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72/73 Nishiki International Project

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72/73 Nishiki International Project

Old 10-13-14, 01:26 AM
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eastbay71
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72/73 Nishiki International Project



I picked up this Nishiki International on eBay for $40 plus shipping. I didn't really like the color but I thought the bike was interesting enough to restore. The drive train on the bike had a 54/46T double crankset and 14/18/22/27/34 5 speed rear. I read a review of the bike from Bicycle Magazine in 1973 and decided to upgrade the bike to a triple and 6 speed after they said the bike was difficult to pedal because of the tall gearing.

I've stripped and bead blasted the frame and repainted it adding two sets of water bottle mounts in the process. I took some liberties with the paint scheme and decal placement since I don't intend to sell the bike;



I'll be putting it together with a Gipiemme/ Stronglite 52/42/36 triple and Suntour Perfect 14-28T 6 speed rear. NOS Diacompe drilled non-aero brake levers replace the original diacompe's with safety levers mounted to a new Nitto Randonneur Bar with yellow Deda Elemnti bar tape. A Middlemore B29N leather saddle replaces the original heavy vinyl seat. I will be moving the shifting to the downtube from the stem with a set of Suntour Power ratchet clamp on downtube shifters. I'm having the LBS rebuild the wheels with a new set of hoops. Once I get the wheels back I'll start re-assembly
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Old 10-13-14, 05:37 AM
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Please keep us informed on the progress.

My daughter picked up an International from the same era and I've been thinking of doing a more thorough restore.

I just need some motivation and ideas.
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Old 10-13-14, 08:15 AM
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I just had a 1973 Nishiki International repainted for a friend's rebuild project. Those headbadges are gorgeous!

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Old 10-13-14, 09:24 AM
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Yeah -- that's the old Kokusai (Japanese for "International") -- straight-gauge CrMo and Maxy cranks. I thought they came geared 54-48/14-34, which was a better half-step than the earlier 54-47/14-34 on the Semi-Pro/Competition. Because of the big cog in back, the gearing is not that tall: 48/34 = 38 gear-inches, about the same as the old 52-40/14-28 half-step touring combination that was very popular in the 1970s.

Upgrading to a triple gave you the opportunity to use a better crank, one which uses bolts instead of nuts, and which has a spider integral with the right crank, instead of swaged onto it. Your new higher quality crank will not only be more reliable but will let you swap the outer chainring.

Yours was the old "coffee" color, which has grown on me somewhat since I got my metallic brown Bianchi. (I think Schwinn called theirs "root beer.")
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Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
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Last edited by John E; 10-13-14 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 10-13-14, 04:14 PM
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The International was my first serious road bike and wish i still had it. Mine was either 73 or 74 but they were classy well built machines and great memories of a quality ride.
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Old 10-13-14, 05:41 PM
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I bought one brand new in 1973 to replace a Raleigh Grand Prix. The Nishiki was a well built bike that was very reliable. I never trusted the Raleigh, but felt I could ride the Nishiki anywhere, and I did!
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Old 10-13-14, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by tipehtfomottob View Post
I just had a 1973 Nishiki International repainted for a friend's rebuild project. Those headbadges are gorgeous!

great lug work on this frame! I wish I knew about liquid latex masking fluid before painting mine. I spent hours on tape work
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Old 10-13-14, 07:50 PM
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The taping of that frame and my Peugeot took 3 hours, but it was worth it!
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Old 10-28-14, 06:59 AM
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I had a rough time with the fork on this bike. The headset was messed up and a standard 1" wouldn't fit the Japanese fork because it uses heavier wall tubing. I was able to bodge together the lower half with parts of an upper half of a Shimano 600 headset I had sitting around. I also could not free hand the gold stripes where the paint meets the chrome. I ended up using stripe decals from Velocals. I picked up a Middlemore leather seat from eBay and it looks just right. The 26.8mm seat post was taken from Miyata 912 which was begging for a nicer Dura-Ace seat post. New 42 cm Nitto Randonneur bars replace the original 39cm bars that were too narrow.

I'm still waiting on the LBS to finish my wheels and waiting on the Stronglight 99-dis crankset to begin final assembly














Attached Images
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photo 1.jpg (97.9 KB, 152 views)
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photo 2.jpg (98.5 KB, 138 views)
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photo 3.jpg (96.6 KB, 145 views)
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Old 10-28-14, 08:53 AM
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My yellow 1971 Semi-Pro came with red-striped silver tape covering the paint-to-chrome transition on each fork blade. I pulled off the tape to reveal a very jagged bottom edge of the paint, or perhaps top edge of the chrome. My friendly local Schwinn-Nishiki dealer taped off the chrome properly and repainted the fork in Schwinn Kool Lemon, which was a pretty good match. I rode that bike 40k miles over the next 20 years, including a few centuries and one double, until the seat tube lug broke off the BB shell.

