MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MIKADO CADENCE - INTRO

FINDING THE MIKADO

BUILDING THE MIKADO

RIDING THE MIKADO

BICYCLES OF CANADA

  

FINDING THE MIKADO CADENCE

At least once a year, and certainly more if possible, my wife and I travel to Winnipeg, Manitoba - a city about an eight hour drive from Thunder Bay.  Our oldest daughter, her husband and their two little girls live there.

My daughter and her husband have prepared a great mother-in-law's living quarters for my wife and I to use when we visit.  Additionally, my son-in-law built me a bicycle work shop in his garage, heated and all.  The work shop makes it possible for me to move my bicycle business to Winnipeg when staying there.  It is a very workable solution and pretty creative I think.  Both a primary source of income and entertainment travel with me, where ever I go.  If I want it to.

It was on one of these frequent Winnipeg visits, that I ran across the Mikado Cadence.  While visiting the family and out for a ride on my Miele LTD, I noticed a tiny bicycle shop, tucked into a mini-mall corner.  My interest was sparked and I glided the Miele up to the front door.  There was nothing fancy about this place.  Plate glass windows, bordering each side of a normal size door, also plate glass, graced the thirty foot width of the store.  I noticed also, and as usual, that there was no bicycle rack to tie lock my bike to.  Why do bike shops forget such a fundamental part of encouraging bicycle use?  Even the donut shops have this one figured out.  Anyway, with no place to lock up my bike, I brought the Miele into the shop with me.

My eyes immediately fell upon a mid seventies Holdsworth Professional frame, still wearing a Campy bottom bracket and head set.  The old Holdsworth sparked memories.  I had been here before and seen the same old English bicycle.  Though, as I recalled, the Holdsworth had been in better shape when I last saw it.  I had tried several times to return to this shop but always failed to do so.  I could not remember the name of the shop and I certainly couldn't remember the location in an unfamiliar city.

The shop owner, a fellow in his mid forties, was quick to report but paid little attention to me at the onset of our meeting.  His attention focus was the Miele and he had many comments to share and questions to ask, pertaining to the bicycle.  Where I got it?  How was it to ride?  Did I want to sell it?  He had owned a Miele "something or other" when he was younger.    And so on...

He rattled on and I responded to his questions, as I poked around the shop.  His personal ride, a seventies something (best guess) Colnago, was the first next thing to really catch my eye.  The Colnago triggered another memory of the shop and its contents.  The beautiful old Italian mount, however, was not my size and my interest soon swayed to the bicycle hanging next to it - a pink Mikado.  At the time, I did not even know that Mikado bicycles were Canadian made.  Had it not been for the documentation on the head tube decal, I still might not know.

In my humble opinion, you can't really look at a bicycle, when it is hanging vertically from a hook on the wall.  When so positioned, all one really sees are the bicycle's details, not the bicycle itself.  With this in mind, and after a quick peek at the Mikado's near mint Shimano 600 grouppo, I asked if we could take the bike down from its perch.

Well, the bicycle proved to be quite pretty, pink paint and all.  As I looked the bicycle over once again, and from a few steps back, I could not help but like what I saw.  I approached the bike and knelt down, prepared to look closely at what the Mikado was all about.

The Mikado was probably a mid level offering.  The frame set and forks were cleanly assembled, but there were a couple of assembly errors that caught my eye, but only after looking closely.  There was the slightest bit of stay misalignment where the stays enter the rear drops.  However, for the most part, the frame and forks appeared to be well made.

With frame considerations out of the way, my attention turned to the component grouppo.  The Mikado was fitted with a full Shimano 600 grouppo.  My guess would be second generation 600, but that is only a guess.  And Shimano 600 stuff, particularly the first generation Arabesque items are very collectable.  Some of these components sell for more than their Campagnolo counterparts.  A 600 first generation crank set recently (2007) sold for over $160.00 USD.  I cannot recall ever seeing a Campagnolo Super or Nouvo record set go for that much.  At any rate, the Mikado wore a full 600 grouppo and the components were nearly mint.

The Canadian made aspect had caught my attention.  So too did the remarkably well kept condition of what was obviously a worthwhile bicycle.  Although craftsmanship issues were present, the Mikado was close to mint.  I decided to have a go at purchasing it.  With that in mind, I asked the price and offered exactly half which is standard practice when buying bicycles.  My offer was politely rejected.  With this aspect of our meeting out of the way, he invited me to have a look around his shop, and part of the look around meant the back room.

Though nothing really special caught my eye, my host did offer a viewing of a frame set that he was building for himself.  Since the frame set was not of road orientation, it also failed to capture my interest.  However, the fact that he had built his own frame, did impress me.

The shop owner and I spent few more minutes talking about vintage road bicycles.  Our conversation, ended with an exchange of e-mail addresses.  The Miele and I squirmed our way through the door, clipped ourselves together and disappeared into the busy streets of Winnipeg.  A year or so later, when next visiting my daughter and her family, I went back to the bike shop.  I bought the Cadence for my original offer, less twenty dollars.  Patience is a virtue and does pay off, once is a while.  He even offered me the Holdsworth Pro frame set and he just might have a sale, if it is still there the next time I visit.

NEXT - BUILDING THE MIKADO CADENCE

 

 

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