Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Finally got an "Italian", er Japanese bike (lots of photos)

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Finally got an "Italian", er Japanese bike (lots of photos)

Old 01-03-19, 02:14 PM
  #26  
scozim 
Ellensburg, WA
Thread Starter
 
scozim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 3,373

Bikes: See my signature

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 182 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Just got this from the Classic Rendezvous board. Great info.
__________________
1984 Gitane Sprint; 1984 Gitane Tour de France; 1982 Trek 610; 1968 Peugeot PL8; 1982 Nishiki Marina 12; 1972 Peugeot PX-10; 1987 Trek 800 Antelope (touring/commuting set up); 1993 Trek 950 mtb; 1997 Klein Pulse Comp mtb; 1989 Peugeot Limestone hybrid (for touring); 1975 Gitane Olympic; 1983 Vitus 979; 1989 Spectrum Titanium:
scozim is offline  
Old 03-16-19, 04:12 PM
  #27  
scozim 
Ellensburg, WA
Thread Starter
 
scozim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 3,373

Bikes: See my signature

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 182 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My wife and girls headed to San Francisco yesterday for a short vacation before the spring and summer crazy life begins. After some honey do's this morning it was over to the shop to finally put this bike together. The front wheel will need to be trued a little before I take it out but it's good to go. When the roads get all the sand, etc. swept off them I'll put the tubulars on. Can't wait to see what that does to the bike - both weight and ride.

Parts for the bike:
IRD cartridge bb
Cinelli stem and 66-42 bars
Campagnolo headset (was on the bike)
Simplex Retrofriction shifters
Ultegra 6500 derrailleurs and brakes
600 tri-color 6400 crankset with 53-40 Sugino rings
Shimano 6 spd 14-28
Shimano levers
SR Laprada seatpost
Turbo Matic saddle
Look compatible pedals from Nashbar
Wheels are Araya

The tubular wheelset will be a GP4 for the rear and GEL 280 on the front. Hubs will Specialized sealed units and the tires are Continental Sprinters. I have a NOS 7 spd 12-28 Sachs Aris freewheel to go on the GP4









You have to hate it when you take a photo and realize you missed a spot with the bar tape. Gonna have to fix that. The bar tape is an interesting product that I haven't used before. It's from noble Cycling and is called a silicone foam handlebar. No adhesive on the back, quite stretchy and feels almost like rubber. I think I'm going to like it.



__________________
1984 Gitane Sprint; 1984 Gitane Tour de France; 1982 Trek 610; 1968 Peugeot PL8; 1982 Nishiki Marina 12; 1972 Peugeot PX-10; 1987 Trek 800 Antelope (touring/commuting set up); 1993 Trek 950 mtb; 1997 Klein Pulse Comp mtb; 1989 Peugeot Limestone hybrid (for touring); 1975 Gitane Olympic; 1983 Vitus 979; 1989 Spectrum Titanium:
scozim is offline  
Old 03-16-19, 05:23 PM
  #28  
ryansu 
Ride.Smile.Repeat
 
ryansu's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 1,401

Bikes: 2009 Handsome Devil, 1978 Motobecane Grand Touring, 1987 Nishiki Cresta GT, Former bikes; 1986 Miyata Trail Runner, 1979 Miyata 912, 2011 VO Rando, 1999 Cannondale R800, 2012 Soma Smoothie, 1986 Schwinn Passage

Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 369 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
zoom zoom
ryansu is offline  
Old 03-17-19, 08:58 AM
  #29  
T-Mar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 17,371
Mentioned: 400 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2297 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
Weird bike. Surprising the idea ever got approved. Why would a customer want an Italian bike but with a Nishiki label? Perhaps cheaper than the equivalent Olmo or such. Glad you found it, though. Probably not a lot of them around.
As noted, Nishiki was an American marketing brand owned by West Coast Cycle. The brand had originally started out as American Eagle then got a name change to Nishiki in 1972 after the prime source was switched to Kawamura and the American public started becoming more receptive to Japanese manufactured bicycles. However, while the Japanese came to dominate the entry level market by the end of the boom and made significant progress in the mid-range during the late 1970s, sales of high end models were disappointing.

The American marketing companies yearned for the prestige and praise of respected high end bicycles. When that was not forthcoming from their Japanese manufactured models with Japanese components, they reasoned they could achieve it by equipping Japanese frames with Campagnolo components. In the very early 1980s, Nishiki offered the Professional and Ultimate in this configuration. However, sales did not improve and in the mid-1980s, they reasoned the best way to crack the high end market was to have high end models manufactured in Italy using Campagnolo components. West Coast Cycle contracted Italian builders to manufacture the Cervino and Maxima. They were not alone in this practice. Western States Imports had the Centurion Cinelli Equipe manufactured in Italy and Lotus sourced their Supreme, Competition and Legend Compe from Italy around the same time.

However, even these attempts had limited success. The American marketing firms always seemed to be a step behind in the high end market. They could probably have sold Campagnolo equipped Japanese frames during the boom. That's when Americans were buying their high end bicycles from full range manufacturers, like Peugeot and Raleigh. However, as the avid American cyclist y become more educated in bicycles in the aftermath of the boom, there was a shift towards the high end, limited production manufacturers, which were often Italian. Relatively unknown brands, such as Ciocc, Guerciotti and PInarello ascended to prominence.

