MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

SEKINE "BIG GREEN" - INTRO

FINDING "BIG GREEN"

BUILDING "BIG GREEN"

RIDING "BIG GREEN"

 

BICYCLES OF CANADA

 

  

RIDING SEKINE "BIG GREEN"

In my infinite wisdom, I had decided to wait until AFTER I had spent time, effort and money, to test ride my first vintage road bicycle.  On the test ride I discovered that the frame set was bent!  "Big Green" pulled violently to the right, whenever I began to relax my grip, on the handlebars.

With no frame straightening skills or knowledge, the "Big Green" project proved to be a complete and utter failure.  I did, however, learn a great deal about building a bicycle.  And, more importantly, a good deal more about how not to build a bicycle.  I also had a pretty nice, though mostly entry level grouppo, ready to go.  Chances were that  I would be heading back to the Dump one day.

It is unfortunate thing to invest the time, energy and cash into building a bicycle, only to discover afterwards, that the frame set is bent.  The thought, that the frame might be bent, never crossed my mind during the rebuild.  Nor did I bother to ask myself, if the bicycle was a good fit for me?  That's right.  The bicycle was way too big.  What else could I possibly do wrong?

Well, I could strip the paint off of a vintage bicycle, for repaint preparation.  And, in so doing, I managed to drastically reduce both the bicycle's identity and its collectable value.  A vintage bicycle, sporting a well earned patina of age, is more valuable than a freshly repainted one.  Unless, of course, the original paint was completely shot.  Repainting, means destruction of art work, and that includes the tubing decal.  Remove the tubing decal, and you can no longer identify tubing material.  Most people, who are interested in a vintage road bicycle, are really interested in tubing type, make and structure.  The long and short of it is...

Do not repaint a vintage road bicycle, unless the original paint is truly destroyed, as it was on a mid seventies Super Mondia Special.  Anyway, back to the Sekine.

So, there I was, on a beautiful spring day, riding an entry level, dangerous to ride bicycle, whose value I had managed to significantly reduce.  To the bent frame and reduced value, add didn't fit me.  However, during the short test ride, I was granted a glimpse of the sunlight, sparkling off of the stainless steel spokes, of the front wheel.  And, that was a treat.  I had thoroughly enjoyed the process, of rebuilding an old "Ten Speed" and decided that I was going to try again.  That decision was made close to five  hundred bicycles ago.

Though "Big Green", and I did, not ever really get to know each other, the bicycle did help me learn a good deal, about vintage bicycles, in a single project.  "Big Green" hung in The Old Shed, for a couple of years, until I finally needed the wheel set.  Once the parting out began, the bicycle's demise was not far behind.  I saved everything, except the frame set, which I took back to its original home - the Dump.

I never did take many pictures of that first restoration effort.  I wish that I had.  Alas, the bicycle build was a failure, but the story of failing will be forever recalled.  The experience will always remind me of fundamental issues that need to be addressed - is it straight?  - is it my size?  - is it worth the time, cost and effort?  Questions anyone, interested in restoring an old road bicycle, should ask themselves!

 

 

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