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My new Nishiki Riviera GT

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My new Nishiki Riviera GT

Old 04-20-07, 12:38 PM
  #1  
mtmann
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My new Nishiki Riviera GT

It just came. All the way from Rhochester NY to Portland. Been waiting a couple weeks since closing the deal on ebay. Kind of on pins and needles since I contacted the seller and told her I was willing to pay for insurance and also please give me the UPS tracking number and she did neither. But shipped fine. Here's the skinny - I had been kinda looking on CL and ebay for a tourer - Trek 520/620/720, but hard to win and not usually a deal. Popular for good reasons. So I branched out and found this Nishiki. Right size and looked real clean in photos. Watched for a week and nobody bid so... I got it.

Hopefully the photos show why I'm happy with it. Some of the highlights: Cantilever brakes, Lots of room for tire clearance, double mounts on dropout AND fork, plus rack mounts higher, cool LePree triple-pulley rear derailleur... and a real pretty blue

Unpacked it last night and, I swear, this bike was never ridden. Not a nick on the underside of BB, I can see my reflection in the rims, and the tires still have whiskers. Not cosmetically showroom, but probaly a result of storage and packing.

Took it for a brief spin and noticed a quirk - the two smaller front rings are ovoid (shades of Biopace ) You can kinda see it in one of the pics. Anyone familiar with this Suntour feature? Comments?

Specs: (this is rough with a tape measure and level )
Seat tube 21"
Top Tube 21.5"
Chainstay 17.5"
Wheelbase 40.5" (comfy!)
fork rake about 2.5"
Seat tube angle 74 degrees (?)
Serial #: WE 05677

So here's what I'm hoping for. Any info on the specific year, official specs, and original sales pitch and price (not that I really care, but curious) I would LOVE to hear from anyone else riding one of these, and of course if you have a catalog with this bike in it, that would be icing

And what I really want to know - is this a tourer wannabe or the real deal? Can I take a trip on this or am I better off using it for groceries? What modifications would you suggest (new brakes probably high on the list...)

T-Mar, I hear you are the go-to guy on this kind of stuff, so anything you can offer I'd be glad to hear.
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Old 04-20-07, 01:34 PM
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Beautiful bike! The LePree looks to be pristine. I'm almost certain that this is meant to be a real touring bike--all those eyelets would tend to suggest that--but I'll let the real experts tell you that .

It looks as if I was correct about the 27" wheels...

[edit] Since cyclotoine mentioned it seems to be the International equivalent, here's my International:



I need to take a photo of it facing the correct way, eh?

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Old 04-20-07, 02:07 PM
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Real deal. More or less the same as the international. so it has 27" wheels? It more or less the same as a Nishiki International which has 700c but perhaps speced slightly different depending on country? I love mine it's about 84/85 and I am taking it to Europe later this year, My girlfriend rides and '89. Mine has nothing original, absolutely nothing. running shimano 8 speed barcons with a 7 speed freewheel on campy victory hubs with MA40 rims, brooks saddle, suntour XC up front, Specialised triple and ergo bars full fenders and front and back racks, tectro R200 brake levers with dia-compe gran compe 982 cantilevers. And it is powder coded green.

Anyway yours look 1985-1988 ish.
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Old 04-20-07, 02:11 PM
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also there is a 1989 and 1983 catalog floating around online but my computer was stolen a while back and therefor I don't have the bookmarks to lead you too but I am pretty sure yours is within the range of years I have indicated above. However, those catalogues show the international and not the RIviera GT. I'd be interested to know if you have a full chromoly frame or not, the internationals have hi-tensile stays, bot a big deal really when you're talking loaded touring.
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Old 04-20-07, 02:26 PM
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Nice Nishiki!
My Nishiki Continental has tange #2 double butted chromoly tubes. I believe all the touring bikes had chromo frames.
Does your have brazed fittings on the sides of the fork for low riding panniers?
Here is my Canadian equivelent to the U.S International, the Continental.


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Old 04-20-07, 02:47 PM
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ricohman, the continental was concurrent with the international till sometime in the mid to late 80s I believe. The continental was a step above and had the chromoly stays, the internationals always had hi-tensile. Your Continental looks to be early 80s. I seem to remember that the continental was a step above the international as the top touring bike when it was still available. I would be interested to know what length your chainstays are, Continentals with cantilevers are rare (first one I have seen is yours, I wasn't even sure they existed). Your continental is my size, I am jealous and want you to sell it to me. It would make and excellent CX conversion also. Hopefully T-mar will chime in and give us the real specifics.

EastHill, you have the same size International as my girlfriend. Tiny bikes, but still have a 52cm TT which i find sort of preplexing, I actually wish the seattube was 50cm instead of 48cm, The tiny headtube single lug thing kind of bothers me. I just noticed also your international does not have cantilevers making it 83 or older I think. However ricohman's continental has me confused since I thought Nishiki dropped the cutout lugs around the same time they added cantilevers, Which I assume is post 83 since both models have caliper brakes in that cataloge. I want someone to post it as I haven't looked at it for a while.

