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  1. #1
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    Nishiki R. Cunningham Design Ariel - INFO???

    Hello,

    This bike is one of my recent finds and I'm really happy that it came my way! It's a Nishiki "Richard Cunningham Design" Ariel, all 4130 double butted chromo tubing tubing, even the fork is marked. Here is a link to a photo from my profile page:

    http://gallery.mtbr.com/showphoto.ph.../ppuser/376596

    My problem is all the Ariels that I've found online have elevated chainstays, likea Nishiki Alien. Here is a link to another MTBR member's photo of his Ariel with the elevated chainstays:

    http://gallery.mtbr.com/showphoto.ph...e/big/cat/1092

    It is clearly marked Cunningham Design on the downtube and Ariel on the top tube. The serial/manufacture number is W89033305. Other bits about the frame, it has a one (1) inch threaded headset/fork and vertical dropouts in the rear. I hope someone on here is up on what I have, I'd dig knowing more of the history of the bike. I building it up with period correct parts, i just picked up a NOS Avenir 4130 quill stem with cable routing through the stem and a NOS Tioga triple butted handlebar. In my parts bin, I have a set early Deore (became XT, I believe) "Shimano" 175 cranks. I am going modern on the wheels, I have a set of Spinergy Spox M1 (the light ones) to roll on. This is going to be my new single speed with a Surly Singleator and Surly cog.

    Can anyone shed some light on what I have?

    Thanks, I really appreciate all the help I received on my Haro "Alien"

    Happy Holidays!

    -DON-

    p.s. I can add more pics if someone needs, please just ask.

  2. #2
    VRC Hound
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    You have pretty much said all that needs saying. It as designed by Richard Cunningham of Mantis and MBA fame. I think the un-elevated preceded the elevated. It wasn't a particularly high end bike so you might consider not spending a fortune bringing it together. Should ride decently.

  3. #3
    All 26.5" all the time!
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    A 1" head tube means pre 1990. Nishiki adopted the "Avenger" 1 1/8" size on all their upper end bikes for the 1990 model year.

    Nishiki also rode the E-stay wave for all it was worth. By 1992 all of their top end mountain bikes (Alien, Pinnacle, Ariel, Cascade etc..) had elevated stays and they were sure to pimp the R.C. design connection via the frame decals every chance they got.

  4. #4
    just 1 more
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    A bike carcass on the dining room table. Sweet.

    A guy nearby has 2 of those but they're both 22" frames. And he's about 5'10" Was thinking about making a Faketrager..

  5. #5
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    Spinergy Spokes M1 are a crowd favorite here on the forum, don't forget to post some done pictures.
    The future is not google-able. William Gibson

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the replies. I put this frame up against my Bontrager Race Lite and the geometry is certainly similar, nearly a carbon copy of the Bonty. It may not have been a particularly high-end frame but I bet it rides as nice as just about anything today. Especially since I only paid $25.00 for the frame (with BB and headset). Someone sent me a message saying the "89" in the manufacture was the build year and everyone facts about head tube size and year were as he understood. He also stated that he has had the same nonelevated chainstay Ariel for years and it's the best bike that he's ever owned except for his '96 "Team" Zaskar. He followed up by saying the Ariel has a better ride from the steel but the Zaskar is a missile. I thought that was oddly similar because I recently got rid of my ball-peened finished Zaskar. It may be a missile but my back can't take the harsh aluminum ride. I know, whatta baby... save it! I've been run over three times by two car and a truck. I'm just happy to be alive and able to ride!!! 200+ stitches and 9 nine pints of blood to Humpty Dumpty back together again (three times). Yep, just glad to through a leg over a bike and do what change my life forever back when I was three.

    Does anyone else on here have one of these Ariels?

    I'd love to see it, maybe even but it! Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to reply, I appreciate it!

    Happy Holidays!

    -DON-

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by neo_pop_71
    Does anyone else on here have one of these Ariels?

    I'd love to see it...
    -DON-
    Hey Don, good luck with your new Ariel. It's a nice bike for sure. Mine is the elevated chainstay model you linked in your first post. I don't own it anymore, but do have some more pics to show. A lot of the details look similar to yours--if yours is an '89 this might have been a '90 (possibly '91, I forget). I'd like to see more of yours when your project is finished!






