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Informaton about Nishiki Ariel

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Informaton about Nishiki Ariel

Old 06-21-05, 09:58 PM
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Informaton about Nishiki Ariel

I recently purchased a Nishiki mountain bike at a yard sale for a very good price. I had never heard of Nishiki prior to this. The model is an 'Ariel' and it is about 15 years old. It is an 18 speed with full Shimano Deore equipment. The brakes are Shimano as well. The wheels are original Nishiki and appear to be aluminum, but I'm not sure about this. I tried to find information about this bike but came up empty. Does anyone know, how Nishiki compares to other brand names like Raleigh, Trek and Magna? Is it comparable to higher end bikes, middle level or more like a lower price like Magna? Does anyone know where I can find a kick stand for this bike? The rear brake is located about 1 inch below the seat tube and interfere's with standard location kick stands. (My children and I own 5 mountain bikes, only the Nishiki has this strange set-up.) If you have any information about this bike or Nishiki in general, I would appreciate your sharing this with me. Thanks,
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Old 06-21-05, 10:13 PM
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Nishiki was one of Norco's house brands. Typically dealers (including the LBS I worked at) would carry parallel Norco and Nishiki lines. IIRC, the Nishiki equivalents in the range had longer top tubes, a bit more cro-mo in the mixed tube bikes and usually one or two upgraded parts to their Norco equivalents.

<edit> correct answer in the post below.

Now it rings a bell... some info here:

https://www.firstflightbikes.com/Mantis.htm

1990: The new Nishiki Alien ACX come out with a square aluminum front triangle and a chrome plated cro-moly rear triangle (with elevated chain stays). This bike was made in the same manner as the Mantis XCR bike. The ACX used a Deore XT group with a Tange Switchblade fork. Color was red with chrome rear. The regular Alien continued on with a white frame with black splatter and an oversize headset. There was a new Pinnacle with Suntour XC Comp parts in Black with Neon Pink Crackle paint. The Ariel was the entry-level e-stay bike with Deore DX parts and was available in your choice of Pacific Emerald or Blue/Black Zolotone.

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Old 06-21-05, 10:54 PM
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Nishiki Ariel was the steel version of the Charlie Cunningham design that Nishiki commercialized (Mantis XCR was another version of this bike). The Alien was the aluminum version of this bike. I coveted it for its weird looks and its total lack of chainslap. It was an unusual and fairly expensive bike. DX-LX mix.
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Old 06-22-05, 06:56 AM
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First Flight's statment of the Ariel being entry-level is a bit harsh or at least out of context. It may have been the least expensive of Nishiki's elevated stay designs, but the bicycle itself was mid-range, costing about $800 US and being 2nd from the top in Nishiki's 1990 line-up.

Nishiki had been in the North American market since the early 1970s, orignally as American Eagle. They sold a wide range of bicycles and were very popular. Originally, the bicycles were made in Japan, then later in Taiwan. Nishiki's mountain bicycles were considered to be durable and reliable. However, they were never taken seriously by the hardcore, off-road fraternity until they hired Cunningham for 1989. His Alien and Ariel designs put them into the off-road, big league. The brand disappeared around the mid 1990s, but has recently resurfaced. Like Luker, most knowledgeable off-road cyclists would have chosen the Ariel over a comparably priced Raleigh or Trek design.

By the way, the original 1989 Alien design was steel, using Tange Prestige tubing. In 1990 it went to a welded aluminum, main triangle with a bolted-on, steel, rear triangle.

