MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

SEKINE SHC270 "SS" - INTRO

FINDING THE SEKINE "SS"

BUILDING THE SEKINE "SS"

RIDING THE SEKINE "SS"

 

BICYCLES OF CANADA

 

  

197? SEKINE SHC270 "SINGLE SPEED"

Converting a "Ten Speed", to one of "Single Speed" configuration, has become a pretty common situation, for a vintage road bicycle to find itself in, these days.  This conversion process, simply put and in its most fundamental form, is nothing more than the removal of the transmission.  The bicycle, that once offered ten gear choices, now functions with a single choice.  Initially, this would seem to be counter productive, when performance is considered.

However, performance is always situation based.  A top of the line, Italian built state of the art road bike will flounder in off road conditions.  And, though others may argue this point, a vintage "Ten Speed", with its down tube shifter demands, is not well suited to compete with modern traffic.  The shifter position forces the rider to remove his, or her, hands from the handlebars, to effect each shift.  Many people would argue that this antiquated shifter style is dangerous.  And I would be one of those arguing.

My city bike, an early eighties Proctor Townsend and the one I ride around town for errands, commuting or what ever, is user friendly, by today's standards.  Brifters, a word combination of  brake lever and shifter hence the word Brifter.  I feel that I need my controls within easy and immediate reach, just in case the ugly Traffic Dragon decides to rear its ugly head.

There is another way to achieve the same situation.  Eliminate the need to shift!  Get rid of the down tube shifters, and the front derailleur, and the rear derailleur, and part of the crank set, and a section of drive chain and so on...  The result will be a bicycle that is lighter, easier to use and, definitely, safer to ride in traffic conditions.  The result will also, if the builder so desires, be a product of individual creativity.

However, there is a down side in the case of the "Single Speed" conversion.  With the absence of a transmission, some hills will force the rider to get off of the bike and walk.  Maximum speeds will be less, since speeds potential will be defined by, both the gearing available, and the ability of the rider.  In other words, if the rider wants to go faster, he/she must spin, or pedal, faster, rather than relying on a transmission to do the work.

However, for around town riding, few vintage bicycles can beat the converted "Single Speed" ("SS").  "SS" bicycles are light, when compared to most other genders.  The raw bicycles, can be had for very little cost and converted, for almost nothing, if one does not care too much about aesthetic issues.  And, the ride experience can be fun.  With all of that in mind, I built this Sekine SHC270 "Single Speed" bicycle, my second attempt at converting an old "Ten Speed" to one of "Single Speed" configuration.  What was the first?  A seventies something English Falcon.

NEXT - FINDING THE SEKINE SHC270 "SS"

 

 

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