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New Bike / How to upgrade: 1986 Nishiki Olympic

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New Bike / How to upgrade: 1986 Nishiki Olympic

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Old 08-05-12, 03:47 PM
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trann
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New Bike / How to upgrade: 1986 Nishiki Olympic

After much scouring and many failed attempts to get a good deal on a decent used bicycle from the Washington D.C. area Craigslist, I finally got what I think was a good buy. Based on another thread in this forum, I believe this Nishiki Olympic 12-speed was made (by Giant) in 1986. Here is an album of pics I took:

http://imgur.com/a/RPIXT#0

The previous owner lived in D.C. proper and I am guessing used it extensively to commute with. It was filthier than it now appears as I have been cleaning it piecemeal over the past week as my free time allows. If you can't see the pics, it currently has:

Lugged and double-butted 4130 cromoly frame
Aluminum Dia Compe caliper brakes
Dia Compe brake handles
Shimano Light Action 6 speed rear derailleur
Shimano (i dont know the model) front derailleur
Sansin Hubs and skewers (I am guessing these are low-mid quality)
Shimano 105 friction shifters on a Shimano clamp-on downtube bracket
Suguino 3(?) piece crankset (2 speed)
Araya alloy 700c rims
Cateye Tomo XC cyclometer (dead battery)
Forte softtail vented seat
6 speed rear cassette

I picked it up for $120 last Monday, and like I said before felt I got a decent deal. The DC market is so difficult to find bikes in that I had to convince the seller to see me before another potential buyer, I even had to leave work early. I plan for this bike to be a dual use commuter and recreational exercise machine. Also, I would like for it to have quality parts that will stand the test of time.

After an initial ride or two, I have noticed that despite my novice tuning skills, the bike will not shift cleanly. I don't know if this is because of a super-worn cassette or that the current 105 shifters are not able to accommodate this 12 speed setup. Also I am not convinced the front derailleur is truly a 2 speed, although that might be a shifter problem as well.

Tune-ups and rebuilds at my area LBS are significantly more than I paid for the bike and not feasible given my current budget. I would like to fix/clean whatever I can myself and only pay for the things I really can't do like wheel truing and bottom bracket removal. How can I fix this shifting issue?

A few other questions: The rims are 700c but the tires on it currently are 700x25 and need to be replaced. What tire/tube size ranges will fit on those rims (noob question but I am used to dept store mountain bikes )? Are the hubs something I should replace straightaway or can they be used until I can afford good replacements like shimano 105s?

Thanks!
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Old 08-05-12, 04:12 PM
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nigelsane
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$120 for that bike is a great deal for in a hot market. Congratulations! My everyday ride is an Olympic 12 too, but a Kawamura one. Yours should serve you well for many years.

Re: your shifting issues, if they're friction shifters and the derailer has enough travel to cover the whole cassette, it should work. For the FD, I would just try mounting it as low as possible. It's hard to tell what exactly your issue is, does it shift by itself to a lower gear ("autoshift")? Or do the shifts just feel a little sloppy? Maybe you're still getting used to friction shifting?

There's a nice chart in the comments of this page that shows good tire widths for certain rim widths. I don't know how wide your rims are, but you can almost certainly safely fit 28s. The real issue would be clearance at the brakes or by the chainstay/bottom bracket area. I'd try a 33 for a comfy and still pretty quick ride.

Have fun!
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Old 08-05-12, 04:29 PM
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Nice! I got an 86 Giant-framed one for my son in June in Pittsburgh. The price was comparable to what you paid, and it had been upgraded to Shimano 600 Tri-color. It's big for me but rides great. It doesn't have adjustable dropouts, which is a bit of a limit.
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Old 08-05-12, 04:30 PM
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1st question: are you attempting to run indexed shifting, or just plain friction?

Shifters should cover travel for 6 cogs by the looks of them (though I could be wrong).

Your FD should be adequate to the task up front...pretty much any FD should shift a standard double crank like the Sugino VP, including that one. If you want to know the model, BTW, it is usually stamped on the back of the cage. Are you suggesting that it travels farther than necessary to shift the double, that the shifting is sloppy, it doesn't shift, or...?

