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=FS2http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/Bike ... &model=FS3http://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?
2 more questions:
1. Am I over-thinking this?
2. Is anyone else besides me tired of seeing the word 'swingarm' in this post?
Thanks in advance to anyone that can provide more info.
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