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  1. #1
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    Birthday Bike, Nishiki Custom Sport

    After missing out on a beautiful Raliegh Capri, I was trolling the local thrift stores yesterday and found this Nishiki Custom Sport to add to the stable. I had a little birthday money in my pocket, so I decided this would be my present. It's a 12-speed, alloy rims, double-butted Cro-mo, says 'handcrafted by Kuwahara' on the chainstay.


    Front




    Side






    I like these Cranks



    The bike looked a bit dingy w/potential rust on the front forks, but on closer inspection this just wiped away. This bike is going to clean up beautifully

  2. #2
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Nice find! The Raleigh Alyeska I just restored had the (Raleigh branded) triple version of that crank and the same Suntour AR derailleurs. Makes for a great drivetrain.

  3. #3
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    +1 that is a pretty nice drivetrain. I've got a set of those Cranks too, ran 'em on my Super Course for a month or two and really liked them. Mine have a Biopace big ring though I think.

    Not bad looking pedals either. I say Ditch the Brake levers, either for a set of 80's Shimano SLR levers or for some new Tektro or Cane Creek aero levers....and maybe lose the stem shifters in favor of some barcons (although I've got nothing against stem shifters)

    oh, yeah...Happy Birthday!

    **edit**

    heck, with not much effort or $$ you could do a 7 speed freewheel on the rear and throw on some indexed levers

    or just ride the heck out of it as is ...its a great jumping off point for all sorts of easy upgrades down the road.
    Last edited by Zaphod Beeblebrox; 07-30-10 at 08:07 AM.
    --Don't Panic.

  4. #4
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    Wow, you found my first 'serious' bike! I had a 12 speed Nishiki I bought back in the late 60's or early 70's from a Bambergers Dept store in NJ! Really loved that bike as it was my first taste of what a non-fat-tire'd cruiser was capable of! However I do remember always having to adjust those side pull brake calipers and the extended center handle levers...
    -Some miserable ^^#%*& AH stole that bike right out of my backyard in the middle of the day, while I was in my house! I couldn't believe it!
    -Enjoy it; I'd be wiling to bet it's still a great ride!

  5. #5
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    Actually, the freewheel is a little chumped up. When I first saw it, I spun the wheel and found the freewheel spun freely in BOTH directions but everything else had enough potential to overlook a bad freewheel. I took the clips off the pedals so I could test ride it while waiting for a guy to show up for another deal--bought a saddle from him--my feet wouldn't fit in the clips, dress shoes were too wide.

    I've nothing against index shifting but I'm just fine with friction. I don't race, so I'm not sure I see a point to leaving the simplicity of friction shifting.

    I now have 5 road bikes in the stable that are in my size: this one, 68cm Fuji Monterey, 64cm Fuji Special Road Racer, 64cm Gitane InterClub, and a 68cm Schwinn Traveler. I want to decide what I like best and downsize by 2. I don't have to get rid of anything since I've got the room, but I don't see the point of having more bikes than I can ride regularly. For road bikes, I know I need my main ride, a back-up bike, and a project in the stable at all times. The trick is how to determine what I like best, what combo of style & performance & fit is going to do it for me. The 68cm frames feel more comfortable in the cockpit, but the 64cms have a better standover as on the 68cm frames my bones make contact with the toptube standing flat-footed. This bike is close, visually if it had chrome stays and a little more interest going on on the seat tube that would help a lot. I don't know what my 'grail' bike is yet, but this isn't it. Maybe a Paramount some day, I'm not sure.

  6. #6
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    Chazzlee,

    Thanks, bike thieves should be shot! If it's any consolation, I can tell you that this bike is not your exact bike. It still has the local bikeshop sticker on it from when it was sold. ;p

  7. #7
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigPolishJimmy View Post
    Chazzlee,

    Thanks, bike thieves should be shot! If it's any consolation, I can tell you that this bike is not your exact bike. It still has the local bikeshop sticker on it from when it was sold. ;p
    Plus it dates to the mid 80s, not the late 60s.

  8. #8
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    ha yeah, RIF on my part. From previous threads about this bike turned up by searching Google, it looks to be an 82 or 83.

