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Sekine Models

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Sekine Models
Sekine SHT

Like its competitors, Sekine Cycles targeted all levels of road bicycling interest, from the SHA, the bottom of the line model, barely a step above the upper end department store bicycles, to the impressive and extremely well presented Sekine SHX.

Richard DeBernardis, founder of El Tour de Tucson, set a record pedaling the circumference of the US on a Sekine back in the 70s.
 
If your Sekine says "world's finest bicycle" on the downtube in place of the brand name then it is of Japanese manufacture and is pre-1973.  Early '70s models use the diamond shaped headbadge with the rhinestone and GS in the centre.  Late '70s models have a more ornate badge with Sekine Cycle Medialle.  In the late '80s / earlier '90s model, the headbadge had been replaced by a decal with a stylized S.  The later, non-Canadian models also tend to have model numbers or names on the top tubes.
 
There was about 7 models and each one of them had about 5 different colours and sizes were 21, 23, 25 and there was a 20 inch in one model.  The Sekine paint was electrostatically applied.  Colours included cream (off white), red (most popular), forest green, olive green (least popular) and white. The red and forest green had great depth and wetness to the appearance, almost appearing to be a "candy apple" finish. There were additional colours options on some of the Japanese manufactured frames, notably a beautiful royal blue.

Head Badges

Sekine Headbadges:  The ornate badge to the left is found on middle to top of the line Sekine "Medialles".  The blacked out area was usually painted in some color that would compliment the bicycle's frame color.
 
Even though this rhinestoned Sekin Headbadge is found only on  lower end models, it is still the one most remembered by people who were familar with Sekines in days gone by.  Strange that such a simple marketing ploy would be so long remembered.

Models

SHA

The SHA was a basic Sekine bicycle.  Steel center-pull brake calipers and safety lever equipped steel brake controls were indicative of the kind of componentry available on these bikes.  The lower end models did, however, sport a unique and often times well remembered head badge containing a single rhinestone.  Many of the people, whose interest focused on ten speeds in the those days, fondly remember this unique badge and often go on to comment on how good the Sekines, of their day, were.

SHA handlebars were simple steel offerings.  Transmission duties were handled by near bottom of the line Shimano components like the Lark rear derailleur and the Thunderbird on the front.  Shifting, however, was not a problem.  These lower end bikes looked good, worked well and proved to be effectively tempting to entry level bicyclists.  Steel hubs and 27” wheels completed the component package.  The frames themselves had no tubing decals promising fabrication from some wonder material with a nice butt.  All in all, the low end Sekine was a well made bicycle that could be had for a modest price, unlike its more sophisticated brother, the SHX that sold for $439.95 Canadian in 1976 (as reported by a long time local bicycle shop owner who sold Sekines in the seventies).
 
SHA: Steel, cottered crankset. Cherry, steel, centre-pull brakes. Steel, small flange hubs. Shimano Lark/Eagle derailleurs. Stamped dropouts.

SHB / SHC

These middle of the line bicycles were the lower end Sekine “Medialles”.  Unlike their lesser brothers, all components, save the wheel rims, were made of alloy.  Shimano “Tourney” center pull calipers were actuated by alloy brake controls, complete with safety levers.  Wide flanged alloy hubs, sans quick release mechanisms, held the wheels to the frame, which, once again, was nothing special even though it sported fancier lug work than did the SHA.  These mid level bikes all came equipped with quick releases for the front and rear brakes, whereas the SHA employed only brake adjustent screws.  Shifting chores were handled with Shimano 500 and the Shimano Titlist rear and front derailleurs, respectively. Down tube friction shifters replaced the stem shifters used on the SHA model.  Alloy cotterless cranks were fitted to alloy rings.  These “Medialles” included the ornate head badge used on their upper end counterparts.

While the frame was somewhat heavier and less resilient than comparable European bicycles, it was much studier and took a lot of punishment.  They were also a very good value, having better components than the competition on the price range. The component selection and assembly was excellent. Wheels were always true and nicely tensioned. The paint was beautiful, with a a very deep, wet appearance.  In general, their quality control was beyond reproach, and to this day I rank them second only to Miyata in terms of mass produced Japanes bicycles. Competition was the Raleigh Grand Prix, Peugot U08 and Gitane Gran Sport.  In its day the Sekine SHB outsold the combination of all three models.
 
SHB: SR cotterless, swaged, aluminum crankset.Shimano Tourney centre-pull brakes. Shimano Tourney large flange hubs with wing nuts (later with quick relaese). Shimano Lark or Eagle derailleurs. Chromed fork tips. Stamped dropouts. Made in Japan.


SHC: same as SHB but made in Canada. Less colour options tham SHB. The SHB/C were the biggest seller, as you state.

SHT

The Sekine SHT is a top of the line "Campy" equipped model.  A butted chrome moly frame with Shimano dropouts forms the basis for this beautifully prepared machine.  Sekine focused on quality during manufacturing of these bikes.  The overall finish of all model levels was excellent, exceeding many of the more popular high end brands to be imported into Canada.

Second from the top of the line, at the time, was the Sekine “Medialle” SHT.  These were very nice bicycles, sporting full chrome moly frames, complete with Shimano forged and machined front and rear dropouts.  The rear drops included axle position adjusting screws.  Fork tips as well as chain and seat stays were chromed and, as was the case with all Sekines, the overall finish of the paint was excellent.  The lug work was the fanciest offered on any of Sekine’s bicycles, even those to come a few years later.  Componentry was similar to the SHB and SHC, the transmissions being the major exception.  Shimano 600 derailleurs and controls handled the shifting chores and did so remarkably well.  These bikes shift like a charm.  SR Royal cotterless cranks, fitted with alloy rings, made up part of the power transmission system.  All in all, the SHT was, and still is, a very nice bicycle to observe, as well as ride.

SHT: SR aluminum, forged, cotterless crankset. Shimano Dura-Ace centre-pull brakes. Shimano Titlist derailleurs. Shimano Tourney, large flange hubs with quick release. Chromed fork and stay ends. Forged dropouts.


SHX

The top of the line Sekine “Medialle” SHX included all of the good stuff offered in the SHT version and then some.  Dura Ace or Campagnolo Nouvo Record derailleurs and controls handled the gear changing almost flawlessly.  Alloy wheels replace the steel ones, found on lesser models.  This bicycle might be either an SHT or an SHX, as it is fitted with Campagnolo components.  It is a very nice bicycle to ride even though it handles very quickly.  The bicycle offers a ride that lacks the stability afforded by competitors like the Canadian built Peugeots or Raleighs, two more bicycle companies that set up shop in Canada during the seventies and early eighties.
 
SHX: Full Shimano Dura-Ace group (with Crane rear derailleur). Chrome dropout flats and head lugs. Forged dropouts.

Later Models

Sekine continued in production until the early eighties.  Increased competition from a rash of newer and more efficient Canadian bicycle plants, such as Raleigh and Peugeot, forced Sekine Cycles to close its doors in the early eighties.  The indexed shifting Toledo or the very nicely appointed Sekine R200 are, perhaps, among the last of the bikes to roll out of the Canadian factory.  Such a shame, because Sekine did offer the consumer a quality product.