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How should I buildup / change / equip my 1980 Nishiki International?

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How should I buildup / change / equip my 1980 Nishiki International?

Old 05-07-12, 01:38 PM
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How should I buildup / change / equip my 1980 Nishiki International?

I recently traded for this Nishiki, it's a 1980 International (90% sure, no decals to ID). I have torn bikes down and cleaned and re-built them, but this is new territory for me. How should I change this bike? I am going to keep the crank, derailleurs, rims, freewheel, and brakes (levers and center pull assemblies) but everything else is fair game. Although the existing levers have the studs for turkey wings that I will either buzz flush (OK to do with no damage to levers?) or leave them and cut an opening in the hoods. If I replace the levers, what is a good bike/period correct lever?

I am curious about opinions regarding what would look cool for the colors for bar tape, saddle, hoods, and housing. Trying to decide between barcons or DT shifters - and which kind to get? I am looking at ordering the gold VeloCals decal set for 80's Nishiki International. Gum wall tires or all black?

My wife is the one with the artistic gifts and taste, but I am looking for ideas from those more well-versed in C&V than her and I. Want to keep it looking as vintage as possible, and ff I were going to do it today I'm afraid it would be the standard black saddle, black housing, black bartape and gum hoods and gumwall tires.

Any thoughts or ideas as to what would look cool? I understand this is a VERY subjective question as there is no accounting for taste, but I'm just looking for cool ideas. Thoughts?

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Old 05-07-12, 05:05 PM
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that's a beautiful paint job. nice score. the gum walls look pretty good with that bright blue. since i don't know what the decals look like, it's difficult to advise on tape. but i always like white tape. it would look very fast with that blue. fizik tape seems the best to keep clean, and you can wear half-finger padded gloves that help with dirt/sweat also... and they're comfy as hell. i'm not a fan of yellow tape even though the decals would go well with it ... maybe too well. there's some red in the badge, so maybe red tape... i like to keep some brown on my bikes in the form of leaher bits, straps and (especially) hoods. they keep the retro vibe going. a black leather saddle (or brown) would be nice. all thise decisions will lead to cable housing, which can be as bold or subtle as you want, given there's a similar colour somewhere else on the bike. probably black or gold/yellow to match the decals. again, you have a nice frame there to work with. probably can't do much wrong with it...
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Old 05-07-12, 05:14 PM
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Possibly a little stodgy, but I like the look of the brown with that blue. I think I'd opt for brown cloth tape and a matching Brooks.
DT shifters or Barcons, your call.

PS- I always disassemble the levers to perform any turekey-wing-ectomy. There's a shoulder on the pivot that provides a proper index for your hacksaw blade.
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Old 05-07-12, 05:38 PM
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Nice looking bike. It is screaming out for a full 2012 Super Record group but you'll have to custome build the wheels to get 27" ones.

On a more moderate upgrade I would consider an aero brakelever and maybe barend or DT shifters. I do have to agree with Auchen something about that blue/brown works



You might check the gearing for repeats and maybe tighten up the ratio on the FW, unless you want a real low gear.
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Old 05-07-12, 05:40 PM
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Long have I wondered what's up with the Nishiki International. I have seen several, come and go and each one was different from the other, but they were all Internationals. Here are some pictures of the different bikes to have come my way. Perhaps they will help with any decision regarding the aesthetics the OP might choose...



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Old 05-07-12, 05:56 PM
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If you're looking to make the bike look cool, I'd try for some camel colored tape and matching saddle.
If you're talking about improvements, the first thing that has to go is the same item that goes on a new road bike, the wheels. I know you said you didn't want to replace the rims you've got but I'd replace the one's you've got with the narrow 27X1" Araya, (that actually measured way less than 1"). Keep in mind, that International had narrow 700C wheels within three years of your bike, maybe less time than three years. .
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Old 05-07-12, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
Possibly a little stodgy, but I like the look of the brown with that blue. I think I'd opt for brown cloth tape and a matching Brooks.
DT shifters or Barcons, your call.

PS- I always disassemble the levers to perform any turekey-wing-ectomy. There's a shoulder on the pivot that provides a proper index for your hacksaw blade.
The brown has really grown on me as well - thinking brown/camel tape, gum hoods and tires, and if I save my money a brooks saddle.

THanks for the tip on then turkey-wing-ectomy, I will definitely use it!

