1984 Nishiki Westwood
The following is lovingly (and mockingly) plagiarized from a 1984 issue of Bicycling magazine.
….Interested in trying out a new all-terrain bicycle? Nishiki has a marvelous candidate to consider for 1984: The Westwood.
Nishiki’s mid-price entry into the klunker wars has so much going for it that it’ll be hard to stop once you’ve begun ticking them off. The heart of the Westwood is its 4130 chrom-moly frame. Its design falls squarely into the center of the range that promotes the best combination of ride and handling, with the fewest compromises in on-road and off-road capabilities.
The Westwood’s 17 7/8-inch chainstays neatly split the difference between short stays for trialing and woods riding and long stays for loaded touring, hill climbing and dirt riding. Trials riders will also like the 11 3/4-inch bottom bracket height; there’s just enough air down there to clear most rocks and debris.
There’s more good stuff. Nishiki’s choice of components shows a keen knowledge of what works on all-terrain bikes. We particularly like the beartrap pedals, which grip your sneakers with a vengeance–great for bunny-hopping as our resident expert discovered. The 220mm adjustable seatpost will be welcomed by long-legged riders, while the 175-millimeter Sugino A.T. crankarms are a boon to everyone (longer cranks mean more leverage for uphill climbs).
Westwood riders are also pampered by the sturdy bullmoose handlebars and thick handgrips, which have enough foam depth to keep your palms from bottoming hard, yet remain small enough in diameter to let you get a good grip. Suntour LeTech and Mountech derailleurs perform the shifting duties orchestrated by the thumb-shifters admirably. The shifting range from 28 to 97 gear inches provides options for hill-climbing as well as high-speed downhilling.
Fine, you say, but how does it ride? The Nishiki’s performance in the dirt was exceptional. Wickedly fast rock-strewn descents were a piece of cake; the bike was always stable and controllable. Much of the bike’s downhill refinement is attributed to its steering characteristics. It’s possible not only to place the front wheel precisely where you want it, without being steered by rocks and rubble, but it’s also possible to make unflustered instantaneous changes-no wheel flop, no feeling of steering windup, no toppling. The bike goes where you point it….
Researching products before you bought them used to be so hard! What does “steering windup” mean? I’m sure anyone who was “long legged” appreciated the adjustable 220mm-long seatpost, but what they really should have been looking for was a bike that came in more than just two sizes.