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Old 11-24-09, 05:57 PM   #1
gidget506
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Nishiki NFS Alpha

Hi. Newbie here. I just picked up a really cute Nishiski NFS Alpha - royal blue, chrome fork, chrome lettering with pink highlights . . . . Not even sure it's a classic or vintage or not. I wanted to make it a single speed as I was looking for a winter ride that was easier to clean than my Madone. But I'm not sure now. It's in great shape, but is a mishmash of parts. Looks like Shimano 600 RD, 105 crank, campy brakes, maybe Shimano RSX levers, Sun Mistral wheels with Shimano 600 hubs. Anyone know what is original and what isn't? Should I single speed it? Any information on the NFS Alpha would be greatly appreciated. Don't want to ruin it if it's an okay bike.

Thanks!
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Old 11-25-09, 06:58 AM   #2
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That sounds like the 1991 model which was full Ultegra except for 105 pedals. Sounds like even the wheels are replacements, as WolberTX are orignal rims. The fame was designed by Richard Cunningham and uses unspecfied tubing. The most unique feature is the 26"/650c wheelset, which gave great aceralation. The Alpha rerally jumps when you stand on the pedals. Orignal price $949 US.

Personally, I'd be keeping this multi-geared. If I recall correctly, there is no dropout adjustment, so you'd need an eccentric hub, bottom bracket or chain tensioner for the conversion.
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Old 11-25-09, 07:30 AM   #3
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That sounds like the 1991 model which was full Ultegra except for 105 pedals. Sounds like even the wheels are replacements, as WolberTX are orignal rims.
+1, Yup! Catalog says 1991 NFS Alpha. I think the pink highlights were actually light red that probably faded. As a big Nishiki fan I hate to see that classic changed to a fixie or SS. That's an uncommon bike.
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Old 11-25-09, 08:49 PM   #4
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I was going to use a chain tensioner. Not sure I'll change it now. There is a label that says Nishiki Design 4130-OS Thin Wall Butted tubing - does that help with the unspecified tubing? I really like the 650 wheel set. Maybe it would be fun to use it at the weekly TT my group does during the summer. Since it's so mixed up with parts would it be good to just throw aero bars on it and use it that way?

Do you know where they were made? I noticed your serial number project - but these Nishikis don't seem to be part of the whole scheme. Do you want the numbers anyhow?

Thanks so much for the info! It's helping with my decision.
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Old 11-25-09, 08:54 PM   #5
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Looks great pink, though! I'm going with pink handle bar tape! Having a bit of fun. But I will keep it multi-gear. Got to go hunting for another SS project.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 11-26-09, 07:44 AM   #6
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While I can't provide any definitive stanmtement, I believe the tubing is Tange Concept.
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Old 12-06-09, 08:02 PM   #7
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I'm trying to decide what to do with this bike. Should I take the mishmash of parts off and try to restore it to it's original? Is it worth it?

The previous owner took off the FD to make it perform like a SS. I have a Dura Ace FD kicking around that I could use I think. But is it better to try to get it back to the original stuff? What type of quill stem and handlebars did this have - anyone know?

Any advice would be great.
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Old 12-06-09, 09:35 PM   #8
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I'm trying to decide what to do with this bike. Should I take the mishmash of parts off and try to restore it to it's original? Is it worth it?

The previous owner took off the FD to make it perform like a SS. I have a Dura Ace FD kicking around that I could use I think. But is it better to try to get it back to the original stuff? What type of quill stem and handlebars did this have - anyone know?

Any advice would be great.
Handlebar was a silver SR anatomic bend and the stem was a black TIG welded steel, Richard Cunningham design. Bar wrap was white.

I'd personally restore it to the original Ultegra setup but it's hard to go wrong with Dura-Ace. I'd overlook that faux-pas.
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Old 12-07-09, 07:49 AM   #9
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Handlebar was a silver SR anatomic bend and the stem was a black TIG welded steel, Richard Cunningham design. Bar wrap was white.