As for the DT shifters - I have looked a bit and found some pretty nice Suntour Cyclone DT's - you think those would be suitable and work well? Or are there better indexed DT's to choose from? I am totally clueless in this regard....
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Old 05-07-12, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by eschlwc View Post
that's a beautiful paint job. nice score. the gum walls look pretty good with that bright blue. since i don't know what the decals look like, it's difficult to advise on tape. but i always like white tape. it would look very fast with that blue. fizik tape seems the best to keep clean, and you can wear half-finger padded gloves that help with dirt/sweat also... and they're comfy as hell. i'm not a fan of yellow tape even though the decals would go well with it ... maybe too well. there's some red in the badge, so maybe red tape... i like to keep some brown on my bikes in the form of leaher bits, straps and (especially) hoods. they keep the retro vibe going. a black leather saddle (or brown) would be nice. all thise decisions will lead to cable housing, which can be as bold or subtle as you want, given there's a similar colour somewhere else on the bike. probably black or gold/yellow to match the decals. again, you have a nice frame there to work with. probably can't do much wrong with it...
White was my first thought, but I have heard how hard it is to keep it clean. I'll have to check out the Fizik tape, thanks!
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Old 05-07-12, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Long have I wondered what's up with the Nishiki International. I have seen several, come and go and each one was different from the other, but they were all Internationals. Here are some pictures of the different bikes to have come my way. Perhaps they will help with any decision regarding the aesthetics the OP might choose...


I like the look of this one! Thanks for the pictures - the decals I have looked at on the Velocals website are gold like those. The gray tape and black saddle play well against the blue and gold, and I bet brown/camel would look just as nice also.
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Old 05-07-12, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by roccobike View Post
If you're looking to make the bike look cool, I'd try for some camel colored tape and matching saddle.
If you're talking about improvements, the first thing that has to go is the same item that goes on a new road bike, the wheels. I know you said you didn't want to replace the rims you've got but I'd replace the one's you've got with the narrow 27X1" Araya, (that actually measured way less than 1"). Keep in mind, that International had narrow 700C wheels within three years of your bike, maybe less time than three years. .
The only catalogs I could find online were from '74 and '83, and they did have the 700c wheels. I would like to maybe eventually go with 700c wheels but I'm a bit leery at this point in my mechanical abilities with the cold-setting. I wonder how hard the 27x1" Araya rims are to find and how $$$? You have made me curious and I'm gonna have to do some searching now...
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Old 05-07-12, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
Nice looking bike. It is screaming out for a full 2012 Super Record group but you'll have to custome build the wheels to get 27" ones.

On a more moderate upgrade I would consider an aero brakelever and maybe barend or DT shifters. I do have to agree with Auchen something about that blue/brown works



You might check the gearing for repeats and maybe tighten up the ratio on the FW, unless you want a real low gear.
Showing my newbiness here - I have ridden a hybrid for the last 4 years and have just not caught the C&V fever - what is the difference between the levers on the bike now and an aero lever? I always thought that aero levers were on the end of aero bars like on time trial bikes?
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Old 05-07-12, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by TNDave View Post

As for the DT shifters - I have looked a bit and found some pretty nice Suntour Cyclone DT's - you think those would be suitable and work well? Or are there better indexed DT's to choose from? I am totally clueless in this regard....
Indexing will take a lot more than just levers: new RD, new freewheel, etc. Not worth it in my opinion. I would put barcons on it, because I like them. On DT shifters, the Suntour friction shifters are fine.

Aerolevers do not have brake cables coming out the top, they come out the bottom of the lever, and the cabling is routed under the bar tape. Makes riding in the hoods much more comfortable.

I'm surprised to see a 1980 International with stem shifters. My 1977 came with barcons.
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Old 05-08-12, 07:00 AM
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I like the aero lever and barcon ideas. Barcon cabling is routed under the bar tape as well? That would be a nice clean, slick look.

Do all bikes that come stock with DT shifters have braze-on bosses for the shifters, or were some of them clamp mounted? The reason I ask is it looks to me like it is a possibility that these stem shifters may at one time have been mounted on the DT. Can they be moved back to the DT? Is there any difference between DT and stem shifters other than location?

And I forgot to ask about toe clips/cages - what would be cool period correct toe cages?
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Old 05-08-12, 07:09 AM
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Most were clamp mounted until about 1983-85, and about the same time nicer bikes started having two water bottle mounts. That's a nice find and will be VERY nice once done! I still miss my 85ish maroon/silver model. Drilled chainrings and Suntour Cyclone. Such an awesome looking ride!,,,,BD
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Old 05-08-12, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by TNDave View Post
I am going to keep the crank, derailleurs, rims, freewheel, and brakes (levers and center pull assemblies) but everything else is fair game.
I like your bike and your thinking!
well what you keep is most of it!-thats fine

now this is my opinion-

the paint is in great shape-but kind of boring and you want to add some color...

how about this?
carefully tape the head tube and put also the seat tube and put a band of color around it like they did back then? some stripe tape will liven it up?
not these colors but the 2 tone concept




as for the issue you say about the seat and handlebars.
the shifters need to go-look for some late 70's early suntour lever shifters


I find leather sofas at the dump all the time, I jump in the dumpster with the knife between the teeth and slaughter that sofa for its hide!
I have tan, black, red, and other colors.

It is very easy to recover a seat in leather, you may also stitch your handlebars in matching leather?

