This week’s Reader’s Rig comes from Kyle in Los Angeles, who offers a look at the $10 Nishiki Cascade from the 1990s that started as a “lock-up bike” for leaving around the city without worrying and eventually became his favorite one to ride. Read more about Kyle and his everyday rig here…

Words and photos by Kyle Everett Smith

Hello, I’m Kyle. I was born and raised in Leucadia, California, and I’ve lived in Los Angeles for the last 11 years. Skateboarding, photography, and biking have been a part of me for decades now, and it’s hard to imagine a time in my life without them. To me, biking is a daily thing. Whether that be just running an errand, shooting some photos, or going on an intentional bike ride, it’s something I do most days of the week.

Nishiki Cascade

Riding around the city can be really fun and sometimes faster than driving, but it can also be dangerous. One of my last 26ers fell victim to a hit-and-run accident I was in a couple of years back. While I was on the mend, I started looking for another frame to build up. As luck would have it, I found this early 90s Nishiki Cascade frame for a whopping $10. It was in great shape and was being sold because the seller “had too many bikes.”

  • Nishiki Cascade
  • Nishiki Cascade

The bike has been through a handful of iterations, from a 1×3 klunker-esque build to a bikepacking 2×9 setup. It’s currently set up as an undergeared 1×7 ATB/errand runner and is in what I believe to be its final form. This build was really fun and affordable, with only one new part being purchased: the Soma Port Mann handlebar. Everything else was purely parts bin.

  • Nishiki Cascade
  • Nishiki Cascade
  • Nishiki Cascade
  • Frame/Fork: 1990s Nishiki Cascade
  • Rims: Mavic X221 UB
  • Hubs: Specialized Stout 9-speed
  • Tires: Panaracer GravelKing SK 26 x 2.1
  • Handlebars: Soma Port Mann 650mm
  • Headset: Generic
  • Crankset: Sanded from black to metal Shimano Deore LX
  • Pedals: Merritt BMX Platform Pedals
  • Cassette: Shimano 12-28 7-speed
  • Derailleur(s): Shimano STX
  • Brakes: Mismatched Shimano Cantilever brakes
  • Shifter(s): Suntour Power Ratchet Thumb Shifter (inverted)
  • Saddle: Velo Orange Microfiber Touring (Wide)
  • Seatpost: Generic
  • Stem: 1 1/8″ Profile Design Threadless converter with Bontrager 90mm stem
  • Frame bags: Specialized x Fjallraven S/F Frame Bag
  • Basket: Wald 137 w/hardware
  • Other accessories: Crane Bell Company Suzu Bell, John’s Strap from Rivendell

The original intent of this build was to have it be a “lock-up” kind of bike that I wouldn’t be too bummed about if it were to get stolen. But now I’m obsessed with it, and I reach for it to ride all the time. Shout out to Chucky Berls at Marygold Cyclery for the inspiration behind the build!

Nishiki Cascade
  • Nishiki Cascade
  • Nishiki Cascade
  • Nishiki Cascade

You can follow along with Kyle on Instagram.

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