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I am fairly new to working with bikes, and I have this vintage Nishiki Meridian bike, with a Cunningham design. I have tried searching online for this specific bike model but I cannot find much.

I am looking into restoring it. However, I do not know its worth and if it is worth it to restore it instead of buying a new bike.

It is rideable, the gear shifting is wonky so I would have to fix/replace that. I would also need to take it apart and clean every bit of it, and most likely completely replace the breaks as they are old.

Any help would be much appreciated in estimating if it is worth it to restore it or just to buy a new bike.

drive-side rear view of straight-bar bike

View of labels on grey-speckled frame; down tube reads "NISHIKI Cunningham Design" and top tube reads "Meridian"

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    Welcome, be aware that item valuations are off-topic here.
    – Vladimir F
    Mar 15 at 20:31
  • Hi, im not looking for specific monetary worth, but if the bike itself is good quality and worth restoring
    – Bob John
    Mar 15 at 20:33
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    There's nothing particularly noteworthy about this bike, if that's what you're wondering. It's an entry-level mountain bike circa the early 90s. Whether it's worth it is something you'll need to decide for yourself, but you'd probably get more bang for your buck buying a new or new-ish bike instead.
    – Adam Rice
    Mar 15 at 20:53
  • Thanks Adam, that is exactly what I was wondering.
    – Bob John
    Mar 15 at 21:03
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    Nishiki is generally a decent brand -- better than department store, at least. And the bike appears to be in pretty good condition. You may need to replace the tires and brake pads, and lube the cables, but I doubt that complete disassembly would be required (or advised). I would guess that the bike is from the 90s. Mar 15 at 22:11
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That's an awesome bike - would be called a MTB back in the day, but now we'd call it a rigid MTB.

You probably have to replace the brake pads (the rubber blocks, 4 in total) because they go hard with age/ozone/UV and don't brake as well. That style of brake is called a cantilever and while less-common now, they can still work perfectly well when tweaked correctly. If you did replace the brakes, then your options are more canti's, or V brakes. It may take long-reach caliper brakes, but those generally have lower performance than your existing ones. You cannot have effective safe disk brakes on that bike as-is.

Gears - they likely need a clean, lubricate, and then adjust the cable tension. I see friction shifters on your handlebars, which may feel vague compared to modern trigger shifters. However there's nothing wrong with them.

The cassette appears to be a 7 speed, so it could be a cassette or a freewheel. If you wanted, it could potentially go to 8/9/10 speed, but that would need a new wheel, rear derailleur, cassette, chain, and right-hand shifter.

There's nothing wrong with leaving the front mech as a friction shifter if the rear was updated.

If the tyres show cracks or perishing, then you might want to consider new tyres. For normal street riding, aim to get less~no tread blocks which will allow you to go faster. If the current tubes hold air fine, then just ride it and get some wear out of the existing tyres, and delay spending on replacements for now. The current tyres are relatively street-oriented.

Finally - I really like that paint job. Its a great looking bike and sure beats walking. And since you can't get anything else right now, any bike is better than no-bike.

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    I am sure the suntour xcd rear gear system is indexed. These are high quality components on an interesting frame.
    – JoeK
    Mar 16 at 7:43
  • @JoeK could be - the shifters looked like friction dial levers, but they could have indexed indents in them too. I did not recognise the logo on the rear mech.
    – Criggie
    Mar 16 at 8:24
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    velobase.com/… Accushift, indexed.
    – JoeK
    Mar 16 at 8:56
  • Not an MTB. Came stock with 700c street tires
    – Andrew
    Mar 16 at 18:11
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If your Nishiki Meridian:

  1. fits you
  2. meets your riding needs

then it is worth getting into riding condition - especially if you do the work yourself.
Air the tires, do a safety check, and ride it around enough to get a feel for how it rides. If you like it then it's worth fixing. If you don't like it someone else will.

Type of riding
It's categorized as a hybrid - a mix of a road bike and a mountain bike.
This means that it rides on the road better than a mountain bike and it rides on the trail better than a road bike.
It also means that it's not quite as good on the road as a road bike and it's not quite as good on trails as a mountain bike.
In short - it's good for general riding. If this sounds like the kind of riding you will be doing you are set. If not a different bike would be more appropriate.

Build quality
Yours is a durable Taiwan made frame with solid middle of the line components that were made to be durable and function well.

Your bike was made between 1989 and 2001
According to Wikipedia

From 1989 through 2001, Derby International marketed bikes in the United States under the Nishiki as well as Univega and Raleigh brand names. Some of the all terrain bikes and mountain bike models were designed in partnership with famed mountain bike designer and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame member R. Cunningham and have his name on the frames. These Nishiki models, though manufactured outside Japan (e.g., in Taiwan, by Giant Bicycles and possibly in Italy by Colnago, Olmo or Viner) often carried the name Nashiki and some of the same model names as had been used on the Kuwahara-built bicycles.[7] The brand name Nishiki was retired by Derby in 2001 in North America.[8] As of 2010, Nishiki-branded bicycles, manufactured by Accell Group were available for sale again in the U.S. at Dick's Sporting Goods. Dick's had obtained licensing rights to the Nishiki Bike brand in the U.S.

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