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  1. #1
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    1980's Nishiki International

    Hello! My name's Ibarra, 16 from the bay area. I've had this nishiki international for about 2 1/2 year now. I did some small research when I first got the bike to figure out it was a 83 but thats the farthest I got. When I got the bike It had on suntour cyclone deraileurs, suntour downtube shifters (The ones that had a detatchable mount that actually bolted unto the downtube instead of the shifters attatching directly to the downtube), some 27" araya wheels, dia compe 500 brakes, dia compe brake levers and sugino gs cranks.

    I rode the bike for about a year and replaced all the cables, re-packed the hubs, got some tektro brake levers with comfy rubber hoods, and koolstop salmons. There came a point when something didn't feel right with the bike and I took it to a shop, it turned out that something inside the rear hub came loose. So I decided to start a 700c conversion on it. I had the bike for a week but made a stupid mistake of not tightening the rear skewer enough and while climbing out of the saddle, the wheel popped out and bent it irreversably out of true.

    Ever since its been sitting in my room due to a fixie which i've had for a year that had taken it's place out of necessity (I commute to school which is a 14mi round trip).

    Well for a while I've been wanting to re-build the bike into a nice comfy tourer/city bike. My question is, Is the frame worth rebuilding and putting some fresh-er components/ better wheelset on? I was thinking an old-er shimano 600 or dura-ace 6600 components. Hopefully while still maintaining the downtube shifting system.


    Back when it was still running


    Current state


    If possible could you give me some info from this code? I remember finding some stuff
    about it a while back. KC35904


    Sticker Headbadge






    I was wondering if this was of any significance? The handcrafted thing.

    So yeah, I was just wondering if it's worth rebuilding or should I look for a newer bike to use as a base. Also I would if possible like to know if there's anything significant about the frame itself. Thank you

    Holy crap. I just realized I posted this in the wrong area. Sorry
    Last edited by Entrymax; 12-30-11 at 10:51 PM.

  2. #2
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Nishikis (a trading name) were made by Kawamura Bicycles in Japan and then by Giant in Taiwan and believe most would give the edge to Kawamura when it came to building the better frame and when it comes to vintage steel this is a very nice frame and fork with some very nice components.

    The Cyclone parts are about as nice as they come and if you like friction shifting there is not reason to change things... with a new rear wheel you are probably golden.

  3. #3
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    Owning a 1983 Nishiki Int'l, I am admittedly biased, but that being said, I would not put any Shimano 600 or DA parts on it.

    The frame and components are perfectly matched, and as a package, it is, IMO, the best of breed for an 80's Japanese sport tourer.

    - Auchen

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    How would I go about finding a new rear wheel? Lbs? Im not exactly sure what I should be looking for to find a hub that I can mount the 5spd cassette to. Any wheel set reccomendations?

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    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Entrymax View Post
    How would I go about finding a new rear wheel? Lbs? Im not exactly sure what I should be looking for to find a hub that I can mount the 5spd cassette to. Any wheel set reccomendations?
    It came with 27" red label Araya rims which are pretty plentiful. Ebay is a potential source. There are decent aftermarket rims as well like the Sun CR18s but you'll need to match the set.
    - Auchen

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    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    It's a nice double butted frame, definitely worth building up again. I'd probably just use the original Cyclone components which were pretty good at the time. It looked great before, I'm sure it can be great again. Just swap out anything you weren't happy with using the parts of your choice. No need for 600 or Dura Ace (BTW Dura Ace is a 7xxx number, so like 7400, 7700, etc.)

    No idea on the "handcrafted" thing, I'm not a frame expert. I'm sure someone else will know.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  7. #7
    Senior Member randyjawa's Avatar
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    The Nishiki International is a very nice bicycle, however; I have seen it offered in different variations. I have had Internationals with both caliper and cantilevered brakes. Needless to say, I prefer the cantilevered...


    The Nishiki International pictured is of 1984 vintage and one of three or four that have come my way. Two had calipers and two had cantis.


    If you need a wheel set, or even a complete Shimano 600 group, including wheels, send me a private email or email me through my website, MY "TEN SPEEDS". I will do my best to assist...
    Learn how to find, restore and maintain vintage road bicycles at... MY "TEN SPEEDS"

  8. #8
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Entrymax View Post
    I was wondering if this was of any significance? The handcrafted thing.

    So yeah, I was just wondering if it's worth rebuilding or should I look for a newer bike to use as a base. Also I would if possible like to know if there's anything significant about the frame itself. Thank you
    Handcrafted means nothing. Its just a way for Kawamura to advertise that they actually built the bike, not Nishiki. Nishiki was one of dozens of brands back then that did not build their bikes, they just outsourced the production. Names like Univega, Lotus, Centurion, and Nishiki (there are more) all had others build their bikes. That does not make the bikes inferior, they often used good builders. And even brands that built their own bikes outsourced some of their production back then, like Schwinn and Trek.

