MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

SITE INDEX   FINDING   BICYCLES   WORK SHOP   TRADING   WHAT'S NEW?

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

"SS" BICYCLE BUILD - INTRO

"SS" COMPONENT - CHOICES

CONVERT A "SS" WHEEL

POSITIONING "SS" HUBS

"SS" CRANK/RING SET

ASSEMBLING "SS" FRAME

INSTALL - CHOICES

INSTALL - WHEELS/CRANK

INSTALL - BAR & SADDLE

INSTALL - BRAKE CALLIPERS

INSTALL - ADJUST BRAKES

RIDING THE "SINGLE SPEED"

 

CUSTOMIZED BICYCLES

BICYCLES OF CANADA

  

INSTALLING "SS" COMPONENTS - CHOICES

One of the really nice things about building up a "Single Speed" bicycle is the freedom to customize its component grouppo.  Where period and model correct components are a bit of an issue with a Street Restoration, the mix and match approach is perfectly acceptable when it comes to converting a bicycle for "Single Speed" use.  Not only can the builder customize to please the eye, so too can he or she target "user friendliness" at the same time.

The mid seventies Falcon pictured is a perfect example of seeking to please the eye first, with less attention paid to how the bicycle was to ride.  Though the unusual handlebars look very vintage, they tended to feel awkward during the ride.  Drop bars would have worked much better, while still retaining that vintage appeal.

When original appearance is the issue, freedom with both cosmetics and mechanics is somewhat limited.  Every effort was made to keep this mid-seventies antique white Sekine SHC270 as original looking as possible, while still allowing for a full "Single Speed" conversion build.  About the only thing not original to the Sekine is the crank set and the brake levers.  The Sekine's original cranks were not well suited for conversion and, with this in mind, we changed out for a more appropriate crank/ring assembly.

The Sekine's original brake levers would have been of "dual position" or "safety lever" design.  I can honestly see the advantage to the dual position lever but I really do not like the appearance.  With that in mind, I opted to build up the SHC with period but not necessarily model correct brake levers.  The levers do not look out of place and still work just fine when compared to those that would have been originally issued.  Other than that, the cream coloured Sekine SHC270 is pretty much original, both in appearance and how the bicycle will feel when ridden.

Another wonderful opportunity for customizing the "Single Speed" bubbles to the surface if function is allowed to precede form.  In other words, customize to meet ride feel, comfort and safety then take form or appearance into consideration.  Do not sacrifice function to achieve form.

This philosophy is more prevalent on this second Sekine SHC270 "Single Speed", a beautiful candy blue mid-level model from the mid-seventies.  The bicycle was converted with "user friendliness" in mind. Quick release wheel hubs replaced the original issue nutted style.  Alloy rims were substituted for the steel hoops that were factory issue.  The rims substitution also included conversion from 27" to 700c, the change that would dramatically improve the way the bike rides and feels.  More modern light action aero brake levers replace the original issue "safety levers' that would have been original issue.  Interestingly enough, the decision to use aero levers not only improved function but also did wonders to improve form.

The Aero brake levers allow for the cables to be run under the handlebar tape, cleaning up the appearance of the bicycle considerably.  The clip in "clip-less pedals are another obvious and "user friendly" departure from original issue.  Once again, since the bicycle is a custom almost from the word go, anything goes.  Well not really...

NEXT - INSTALLING "SS" COMPONENTS - WHEELS/CRANKS

 

 

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