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My new (old) low cost touring bike.

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My new (old) low cost touring bike.

Old 04-10-08, 12:57 AM
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My new (old) low cost touring bike.

I have been looking for a low priced road touring bike and managed to pic up a $160 deal (that includes the shipping) on Ebay the other day. The bike looks like it is six months old but it is a 1986 Nishiki Cresta with mounts for three water bottle, low-rider fork mounts and all the braze-ons. It is only fifteen speeds and I know it is not up to the level of most the bikes here, but I'm happy as could be. The wheels (Araya) and two inner chain rings have a sort bronze colored finish on them. In the auction pictures the bike was dirty and I thought the wheels were rusty -just figred I would replace them, but everything is good to go. Has Grand Compe brakes and Suntour XC Sport derailleurs. I just put new tires and seat post on it. Going to change the handlebars and take it from there.
Attached Images
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My Cresta (Small).JPG (45.3 KB, 208 views)
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More Cresta GT (1) (Small).JPG (29.8 KB, 90 views)
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More Cresta GT (2) (Small).JPG (42.6 KB, 75 views)
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More Cresta GT (3) (Small).JPG (36.0 KB, 69 views)
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More Cresta GT (5) (Small).JPG (42.0 KB, 74 views)

Last edited by Ciufalon; 04-10-08 at 01:18 AM. Reason: added photos
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Old 04-10-08, 01:17 AM
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Great work. Only thing that would bother me is the downtube shifters, but that's tiny. Post pics when you have racks etc mounted.

Steve
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Old 04-10-08, 03:02 AM
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Nice looking bike - I like the looks of lugged frames. You can't go wrong with Tange products either.

It looks unused or nearly so. It's still got the USCPSC reflector set. Also, the saddle graphics are intact - these usually wear off after 500-1000 miles.

Araya (Japan) made some good rims too. It might need a new chain - they can rust bad if unprotected.

I like the dt shifters too - the simplest, lightest shifter solution, no cables cluttering hbar area. A lot of TdFs were won with dt shifters - should be plenty adequate for a 10mph tour. Its a minor mystery to me why more tourists don't use them. They're much cheaper than bar end shifters, which are now going for >75USD. I got a set of NOS suntour 7spd dt shifters from nashbar for 6 bucks. They weigh 74g, which is less than the additional cable stops, adjusters, cable and housing ALONE needed to run bar end or sti shifters.

Now what are you going to do with the $865 you saved over a Surly LHT complete?

https://www.thetouringstore.com/index.htm

https://aebike.com/page.cfm?PageID=30

https://www.campmor.com

https://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/index.cfm
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Old 04-10-08, 06:15 AM
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Hey, nice bike! It's lovely to discover a little gem.

I agree -it's easy to forget Tour De France's were once won on bikes that had less than 5 gears, downtube shifters, etc. Sometimes you have to remember that people still cycled more miles with just as much enjoyment with a lot less in the past. However, having said that, I think the problem with DT shifters is that they are just not convenient and you have to take your hands off the handlebars to change gears. I prefer not to have DT shifters myself.

Since it sounds like the drivechain is in good condition and *if* you want more convenient gear shifting, I'm a big Kelly Take Off evangelist now since I put them on my tourer. The only thing you'd need to do is get the Kelly Take Offs ($40 including shipping on ebay), new cables and housing (which for a bike that age is probably a good idea to do anyway). That's it -you can keep your original shifters -then you are good to go with shifting from the drops.
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Old 04-10-08, 11:06 AM
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That's a beautiful bike and I think you made out like a bandit.
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Old 04-10-08, 02:11 PM
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Ahh, lugged steel. They don't make bikes like that for $160 anymore.

For what it's worth, I recommend you check the BB, headset, chain, and make sure the wheels are true. It took several hundred miles before I noticed a problem with the BB on my used road bike.

I wouldn't worry about "15 speeds" but I do recommend you set up the gearing as low as possible.

I also think DT shifters are OK for touring -- they definitely beat grip shifters, ugh. I find bar-end easier to shift, though.
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Old 04-10-08, 02:25 PM
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I would definitly think about going to a triple, that is if you plan to do any loaded touring. That is a sweet bike. I found a Nishiki Riviera GT on the side of the road a while back, it looked very similar, and was spec'd out very similar, but pretty beat up. I just gave it to a friend who wants to restore it because it actually fits him. Nice find.
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Old 04-10-08, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Ciufalon
It is only fifteen speeds and I know it is not up to the level of most the bikes here, but I'm happy as could be.
I was watching that auction and saw it go for a very good price -- nice score! I agree with the above posters that your bike is a very good machine. The fact that it doesn't have 27 speeds (which doesn't necessarily give you 12 more gears to choose from) is not a reflection on its low quality. In fact, the Tange 2 tubeset was one of the nicer tubesets of its time, and certainly better than what you'll find on a Surly LHT or a Jamis Aurora. The rest of the components are solid and durable, and it'll serve you well.

