KIND OF BIKE DID YOU GET?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamdouze View Post
    Thank you, everyone, for the advice.

    Good news/bad news mix- she took too long deciding whether to sell it or not, and I found the exact bike that I had jokingly said I'd ideally want. So, after all this I'm not getting it, but now that she's definitely going to sell it, I can tell her with some accuracy what to ask.
    Again, thanks.
    Rip Van Winkle went to sleep for twenty years, and when he woke up, all the bicycles had changed!

    Santana Tandem, Cannondale racing bike, Centurion Super LeMans, Bianchi Limited, Nishiki International, Diamondback Ascent, CW Racing MTB, Schwinn Traveller, Union Flyer St. Croix, American Eagle Tourist 10, 2 Dahon folders, Equinox trailer

  25. #25
    Member adamdouze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordo Grande View Post
    OK, the suspense is killing me. WHAT KIND OF BIKE DID YOU GET?
    I'm pretty into mid-late '80s Schwinns.
    I got a 1987 Schwinn Voyageur. It's in pretty amazing shape. Someone loved it very much over the last twenty years. As far as I can tell it has all it's original component- with the exception of the Brooks saddle I put on it as soon as I got home.
    The best thing is it was Schwinn touring bike that year, so it doesn't need any modifications. As soon as I get some racks, I'm ready to roll.
    "There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results."
    -Peter F. Drucker

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