Is Nishiki a Good Bike? – An Honest Review

Nishiki, a brand with a history longer than some people’s careers, started as American Eagle Bicycles in 1965.  Manufactured by Kawamura Cycle Co. and marketed by West Coast Cycle, these bikes have seen it all.

From their initial production in Kobe, Japan, to their current manufacturing by Giant in Taiwan, Nishiki bikes have evolved significantly over the decades. Here are some essentials you should know about this brand and their products.

Ownership and Brand Evolution

In 2010, Dick’s Sporting Goods swooped in and bought the rights to Nishiki. Now, if you’re buying a Nishiki, you’re indirectly supporting a sporting goods giant.

This change in ownership hasn’t drastically altered the brand’s identity, but it’s certainly something to consider when assessing the company’s direction and customer support.

The Variety of Nishiki Bikes

Nishiki doesn’t just stick to one type of bike. They’ve got mountain bikes, road bikes, comfort bikes, and more. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re looking to conquer rugged trails or just cruise around town. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Mountain Bikes: Built for off-road adventures with durable frames and robust tires.
  • Road Bikes: Designed for speed and efficiency on paved surfaces.
  • Comfort Bikes: Perfect for a leisurely ride, offering an upright seating position and cushioned seats.

Price Range & What You Get for Your Money

Nishiki bikes are priced between $199 and $1,000 or more. A wide range, sure, but it means there’s likely a model that fits your budget. If you’re looking for a bike without breaking the bank, Nishiki’s lower-end models might catch your eye.

However, if you’re willing to invest a bit more, the higher-end models offer more features and better performance.

Performance and Weight

Nishiki bike quality

Let’s talk weight. Nishiki bikes typically weigh around 30 pounds. That might sound heavy, especially if you’re used to feather-light racing bikes.

But for the average rider, 30 pounds is manageable. Just think of it as a built-in workout – who needs a gym when you’ve got a heavier bike, right? Here are some examples:

Nishiki Men’s Manitoba Road Bike

  • Specifications: Frame sizes available are 15″, 17″, 19″, and 21″ with 700C wheel size.
  • Average Weight: Somewhere from 18 to 25 pounds.
  • Performance: Very well made, with aluminum seat posts.

Nishiki Men’s Pueblo 26 Mountain Bike

  • Specifications: Includes a 28.6mm, 300mm length seat post and Feimin 9/16 in. pedals with CPSC reflectors.
  • Average Weight: Not specified, but mountain bikes often weigh more than road bikes, generally around 30 to 35 pounds.
  • Performance: This is a great model if you’re into mountain biking.

Nishiki Maricopa

  • Weight: Approximately 9kg (around 20 pounds), but weight can increase with additional accessories.
  • Performance: I felt very positive about this particular model, as it provided good performance for road biking.

Historical Model – 85 Nishiki Cresta GT

  • Weight: Estimate around 57 pounds. Given the fact this is a vintage model, higher than average weight of this bike is perfectly normal.
  • Performance: Vintage model with spot-on craftsmanship, beautifully designed, and more than a decent performance.

Braking Systems

Nishiki bike performance

When it comes to brakes, Nishiki keeps it simple with caliper and cantilever brakes. Both types are reliable, though not the fanciest options out there. Caliper brakes are great for road bikes, while cantilever brakes offer more stopping power for mountain bikes.

Age Recommendations

Nishiki’s product lines include options for men, women, and children. So, whether you’re an adult looking for a new hobby or a parent shopping for your kid’s first bike, Nishiki has something for you.

Each model is tailored to different age groups, ensuring a proper fit and a better riding experience. Here are some examples:

For Kids

Nishiki Boys’ Pueblo 24” Mountain Bike

  • Age Group: Suitable for kids around 8 to 10 years old.
  • Features: Strong steel frame with front suspension.

20″ Mountain Bike

  • Age Group: Typically for kids around 8 years old.
  • Considerations: It’s essential to check the inseam for proper fitting rather than relying solely on age.

For Men

Nishiki bike review

Nishiki Men’s Anasazi Hybrid Bike

  • Hybrid bike suitable for both path and pavement rides. Available in multiple frame sizes (16 in., 18 in., 20 in.).

Nishiki Men’s Manitoba Road Bike

  • Lightweight aluminum frame, flat bar road bike designed for smooth and comfortable rides.

Nishiki Colorado Mountain Bike

  • Pretty much self-explenatory, it’s excellent for mountain biking.

Nishiki Men’s Bikes at DICK’S Sporting Goods

  • Various models and styles available for different riding preferences.

For Women

Nishiki bike reliability

Nishiki Women’s Anasazi Hybrid Bike

  • Designed for versatility on both paths and pavement.

Nishiki Women’s Manitoba Road Bike

  • Lightweight and comfortable, suitable for road biking.

Nishiki Women’s Hybrid Bikes

  • Entry-level hybrid bike, ideal for casual riding.

Nishiki vs. Trek

Nishiki bikes are often compared to Trek bikes, a brand renowned for their durable frames. Some argue that Trek bikes are more durable, but Nishiki holds its own, especially considering the price difference.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly bike that performs well, Nishiki is a solid choice. However, if durability is your top priority, it might be worth spending a bit more on a Trek.

Pros and Cons of Nishiki Bikes

Let’s break it down:

Pros
  • Affordable: Great for budget-conscious buyers.
  • Variety: Multiple types of bikes to choose from.
  • Availability: Widely available at Dick’s Sporting Goods.
  • Family-Friendly: Models for all age groups.
Cons
  • Weight: Heavier than some other brands.
  • Brake Options: Limited to caliper and cantilever brakes.
  • Durability: May not match up to higher-end brands like Trek

Is Nishiki Worth It?

So, is Nishiki a good bike? It depends on what you’re looking for. If you want an affordable, versatile bike and don’t mind a bit of extra weight, Nishiki is a fantastic option. However, if you prioritize lightweight performance and top-tier durability, you might want to explore other brands.

In the end, Nishiki offers a decent range of bikes that cater to various needs and budgets. Whether you’re just getting into biking or looking for a reliable ride for your daily commute, Nishiki is worth considering. Plus, with its rich history and evolution, you’re not just buying a bike; you’re buying a piece of cycling history.

Nishiki bike pros and cons

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