Ironically, this shift had been triggered by the full range manufacturers, including the Japanese. When the bicycle boom went bust in 1975, there was lots of surplus inventory and the big companies were looking to stay viable in a substantially shrunken market. Up to that time, the importation and distribution of bicycles was handled largely by independent companies. By eliminating the middle man and setting up their own distribution divisions, the larger companies could increase their profit margin and maintained viability, even with reduced sales.

However, this move resulted in a lot of smaller importers going out of business and the disappearance of many of the smaller full range brands. Those that survived or were brave enough to enter the smaller marketplace, looked for something more exclusive. The small, limited production Italian brands did not have the money or were reluctant to set up their own distribution channels and were more than willing to have American representatives establish a new market for them. Furthermore, the history and exclusiveness of these small brands appealed to the status conscious American high end cyclist.

Then, just as the Nishiki, Centurion and Lotus started coming from Italian craftsmen, the USA market did an about face. Shimano introduced New Dura-Ace (7400 series) with SIS indexed shifting in 1985 and it became the darling of the yuppie crowd. The late 1980s was a dark period for Campagnolo, with the sun shining brightly on Shimano. The independent distributors responded quickly, offering their high profile Italian frames with Shimano groups. A this point, the American marketing threw in the towel on their attempts to crack the high end. They would revert back to Japanese manufacture and offer high end models but never pursue it aggressively, focusing instead on the mid-range sports/triathlon market and/or the lucrative, burgeoning ATB market.

In short, these bicycles were the result of a desire to achieve the status afforded by a successful high end range. However, in the aftermath the boom, this was difficult to achieve for a full range brand, especially a marketing brand without their own manufacturing capability. Full range manufacturers would not start to regain high end status until the carbon fibre monocque era.

Regarding the Maxima, I had one. Nice enough frame but nothing special for the era. Looking inside the BB shell during an overhaul, I noticed that none of the tube ends were mitred. At the time, I wasn't surprised, considering this cost concession typical of it's marketing brand heritage.

Last edited by T-Mar; 03-17-19 at 09:12 AM.
T-Mar is offline  
Old 03-17-19, 09:18 AM
  #30  
scozim 
Ellensburg, WA
Thread Starter
 
scozim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 3,373

Bikes: See my signature

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 182 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks T-Mar @T-Mar. I'm definitely curious to see how this bike compares to my PX-10, Vitus 979 and Super Vitus framed bikes. It's the only Columbus framed ride I have.
__________________
1984 Gitane Sprint; 1984 Gitane Tour de France; 1982 Trek 610; 1968 Peugeot PL8; 1982 Nishiki Marina 12; 1972 Peugeot PX-10; 1987 Trek 800 Antelope (touring/commuting set up); 1993 Trek 950 mtb; 1997 Klein Pulse Comp mtb; 1989 Peugeot Limestone hybrid (for touring); 1975 Gitane Olympic; 1983 Vitus 979; 1989 Spectrum Titanium:
scozim is offline  
Old 03-17-19, 10:27 AM
  #31  
T-Mar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 17,371
Mentioned: 400 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2297 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by scozim View Post
Thanks T-Mar @T-Mar. I'm definitely curious to see how this bike compares to my PX-10, Vitus 979 and Super Vitus framed bikes. It's the only Columbus framed ride I have.

In general, I find French bicycles to be less stiff and have slightly vague steering. Conversely, for similar geometry and wheels/tyres, I find them slightly more cushioning. I've always attributed this to the metric diameter tubing. In addition to the differences in stiffness inherent in the metric versus imperial diameter tubing, the Columbus SP is also heavier gauge than the Super Vitus or Reynolds 531 in the PX10. This should makes the differences even more noticeable. How much you notice it and your preference will depend heavily on your riding style.

I'm a relatively strong and aggressive ex-competitive rider who prefers a responsive and predictable bicycle, so I favour imperial diameter tubing, ideally with a heavy gauge down tube and chain stays. The Maxima suited my riding style fairly well, though being full SP, it was a bit heavier than what I was used to and was harsher riding. It wasn't a huge difference but the type of thing that would make itself known as increased fatigue over the course of a long events, especially those with long climbs.
T-Mar is offline  
Old 03-17-19, 04:32 PM
  #32  
scozim 
Ellensburg, WA
Thread Starter
 
scozim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 3,373

Bikes: See my signature

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 182 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Took it out for a 20 mile shake down this afternoon. All the roads here are chip seal. Definitely felt like it didn't absorb the road imperfections as much as the Super Vitus or Vitus 979 frames. Th PX10 531 frame does a good job of absorbing the bumps. I would put this on par with my Vitus 788 Gitane Sprint over rougher chip seal.

