Built by Kawamura Cycle Co of Kobe, Japan in 1979 for the European market, it's a fine example of the top-level road bikes that Nishiki built before Giant took over at the end of the 80s. By that time the marque had been diluted and the reputation had gone somewhat downhill, but this Olympic represents what Nishiki looked like when they were at their peak. Adorned with Dura-Ace EX 7200 parts & the finest Japanes finishing kit from SR & Sugino (let us not forget that Nishiki suede saddle!), it's obviously a serious machine.
Typical of top-level Japanese race bikes, it's built from Tange Champion Double Butted tubing, their top tube set back in the 70s and one comparable to Reynolds 531 & Columbus SL/SP, resulting in an overall weight just topping 9 kilograms on the scales. It's a genuine race bike, with a short wheelbase akin to the famous European built machines of the period. The tight clearances and lightweight butted tubing make for an aggressive yet comfortable ride as you would expect. Of course we're speaking from experience here, there's no way we spend days lovingly overhauling these beauties and miss out on the opportunity to take them for a good test ride. It's the least we can do :)
If you're not familiar with Japanese tubing (maybe you've had your head buried in the Italian sand or choose to ignore any label that doesn't contain those magic 3 numbers), we highly recommend you head over to The Retrogrouch for an incredibly thorough history lesson on Tange & Ishiwata Tubing. Some great knowledge over there.
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There are a number of parts you’ll need to put a bike together that can be slightly complicated if you don’t have the old part to hand, and one that we are often asked about is headsets.