  9. #9
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    Okay, that one may be an 80's Nishiki, but I KNOW mine was from the mid 70's, at the latest!
    It may have been only a 10 speed also, but it did look just like the photo shown in this thread...
    Here's something I found onna web about Nishikis..
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nishiki

    Nishiki got off to a good start in the U.S. market, but made the error of selling some models to department stores, which created bad feeling against the line among independent bicycle dealers, and they lost a great many dealers as a result of this. Later, the Nishiki brand became a division of Derby, along with Raleigh and Univega. The Nishiki and Univega names were retired in 2001 so that Derby could concentrate on its Raleigh brand.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    This holds up about where I bought mine because it was in a Bambergers (read, Macys) big department store in the East Brunswick, NJ mall. I was surprised to find a bike like this in such a store, but the price was right and it was of good quality, so I bought it!
    My first ride with it was down a huge hill between the mall and my home, and I think I scared the crap outta myself by hitting maybe 35 MPH or so! ">**)

    Anyway the bike is long gone to to a thieving little rat, and the huge Bambergers Dept stores no longer exist either...

    Chazzlee

  10. #10
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    Took the Nishiki out for a spin this evening after brushing it off and raising the saddle. OMG, this thing runs smooth! I rotated the bars up a tad and it fits like a glove, that I did not expect. I still have a lot of work to do on this, but already I think this fits me better than my 68cm Fuji. I'm rather excited about this! I've got to learn to service, or get the bb serviced--along with the wheels & headset--just to be on the safe side. It's going to need a new set of cables but I'm not sure if I want to go aero, I'm tempted to keep it 'as-is' turkey legs and all. I've already got a couple sets of aero levers hanging around but if I go aero, I really want the cane creek aero levers because they look comfortable. Oh well, one step at a time. I just want to ride this, and that's a very good sign.

    Gladly taking suggestions of how to get the most out of this thing.

  11. #11
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigPolishJimmy View Post
    I really want the cane creek aero levers because they look comfortable.
    They are quite comfortable. The only complaint I've heard is some folks say the hoods feel too big for their hands. Personally I think they're some of the best.
    --Don't Panic.

  12. #12
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    I don't think too big for my hands is going to be a problem. I actually checked out a very similar lever at the lbs, but ended up buying a set of sun aero levers because they were cheap and I intended on using them on a flip but then didn't use them. I'm still kinda blown away by the fit of this frame. Truth be told, I haven't really ridden a 64cm frame bike even though I've got 3 of them now. They've all been in a state of disrepair and I've been focusing my attention on my Fuji 68cm frame because it was worlds more comfortable than the 23" smaller frames I had been riding previously. I only took my 64cm Special Road Racer for a short ride when I noticed the tires fraying, not wanting to blow a tire and ruin the alloy rims I cut that ride short. This is going to be fun.

  13. #13
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    a proper fit goes a really long way

    it sounds like a great project...if you like it why not give the BB service a go on your own. Its pretty simple. Depending on your BB you might not need any special tools beyond a lockring wrench and a crank puller (probably around $20 for the two)

    wheels and headset you can service with no special tools at all.
    --Don't Panic.

  14. #14
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chazzlee View Post
    Wow, you found my first 'serious' bike! I had a 12 speed Nishiki I bought back in the late 60's or early 70's from a Bambergers Dept store in NJ! Really loved that bike as it was my first taste of what a non-fat-tire'd cruiser was capable of! However I do remember always having to adjust those side pull brake calipers and the extended center handle levers...
    -Some miserable ^^#%*& AH stole that bike right out of my backyard in the middle of the day, while I was in my house! I couldn't believe it!
    -Enjoy it; I'd be wiling to bet it's still a great ride!
    FYI
    That would have been 1973, maybe 1972, but not sooner. American Eagle started selling bikes in the US around 1970, by 1972 they decided to change the name to Nishiki so you would not have been able to buy one until then.
    Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator

  15. #15
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
    a proper fit goes a really long way

    it sounds like a great project...if you like it why not give the BB service a go on your own. Its pretty simple. Depending on your BB you might not need any special tools beyond a lockring wrench and a crank puller (probably around $20 for the two)

    wheels and headset you can service with no special tools at all.

    I've done Ashtabula cranks and wheel bearings in lesser bikes, and I have crank pullers, so really I just need to pickup a lockring wrench and give it a go. I can't wait to get some time and go over all the aluminum with some mothers, this bike is going to shine.

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