|"VINTAGE LIFE CYCLES"
CANADIAN & VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHT BICYCLE
SEKINE "MEDIALLE" SHX GUIDE
e-mail [email protected]
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|1977 SEKINE "MEDIALLE"
SHT or SHX
|The Sekine "Medialle" pictured is either a SHT or SHX model, the later representing the top of the line model for the brand at the time. It was the first really nice bicycle acquired and, even though it came from a local landfill site, it was acquired through a network of enthusiasts interested in finding and collecting bicycles.|
|THE FIRST TREASURE FOUND!|
|This Sekine �Medialle� SHT or SHX was the first really nice bicycle to be collected from the landfill site. Located without wheels, I was not really sure what I had found until I had the bike home.
Once I started looking the bike over, I realized that I had hit the jackpot. To my great delight, the bicycle sported Campagnolo �Nouvo Record� components (the first Campy stuff found). Further investigation revealed chrome moly tubing, integral rear derailleur hanger with axle adjusters, Shimano dropouts, front and back�
I already had a set of wheels, all trued up and ready to go, so it took little time to get the bicycle roadworthy.
|This 1977 Sekine "Medialle" was the first bicycle to be made truly road worthy even though it was not the first attempt to do so. This lesser "Medialle" experienced a full but poorly executed restoration only to find that the front forks were bent. The wheels from the first project were used on the Sekine "Medialle" SHT featured on this page.|
|Even though the bicycle was in very good mechanical condition, it was fully refurbished. Wheel and bottom bracket bearings were inspected and, finding no irregularities, lubricated, adjusted and put into operation. Tires were replaced with an inexpensive set from a local department store and thorn resistant" inner tubes replaced the original ones. All cables were replaced, as a matter of course, even though they most likely could have been reused. And, of course, a new set of brake blocks (pads) were fitted, both front and rear.|
|Very little was required to get the transmission working properly. Both the front and rear derailleurs were cleaned carefully and dried of the environmentally friendly degreaser, before being set up for road use.|
|Getting the drive system working was a learning experience in itself. After much fiddling around, it was determined that the selected (new) chain was the culprit. The original chain (the one matching the ear cogs) was installed and all the drive problems became a thing of the past. The lesson learned, use the original chain if possible!|
|The bicycle was found in very good condition, however; the decals were falling off. This seems to be a problem with Sekines in general. The paint work, on the other hand, has held up very well, suggesting that the bicycle has spent the past quarter of a century stored indoors. Once the bike had experienced its test or shake-down rides, the handlebars were taped with modern tape and finished off with electrician's tape. What an ugly way to complete a job that is so completely visible on a road bicycle. There is a much neater way to finish of a tape job.|
|RIDING THE SEKINE|
|The SHT is a light bicycle, set up for quickness of handling. Of all the bicycles in the collection, that have achieved rider status, this one has the smallest frame, which probably contributes to its handling characteristics. A similar sized bicycle, the Raleigh Grand Prix, is also a quick handler but not as quick as the Sekine.
The relatively small frame contributes to a less that comfortable riding position. Even with hands resting on top of the bars, it feels as if one is leaned too far forward. This, of course, is simple rider's preferance and is probably a result of riding large framed bicycles most of the time. However, because of the relatively small frame, the bicycle will probably be passed on to another rider who better fits the machine.
Again, in the comfort department, the vinyl covered saddle tends to reflect heat back at the rider. This is not a problem on short rides or cool days, however; longer rides bring about the need to shift about frequently, even to the point of standing up just to let one's nether parts cool down. If the bicycle were to be retained as a keeper, a leather saddle, similar to the one on the Canadian Made Peugeot Super Sport, would be installed.
The Shimano "Tourney" center pull brake calipers do an adequate job of slowing the SHT down but they are not as positive feeling as some side pull models are. The quick release brake components work well and, if kept lubricated, they are easy to use. The brake pads were set up with the correct "toe-in" and little or no squeeling is evident, even though the pads operate on steel wheel rims.
As with other bicycles in the collection, the 1 1/4" tires are filled with "thorn resistant" inner tubes, running at 90psi. This tire and tube combination seems to have little negative impact on the bicycle's handling characteristics. Alloy wheel rims, coupled with quick release hubs, are planned additions for the bicycle and, as more is learned of the mark, these two additions should bring the bike closer to original equipment specifications.
The Campagnolo "Nouvo Record" derailleurs work very well and shifting has never been a concern. Of course, the friction shifters present their own unique quirks to the transmission's functioning. As the collection of bicycles grows, it is becoming increasingly apparent why the industry adopted the indexed shifting systems, most common today.
The bicycle is fitted with "quill" style alloy pedals, originally intended to be used with toe clips. The pedals are less than comfortable. The little tab sticking up on the end of the pedals is annoying, often times feeling as if it were going to punch a hole right through my $20.00, worn out running shoes. Needless to say, this problem is a product of improper footwear rather than a manufacturer's flaw. As the present rider, I refuse to tie myself onto any bicycle and if I were to continue riding the Sekine, I would fit it with clipless pedals, as I have done with other bicycles in the collection.
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