Budget Transportation: 1989 Nishiki Tri-A

8 03 2010

Nishiki Tri-A with Tange 1 frame tubing and original Shimano Santé shift levers.

This morning was a beautiful day for riding to work so, I decided to ride my Nishiki road bike. I picked this bike up a few months ago, and it is a great example of what you can find for a few hundred bucks. It has a high quality japanese steel tubing from renown manufacturer Tange. The frame has a lugged construction and was hand brazed by Kawamura for Nishiki. The bike itself is in really good shape and has little serious wear. Everything on the bicycle except for the tires, seat and handlebar tape is 100% original. Shimano Santé shift levers with Santé front and rear deraileurs. Shimano 600 cranks, brakes, hubs and headset. The bike even has the original Araya hard anodized rims. What attracted me most to the bicycle was the Santé components. When I first got a job working in a bicycle shop one of the owners had a 1989 Schwinn Circuit that had a full Santé component group. The memories of the elegance of that Schwinn came back to me when I saw this Nishiki.

Other than giving it a tune-up and swapping the 1980’s Bio Pace chain rings out for some round ones, the bike was ready to ride. And what a great ride it is. I have extolled the virtues of steel in the past and I will likely continue to do so in the future. A quality steel frame performs exceptionally and the ride quality cannot be matched by any aluminum bicycle. Running on 700×23 tires the Nishiki is quite fast. I have been able to average between 17 and 19 mph on the commute into New Haven. The skinny tires do make them more vulnerable to flats so, more vigilance of what is in front of you is required. I have already put close to 200 miles on this bicycle and it has been trouble free other than a flat caused by a bad tire. Anyone who is in the market for quality budget transportation shouldn’t rule out a nice used bike. This Nishiki was $1000 or more when it was new. It never saw much use and eventually was sold for a few hundred dollars. Now I get the enjoyment of a high quality steel road bike for a bargain price.

Nishiki Tri-A with Shimano Santé and Shimano 600 components.

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