    Is it worth rebuilding? Sure, if you have the time/tools/aptitude/interest, and ability to find parts at a reasonable price. I have built up six Nishiki Internationals in the last two years, all were nice bikes, all went on to new homes.

    On the code, google is your friend, there is a thread with all of the Nishiki serial numbers. And of course, you can check component codes as well.

    Personally, I would not put DA components on that bike, that is overdoing it.

    +1 I would look for some good Suntour parts, they are plentiful and are very reliable. Cyclone is great, sometimes expensive depending on generation (1st generation Cyclone tends to go high).

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    The International frame is an excellent base for a "comfy tourer/city bike". The existing parts are perfectly good, serviceable components. However a late 1980s 600 Ultegra or Dura-Ace group has several attractive features. The biggest feature, is the most contentious, and that is indexed shifting. You either love it or hate it. There is also the 7th cog. The rear freehub is stronger and easier to service. The SLR brakes have much better modulation and stopping power. However, the most important improvement in my mind are the HyperGlide cogs and chain, which vastly improve shifting performace. Of course, it is possible to use the existing components and just purchase a HyperGlide freewheel and chain but if you're going with a 700C conversion it may be just as cheap to get good, used wheels with a freehub, as it would be to get new rims laced onto the existing hubs.

    The thing is, all these upgrades are going to cost money and trying to piece everything together may cost more than seeking out a good, used bicycle that has everything you want. The cheapest route and best value would be to buy a replacement rear wheel with freehub and HyperGlide cogs and a new chain.

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    Senior Member TugaDude's Avatar
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    I would definitely keep it and build it up. You have another bike, so there seems to be no rush. Make it a project to find the "right" components for your build. You can source the needed parts on Craigslist or a local bicycle co-op if there is one near you.

    The frame is gorgeous, to me at least. I love the blue color and the paint and decals look to be in excellent condition, lugwork very nice, it's a keeper.

    So take T-Mar's advice and just do the minimum to get it rideable. Cyclone is good stuff, very lightweight and functional. The new freewheel and chain will improve shifting nicely.

    I also like the drilled cranks. The bike has a lot of character. Clean the frame, use some gentle buffing compound and then wax the heck out of it and it will last for many years.

  11. #11
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    I also agree with T-Mar's advice, just do the minimal to get it running. They still make 27"inch rims; here's one at Nashbar: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...LAID=858052409 Or go to an LBS and see if they can get on...they should be able to. Once you have the rim you might as well have it built right but using either DT Competition dble butted spokes or Wheelsmith dble butted spokes which cost less then DT and just as good. Then use brass nipples because the last longer. Reuse your hub since you didn't mention you had any problems with it.

    There are still plenty of 27" tires on the market including Continental Gatorskins, so I wouldn't bother with going to 700c, and besides if you switch to 700c you could run into a nightmarish money pit depending on the bike frame setup.

    I have several older bikes and love them, their extremely dependable, and Cyclone derailleurs are bullet proof and could last longer then you will!!!

    The only thing you need to watch for is rust, I noticed a small amount of rust on the frame, polish that rust off with a fine piece of emery paper till the metal shines, then touch up with paint that matches the frame color. Or leave the rust because it's not threatening the frame and probably won't for many years. Or you could also get the bike repainted if you think the bike is worth it to you and either find the decals on the internet, or have the decals copied with either a computer that will make a vinyl transfer or air brush the decals with paint. Realize that if you get the bike painted you won't be able to sell the bike and get the cost of the painting etc back out of it, so the repainting thing would just be a personal thing. I have a bike that I owned for 28 years and I retired it early this year until I can get it repainted; but I'm want to do this to that bike because it was my last racing bike I had that I race with up until 24 years ago so it has sentimental value to me, so I want it to look new again. The rest of the bikes I have don't have that sentimental value so I probably would never get those others repainted.

  12. #12
    Senior Member skyrider's Avatar
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    Welcome to C&V good to see teenagers into these classics. The INT. wont disapoint, its a great all purpose bike. just pick up a wheel of a cheap donor bike from craigslist.

  13. #13
    Senior Member acoffin's Avatar
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    If the bike fits you properly your not going to do much better. And yeah, the cyclone is as good a friction shifter as you can get. When you get everything properly adjusted that bike will ride like a dream. 27 inch rims don't get a fair shake, throw a pair on with some panaracer paselas and you will be very happy.

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    Thank you for all your inputs, they were very helpful! It seems that i'm going to continue the build with the original parts (Well I'm planning on rebuilding and polishing them) and finding myself a new rear wheel. I appreciate it very much Happy New Year!

    I shall probably continue updating the build on this end of the forums.

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    Thank you for all your inputs, they were very helpful! It seems that i'm going to continue the build with the original parts (Well I'm planning on rebuilding and polishing them) and finding myself a new rear wheel. I appreciate it very much Happy New Year! I'm going to probably continue the build on the other c&v forum.