Edit: 1983 catalog https://yojimg.net/bike/nishiki/

I am guessing ricohman's Continental to be a 1984 based on this, and my international to be a 1985.

Edit again: there are a lot of Nishikis on the page including the riviera GT

Another Edit: There are so many different models of international on there that I am thoroughly baffled, some early 90s versions seem to be more of a sport road bike (touring had lost popularity by this times) and there are continentals with and without cantilevers exhibiting characteristics of early and later 80s.
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Old 04-20-07, 02:56 PM
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Yes on the tange #2 tubes, I'm pretty sure throughout, except the fork says something about "2001 formula" or something like that - I'll look when I get home and try to include a picture. And also yes on the fork fittings for lowriders - it's got braze-ons galore! It may even be possible the bike came from Canada, since it shipped to me from upstate NY. I asked the seller if she could provide any info about the bike but she didn't. And yes - 27" wheels. Thought about switching them out, and probably will some day, but they're so shiny I'll probably wait until I put some wear on them.
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Old 04-20-07, 03:19 PM
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Riviera fork

Found a picture of the fork with the other pics I already took - sorry a little blurry. Says "MangAlloy 2001" which seemed to be used by Trek and others in mid 80's for "high impact" areas like fork and rear triangle. Also notice the little heart-like cutouts on the fork crown

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Old 04-20-07, 03:24 PM
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I am thinking that there is possibly no difference between USA and Canada for the Nishiki line-up. Continentals and Internationals from pre 1985 are abundant here, but I think demand for this style of bike really died in the late 80s as Mountain Bikes flooded the market. The riviera GT may have been introduced to the line-up in the late 80s, I have only seen a part of the 1989 catalog so I am not 100% sure. And just because it has the tange double butted sticker does not mean the stays are chromoly 2, my internationals have the double butted chromoly tubes sticker as well but it wasn't until I got a ahold of a catalog that I found out they were hi-tensile (i suspected they were based on weight anyway).

I have the specs of 7 of the 1989 models and all steel fames have hi-tensile stays, there in one alloy frame.

Note also on the site posted above there are 2 catalogues from 1983 showing variations in models. The Nishiki Ultra Tour would seem to replace the continental as the top touring bike in what I presume is the US version.

Edit: If you have a mangalloy fork you are very likely to have mangalloy or hi-tensile stays.
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Old 04-20-07, 05:46 PM
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Looks great. Mine has a normal LePree derailleur but your's is much more interesting! Mine also came with some horrible oval chainrings, well just the small one. It was like Biopace but the shape was much more drastic and didn't seem to be correctly in sync with the natural pedal stroke. It made it feel like the bottom bracket was loose. Needless to say I replaced it quickly. Oh, and the crankset was a Sugino triple with the smallest ring missing. Weird. Great looking bike, and you should put some shiny fenders on it post-haste.
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Old 04-20-07, 08:07 PM
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Real deal grand touring model, circa 1985.
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Old 04-20-07, 08:27 PM
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Welcome back, T-Mar!
Good to see your byline again.
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Old 04-20-07, 11:47 PM
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Nice Nishikis folks! I know some of you probably saw the photos of my Landau that I posted a little while back, but for those who haven't:



That Nishiki catalogue and photo resource that someone posted a link to is great. There is little mention of the Landau though and I am still yet to date mine. I assume it is from around late '70s/early '80s by componentry (1st gen. Cyclone derailleurs etc.). It is also a Canadian Nishiki, if that makes any difference. Maybe someone can help?...hint, hint T-Mar...
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Old 04-21-07, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Leigh30
That Nishiki catalogue and photo resource that someone posted a link to is great. There is little mention of the Landau though and I am still yet to date mine.
Here's a link to the '83 catalogue.

As for dating, T-Mar may be able to help given a serial number. You can also date it from component date codes.
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Old 04-21-07, 01:54 PM
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I don't know where my Continental fits into these brochures as my bike has cantilever brakes, pannier mounts on the fork sides and different lugs with a little "ducks foot" or crown.
I am the original owner and I think I ordered in in 1984.
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Old 04-21-07, 08:49 PM
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Thanks!

First, let me say, as a newbie, that i'm so thankful I joined bikeforums. I'm getting a heck of an education, both useful and trivial (and I LOVE trivia, by the way ) You folks have given me some great info and inspiration. East Hill and Ricohman, that is some sweet pinstriping on the lugs - I'm envious! And I'd never heard of the Landau before this thread.

I had checked out all the links referenced before getting the Riviera - there's just not much out there on this model, and I have yet to see another in blue - if you have one, shoot me a note and a picture. Yes, next steps will surely include shiny fenders and rear rack. i have a Blackburn Mt. rack, but I think I'll look at Citybikes for something a little more fittingly vintage. Other ideas?

I have yet to do anything to the bike but assemble out of the box and inflate the tires. I can hardly wait to get going on getting it detailed, but I gotta finish putting the road bike back together before starting this one. Do I take the kickstand off? Probably weighs a pound...

