Tuesday, August 2, 2016

1974 Nishiki Professional - or what NOT to do

1974 Nishiki Brochure I got the one on the right.. 
If, in the spirit of an election year, I wanted to put a positive spin on things I would tell you I found and purchased a top of the line Nishiki Professional for a pittance, and leave it at that.  That wouldn't be an outright lie but it would leave a lot out.  This is an example, dear readers, of what NOT to do:
  • When you find yourself in a deep hole stop digging!
  • Step away from the computer when you have an itch to "see whats out there"
  • Stop looking at CL daily to see if there are any deals or if that dude with the Centurion Elite GT has come to his senses and dropped his price
  • Stop finding new bike projects, for the love of GOD stop!!!
You see, I am an idiot but you folks have a chance learn from my mistakes so some good can come of this.

my ..um..prize
Some bikes are 40 years old, and some bikes are the equivalent of a 40 year-old heroin addict who looks 60, this bike is one of the later.  The Nishiki looked like it had been ridden to and from school through a gravel quarry.  The seller was very honest in her post and price, she knew it was a project, I knew it was a project but upon closer inspection I should have just said no, but I didn't.  I am a sucker for Vintage Orange bikes and young ladies with a nice smile - so sue me.  Where to start with this derelict?....the bike not me!  How about the dents, yes plural, in the top tube:


and here

I am also fairly sure the red tape was not standard - hate to think what that might be hiding

I am also pretty positive the bar-end shifters were not issued with bailing wire.

and in a stroke of oddness some wit decided to remove the perfectly good Sun Tour V Lux derailleurs this came with and replace them with cheapo plastic Simplex which are of course broken..

the classic cracked Simplex Derlin FD
And rear
half a cage and a bag O' parts
I did bargain her down on this point as there are projects and then there are projects with broken derailleurs.  The rear derailleur could actually be a fun resurrection project on a rainy gloomy afternoon, the jockey wheels are intact  and I have another Simplex rear derailleur body I could cannibalize  if need be.

Its too bad about the frame if not for the dents in the TT it would be worth it to strip, repaint and rebadge, but I think its destined for life as a junk bike stealth commuter like the 1983 Raleigh Record I curbside rescued in May.  And although I should have taken a pass this bike does have some value and enough so that I can probably break even if I wanted to.  It has a top of the line Dia-Compe Grand Compe alloy forged Stem with original bolt cap;

and the grand prize a Sugino Maxy cotterless crank with caps;

And I suspect there is a Sugino bottom bracket hiding behind those cranks.  

So heed this lesson friends unless you are looking for a winter commuter and have lots of spare parts lying around avoid bikes in this shape and stay off CL! 

Do love the Headbadge
Until next time... Ride.Smile.Repeat.

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