Sunday, May 30, 2010

Vintage Mountain Bike Bonanza!

Sweet Pea and I did a little yard "sailing" yesterday before heading over to Silverdale to partake in the annual Memorial Day Weekend of consumerism and great sales...........

One of the first yard sales of the morning turned up a real treasure. A high end, very early mountain bike! And the price........... $10.00 !!!!!!!! As we drove up, I spotted the bike leaning against the garage and recognized it as an early Stump Jumper or Ritchey style immediately. As Sweet Pea headed into the sale to check for other treasures and to pay for the bike, I rolled it out to the Jeep to load it up. As we hauled it off, I felt like Alibaba making his escape with a load of gold!

I'm not certain what the make is, but I can say it is nearly identical in geometry and style to the original Specialized Stump Jumpers and the original Ritchey's from the early 1980's. It has all of the classic, high-end parts of the era like Deers Head Shimano rear deraileur, Suntour Power Thumb Shifters, moosehead bars, bear trap pedals, etc. The paint job is original with no decals or marking but it does have two small rivet holes on the front of the head tube where it once had a head badge that is now long gone. The fork crown and bottom bracket shell are both investment cast and the bike is definitely hand built. There is an odd "M" or "W" marking cast into the bottom of the bottom bracket by the s/n. I found a date stamp on the front hub of 7-83, so the bike is most likely a 1983 0r 1984! As I get the chance to start doing research on the bike, I'm sure I'll have more details to share.......... stay tuned!

We decided to cruise through Port Ludlow on the way to Silverdale and as we cruised down the road we spotted a yard sale with two more mountain bike in the mix. We walked away from that one with a mid-1980's Specialized Rock Hopper. This bike is going to be revamped and set up for Nadia. The bike has a Shimano Bio-Pace crank set on it........... oval shaped chain rings that were supposed to optimize your pedaling power. The best thing is that the frame is a small adult size which is quite tough to find in a good quality mountain bike like this, and it is exactly what we needed for Nadia.

Here are some pre-restoration pictures of the bikes:

"The Early Mountain Bike"

"The Specialized Rock Hopper"


RV said...

The first bike looks strikingly like, and is spec-ed similarly, to an old Univega I worked on the other day. R. der., seat post, stem, Suntour, etc. One of the first mass-produced mtb's from what I understand.

Sharky said...

Thanks for the tip about Univega!
I'll be following that lead up. The bottom bracket stamping still has me a bit perplexed may be the brand of casting.

Hummer said...

The first bike "W" is for West Coast Cycles, who contracted and distributed Nishiki. The serial number appears to be KC18222, which is consistent with Nishiki. The frame was manufactured by Kuwamara in Japan, the "C" indicates 1983 as the year. Nishiki's first mountain bikes were sold in 1983. Most of the 1983 and 1984 models had bi-plane forks, Bushwhacker and Cascade. The forks on yours are the same as the Westwood model, which may have been top of the line.
The Westwood model is rare and may not have been in the Nishiki catalogue.

Many early large scale production mountain bikes seemed to imitate the Tom Ritchey design. The early Nishikis and Stumpjumpers look that way to me.

RobThom said...

I have a Nishhiki Westwood as described by Hummer. In 1985 when I purchased the bike, it retailed for nearly $600. It was top of the line. I have maintained it over the years and still ride, although I no longer ride trails. I have converted it to a city bike, with commuter tires, a stem riser, suspension seatpost. The drive train and brakes are all original. It is an excellent bike, and although I have owned other bikes, including a Rans recumbent, this is the one I have kept and still ride.

Sharky said...

Thanks for the feedback and tips on who made the "the old gray bike"! I still have the bike and this Winter it's been starting the restoration process. Hopefully now that I'm back in the Blogger Business, I'll be posting more about this bike.