  16. #16
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Best way (cheapest) to find a wheelset for that bike? Either a donor bike, or put a WTB wheels in your local C/L. Be sure to put that listing in the bicycles for sale section. Yes, I know it is not a bicycle for sale, but that's where everybody looks. In rehabbing a couple of hundred bikes in the last few years, I have yet to have bought a single new wheel. I guess it will happen sometime. But I continue to find nice to very nice wheels used. When you add flexibility on speeds (everyone wants the 130mm rear spacing for 8/9/10 stuff, you can get by just fine with 125mm spacing) and flexibility on size (I prefer 700c, but 27 inch wheels are just fine too), you can find wheels really cheap. And almost all of the used wheels I find come with tires, tubes, QR skewers, and a rear freewheel or cassette.

  17. #17
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
    The Nishiki International is a very nice bicycle, however; I have seen it offered in different variations. I have had Internationals with both caliper and cantilevered brakes. Needless to say, I prefer the cantilevered...
    The International evolved over it's production life and just got better and better... the frames with canti mounts also came with a chain hangar on the seat stay and are quite suitable as an all rounder and tourer due to their robust builds and nice ride while under load.

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    @Sixty Fiver, is a chain hanger a little bolt that sticks out right above the drive side dropout? What does it do? because my frame has one too.

    Actually nvm, sheldon helped me with it
    Last edited by Entrymax; 12-31-11 at 04:02 PM.

  19. #19
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Entrymax View Post
    @Sixty Fiver, is a chain hanger a little bolt that sticks out right above the drive side dropout? What does it do? because my frame has one too.
    When you remove the rear wheel that little hook is for the chain and keeps it from dragging on the chainstay and makes re-installation easier... tends to be something you find on better frames.

    I salvaged an International last spring and re-used the rear stays, dropouts, and fork to rebuild my folder... the main frame had been snapped in half so was beyond reasonable repair.

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    Is there any specific hub to look for to use the 5 speed cassette on? I'm not too sure on how their mounted on.

    Unfortunately, both wheels are gone so I'm quite clueless on what I should be keeping my eye out for besides the wheel being 27".
    I know a 5 speed cassette was on the rear wheel. By any chance how would I be able to figure out the spacing between the rear dropouts?
    Last edited by Entrymax; 12-31-11 at 04:52 PM.

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    Well I'm starting on cleaning up the components. Using some de-greaser, then planning on using 1000-1200 grit sandpaper to wet sand, (is wet sanding needed?) and afterwards using Mothers to polish em. Are there any things I need to watch out for when doing this?




    I did some very light cleaning on these when I first got the bike. Basically took them apart, doused them in de-greaser then wiped them down.
    So this time im hoping to get rid of the pitting using the sandpaper.


    Unfortunately I took a spill and gashed these a while back when I was learning how to use clips
    What should I do about this? You guys think i'll be able to save it by sanding down or should I... :
    *Find period-correct brake levers?
    *try and sand them down?
    *Use what I have (Which im pretty sure most of you would say )


    Does M-II mean these are 2nd gen? (Common sense says so, but It wont hurt asking )


  22. #22
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    The Mk2 Cyclones should be cleaned and polished gently as the pantographing can be removed and unless there are obvious scratches would start with the Mother's before getting into any sanding... you will be amazed at what Mother's can do all by itself.

  23. #23
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Entrymax View Post
    Is there any specific hub to look for to use the 5 speed cassette on? I'm not too sure on how their mounted on.

    Unfortunately, both wheels are gone so I'm quite clueless on what I should be keeping my eye out for besides the wheel being 27".
    I know a 5 speed cassette was on the rear wheel. By any chance how would I be able to figure out the spacing between the rear dropouts?
    Its a freewheel, not a cassette. Totally different technology.

  24. #24
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    Best way (cheapest) to find a wheelset for that bike? Either a donor bike, or put a WTB wheels in your local C/L. Be sure to put that listing in the bicycles for sale section. Yes, I know it is not a bicycle for sale, but that's where everybody looks. In rehabbing a couple of hundred bikes in the last few years, I have yet to have bought a single new wheel. I guess it will happen sometime. But I continue to find nice to very nice wheels used. When you add flexibility on speeds (everyone wants the 130mm rear spacing for 8/9/10 stuff, you can get by just fine with 125mm spacing) and flexibility on size (I prefer 700c, but 27 inch wheels are just fine too), you can find wheels really cheap. And almost all of the used wheels I find come with tires, tubes, QR skewers, and a rear freewheel or cassette.
    +1 I have had great luck finding good used built up with tires and freewheels for build. It is pretty easy if your just looking for good quality and don't get hung up on details. If your willing to be a bit flexible on gearing and or size and your willing to live with use a slightly miss matched set and aren't picky about having different model brand rims or hubs front and back you can get great wheelsets $30-40 easy by advertising often times with good tires and freeweel with a little bit of looking.
    Last edited by zukahn1; 12-31-11 at 07:36 PM.

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    Ah I never knew there was a difference. Thanks for letting me know

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