I had an almost identical Cresta GT for a while, and took it on a short tour and loved it. I am not a big fan of downtube shifters, but then again, some people are, and they can't be beat for reliability and ease of adjusting. If you're looking for the cheapest way to move the shifters up closer to your hands, try these bar-end shifter pods from Rivendell:
https://www.rivbike.com/products/list...product=17-068

Last edited by digitalbicycle; 04-12-08 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 04-10-08, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by xxsoultonesxx
I would definitly think about going to a triple,
It's fifteen speed, are you implying it has 7.5 cogs on the rear?

Steve
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Old 04-10-08, 07:48 PM
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I actually have a couple of sets of bar end shifters and may go that route. I have NOS suntour ratchet bar ends that I think would work well. I also have the dura ace downtube cable stops that go on downtube shifter mounts I could use. I will swap the bars (add matching red bar tape), repaint the cable matching covers red (they're faded), and maybe convert to bar ends, then go for fenders and racks. Thanks for all the positive words. I am really glad I got a good bike to tour with. It will work well for me. I have been looking for an affodable, good bike. The triple cranks are (48, 40, 28). The two inside chain rings have a bronze color finish on them.
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Old 04-12-08, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Nigeyy
Hey, nice bike! It's lovely to discover a little gem.
Since it sounds like the drivechain is in good condition and *if* you want more convenient gear shifting, I'm a big Kelly Take Off evangelist now since I put them on my tourer. The only thing you'd need to do is get the Kelly Take Offs ($40 including shipping on ebay), new cables and housing (which for a bike that age is probably a good idea to do anyway). That's it -you can keep your original shifters -then you are good to go with shifting from the drops.
Kelly Take Offs are the mutts nutts. Just upgraded to them + 8sp 105 shifters during a major overhaul/creak troubleshoot, and did 73 miles yesterday right after tightening the last cable. As fond as my memories are of suntour barcons, Take Offs are lightyears ahead. They even have certain advantages over STI, such as being faster at dumping gears in back when you hit a hill, and friction in front of course.

If you're going to stick with the five speed setup on your new Nishiki, you'll be doing alright keeping the friction shifter for the rear, but with my eight speed cluster, I'm thrilled to have finally evolved beyond knuckle dragging.
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Old 04-13-08, 04:15 PM
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Yep, I agree; I really like the Take Offs. If you search for Kelly Take Offs, I recently posted a more in depth review of them.

Originally Posted by Thasiet
Kelly Take Offs are the mutts nutts. Just upgraded to them + 8sp 105 shifters during a major overhaul/creak troubleshoot, and did 73 miles yesterday right after tightening the last cable. As fond as my memories are of suntour barcons, Take Offs are lightyears ahead. They even have certain advantages over STI, such as being faster at dumping gears in back when you hit a hill, and friction in front of course.

If you're going to stick with the five speed setup on your new Nishiki, you'll be doing alright keeping the friction shifter for the rear, but with my eight speed cluster, I'm thrilled to have finally evolved beyond knuckle dragging.
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Old 04-13-08, 04:40 PM
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It doesn't matter how many gears you've got, what matters is how you have them geared. My main tourer is a 15 speed 60's Magneet, which, after a bit of fussing on getting the ratios right does just as well as any tourer I've ever owned.

Since you've only got five gears in the rear to choose from, go for a 14-32 to 14-36 freewheel - then do a lot of playing with the chainwheels. You probably won't need more than a 48 tooth on the large one, dropping to something in the 20's for the small one is recommended. I'll bow to the more mathematically minded in this group for serious suggestions, as I just swapped a few chainwheels until something felt good. No math involved.

The true beauty of touring is that, more than any other subgroup of cycling (except commuting), you can do a lot without having to bother with the current expensive state-of-the-art flavor of the season. Set your find up properly and you'll shortly discover that a Trek 520, Surley Long Haul Trucker, etc. are overrated, over expensive alternatives that won't get you to your destination any easier or fast than what you've got.

Enjoy, and have fun in the designing/modification.
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