I'd personally restore it to the original Ultegra setup but it's hard to go wrong with Dura-Ace. I'd overlook that faux-pas.
Thanks T-Mar. This whole thing feels like it could become obsessive - like an addiction. I've begun the search! Thanks again.
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Old 12-07-09, 09:04 AM   #10
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Sorry, this is sort of a hijack, but for the Nishiki (and specifically NFS) fans here, how does the Alpha differ from the Beta? I have a Beta that I picked up a while back in complete, but disassembled condition. I've been meaning to put it back together....it's complete with all the 105 7 speed running gear...but it keeps getting bumped back in the queue. Sounds like the Alpha might be the more desirable of the NFS bikes, yes?
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Old 12-07-09, 09:13 AM   #11
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... how does the Alpha differ from the Beta?...
The Alpha and beta used the same frameset and tertiary components. The only difference, besides colour, was the Ultegra group on the Alpha versus the 105 group on the Beta.

The top NFS bicycle during this period was the Altron. Unlike the Alpha and Beta, it used triatlon geometry. It was outfitted with an Ultegra group, TriSpoke 650C wheelset and Profile I aerobar. I owned one for a very short period.
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Old 12-07-09, 09:22 AM   #12
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Welcome to the forum, gidget and good luck with the project! Do you have the option of posting pictures of that Nishiki?

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Old 12-07-09, 10:37 AM   #13
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Here's what it will look like when complete and original. The Alpha is in the foreground (blue) and the Beta is in the background (red).
Attached Images
File Type: jpg scan0001.jpg (96.5 KB, 57 views)
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Old 12-07-09, 02:05 PM   #14
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I'm a techno-idiot, so I'm not sure if these pictures will post. But here goes . . . .
Attached Images
File Type: jpg nishiki 011.jpg (97.6 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg nishiki 010.jpg (97.3 KB, 33 views)
File Type: jpg nishiki 012.jpg (90.8 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg nishiki 008.jpg (95.1 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg nishiki 007.jpg (99.1 KB, 52 views)
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Old 12-07-09, 02:09 PM   #15
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Here's what it will look like when complete and original. The Alpha is in the foreground (blue) and the Beta is in the background (red).
Thanks for the photos, T-Mar. I love the black seat post! Now I know what to shoot for. I think the only original thing on the Alpha I have is the RD. Maybe the hubs - they are the Ultegra 600.

There is a group of Ultegra 600 from a 1992 Nishiki for sale on EBay. Asking $295. Is that crazy or is that what I should be expecting? When you start looking at the stuff all separate it really adds up - especially with the shipping.
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Old 02-05-10, 08:19 PM   #16
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Me again. I got a bunch of Ultegra 600 to put back on my Alpha. T-Mar mentioned the original rims were Wolber TX. Are you sure? All the ones I see online (not many to be sure) have the Sun Mistrals. I don't think I'll ever be able to find an original Richard Cunningham stem unless I got another NFS. Fiataccompli mentioned having a Beta in pieces. Does that have the RC stem? What kind of rims?
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Old 02-06-10, 09:21 AM   #17
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... T-Mar mentioned the original rims were Wolber TX. Are you sure? All the ones I see online (not many to be sure) have the Sun Mistrals...
The 1991 catalogue spec'd with Wolber TX and they're clearly Wolber in the pics. The 1992 model was Yellow and didn't have chrome forks, but did have Sun rims, so it's possible that the rim supplier was changed part way though the 1991 model year.
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Old 02-06-10, 09:22 AM   #18
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... T-Mar mentioned the original rims were Wolber TX. Are you sure? All the ones I see online (not many to be sure) have the Sun Mistrals...
The 1991 catalog spec'd Wolber TX and they're clearly Wolber in the picture. The 1992 model was yellow and didn't have chrome forks, but did have Sun rims, so it's possible that the rim supplier was changed part way though the 1991 model year. If you want to investigate further, there should be manufacturing date codes, comprised of two letters stamped on the outside flange of the hubs. Refer to the components page of the Vintage-Trek website for decoding them.

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Old 02-06-10, 09:38 AM   #19
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Excellent. Thanks T-Mar. Because I wouldn't even begin to know how to find those old Wolbers. I'm sure there's a way. But I haven't figured it out from the online searching.
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Old 02-06-10, 11:08 AM   #20
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The 1991 catalog spec'd Wolber TX and they're clearly Wolber in the picture. The 1992 model was yellow and didn't have chrome forks, but did have Sun rims, so it's possible that the rim supplier was changed part way though the 1991 model year. If you want to investigate further, there should be manufacturing date codes, comprised of two letters stamped on the outside flange of the hubs. Refer to the components page of the Vintage-Trek website for decoding them.
The code put the hubs at June 1990. Appropriate you think?
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