I bought this Nishiki Blazer for my college girlfriend way back in the early 1990s. She was (and still is) 5'1" and a little over 100lbs, so it took some looking to find a 24" wheeled bike that was suitable for campus cruising.
Fast forward 20+ years: after grad-school, marriage, a few dogs, 2 kids, and eventually divorce from my ex, I decided to restore the old Nishiki for my 11-year old boy.
My inspiration was mainly because he wanted a "dutch bike" like the ones he'd seen when visiting his grandmother and her family in the Netherlands, and I had only seen the girls' style "Omafiets" bikes in a small 24" wheeled size, but not the boys' "Opafiets" style. Aside from BMX and hardtail mountain bikes, there's not much else out there built around 24" wheels.
So here’s the “after” pic, taken with my lame phone:
The frame was blasted and powdercoated by a metal shop in El Sereno (just north of downtown LA) who advertise on craigslist every week. It was more than the fee listed on CL, but still less than $175 which was my next best quote.
I had the Nitto "Albatross" bars, 1” quill stem (a classy Ritchey model), and Brooks Flyer S saddle stored in my garage from other projects. My boy picked out the fat 24”x2.125” whitewall balloon tires from Kenda, leather grips from Dimension, and copper plated bell--they look soooo right on this bike, and go great with the cockpit bits I had. I still need to get some decent fenders for the 24" wheels, and mount a rack on it, but you get the idea.
Anyway, I'm stoked to salvage a frame that was not long for this world and would otherwise have gone to the dump. This "refurbishing" still cost more than I anticipated (like most projects...). But I'm thrilled to "keep it in the family", and pass something along to my boy that belonged to his mom.
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Thread: 1990s Nishiki Blazer