MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MIKADO CADENCE - INTRO

FINDING THE MIKADO

BUILDING THE MIKADO

RIDING THE MIKADO

BICYCLES OF CANADA

  

RIDING THE MIKADO CADENCE

Without a doubt, the saddle on the Mikado is the worst that I have sat, with one exception.  The French made AGDA leather perch, that was common on many early seventies French bicycles, the Peugeot being a prime example.  I tried tilting the Mikado's saddle this way and that.  I set and reset the height.  The saddle was moved forward and aft.  Nothing worked!  That saddle is not something that I would want to spend much time sitting on.

As mentioned, the bicycle was pretty much ready to ride "as found".  I did a full inspection of the bicycle, oiled the chain and pressurized the tires.  Off I went, cruising a suburb of the city of Winnipeg.  The bicycle rode well enough offering nothing, other than the uncomfortable saddle to complain about.  And that was about it.  This bicycle seemed to lack character and I never did truly enjoy the ride.

Now, the fact that the Mikado's ride did not impress me should mean very little in your world.  After all,  I didn't like the ride of my eighties something full Campy Basso Gap either.  If you are ever lucky enough to compare lots of bicycles to one another, you will discover that some will please and some will not.  Part of a bicycle's performance and comfort factor is the rider, not just the ride.

The Shimano 600 brakes did their job well, slowing the Makido down with expected efficiency.  The levers, however, were not memorably comfortable and they were set in a position that was a bit uncomfortable for me to reach.  Other than that, the brakes were just fine.  I should mention that the brake pads were original issue items and showed almost no wear, a testament to how little this old bicycle was used.

Adding top that observation, all of the bearing assemblies rolled smoothly and without the usual "dry" feel that often times presents itself when inspecting a vintage bicycle.  The bottom bracket was as smooth as if it had just been rebuilt.  The sealed wheel hubs mimicked the feel of the BB and the Weinmann rims were still true, offering not only adequate support but also assisting in the fine feel of the brake system.

I didn't bother to change out the Makido's original Maillard platform pedals and perhaps this is one of the reasons that the bicycle failed to impress me.  I have grown used to my clip in pedals and rarely ride a bicycle without them these days.  Perhaps if I had swapped the pedals out, my first impression of the bicycle would have been different.  But I doubt it.

Once again, I need to remind that one person's impressions of ride quality does not necessarily reflect another's.  Bicycle feel is dependent on both the bicycle and the rider.  This, to me, is best demonstrated with the new appreciation that I have found for Old School feel.  When I first got into collecting and riding vintage road bicycles, only the best of the best would do.  I see things very differently today, thanks to my entry level and certainly Old School Legnano.  Now there was a bicycle filled with a very memorable surprise.

 

 

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