After trying 1.5-step 54-44/14-24 gearing to replace the original half-step, I finally went with a 50-47-44/14-16-19-23-26 third-step setup.
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Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
Carlton: 1962 Franco Suisse, S/N K7911
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1982 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
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Old 11-06-14, 12:08 PM
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I finally got some parts to work with! The Stronglight Crankset arrived from France and I got the wheels back from the LBS. I also installed the Front Derailleur, 6 speed cassette, bottom bracket, down tube shifters and cable guides and brake levers. Its starting to look like a bike and I'm excited to ride it!






Check out the clearance between the crank arm and front derailleur. I set the limit screws so the derailleur wouldn't interfere with the crankarm. Also how about that top normal front derailleur?!






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Last edited by eastbay71; 11-06-14 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 11-06-14, 06:22 PM
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I like your two-tone paint scheme, one would never guess what model of bike this was.

The International has 72x72-degree angles, so a relatively large frame size suited me. I used the stock seatpost, though reversed!

That stock gearing, weird I thought. I kept the cranks, but got a 44t small ring off Ebay. So I use 54-44t with a 13-30t 7s freewheel I built for it. I used my preferred 9s chain with some thinning of the three chainring spacers (big ring on these is integral to the crankarm).

I found a 110mm stem to fit the .833"/21.1mm steer tube and like the OP I put downtube shifters on.

John E., thanks for the translation, mine says Kokusai and seems to be a 1972. I am using steel rims now for their gleaming fun-factor.

If there is a better bike for descending fast, bumpy sweepers out of the mountains, I haven't tried it. Stability is unflappable.


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Old 11-09-14, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post

If there is a better bike for descending fast, bumpy sweepers out of the mountains, I haven't tried it. Stability is unflappable.
Not surprising with the length of the chainstays
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Old 11-09-14, 05:20 PM
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I made more progress today getting the brakes and cables installed along with the cables for the shifters. I wrapped the bar in yellow Deda elmenti foam tape. It's almost complete now. I'm waiting for a set of French threaded pedals from eBay and I need to stop at the store and get a chain.


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Old 11-09-14, 06:42 PM
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I wouldn't have expected your approach to work out nicely, but I was wrong, and that's a good thing.

Why not use English threaded pedals? You can either force them in or tap the cranks first. Any LBS will have the required taps.
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Old 11-09-14, 06:57 PM
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Thanks @noglider! I've always liked the look of the bikes you build and take that as a compliment.

I have the required taps and a set of period correct pedals but I found a set of Campy pedals with French threads for pretty cheap on eBay international. The crankset is pretty good shape for its age so I decided to keep it as the manufacture intended
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Old 11-09-14, 07:11 PM
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Really? I think of my bikes as functional but not handsome. I don't think I have a knack for making spiffy looking bikes. So thank you!
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Old 11-09-14, 08:41 PM
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That is a fantastic paint job with the fade. What do you use to polish up the chrome? Can't wait to see more pics.
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Old 11-09-14, 08:48 PM
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I love how's it coming along. I can't wait to see the finished product.

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Old 11-09-14, 10:14 PM
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What kind of machine is it leaned against? Some sort of power distribution unit?
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Old 11-10-14, 07:05 AM
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I wondered about that too. I almost never rebuild C&V bikes in a sub-station. But I recognize the switch gear from my dark past.
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Old 11-10-14, 08:13 AM
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The color scheme reminds me of some of the pro peloton Bianchis of a while ago.
It works here, but I would not have been so bold.
I like it.
I worked for a shop whose owner helped design this machine. Only item he did not get his way was the bottom bracket height. They wanted higher, ( to avoid pedal strike in the corners?).
Part of the reason for the half step gearing was the Suntour mechanism could shift the big freewheel so well, and he liked the half step up front. European gear at the time just could not handle much beyond a 26.
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Old 11-10-14, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 88prelude View Post
What do you use to polish up the chrome?
Never Dull. I'm former Navy so there is no other polish I would consider
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Old 11-10-14, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
What kind of machine is it leaned against? Some sort of power distribution unit?
That is a GE Mark IV LM2500 control cabinet. My other bikes have been featured in front of our Woodward Governor panel, Diesel Fuel storage tank, Auxiliary boiler and one of the motor control centers. I work as a power plant operator and I'm frequently here all by myself. I do the vast majority of my bike work in the control room
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