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  1. #1
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    Dumpster bike, let it RIP or bring it back to life?

    Nihiki 3 (1024x768).jpg
    Nishiki 1 (1024x768).jpg
    Nishiki 2 (1024x768).jpg
    Nishiki 4 (1024x768).jpg

    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?
    The best thing about a bicycle is that it uses no gasoline, therefore the chance of fiery death is greatly reduced.

  2. #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.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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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.

  4. #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,
    Last edited by iheartbacon; 08-14-12 at 06:18 PM.
    The best thing about a bicycle is that it uses no gasoline, therefore the chance of fiery death is greatly reduced.

  5. #5
    Bike rider alexaschwanden's Avatar
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    It might be a nice single speed project.
    2013 Felt 960 29er MTB. 1,336.2 miles
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  6. #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.
    One Foot Less

  7. #7
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    Quote 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

  8. #8
    Senior Member gurry's Avatar
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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).

  9. #9
    Member Ace X's Avatar
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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.

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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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.

  11. #11
    Senior Member the_tool_man's Avatar
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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.
    Last edited by the_tool_man; 08-17-12 at 11:16 AM.
    Optimist: The glass is half-full.
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  12. #12
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    I'm going to do the single speed thing just for the experience and fun of it.
    The best thing about a bicycle is that it uses no gasoline, therefore the chance of fiery death is greatly reduced.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Flying Merkel's Avatar
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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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  14. #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.
    '83 Fuji S-12S LTD
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  15. #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?
    The best thing about a bicycle is that it uses no gasoline, therefore the chance of fiery death is greatly reduced.

  16. #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

  17. #17
    Senior Member the_tool_man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbacon View Post
    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.
    Last edited by the_tool_man; 08-17-12 at 02:17 PM.
    Optimist: The glass is half-full.
    Pessimist: The glass is half-empty.
    Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

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  18. #18
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    Now I know what to look for. Thanks!
    The best thing about a bicycle is that it uses no gasoline, therefore the chance of fiery death is greatly reduced.

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