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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:39 am 
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Location: San Diego, CA, USA
I'm trying to determine an accurate history of Nishiki's early full-suspension bikes, and I'm hoping someone here can shed some light. From what I've been able determine, Nishiki made the following full suspension bikes (although I'm not sure about their chronological order):

    FS2: green Hammerite finish (except for the red one in the below advertisement), square tubing
    FS3: pearl orange with yellow clearcoat, square tubing
    FS-4: candy blue over chrome (or perhaps anodized dark blue?), round tubing
    FS Comp: olive greenish drab gold, round tubing

There's only the one pic that I can find for the FS-4; it was from this posting on mtbr.com in 2005:
http://forums.mtbr.com/vintage-retro-cl ... 79954.html

BikePedia lists lists the FS2 and FS3 as 1993 models, and the FS-4 as a 1994 model:
http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/Bike ... &model=FS2
http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/Bike ... &model=FS3
http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/Bike ... model=FS-4

Note that BikePedia spells "FS2" and "FS3" without a dash, and "FS-4" with a dash. The mtbr website also lists this a "FS-4" with a dash, so that's what I'll use for consistency.

From what I can tell from the grainy photo of the FS-4, it looks exactly like the FS Comp (except for the color). The front triangle of the FS Comp looks a lot like the Mantis Pro Floater, complete with the additional tubing sleeves on top of the top tube and underneath the down tube right next to the head tube (no surprise there, as RC designed both the ProFlos and the Nishiki FS bikes). Differences from the ProFlo I see are the cable routing, the head tube, and the angle of the little tube that houses the swingarm pivot, not to mention the swingarm on the Nishikis are one-piece units.

Was there ever an FS1? Was the FS Comp the first one, and if so, why is it round tubing while the FS2 and FS3 are square tubing, and then the FS-4 is round tubing, as if going backwards in evolution? In addition, the chainstay portion of the swingarm on the FS Comp and the FS-4 is beefy-looking square tubing, much like the 2nd generation ProFLos, while the FS2 and FS3 swingarms are made of round tubing.

I found the below ad (dated 1992) for a red FS2 on this site here (I put the 2 scans back together in Photoshop so the ad appears as it originally did in a magazine ad spanning 2 pages):
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=28634&p=188252&hilit=FS2#p188252

Notice that the seat-stay portion of the swingarm has a downward bend a few inches behind the shock mount where it passes by the seat tube, and is straight near the rear dropouts, and there seems to be only a single tube connecting the shock mount to the swingarm pivot (although it's possible there are 2 of these little tubes and one of them is hidden from view behind the seat tube due to the angle of the photo). If you compare it to the green FS2, the seat-stay portion of the swingarm has no such downward bend near the shock mount, and has a bend just a few inches in front of the dropouts, and there are 2 tubes connecting the shock mount to the swingarm pivot. I have a third variant on the FS2 which has a swingarm that has 2 more tubes connecting the shock mount to the bend in the chainstay portion of the swingarm, which is exactly the swingarm found on the FS3. Did some of them come from the factory like this, or did someone just install an FS3 swingarm on an FS2 frame before selling it to me?

Another observation: the red FS2 in the ad shows a polished chrome swingarm, much like the ACX rear triangle, whereas the swingarms on all the other Nishiki FS bikes I've seen look to be somewhat dull, but perhaps that's due to age? I'll see if I can polish one up to shine like the one in the ad.

The color of the FS2 in the ad looks to be the same scarlet red color as the Alien ACX. I've never seen an FS2 like the one in the ad with that style of swingarm or with a red front triangle, so perhaps it's a prototype? Anyone know where it is? and if so, can I have it please? :D

2 more questions:
1. Am I over-thinking this?
2. Is anyone else besides me tired of seeing the word 'swingarm' in this post? :lol:

Thanks in advance to anyone that can provide more info.