Re: tires, I can't really see what rims you have specifically in those photos, but if there are 25s on there, I'd hazard to say you'd be safe in the 23-to-28mm range at least...

As for the hubs - I can't see any cause to replace them unless there's something really wrong with them. Do they spin smoothly, no play in axles, etc.? Better yet, how do they perform after being packed with fresh grease and new bearings? Middle-of-the-road hubs can be quite good for most purposes...

Also, I imagine there must be at least a couple of good bike coops in DC, no? For the kind of full rehab it sounds like you'd like to do, I recommend finding one. Access to tools + knowledge at a good coop should be enough to open up your hubs, BB, and headset for fresh grease, to run all the little 'tune-up' tasks (cables, adjustments, etc.) that would cost a pretty penny at the LBS, and hopefully, to solve your shifting problem and any others that might arise...

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Old 08-05-12, 04:31 PM
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4130 frames are fantastic! Great buy!
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Old 08-05-12, 06:12 PM
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Are you sure those are friction shifters? To me they look like indexed shifters with a "D"-ring that can be rotated to "index" (probably labeled "SIS" on the plastic housing) or "friction" mode. If they are indexed, make sure they are in one mode or the other by flipping out the D-ring, turning it to the desired mode, and folding the D-ring back flat. You get weird results if it is in between. Also, those 1st gen indexed shifters had internals that would wear out or break resulting in sloppy shifting. Mine from 1986 barely click for the middle shift positions.
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Old 08-05-12, 07:32 PM
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Thanks for all the replys!

I will be more specific about the shifting issues: The downtube shifters are indeed the type that can go from either indexed or friction but this is just for the rear derailleur and I definitely want to be indexed. The front derailleur can only do friction shifting. I followed a Youtube video that outlined how to correctly adjust a rear derailleur and I thought I did it right since it shifted smooth while it was upside down on my kitchen floor. When I went for a ride, I noticed that while clicking to a gear index on the shifters, the derailleur would not make the gear change. Instead I get a lot of noise telling me my derailleur is not far enough over to make the change.

I have fiddled with the cable tension a few times and cannot seem to adjust it to the point where all gears shift smoothly with me on the bike. Low and high gears switch pretty well, middle gears require me to click up or down twice to shift once, then in reverse direction once in order to stop the chain noise. I hope that explains the issue well enough.
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Old 08-05-12, 08:12 PM
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It could still be the rear shifter. But if it clicks crisply and there's no play or "indecisiveness", my bet is on the Uniglide freewheel (at least that's what it looks like from the picture). In my experience, they always required a bit of overshifting even when new and no matter what chain was used. With Shimano indexed levers, there is usually the ability to slightly overshift when downshifting to the next biggest cog. You just pull the lever a little past the 'click' point and after the shift is made, let it go. But this is usually not possible with shifts to a smaller cog. So I usually set mine up to upshift fine and then require a slight overshift on all downshifts.

You will likely get much better shifting with a new Hyperglide freewheel and a new chain.

It could also be a worn out rear derailer. Or it could also be an incorrect cable attachment at the rear derailer (although it doesn't look like it to me from the picture). Make sure it looks like routing A and not B or C on this page http://www.sheldonbrown.com/drivetra...html#alternate
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Old 08-05-12, 08:32 PM
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Is the RD cage straight or could it be bent?


REI will do derailleur adjustments for $10 per derailleur.
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Old 08-07-12, 05:08 PM
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trann
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Inspected the rear derailleur and nothing looks bent. I took the bike outside and while inspecting it noticed that the rear L screw was not letting the bike shift to the lowest rear gear. Same for the highest gear. After fixing that issue the bike up shifts to all indexes very smoothly but downshifts require a bit of over shifting to get it right, as was mentioned.

Thanks for the help everyone. Now I just need to get these old wheels trued.
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Old 08-08-12, 01:48 PM
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Yup, that's an '86. I have one and I am the original owner.

Those are vintage 105 SIS shifters from '87 or so, and they are 100% compatible with the Light Action rear derailleur and the freewheel that came with the bike, so if you can't get good crisp shifts out of your setup, then either something is damaged or worn, in bad need of lube, or maybe it's time to replace the shifter cable and housing.

Here's mine, sort of cleaned after 15 years of storage

:


-Warr
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