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Old 08-14-12, 04:07 PM   #1
iheartbacon
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Dumpster bike, let it RIP or bring it back to life?






I rescued this bike from a dumpster, I may have missed a few parts. Anyway I thought it was cool and it looks to be about my size. Unfortunately I don't know very much about the mechanics of a bicycle. Is this worth fixing? I'm not looking to sell it, I just want to know if the frame and quality of this bike is decent or if I should put it back in the dumpster. Amazon has a book about converting road bikes to single speed. Which would be fine since I have two geared bikes. My guess is that this is a steel frame. It says "Nishiki" on the frame. Feel free to throw out any ideas of what I should do with it. Studded tire winter beater?
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File Type: jpg Nihiki 3 (1024x768).jpg (101.3 KB, 110 views)
File Type: jpg Nishiki 1 (1024x768).jpg (103.2 KB, 115 views)
File Type: jpg Nishiki 2 (1024x768).jpg (103.4 KB, 81 views)
File Type: jpg Nishiki 4 (1024x768).jpg (61.0 KB, 84 views)
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Old 08-14-12, 04:20 PM   #2
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It could be a fun project to learn about bicycle mechanics.
Looks like the rear hub needs some attention but all the pieces seem to be there.
If the wheels are in good shape I would give it some TLC and get it back on the road. If they aren't I would probably donate it to a co-op.
You can probably find all you need to know about converting to single speed from the Bicycle mechanics or single/fixed sub forums.
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Old 08-14-12, 05:17 PM   #3
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Depends on your objectives.

The good news is that it looks to me like it has horizontal dropouts. That makes the single speed idea easily do-able. The bad news is contained in that last photo of the stem with missing wedge and an assortment of bearing and axle parts. That means buying some replacement parts is likely to be necessary.

Bottom line, if you want to fuss with it and learn something about bike mechanics, turning it into a single speed looks to me to be an excellent way to do it. If you're planning to make money or at least break even, I doubt that's going to happen on your first attempt.
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Old 08-14-12, 06:14 PM   #4
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I don't plan on selling it, I'd rather enjoy the fruits of my labor. Thanks for pointing me to the fixed gear forum, I'll check it out but I'll use any excuse to buy another book. No matter how flimsy the excuse is. The tires look to be in decent shape. Lots of tread anyway, the handlebars could stand some new tape,

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Old 08-14-12, 07:22 PM   #5
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It might be a nice single speed project.
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Old 08-14-12, 07:30 PM   #6
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To me, it looks like most of the bike is there. Should be a steel frame Nishiki if I am seeing that right. Before you go scrapping derailleurs you might check to see if they work. With a quick glance it appears a stem quill and some bearing grease may do the trick.
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Old 08-14-12, 08:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by iheartbacon View Post
I don't plan on selling it, I'd rather enjoy the fruits of my labor. Thanks for pointing me to the fixed gear forum, I'll check it out but I'll use any excuse to buy another book. No matter how flimsy the excuse is. The tires look to be in decent shape. Lots of tread anyway, the handlebars could stand some new tape,
The tires look good, but it is the wheels I would be checking, make sure they are somewhat true.
I also would buy a more broad bicycle mechanics book like Zinn & the Art of Road Bike Maintenance. Once you figure out all the bicycle components the single speed will be easy. Of course n+1 can apply to books also
I can't tell if that is a spare stem in the parts pile, but if you need a new one try a co-op or used bike parts store. They have bins of old quill stems for $5 around here.
For that rear hub I would start here http://sheldonbrown.com/cone-adjustment.html
The only other things you should need is some bar tape and a tub of grease
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Old 08-15-12, 08:25 PM   #8
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Look at your front gears and see if you can unbolt them from each other. That is a bonus for doing a single speed. You may have to get new bolts (shorter).
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Old 08-17-12, 12:30 AM   #9
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If I found a bike like you did I would take it if it looks at least decent, fix it up.
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Old 08-17-12, 10:45 AM   #10
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It might be a nice single speed project.
That was the result of my last dumpster rescue..
took a couple-3 donors to make 1 that worked.
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Old 08-17-12, 11:11 AM   #11
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Looks like a nice, lugged steel frame. Nishiki was a decent Japanese manufacturer back in the day. Get a quill nut and stem bolt, rebuild the hubs, true the wheels and give it a good cleaning. The adjustable stem is a pretty nice option for adjusting the fit. Not bad at all for the price. If you decide to convert to single speed, it looks like the front chainrings can be separated. Not a SS expert, but I guess you can get a BMX style freewheel to replace the existing one. If the wheels are 27in, tire selection might be limited. So if the wheels need a lot of work, you might look for replacements in 700c size.

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Old 08-17-12, 11:54 AM   #12
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I'm going to do the single speed thing just for the experience and fun of it.
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Old 08-17-12, 12:03 PM   #13
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Single speeds are limited. I put one together and rode it for a few weeks. Limited yes, but fun. I'd use it on flatter rides. For some reason, it made 50 year old me feel like a kid in his 20's. Only reason I got rid of it was I needed space & could sell it at a nice profit.

Don't cut off anything. Don't repaint. Don't listen to my demands. Post pics.
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Old 08-17-12, 12:07 PM   #14
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Personally, I'd tear it all the way down and rebuild it.

Of course, the reason I say that is because I'm itching to learn as much as I can about doing my own work on my own bicycles. A complete junked bike is a godsend for someone like me.

It looks like I'll be acquiring a torn-down Peugeot pretty soon, thanks to the gracious generosity of one of the forum members that lives in my area. I hesitate to say who it is because I've not yet asked him if it's OK to do so. Regardless of frame size, I plan to rebuild it. If the frame is the right size for me I might turn it into a townie.

I'm hoping it's a 58-60 cm frame.
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Old 08-17-12, 01:11 PM   #15
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The Nishiki is a 56, which is the perfect size for me. What does it mean when a frame is lugged? How can you tell?
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Old 08-17-12, 02:01 PM   #16
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The Nishiki appears to be a lugged steel frame. I can't explain it well but wikipedia might. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lugged_...e_construction
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Old 08-17-12, 02:10 PM   #17
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The Nishiki is a 56, which is the perfect size for me. What does it mean when a frame is lugged? How can you tell?
At the time your bike was made, there were basically two methods for making steel bicycle frames. Lugged meant that the steel tubes were brazed into cast steel pieces, called lugs. This, as opposed to welding, produced a better quality frame, because it did not heat the steel enough to change its strength. Prior to the wide acceptance of TIG welding, welded steel frames were considered inferior, and relegated to department store bikes. In the photos you provided, the lugs are clearly visible where the frame tubes join.

Edit: I didn't see the Wiki that Timothy posted - much better explanation than mine. I take exception to part of the last paragraph, however. There are several Japanese manufacturers that made good quality lugged steel frames using butted chromoly tubes. My Fuji is a good example of this. Nishiki has a similar good reputation.

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Old 08-17-12, 05:26 PM   #18
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Now I know what to look for. Thanks!
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