Attachments:
Red FS2 Ad.jpg
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FS2.jpg
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FS3.jpg
FS3.jpg [ 161 KiB | Viewed 751 times ]
FS4.jpg
FS4.jpg [ 47.08 KiB | Viewed 751 times ]
FS Comp.jpg
FS Comp.jpg [ 79.5 KiB | Viewed 751 times ]
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:43 am
Posts: 3
I hope you're still around.
I found your post while researching a bike I have.
I believe I have a 1995 Nishiki Comp. There is no manufacturer/name on the bike but there is a Nishiki style model number (R903250597).
I was wondering if I am right or not?
What is the difference between the FS 4 and a Comp? What does Comp stand for?
There was a "Mantis Pro Floater" frame on eBay that matched my bike's color scheme and the seller was also selling a fork with RockShox Judy DH like my bike.
Was the Nishiki logo on the head tube glued or riveted? Mine doesn't show anything.
Any info would be appreciated.


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SDSCN1065.JPG
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SDSCN1062.JPG
SDSCN1062.JPG [ 117.76 KiB | Viewed 341 times ]


Last edited by Scoobe on Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 9:00 pm
Posts: 1114
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Hey Scoobe,

I believe you're right. That looks like either a Nishiki FS Comp or a Nishiki FS-4, and it's been re-painted. Other than the size and the color, it looks identical to my FS Comp. Yours looks to be one size smaller than mine.

The "Comp" in FS Comp stands for Competition.

All I know about an FS-4 is from that posting on mtbr.com; I've never seen one in person. I did, however, find this higher resolution photo of one.
Attachment:
Nishiki FS-4.jpg
Nishiki FS-4.jpg [ 190.69 KiB | Viewed 272 times ]

I do recall seeing that ProFloater on eBay recently (with the fork being sold separately), but I didn't really look closely to see if maybe it was really an Nishiki FS Comp or FS-4, either one of which, IMO, is much harder to find than a Mantis ProFloater.

May the more knowledgeable among us please correct me if I'm mistaken, but I believe that Richard Cunningham worked for Mantis and his designs were licensed by Nishiki, and that's why the Mantis XCR-EC and the Nishiki Alien ACX were marketed at the same time, as were the Mantis ProFloater and the Nishiki FS bikes. Mantis ProFloaters came in two varieties; an earlier model with round tubing for the swingarm, which apparently used to crack, and a later model that used curved square tubing for the swing arm, which proved to be more durable and less prone to cracks. Here's a couple of good examples:
Attachment:
mantis_01.jpg
mantis_01.jpg [ 91.14 KiB | Viewed 272 times ]
Attachment:
mantis_02.jpg
mantis_02.jpg [ 142.93 KiB | Viewed 272 times ]

I'm pretty sure the head badge on my FS Comp is simply glued on, just like it was on the FS2, the FS3, and the Purple Aluminum Nishiki Alien (Google Images can show you a lot), but I'll have a closer look and get back to you. I'll also check the Serial Number under the BB.

btw, if you ever decide to sell that bike... :D :wink:


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:43 am
Posts: 3
I emailed Richard Cunningham about my bike and below is his response. May the bike gods forgive me for pasting it here but I thought it might help others.

"I designed a similar swingarm just about the time I sold Mantis. They produced a number of bikes with that swingarm, but I only made the prototypes. The Mantis version had a dropout pivot, the Nishiki Alien looked similar, but it was a triangulated swingarm, exactly like the mantis in your pictures. I think it's a Nshiki, or a Nishiki swingarm on a Mantis front triangle. The serial numbers should be stamped on the bottom bracket in small numerals. something like: PF001220...Pro Floater #12 20" frame.
RC "

The frame I saw on eBay had exactly the same color combination.

Attachment:
Mantis.jpg
Mantis.jpg [ 267.64 KiB | Viewed 270 times ]


Last edited by Scoobe on Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 9:00 pm
Posts: 1114
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Scoobe wrote:
Still in San Diego? I'm not that far.
I just PM'd you.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:43 am
Posts: 3
I have another question for everyone out there.
The eBay seller of the Mantis frame just sent me a note telling me his bike's serial number is: R90825xxxx. It seems to be a Nishiki FS Comp like mine and not a Mantis because it doesn't follow the Mantis serial number scheme. Our manufacturing sequence numbers are just a little over 300 units difference.
What I don't understand is why a Mantis name and logo on his bike (which seems to be a Nishiki)? My bike had no name or logo at all. Is this just a buyer preference/ego and they removed or changed the name? Or is it something else?


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