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A hello and a mystery Nishiki

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A hello and a mystery Nishiki

Old 11-01-05, 12:17 AM
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ChrisLite
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A hello and a mystery Nishiki

Hi everyone, I've been reading here on the forums for over a year now and finally, here I am. I thought I'd introduce myself here since I'm more of a classic/vintage type guy than anything else. All the multi-thousand dollar carbon bikes kick sand in the faces of my steel (and one aluminum, but it's cool) bikes and I have to stick up for them. I don't have any snazzy Italian bikes and only one sad UO-8, but I seem to have made up for that in sheer volume of fun and cheap Other Stuff. I hope I'll be able to add something to the great fount of wisdom that is bikeforums every once in a while, but alas I'm not old enough to have been around when all the fun stuff was happening so all my info is second-hand. I've enjoyed going through the 'classic/vintage rides' thread and I'll have to put some of my girlfriend's and my rides up there as soon as I finish editing pics.
I commend you for reading this far... On to the questions!

One of the more interesting and unsusal frames I've come across in my travels: a Nishiki Olympiad. Not "Olympic", "Olympiad". My girlfriend picked this up for $10 at a thrift store a few months ago. Forged dropouts with "WCCSC" on them (I have what looks like an early Nishiki International with the same dropouts, anyone know what they are?). 70mm BB shell (didn't know they ever did that on Japanese bikes). 26.0 seatpost. Serial #: KS135164 with a little winged "W" below. Sticker at the top of the seat tube says "KB Bicycle" in a box with a diagonal stripe (bottom left to top right). Sticker at the bottom of the seat tube says "Produced for American Eagle in Japan". Originally had steel cottered cranks with the Nishiki or KB 'box and diagonal stripe' logo on it. Dia-Compe gut-ripper 21.16mm quill stem with 0.833 (size in inches) and "1P" stamped on it. Dia-Compe suicide levers with no date code inside or out that I can find.
Had Weinmann center-pulls on it I think, but unless "74-7" stamped on the back of the front arm is an early date code we're not sure where they are right now.

I've done all the homework I can think to do, but seeing as how there's almost no info on American Eagle/Nishiki out there I'm stumped. I've found only one reference to a Nishiki Olympiad on the internet (and that only after hours of searching) in the March 1973 issue of Texas Monthly, but it doesn't look like the article focuses on the bike and they want money to browse the archives so nuts to them. I'm guessing this thing has to be a 1973 transition deal from when Kawamura changed the American Eagle name to Nishiki, but why the weird BB shell? And who is 'KB Bicycle', I thought Kawamura was the head cheese around there? And why doesn't everyone have one of these things... that orange is great, it's what I imagine the inside of a clown looks like!

Anyway, sorry to take up so many electrons and thanks for all the expectant knowledge (hint, hint, T-Mar ).
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Old 11-01-05, 07:36 AM
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Welcome aboard.

WCCS, could be for "West Coast Cycle Supply" an LA importer
who had American Eagle/Nishiki and Azuki bikes built for them
(all the same bikes). Name changed about 72 or 73.
Bike probably came with suntour components but that
is only a WAG.

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Old 11-01-05, 08:42 AM
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I agree with the 1972-1973 date estimate. My 1972 literature shows the bicycles under the American Eagle brand, while my 1973 literature shows the Nishiki brand and an Olympic model. This would seem to indicate that your Olympiad falls somewhere between. The America Eagle reference also appears to point to the transistion period.

Lotek is correct about the dropout stampings. WCCSC is West Coast Cycle Supply Company, the distributor. They shortened things to West Coast Cycle Supply around the beginning of 1975. This is also points to an earlier model.

The KB could stand for either Kawamura Brand or Kawamura Bicycles, but this is pure ppeculation on my part. The winged W may be a reference to Wee Bee, one of the Japanese brands manufactured by Kawamura.

Assuming the the Olympiad is the immediate successor to the Olympic, the correct components are most likely Shimano Eagle derailleurs, Sunshine hubs laced to steel 27" rims, Dia-Compe center-pull brakes and a cottered steel crankset. These specs are from the 1973 Olympic.