Looks like the Holy Grail (for me) is going to be locating an '85 Nishiki catalog I'll be sure to scan and post if (WHEN) it happens.

East hill - did you see the RED Nishiki mixte that just sold on ebay for $26 (plus 50 shipping) ? cute!
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Old 04-21-07, 09:24 PM
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I never had a kick stand on any of my touring bikes.
Fully loaded, the stand is useless. And when you lay a touring bike on its side just the panniers touch the ground!
Touring in the early 80's.
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Old 04-22-07, 07:08 AM
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Nice Nishikis folks! I know some of you probably saw the photos of my Landau that I posted a little while back, but for those who haven't:



Holy seatpost Batman! You are one tall dude. (sorry didn't know how to quote the pic)
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Old 04-22-07, 08:56 AM
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Yeah, the bike is a 58cm and I'm 193cm - obviously not the ideal fit!
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Old 04-22-07, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by mtmann

East Hill - did you see the RED Nishiki mixte that just sold on ebay for $26 (plus 50 shipping) ? cute!
I saw that one--it's an oddball, as it's apparently not what we would call a true mixte (it doesn't appear to have twin toptubes). I know, I should have gotten it just to add to the Nishiki collection, but it's too large for me. I can handle a medium fairly well, but a large is just too big, even for a mixte . It was in absolutely beautiful condition, from the photos.

mtmann, I'm glad to see that you are enjoying your Bike Forums experience . We love trivia here. Pictures too...

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Old 04-22-07, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mtmann

Looks like the Holy Grail (for me) is going to be locating an '85 Nishiki catalog I'll be sure to scan and post if (WHEN) it happens.
Sorry, I should have been a little specific with my earlier post, but I've had to be concise with my postings lately, as my father passed away on Monday and I've been busy running around settling the estate. Until last night, I've had little time to devote to the forum.

Regardless, when I said "circa", I meant approximately, as I believe that is the proper definition of the term. Now that I've had some time to look at my reference literature, I can tell you that the LePree with three pulleys was introduced in 1985, with Nishiki getting a one year exclusive. Frank Berto's Sunset for SunTour article states that SunTour introduced indexed shifting across the board in 1987 and the LePree never came in an AccuShift version, so that would seem to limit your Riviera GT to 1985 or 1986.

I do have the specs for the 1986, so if you want to post or PM the complete specs, I'll tell you if it is a match. Your serial number does not match the format used on most other Nishiki during this period, so I'm wondering if it is a sub-contracted frame. Most vintage Nishiki frames were built by Kawamura and this is usually stated on the chainstays on bottom of the seat tube. The other thing you can do to narrow the year is to check the component date codes against the info on the Vintage-Trek website. But be aware, 1985 components were often found on 1986 models due to time lags and poor warehouse practices. However, if some date codes are 1986, it should be a 1986 model.

FYI, the 1986 price was $275 US.
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Old 04-24-07, 12:51 PM
  #22  
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more ID info

Originally Posted by T-Mar
Your serial number does not match the format used on most other Nishiki during this period, so I'm wondering if it is a sub-contracted frame. Most vintage Nishiki frames were built by Kawamura and this is usually stated on the chainstays on bottom of the seat tube. The other thing you can do to narrow the year is to check the component date codes against the info on the Vintage-Trek website. But be aware, 1985 components were often found on 1986 models due to time lags and poor warehouse practices. However, if some date codes are 1986, it should be a 1986 model.

FYI, the 1986 price was $275 US.

Here's some additional identifying pictures of the Riviera.
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Old 06-14-07, 10:41 AM
  #23  
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Update

OK - the Nishiki Riviera was stripped down and completely overhauled, and after lots of Mother's billet and a little turtle wax is looking pretty and shiny

Here's the other stuffI've done so far:
-ditched the kickstand
-repaced the inner 2 STEEL cycloid chainrings(40/28) - man were those heavy with Shimanos in 38/26. nice symetry with the outer 50, but not sure how much I'll use the middle one. Almost think a 42 might have been better.
-put on a Fujita Belt saddle I got from a local guy.
-replaced the suicide levers with drilled Shimano levers - dia-compe gum hoods are too short, though
-wrapped the bars with the last three rolls of yellow cloth tape in Portland and put on 6 coats of amber shellac. I was going to use velox rubber plugs, but decided to try wine corks. I like it Besides, if a corked bat makes a ball go farther with the same effort, surely a corked bar will make me ride farther
-tapped the stem and screwed in a Japanes brass bell. Kind of scary, and learned some things (like take the stem off and the bolt out next time - duh), but it's in there and the stem's nothing special anyway.

Next up is some smooth Honjos when someone has them in stock - everyone I've contacted is back-ordered right now.

Here's some pics to compare.
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Old 06-14-07, 12:27 PM
  #24  
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Nice work!
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Old 06-14-07, 12:29 PM
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Very nice.
I like the wrap.
When I stitched the one piece leather around my bars (the grey Continental above) I thought my fingers would fall off.
Last one I ever did like that. Next time I will try it this way.
ricohman is offline  

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