Steve McEniry’s 1982 Nishiki Cervino
Take a look at this bike. It’s a Nishiki Cervino, a fairly rare model that graced the cover of Nishiki’s 1982 catalog (along with a young woman in a yellow swimsuit) and made discerning road bikers of the 1980’s take a look at all of the fun bikes that their Nishiki dealer had to offer.
Cervino is what you would call the Matterhorn mountain if you were looking at it from the Italian Alps side of the border. It’s an unusual moniker for a Japanese bike but an excellent pick for a bike that was made by Italian craftsmen for a Japanese bike company to sell to American riders.
So this Nishiki was adopted. Born in Italy to the Viner bicycle company, the Cervino was loved as an equal by it’s many siblings (with the Nishiki Olympic, the International and the Prestige noteable among many others). I’m sure the Cervino was treated like family but it was definitely different than other models offered by Nishiki.
First off, the frame pipes are all Columbus SL steel, not tubing made by Tange or Ishiwata. Second, there are no Japanese parts on this bike. Suntour and Shimano aren’t represented at all. There are the Campagnolo Super Record drivetrain parts and brakes. 3TTT made the bars and stem, Selle San Marco made the Concor model saddle seen here and Fiamme red label tubular rims kept the wheels turning. Viner put in a neat finishing touch too: The shift levers are mounted out of the wind behind the downtube, and the shift wires run inside of the frame tubing. Not details normally seen on a Japanese Nishiki.
At a time when a bike’s country of origin was used to rank different brands and sort road bikers by their equipment choices, this Nishiki helped to bring bike riders together.
A big thanks to Steve McEniry for donating this wonderful Nishiki/Viner to the museum collection.