That said I liked the responsiveness on the bike, especially when getting out of the saddle. That should get even better with tubulars. The steering felt quick and sure. Overall, a fun bike to ride for my style which is as a loner who pushes fairly hard every ride.
__________________
1984 Gitane Sprint; 1984 Gitane Tour de France; 1982 Trek 610; 1968 Peugeot PL8; 1982 Nishiki Marina 12; 1972 Peugeot PX-10; 1987 Trek 800 Antelope (touring/commuting set up); 1993 Trek 950 mtb; 1997 Klein Pulse Comp mtb; 1989 Peugeot Limestone hybrid (for touring); 1975 Gitane Olympic; 1983 Vitus 979; 1989 Spectrum Titanium:
scozim is offline  
Old 03-19-19, 11:04 AM
  #33  
ANTR
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Sweden
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Awesome biek!
ANTR is offline  
Old 03-19-19, 12:26 PM
  #34  
Bad Lag
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: So Cal, for now
Posts: 908

Bikes: 1975 Bob Jackson - Nuovo Record, Brooks Pro, Clips & Straps

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 264 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I would say you have an Italian bike with a Japanese brand name pasted on it.

Go full Nuovo Record on the components, with the possible exception of the head set. Get a Tange or other sealed head set - less maintenance and super low cost.
Bad Lag is offline  
Old 03-19-19, 09:00 PM
  #35  
scozim 
Ellensburg, WA
Thread Starter
 
scozim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 3,373

Bikes: See my signature

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 182 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
I would say you have an Italian bike with a Japanese brand name pasted on it.

Go full Nuovo Record on the components, with the possible exception of the head set. Get a Tange or other sealed head set - less maintenance and super low cost.
Thanks for the suggestion. Three straight days of riding the bike and I'm happy with what I put on it. Rides great, handles great and looks great.
__________________
1984 Gitane Sprint; 1984 Gitane Tour de France; 1982 Trek 610; 1968 Peugeot PL8; 1982 Nishiki Marina 12; 1972 Peugeot PX-10; 1987 Trek 800 Antelope (touring/commuting set up); 1993 Trek 950 mtb; 1997 Klein Pulse Comp mtb; 1989 Peugeot Limestone hybrid (for touring); 1975 Gitane Olympic; 1983 Vitus 979; 1989 Spectrum Titanium:
scozim is offline  
Old 03-20-19, 12:00 AM
  #36  
Bad Lag
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: So Cal, for now
Posts: 908

Bikes: 1975 Bob Jackson - Nuovo Record, Brooks Pro, Clips & Straps

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 264 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by scozim View Post
Thanks for the suggestion. Three straight days of riding the bike and I'm happy with what I put on it. Rides great, handles great and looks great.
Pfft!, my bad. I missed the entire update you posted above. I was reacting to the original equipment on the bike. I especially like the fork crown, it looks really well done.

Your new gear looks great. I was especially concerned about the brakes but the replacement stuff looks great.

Welcome to the world of red bikes. I love the paint color, kind of candy apple red. Red bikes go faster!
Bad Lag is offline  
Old 03-20-19, 03:33 PM
  #37  
SurferRosa
Senior Member
 
SurferRosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 611

Bikes: old school 531c & campy

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 258 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post


Next time you're in the seattle area, go to Gregg's and pickup a few $2.50 chromoly seatpost bolts. They're pretty nice and look just like the sugino ones.
SurferRosa is offline  
Old 03-20-19, 04:57 PM
  #38  
boomerbicyclist
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 27

Bikes: Bacchetta Giro, Bianchi Nuovo Racing, Colnago Superissimo(?)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You'll find yourself in good company--the "new" Fiat 125 is a Miata with only a different nameplate and a couple cosmetic changes.
boomerbicyclist is offline  
Old 03-20-19, 05:10 PM
  #39  
scozim 
Ellensburg, WA
Thread Starter
 
scozim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 3,373

Bikes: See my signature

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 182 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post


Next time you're in the seattle area, go to Gregg's and pickup a few $2.50 chromoly seatpost bolts. They're pretty nice and look just like the sugino ones.
Thanks. That seat post binder bolt is driving me nuts and I will definitely replace it.
__________________
1984 Gitane Sprint; 1984 Gitane Tour de France; 1982 Trek 610; 1968 Peugeot PL8; 1982 Nishiki Marina 12; 1972 Peugeot PX-10; 1987 Trek 800 Antelope (touring/commuting set up); 1993 Trek 950 mtb; 1997 Klein Pulse Comp mtb; 1989 Peugeot Limestone hybrid (for touring); 1975 Gitane Olympic; 1983 Vitus 979; 1989 Spectrum Titanium:
scozim is offline  
Old 03-20-19, 09:50 PM
  #40  
since6 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Lacey, WA
Posts: 1,262

Bikes: Stevenson Custom, Stevenson Custom Tandem, Nishiki Professional

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 248 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Welcome to the club I have two Nishiki Professionals which are brothers to your Maxima and later Ultimate. To read more about Nishiki William Bevington/Scott Ryder have released their book which is an excellent review of Japanese vintage bikes "Japanese Steel-Classic Bicycle Design from Japan". They have a very nice write up on Nishiki and their top of the line models. You have a rare bike and as you've discovered a very nice ride, enjoy.

Last edited by since6; 03-20-19 at 09:54 PM.
since6 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.