MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

70s SEKINE GS - INTRO

FINDING THE SEKINE GS

BUILD & RIDE THE SEKINE GS

SOLD & STREET RESTORED

 

BICYCLES OF JAPAN

 

BUILDING & RIDING THE SEKINE GS

 

Though I have ridden the Sekine GS, I have not spent enough time with the bicycle to offer any conclusive opinion, pertaining to its ride quality.  The half hour, or so, the bicycle and I spent together was pleasant and the bicycle rode well.  However, the ride quality did not jump out at me.  The bicycle felt much like any other entry to mid level bicycle that I have tested, and I must have tested a few hundred, by now.

But the ride was still rewarding and you must take into consideration that I have some pretty nice bicycles to compare the Sekine's ride quality to.  Most of my bicycles are high end, both from the frame sets and components installed points of view.  They offer, for the most part, exceptional ride quality.  Sadly, when I ride lesser bicycles, I tend to be a bit hard on evaluation even though I try to remain objective in my evaluations.

The Sekine GS has a fairly stiff frame set and seems to accelerate reasonable well.  The handling is slightly sluggish when compared to its Canadian sibling, a 1975 Sekine SHT 270.  Though both bicycles are of very similar design and structure, the SHT is considerably nicer to ride than the GS.  However, there might be extenuating circumstances for the apparent differences in ride quality.

The 1975 Sekine SHT is completely and carefully rebuilt.  The bottom bracket and wheel hubs have been rebuilt, assembled with fresh grease and adjusted as perfectly as is possible at home.  The GS is basically untouched in the mechanical department.  True, the bicycle did receive a tune-up and complete bolt tightening inspection just before being taken out for test riding but the chain was still contaminated as was the cog set, both conditions which would negatively impact acceleration, shifting of gears and ride quality.  The GS is very old and chances are the grease in the bottom bracket and wheel hubs has all dried up, creating great friction when in use and, once again, decreasing the feel of the bicycle's ride.

The tires are very old and, though they both still hold air, have began to fail.  The rubber has dried up considerably and cracks in both tires abound.  With this in mind, neither tire was filled to maximum pressure.  Rather, both tires were pumped up to about 60psi as opposed to the 90 recommended by the tire manufactures.  Though soft tires will improve traction at times, the lack of pressure will cause the bicycle to feel sluggish.  Acceleration and handling will both suffer.  The bicycle will feel slower and less unresponsive thanks to the lower tire pressure.  About the only thing that will not be negatively impacted by the low tire pressure is braking.

The brakes on the GS worked just fine and slowed the bicycle down well enough.  The brakes could most certainly use a good cleaning and then tuning up to improve performance.  It would also be a very good idea to replace the brake pads.  Chances are time has hardened the brake pad material, decreasing its ability to slow the bicycle down and, at the same time, increasing the rate of wheel rim wear.  For the couple of dollars that a set of four pads cost, one would be foolish to not replace them with new units when rebuild time finally surfaces.

Another thing that will negatively impact the bicycle's ride quality is the heavy wheel set.  The 27" steel rims, coupled with the heavy 27" tire and inner tube, will always perform poorer than a similar 700c set of wheels with alloy rims.  The 700c system will allow for smaller cross section tires, much lighter inner tubes and higher tire pressures.  All of these things will positively impact any bicycle's ride and it is likely the choice of wheels and tires that has caused the GS to perform the way that is does.

The GS has not been rebuilt and will probably not be rebuilt for some time to come.  Two other bikes sit waiting for the full restoration treatment - a 1975 CCM Tour du Canada and a mid eighties Gardin Team Issue.  Both, of these Canadian bicycles, are slated for full restoration, including new paint and art work.  The Sekine GS will have to wait, until those two bikes are finished, before it finds itself in the work stand again.

At least that is what I thought at that time...

 

NEXT - THE SEKINE GS BUILT ELSEWHERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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