  8. #8
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    If you can't take "the harsh ride of aluminum", I can only assume you haven't tried a 29er. If you had, you wouldn't be able to take the "harsh ride of 26" wheels".

    Comfort comes from the position of the rider on the bike for the most part. Therefore, it is entirely possible for an aluminum bike to ride more comfortably than a steel bike or whatever imaginary comfort material one chooses to buy into.

    If you consider that the biggest difference in compliance that can be pointed out among materials is much less than the flex of the tire, the idea of "harshness" or "comfort" coming from frame material differences doesn't hold up.

    I am not trying to tell you which bike to ride, so I hope you enjoy whatever you ride. I just don't see the benefit in perpetrating myths. That is, for us, here. For salesmen (not all), it is a "tool" to try to convince someone they should buy a new bike.

    Sorry, soap box.

    Chuey

  9. #9
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    I have a frame in the garage that I bought new many years ago for a build. Ended up on a GT RTS2 that still rocks on today and now a new Jamis Dakar o ride.
    Been contemplating to build the Ariel or sell it on Ebay. I do not need another bike but the frame is so unique I think it would make a nice build. Keep us posted on your build

  10. #10
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    Just picked up one of these last week. Love it so far. Seems pretty solid.

  11. #11
    Hi.
    Reputation: jtmartino's Avatar
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    Saw this on craigslist recently:

    http://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd/bik/1780383904.html

    Did they come in any other flavor than white??

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino
    Saw this on craigslist recently:

    http://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd/bik/1780383904.html

    Did they come in any other flavor than white??
    I considered that particular bike also, went with a bit cheaper one listed in the same area. I have only seen these in white. It's a slight pearl white.

  13. #13
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    Looking at the forks, there's a definate Mantis influence.
    Need: McMahon brake for roller cam mounts, Mountain Goat fork.

  14. #14
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    I just got my bikes out of the shop for their tune-ups. Both are Nishikis, one's a Cascade, and the other a Manitoba. Both are neon yellow with blue decals, all in great shape. I'm not sure what year they are, but I'm guessing '93. Have a look:
    http://img580.imageshack.us/img580/5246/nishiki.jpg
    I've never seen any others like them around the trails, and certainly none in this color either on the trails or the internet even. They both ride beautifully - I'm glad I kept them.

    Ciao from NY,
    -V

    EDIT: I've owned them since new, I just can't remember what year it was I bought them...

  15. #15
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    7 years later......

    I'm looking to buy either an old Alien or Ariel and stumbled onto this post.

    I owned a Nishiki Pinnacle in the late 80s, and if I remember correctly it was their top of the line bike until the Alien came out. I believe the Ariel was #2 in their lineup. Not high-end, but certainly not low end either. Guessing around $700 new. Bikes like the Colorado and Cascade were lower end.




    Quote Originally Posted by neo_pop_71 View Post
    Hello,

    This bike is one of my recent finds and I'm really happy that it came my way! It's a Nishiki "Richard Cunningham Design" Ariel, all 4130 double butted chromo tubing tubing, even the fork is marked. Here is a link to a photo from my profile page:

    New projects for '09 - Mtbr Mountain Bike Photo Gallery

    My problem is all the Ariels that I've found online have elevated chainstays, likea Nishiki Alien. Here is a link to another MTBR member's photo of his Ariel with the elevated chainstays:

    Nishiki Ariel - Mtbr Mountain Bike Photo Gallery

    It is clearly marked Cunningham Design on the downtube and Ariel on the top tube. The serial/manufacture number is W89033305. Other bits about the frame, it has a one (1) inch threaded headset/fork and vertical dropouts in the rear. I hope someone on here is up on what I have, I'd dig knowing more of the history of the bike. I building it up with period correct parts, i just picked up a NOS Avenir 4130 quill stem with cable routing through the stem and a NOS Tioga triple butted handlebar. In my parts bin, I have a set early Deore (became XT, I believe) "Shimano" 175 cranks. I am going modern on the wheels, I have a set of Spinergy Spox M1 (the light ones) to roll on. This is going to be my new single speed with a Surly Singleator and Surly cog.

    Can anyone shed some light on what I have?

    Thanks, I really appreciate all the help I received on my Haro "Alien"

    Happy Holidays!

    -DON-

    p.s. I can add more pics if someone needs, please just ask.

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