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Old 05-08-12, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by puchfinnland View Post
I like your bike and your thinking!
well what you keep is most of it!-thats fine

now this is my opinion-

the paint is in great shape-but kind of boring and you want to add some color...

how about this?
carefully tape the head tube and put also the seat tube and put a band of color around it like they did back then? some stripe tape will liven it up?
not these colors but the 2 tone concept




as for the issue you say about the seat and handlebars.
the shifters need to go-look for some late 70's early suntour lever shifters


I find leather sofas at the dump all the time, I jump in the dumpster with the knife between the teeth and slaughter that sofa for its hide!
I have tan, black, red, and other colors.

It is very easy to recover a seat in leather, you may also stitch your handlebars in matching leather?

WOW! I have nowhere near that amount of talent for stuff like that - I am impressed! I bet you have some awesome looking bikes!

The headtube and seattube colors would be cool, but I am also not too confident with painting yet either - my sons and I are re-painting my old 10-speed for them so maybe that will help with the confidence level. For now I am looking to add color to the bike with the tape, housings, etc. I don't want to mess anything up too badly to be fixed once I get done with it!

Thanks for the tips - I may yet end up adding at least the seat tube striping.
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Old 05-08-12, 09:11 AM
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the prep work is everything,

painting those parts is very simple.

wrap the tape arount the seat tube- look at it or show it to us and we can give you opinions about how much is a good balance,

scuff up the paint with a scotchbright pad or a foam sanding block.not much, and very fine grit.

find your color at the car parts shop- hundreds of choices.

after covering the parts that dont get painted spray very light coats, and slowly build up the coat untill you dont see the blue- wait untill it drys and that is all there is.

with the head tube it is the same thing, just careful taping and thin light coats,

a quick coat is why people get drips.


the leather seat is not so hard, there is plenty of knowledge on th eweb about recovering seats. we can talk you through it-
the leather on the handlebars is really not that hard.

all you need is old sofa leather!

the hardest part is not believing you CAN do it!

mike
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Old 05-08-12, 09:49 AM
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As the name implies, these were Nishiki's homage to touring bikes.

I have about two or three way back in the project cue, and have
rescued and given a couple to friends over the years.

In keeping with that theme, the barcons, for sure. Otherwise,
maybe some moderate rackage, fenders, and the sorts of things
you see on touring bikes that make them so pleasant to ride
casually around looking at the world.

I wouldn't touch the paint myself, nor would I worry over decals.
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Old 05-08-12, 02:04 PM
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Not sure if it's been addressed after you mentioned it, but Cyclone GT is a tip-top choice. I have a '79 Nishiki Comp II that came with all Cyclone. I upgraded to Superbe for no reason, really. Cyclone GT is a great RD.

If you want to add some splash with the bar wrap, check out the colors on these cotton tapes. I'm not pushing them, but I will vouch - just put some green on one of my bikes. White cable housing would be a nice contrast. Brown and blue is classy, but understated. If you want more fun with color, stay away from brown.

I say this as a biased Mets fan, but orange tape would look miiiiighty nice on that blue bike.

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Old 05-08-12, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jebensch View Post

I say this as a biased Mets fan, but orange tape would look miiiiighty nice on that blue bike.

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll check out the tape and the Cyclone. And as for the orange idea, as a Tennessee Vols fan I normally love orange, but orange and blue together are TOO close to Florida Gator colors for my liking....
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Old 05-08-12, 07:04 PM
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First upgrade change complete! Got a pair of Panaracer Pasela TourGuard 27 x 1-1/8 gumwall tires installed tonight - man were those hard to get on! But boy do they look and ride nice - took the Nishiki out for my first "real" ride around the neighborhood and wow that is a sweet riding bike!

I know for sure now that I DO NOT like stem shifters, definitely going barcon or DT, probably barcon. And the aero levers are a good idea, the brake housings kept getting in my way.
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Old 05-08-12, 08:05 PM
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Your proposals are really nice upgrades. And it's a really nice, if understated, bike.

As a guy who recently painted some panels on a bike to make a cheap coverup of some awful paint damage with good success, I don't recommend painting that bike. I've cleaned up and lived with far worse paint.
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Old 05-08-12, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by DiegoFrogs View Post
Your proposals are really nice upgrades. And it's a really nice, if understated, bike.

As a guy who recently painted some panels on a bike to make a cheap coverup of some awful paint damage with good success, I don't recommend painting that bike. I've cleaned up and lived with far worse paint.
I think after looking it over good again tonight I will probably get some Meguiars Scratch-X to clean the paint, then wax it with a good cleaner wax, and maybe redo/touchup the lug highlighting and that will be all as far as paint. Even understated the paint overall is in great shape and I would hate to ruin it!
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Old 05-08-12, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by TNDave View Post
Thanks for the suggestions, I'll check out the tape and the Cyclone. And as for the orange idea, as a Tennessee Vols fan I normally love orange, but orange and blue together are TOO close to Florida Gator colors for my liking....
Gator blue & orange is wayyyy different.
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