Not too many people would put a kickstand on this bicycle. However, they do make kickstands that clamp to the chain and seat stay, just ahead of the left dropout. This is probably your best option. Any bicycle shop should be able to get one for you.
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Old 06-22-05, 05:07 PM
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Many thanks to all responders. I'm pleased that the Nishiki travels in good company such as Trek or Raleigh. I had the bike checked out by the local, high end bike shop. Their verdict, replace the rusted cables, clean the gears and ride the bike! All the bearings, gears, brakes, frame and chain are in great shape requiring no repair. Looks like I'll be biking with a bargain!
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Old 06-25-05, 01:55 PM
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Now wait just a second folks. Is Rocco describing an Elevated stay bike here? Says the brakes are in a position that interferes with kickstand placement. Kinda sounds like '80s style under chainstay u-brake stuff. Also being an 18 speed points at a time frame of mid '80s. I think Nishiki may have used that name for more than the E-stay bikes. BTW the Alien came in three or more versions of the elevated stay Richard Cunningham design. (Not to be confused with Charlie Cunningham!) One was a composite, steel rear triangle, bolted to an aluminum front. Another version was all steel, 1989 I think, and was identical to the Ariel except the Alien was full XT spec and the Ariel was all DX. Then an all aluminum version.
In the early '90s Nishiki, Raleigh USA, Haro and Huffy were all part of Derby Cycles.
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Old 08-16-05, 08:07 PM
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I know this is an old thread but I thught I'd post a link to an entry in my blog detailing some emails I received from another Nishiki Ariel rider.
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Old 12-20-05, 10:09 AM
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Pardon the "necro-post" but I too was inspired by that picture of your Ariel and tracked down a frame like yours that I had traded off. I have original wheels, rebuilt w/ a couple of NOS RM-20 rims, DX front & rear derailleurs, original seatpost and some '91 LX cranks (not quite right but look like the old DX units). The finish on the frame is in VGC and the project is well on it's way. I'll get some pic's up whenever I get around to completing it.
One question, are you sure about the model year, 1990? For some reason I was thinking it was an '89.
Why dont' you post that picture of your bike in this thread?
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Old 01-11-06, 08:37 PM
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Please help , I just bought a bike at a yard sale (nishiki 4130) my friend rides a Trek , but I am just starting to bike and I did not want to spend alot until I was sure I would enjoy the sport. I bought this bike for 30.00. I will discribe it , the best I can : Black frame with a gold neck area that has nishiki on it. sugino on the peddle holders? dia -compe brakes, tawian on the frame by the peddles. sebring on the top bar. crome moly main tubes. sugino-gt on another peddle holder. suntour on the crome part by the back tire. I brought the bike home cleaned the crome, very little scratches on the bike, and pumped up the tires and rode the bike >>no problem , but novice that I am , perhaps you could tell me what year this bike was made , how many speeds it has 10,12, 18 ??? It just appears to need new tires, I am taking it to a shop this weekend. And thanks in advance for any info you could provide. C .
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Old 01-11-06, 08:57 PM
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I have never heard of a Nishiki Sebring before. However, based on your description it does sound like an early 1980s entry level model, but not bottom of the line. If you can provide the serial number, which should be on the bottom on the frame (by the pedal holders), I MAY be able to date it. Does it have a decal on the front of the frame, or is it a headbadge that is riveted in place? If you could post pictures of the bicycle, that would be even better.

Count the number of cogs on the back wheel and mutiple it by the number of cogs on the crankset (pedal holders) to obtain the number of gears (ie 6 cogs on rear wheel x 2 cogs on crankest = 12 gears).
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Old 03-29-08, 01:22 PM
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Sorry to resurrect an ancient thread... My wife has had this exact bike in her possession since college (1989). It is exactly as pictured in the linked website. She is starting to ride it again after almost a decade. Thanks for the information.
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Old 03-29-08, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by riddei View Post
Sorry to resurrect an ancient thread... My wife has had this exact bike in her possession since college (1989). It is exactly as pictured in the linked website. She is starting to ride it again after almost a decade. Thanks for the information.
How about some photos?

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Old 03-30-08, 11:59 AM
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It should clean up nicely. My wife said she rode this all around college. She bought it from a fellow student that had won it in a road race. Since he was a roadie, he sold it to her cheap. There is some white stuff on the top tube that was a sticker from when my wife actually raced it. In a road race . She didn't win . Actually she used to use this bike in triathlons... She got laughed at.



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Old 03-30-08, 02:23 PM
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I'm reading this thread and asking "Who started this?" Then I read the OP title, and it's me. I know I'm getting old but I'm thinking "OMG, Is this a senior moment? Did I start a thread and forget about it?" Then I saw the date and realized, this is either the first or second thread I initiated after joining BF in June of 2005.

I'm really glad that another Ariel owner resurrected it to post their bike and its a beauty! Here is a pic of both of my Ariels, a pre-Cunningham era 1988 frame on the right and a Cunningham design on the left (1992 I think).

The 1988 bike was originally a rigid fork when I purchased it in 2005. Its now on its second suspension fork as the Suntour in the pic below just plain wore out. The elevated chain stay bike is a frame up build I completed about 2 months ago. The pic below was taken just before I completed the build. Ariels were pretty high up in the Nishiki food chain as it was the #2 model from the top in '88 and #3 in '91. The 88 is pretty heavy, but the larger tubes on the newer frame yeild a bike that weighs in under 30lbs as built below.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Nishiki 1992 001.jpg (98.9 KB, 295 views)
File Type: jpg
Nishiki Ariel 88 001.jpg (95.6 KB, 304 views)
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Old 03-30-08, 02:46 PM
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Yeah, I can't resist posting up some Ariel pics on this thread. I sold this one last year. I think it may have been a '92.