I know that many of you are surprised to see Shimano derailleurs, but it was not uncommon for manufacturers, who otherwise used SunTour, to spec a token Shimano bicycle. This was simply a case of not having all your eggs in one basket. Should SunTour have production problems, you could still approach Shimano to fill the void, as you had contracts with them. If you were exclusively SunTour, Shimano would have no obligation to help you out.
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Old 11-01-05, 11:46 AM
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It looks a lot like my American Eagle/Nishiki, except for the chrome decal on the downtube. I bought it in the mid seventies. The badge on my head tube has the Nishiki Logo with the words American Eagle underneath. It was my commuter bike for many years. It has a Shimano Eagle derailleur, the second one. I replaced the original in the early 80's, and Dia Comp brakes. I can't tell you about the crank or the seat. It was a cottered crank though. I think Shimano. Both were upgraded many years ago. It had toe clips originally. The handlebars were covered with an orange plastic tape that matched the paint pretty well. I had a japanese friend track it back to the Kawamura factory, but the factory had no more information that they could tell me.

Thanks for the date information. I knew mine was early 70s. But did not know the year.

The bike is fine, the photograph was part of an article for bicyclinglife.com on summer cycling, reminding readers to find shade if they need to do a road repair.

Last edited by Artkansas; 11-01-05 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 11-02-05, 04:57 AM
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Thanks for the welcome lotek and thank you all for your informative replys. What with the severe lack of information about Nishiki in general and having only run across one passing reference in specific I didn't really expect too much in the way of enlightenment, but it is certainly nice to pin it down as much as you guys have. Nice to know the original epuipment too, though my girlfriend is probably going to put a mid- to late-seventies Cyclone group on it once we find a few missing parts. And thanks go out to Artkansas for confirming that this thing actually existed at one point or another... I'd hate to think that we actually had something that was one-of-a-kind . As for T-Mar's semi-quest of cracking the elusive Nishiki serial number code goes, I have three other Nishikis - one of which had (I think) all of the original parts except for the derailleurs and wheels. I'll put up pictures and specs soon.
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Old 11-02-05, 12:52 PM
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My American Eagle/Nishiki is still very much in existance. It only awaits a new rim to be back on the road.

I'm not much of a traditionalist when it comes to bikes. Heck, mine has cotterless cranks and is awaiting the Brooks B17 saddle I have for it. I think I've redone most of the components 3-4 times. The most important part is to have fun riding.

I got mine from my best friend. I had been borrowing it for over a year when he accepted a trade of a load of wood left over from a broken romance.

Actually I suspect that mine is a bit like the fictional car "Christine". I wonder if it is jealous and that rather than it being my bike, I am it's rider. I estimate that it has 40-50 thousand miles on it. It has rust spots on the downtube from my sweat. It has survived being run over by a car(only the rear wheel got pretzeled). It has outlasted 4 cars, 1 motorcycle and 9 other bicycles.
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Old 11-02-05, 07:28 PM
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KB = Kawamura Bicycles
I have never seen an Olympiad or that fancy seat tube decal on a Nishiki before. I wonder if this was a Canadian export model.
In the early 1970s, the Olympic came with cottered steel cranks and was basically a heavier, better-shifting alternative to the Peugeot UO-8.
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Old 10-23-12, 05:04 AM
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Hi,

I found this thread since my 19 year old son who likes to fix up old bikes asked me what kind of bike I had in my youth. I thought back to the Nishiki Olympiad which my parents got me for my 12th birthday in 1972. It was white, cost $120 (they payed 100, I payed the other 20 and it was a big deal to me).

I loved that bike and rode it lots, until my later teens when I got cold feet about bike riding in traffic, I felt safer riding horses (they have an instinct that keeps them from falling over). I took my bike to a remote island where, in the end, I left it too long under a fir-tree.

About two years ago I went back to biking now that I live in Europe and there are a lot of safe-feeling bike paths and comfortable bikes (I got a Kettler Traveller).

I can't tell you anything technical about that Nishiki. It was white and did NOT have a red and black seat-tube decal. I can't remember any decals on it.

Thanks for the memory trip!
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Old 10-23-12, 05:58 AM
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Carla, welcome to the froums. Can I ask the date of your birthday? The reason I'm asking is to try and pin down the date of the transition from American Eagle to Nishiki. 1972 literature refers to American Eagle while 1973 contains Nishiki, with the new model names. There was an interim during 1972 when Nishiki still used the American Eagle model names. Having you birthday would help to define that period.
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Old 10-29-12, 03:05 AM
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Nishiki dates

Hi! My birthday is in February, but I don't think I got the bike on the exact day, but before, so January or early Feb. I remember it was grey and rainy. But now I wonder if it was around my thirteenth birthday, so maybe I got it when I was still 12, but in early 1973. I have a photo from a bike ride on the Olympic peninsula with two friends on Feb. 15, 1973 (it was grey and rainy and we didn't get very far), so I know I had that bike then. I will try to find more specific info.

Yours,

Carla
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