Thursday, March 18, 2010

NISHIKI Manitoba Garbage Day Rescue

Above: The Saddle was all chewed-up, & the seat-post was rusty I removed both and threw them out.

Above: The front derailleur cable routing on this bike is really interesting.

Above: I took this pic to help me get the cables re-mounted in the correct order.

Above: The Head-Badge is in excellent condition, that`s a real plus.

Above: Removed the caps and used some Mother`s on the arms and straddle-wire

Above: The down-tube graphics look great.The Top-tube is a little dinged-up

Above: There are some scratches and a ding* in the top-tube. But over-all the frame looks really good. *Ding* Worse than a scratch, but not quite a dent.

Hello and Welcome. Yesterdays bike-hunt was not going well at all. I did however find a Red-Wings home-game jersey in mint condition. It was $6.99 but was in the 1/2 off sale.Pretty good price ($3.50) for a 150.00 to 200.00 jersey. One of my sisters lives near my last stop, So I gave her a call and we met for coffee. On the way into her complex,I spotted a bicycle in the trash at another smaller complex. I called her right away and told her to "be ready to go when I get there". I just passed a bike in the trash around the corner. She said go check it out now, because she was on her way to the corner store/gas-station. I thought for sure it was going to be a Huffy or some other department store bike. When I saw it was a Nishiki I got a little excited. I could see it had been left out in the grass and the saddle was badly deteriorated. But the more I looked at it, the more good things I saw. For instance the alloy wheel-set with quick-release front and rear.The chain was real rusty but that is no problem as I almost always replace the chain. Also the tires appeared to have almost no wear on them. And while grungy, I did not see any cracking. That`s a huge plus. And both wheels spun dead-on straight. However the handle-bars had some deep rust across the entire top. No problem there as I`m sure I have some nice salvaged ones at home. All the cables looked bad,that`s really not an issue as I normally re-place all the cables anyway. When a bike leaves here I don`t want to see it come back, except for normal maintenance. So as you can see I have taken it apart and cleaned the paint with "Meguiar's Paint Cleaner" (step one) It has given me something to do while waiting for my TREK parts order to arrive. Which by the way now includes tires and free delivery. I did also manage to de-grease the head-set bearings (Nishiki) as well. I`m not sure how long I will be able to work on this before my parts arrive. But I hoping for another day. I am enjoying working on something other than a classic road bike. I love the old road bikes, but sometimes it`s good to do something different for a while. Maybe I can get the basic drive train together before the Trek parts arrive! Well that`s all I have for tonight, till next time, RIDE SAFE and remember to always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE.


  1. Sort of a lame time to comment... a year after the fact, but just out of sheer idleness I decided to Google this bike and came up with a couple hits. I have he EXACT same bike, down to the colors and piping. I bought it from a co-worker for $75 back in '96/'97 and it has served me very well over the years.

    I haven't done much riding in the past 5 years or so... in fact I'm pretty sure the last time I got on it was 3 yrs ago, almost to the day. I expect to break it out (it's safely hanging from my basement ceiling at the moment) in a couple weeks and I know I'll have a ton of maintenance to do on it. There's no visible signs of rust or anything, but would appreciate your feedback on some tune-up suggestions. Can't afford to take it in, so I'll be working on it myself. Any suggestions you may have would be appreciated.


  2. Hey Bakes,
    Sorry for the delayed response. We have been going through a heat-wave and the power-outages and a.c. unit break-downs. And all the other b.s. that goes along with it. Anyway the a.c is up and running again. And the power has been staying on (for the most part) And the weather forecast is looking much better.
    About your bike. I would suggest (if your up for it) that you take the bike apart completely and re-build it, including the head-set and crank. I would replace all the cables (and housings if necessary) And replace the brake shoes for sure. Tires will depend on condition. If they are cracking and show wear I would probably replace those as well. You will want to "water test" the inner-tubes. If they pass the test and look good, I would re-use them. The chain again depends on condition. If it is not rusty you can clean and lubricate it. You can get the chain checked for stretching at your local bike shop.
    I doubt they would charge you much (if anything)to do that. Of course you will want to clean and lubricate the derailleurs.
    And use the internet. The "Park Tool" site has a mechanical help section. And of course Sheldon Brown`s postings on the Harris Cyclery site will be a huge help.
    If you are not confident about taking the whole bike apart at once. You might want to rebuild it in sections. Maybe start with the Crank then move on to the Head-Set. Also you can clean and lube the derailleurs with-out removing them. I like to remove them because I can clean them better that way. But it is usually not an absolute must.
    There are some specialty tools that you may not have. Some bike shops don`t mind taking things apart for you. Example: The removal of the Free-wheel. If you don`t have the proper tool, "most" bike shops will be happy to loosen it up for you (for little to no cost).
    You might want to call ahead first and see if they are busy.
    It will be much easier if you have a work stand. If not you can usually find a used on on Craigs-list. Or build one for yourself. You can find plans on the net for that too. Two things you might want to do is "take pics or make notes" of how things go together.
    And when you take the brakes apart, do one at a time. Then you have a reference. Those two tips will save you a lot of head-scratching.
    That`s about all that comes to mind at this moment. Good Luck and keep me posted.

  3. I'm a big fan of Nishiki and I have not seen that headbadge before. It's a beautiful head badge. For free, you got a great bike. It's easily worth $150 here on the Orange County Craigslist (So Cal) but would outperform all the entry level bikes in any bike shop, no question!

  4. Hey Anonymous,
    I was really not familiar with the Nishiki brand before I got back into "bike work" and doing this blog. But since then I have become fond of them myself. All the Nishiki bikes I have done so far have impressed me with their quality and design. I look forward to restoring the next Nishiki that comes along. Definitely one of the best entry level bikes
    I have ever worked on. Thanks for leaving a comment.

  5. Hey Hugh ,do you still have the Garbage day Nishiki ? What size is the frame .It sounds like my exact bike . JK


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