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Old 03-30-08, 04:52 PM
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epicurean, that's a 1991, 100% certain.
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Old 03-30-08, 05:30 PM
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I rode an Ariel for a couple of years. I felt that the raised chain stays gave the back end too much flex and I actually bent one while standing up and pedaling. Nishiki replaced the frame for me but I continued to have the same problem.
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Old 08-17-08, 12:36 PM
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I have exactly the same bike as Epicurean. I think I bought it in 1991. I have all of the original equipment on it (yes, I still ride without shocks). It rides great. My 11 and 12 yo daughters now are big enough to ride it and love it! It is a very light bike and gets a lot of looks from the raised back end. Good to see a few of these are still around. I have kept mine in decent shape and really hope it makes it through my kids' use. I probably will need to upgrade the front suspension, though.

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Old 08-24-08, 02:58 AM
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Add me as another Ariel owner. Looks exactly like the photo above except the clipless pedals and front suspension which I added around 1996. Back in 1991 I was also fascinated with the elevated chain stay that could also be found on some of the Haro brand bikes if I remember correctly. I could not afford the Alien with it's XT components. Since the Ariel had the DX group "second only to the XT at the time" I felt like it was a decent value for the $790 price tag. That was huge money for me at the time and I was afraid to ride it for fear of scratching it up. I soon picked up a cheap Nishiki Colorado and rode the heck out of it. Needless to say, I still have the Ariel which looks like it just came out of the box except for the two upgrades mentioned. I miss the Nishiki brand.
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Old 08-24-08, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by mootpoint View Post
I have exactly the same bike as Epicurean. I think I bought it in 1991.

Bill
Confirmed, Epicurean's Ariel is a 1991 model. I have a 1992 Ariel (as well as my earlier Ariel). I obtained it as a frame with a Scott, Clark Kent fork and did a frame up build. Although it is not original, I like the way it came out.

And a pic very few can post. A 1988 Nishiki Ariel and 1992 Nishiki Ariel side by side:
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Old 05-31-09, 01:25 PM
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bump! found one of these upgraded with:
Amp Research front shocks, Titec handlebars, Shimano Deore DX 21 speed shifting system, 26" tires, and aluminum wheel

$200

Is this a deal I should jump on? Kinda in love with the look of it, but not enough to end up with a money pit
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Old 05-31-09, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by artifice View Post
bump! found one of these upgraded with:
Amp Research front shocks, Titec handlebars, Shimano Deore DX 21 speed shifting system, 26" tires, and aluminum wheel

$200

Is this a deal I should jump on? Kinda in love with the look of it, but not enough to end up with a money pit
Not a deal. Probably at the very top end of what you'd want to pay for this bike. $20 would be a "OMG, jump on it now" deal. $100 would be a "good price" deal. The closer you edge to $200, the less of a deal it becomes.

Not saying it isn't worth $200, just that $200 isn't a deal.
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Old 05-31-09, 06:57 PM
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I agree that it isn't a screaming deal. But whether it is still worth grabbing or not depends on what kind of shape it is in, how much you like it, and what it needs in terms of tires/tubes/brake pads, etc. A Nishiki Alien (the model one peg higher) went on eBay for just over one hundred a while back, but a clean AMP fork can get that much as well
That said, at that age I'd rather have a rigid fork. Less problems to deal with.

Assuming it was my size and in great shape with good rubber, I'd personally be pretty happy at $150, and I'd totally snap it up at $100.....but then again I have a thing for elevated stay bikes!
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Old 05-31-09, 06:59 PM
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Oh, and DX stuff is great stuff. I used to neglect it back in the day in favor of XT and XTR, but lately I've grown to appreciate its solid workhorse character and neat silver finish.
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Old 07-20-09, 12:15 PM
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Just wanted to add my ca. 1986 Nishiki Ariel to the roster. I bought it new while working in a bike shop, built up with Shimano Deore components. Shortly after I bought it I managed to prong the front forks pretty good (this was apparently a typical flaw and we say many warranty replacements from that year), getting the 'smoked chrome' finish on a new one wasn't possible so I went with a regular chrome finish.

I'm thinking of getting it refinished if I can find a place to do it well. Also, I'd love to find a replacement sticker set for it...



https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1514900474

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