Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Good Old Bike

I'm not exactly sure how old it is. My best estimate, helped by info I found here, is that it was new in 1978 or 1979. When it came to me it was dusty and needed some tires and cables and attention its owner was unwilling to give it. Did I know someone who could use it? Not offhand, but I knew I'd find somebody. I did know I was the guy who'd take it in and dust it off and get it rolling.

Years ago the bike had drop handlebars and those idiotic extension or "safety" levers that were anything but safe, but somewhere in the years between the bike's manufacture and its finding me, the levers and the drop bars had gone away, replaced by more back-friendly upright bars. The conversion hadn't been complete, however, and the old drop levers were barely stopping the brakes. My pile of things I keep just in case had flat bar levers of the proper vintage and cable pull and now the old Nishiki stops with certainty.

The derailleurs shift fine with the old levers and new cables and I replaced the rotting tires with fine little knobby treads. These old Japanese bikes came to the U.S. shores in droves, much like the Corollas and Civics of their day and they were and are reliable bicycles, intelligently designed and made to last.

This good old bike is still rolling strong. Now I just need to find somebody who needs a good old bike.

Keep 'em rolling,

Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
Issaquah WA USA


16incheswestofpeoria said...

I think everyone needs a good old bike. Of course, years ago, no one built a good old bike. Only a decent new bike. Which means it takes time and luck to get a good old bike. Which means each good old bike is somewhat scarce. Which should drive up its value. Which should make this one extra valuable to someone. The fact that it still has paint is pure bonus.

Anonymous said...

Cool looking new "old" friend :)

The Disabled Cyclist

Anonymous said...

Is that an Olympic 12? I have that exact bicycle (same color, same shifters, smaller size (47cm seatpost!), and I swear it's the greatest bicycle ever. I think I was told it was from 1981. I replaced the original handlebars with shorter/shallower bars and modern brake levers, and it's just the go-to, most comfortable bike ever. It even has its original tires, which are still somehow holding on, and even they are my favorite -- super supple and comfortable.

I have a relatively expensive, modern, lightweight steel road bike. The Nishiki is a better bike, hands down.

I hope someone will cherish it!