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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 09-22-06, 07:46 AM   #1
Novakane 
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Vintage/Road/Commuter/Beater Project

This bicycle came to me a month ago after having spent several years outdoors, ignored and neglected. It's previous owner had purchased a new bike and left this one to die out behind the shed. When my Raleigh died, my co-worker gave me this for free.
While searching for information to date and value the machine I came across bikeforums.net. After some time I found a helpful forum member (T-Mar) who helped me determine the age and model - 1980/1981 low-end RM-40, made in Canada by the Japanese company, Sekine.

It's been a slow-going project to fix this bicycle up. I generally only get into disassembly and fixing on the weekends since I ride it during the week. Some of the close-ups, particularly the bottom bracket and the cassette are quite telling as to the condition of this bike when I got it. Actually, it looked much worse. In the full-on shot you can see the rusty scrapes down the sides of the front fork as well.I was going to try to restore it, but given that it was cheap when it came out and that I need a commuter ride, I've changed plans. I'll find another bike to do a restore job on.

The bike is made out of steel. All original parts with the exception of the calipers and the stem are steel.
I've changed the rusted steel handlebars with cleaned aluminum ones from my old bike. The rack is mounted onto strips of inner-tube rubber with 3/8" pipe clamps below to keep the rack from pushing down into the rear calipers should it rattle loose. It was rattling a lot and coming off every morning so I added those as well as lock-washers to the rig. Next week I'll also replace the bolts it uses with slightly longer ones with locking nuts.

The rear light/flasher is quite bright but inexpensive. It came with a seat-post clamp but I knew that would be blocked by whatever is on the rack so I bolted it to an 'L' bracket and attached it to the reflector mount at the rear of the rack. It quick releases off and has a belt-clip.

The fenders are Planet Bike "Freddy Fenders" and fit the 27" x 1 1/4 wheels just fine.
Tires are cheap Kenda's and the inner tubes are Raleigh and/or CCM.

Below the bag, Velcro-attached to the left side of the rack is an old Air Force pump, and bungied in front of the bag is a roll-up toolkit that contains several flat bike-wrenches, a retractabit screwdriver, two metal tire levers and a spare inner-tube. Sometimes it has a small bottle of Phil Woods oil, in case something starts sounding/feeling/being under-lubed. You can just see it in the top right on the rack mount photo. It's not pressing on the brake cable - it's just the angle.

The head-light is a cheap 5-LED Raleigh light. I'm still debating whether to build a halogen system, build an LED system, or just buy a few more of these lights and stick them in a group.
Grips are crappy foam, to be replaced with handle-bar tape after I've gotten other work done on it. The brakes are Exage Motion's that I swiped off a smaller racing bike someone was throwing away. The kickstand and bottle cage are from junk bikes as well.

I recently replaced all the cables - you can see the dark brown rusty shifter cable in the shot of the bottom bracket which was taken before I changed them. They where actually fraying in places!
There's a Filzer DB4L computer and a simple bell on the bars as well.

I hope to update this thread as I fix it up more and create some custom commuter gear - I've got some ideas for a laptop carrier and some grocery carrying add-ons that I'll be able to put on when needed and take off for daily usage.

-- First few weeks --
Sekine_Original.jpgSekine_Week One.jpggotrack.jpg

-- Taken this morning, setup for commuting --
fullon.jpgloaded.jpgSekine_Commuter_01.jpg

-- Front and rear gearing is quite rusty --

bottombracket.jpgcassette.jpg

-- Getting the rack to stay and to mount the blinky required some creativity --

rackmount.jpgblinkymount.jpg

Last edited by Novakane; 07-31-12 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 09-22-06, 07:59 AM   #2
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Looks like we came up with the same idea of mounting the blinkie on the rear rack. I had to use locktite to keep my bracket in place. Otherwise it sound like a tin can full of loose bolts. Great bike looks like that had hours of work
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Old 09-22-06, 08:06 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ryanparrish
Looks like we came up with the same idea of mounting the blinkie on the rear rack. I had to use locktite to keep my bracket in place. Otherwise it sound like a tin can full of loose bolts. Great bike looks like that had hours of work
Anywhere something might rattle or slide I've taken some custom fit strips of an old inner-tube in between and used lock washers with locking nuts (undersized-threaded-nylon in the end) ... So far so good, and fairly quiet now.

It's been hours of work and has more hours ahead of it - but it's a labour of love.
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Old 09-22-06, 08:24 AM   #4
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The bike looks great. Well done.
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Old 09-22-06, 08:27 AM   #5
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The bike looks great. Well done.
Thanks. It looks worse up close.

It's really shiny in the full-pics because they had a clearance sale on Turtle Wax at the local grocery store last week so I indulged. It's been through the rain and dirt all week and still looks good from a distance because of the wax.
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Old 09-22-06, 08:44 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Novakane
Thanks. It looks worse up close.

It's really shiny in the full-pics because they had a clearance sale on Turtle Wax at the local grocery store last week so I indulged. It's been through the rain and dirt all week and still looks good from a distance because of the wax.
Turtle wax on bike never thought of that
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Old 09-22-06, 08:48 AM   #7
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Turtle wax on bike never thought of that
Just the stuff that comes in a tub with a foam applicator. Smear some on, let it dry, then wipe it off. Polish with a soft cloth. I was hoping it would keep the water from lingering on whats left of the finish and put a stop to the rusting. At under $3 (regular priced at about $8) it does the trick and makes for a pretty bike.
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Old 09-22-06, 11:11 AM   #8
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Anybody else commuting using a road bike as a base? I've seen plenty of commuters on the roads when I'm travelling, but if they've got any baggage and they're on a road bike (even with a rack) they usually have a backpack on their selves.
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Old 09-22-06, 11:15 AM   #9
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I commute ala 78 Nishiki the short chainstays are PITA when you put a pannier on the rack. I oodled over a olde Fuji touring bike I saw in the LBS it had a clip to hold extra spokes, and it had big wide fenders wish I had a pic
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Old 09-22-06, 11:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Novakane
Anybody else commuting using a road bike as a base? I've seen plenty of commuters on the roads when I'm travelling, but if they've got any baggage and they're on a road bike (even with a rack) they usually have a backpack on their selves.
Well, I think that my touring bike counts as a road bike. However, I don't put panniers on my rear rack; these days, I wear a messenger bag instead. I have to get on and off the bike several times a day, and continuously mounting and unmounting panniers got to be a real pain. My rear rack is for the lock .
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Old 09-22-06, 12:19 PM   #11
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Nicely done.
I was just recently given a Rampar R-2 and a Free Spirit. The center pull brake (Tourney) and the shimano rear disc brake are the only things worth use on the free spirit. Your pictures are just what I pictured the Rampar looking like when I'm done with it.
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Old 09-22-06, 01:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Novakane
Anybody else commuting using a road bike as a base? I've seen plenty of commuters on the roads when I'm travelling, but if they've got any baggage and they're on a road bike (even with a rack) they usually have a backpack on their selves.
sure, here's mine - but it's been languishing lately while I ride my mountain bike...

http://dirtdawgs.org/cpg/displayimag...0005&pos=-1556
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Old 09-22-06, 02:44 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by truman
sure, here's mine - but it's been languishing lately while I ride my mountain bike...

http://dirtdawgs.org/cpg/displayimag...0005&pos=-1556
Looks like a nice ride... How's the road bike riding angle work out with the moustache handle bars?
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Old 09-22-06, 03:32 PM   #14
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At this writing, I've reinstalled the drop bars I originally had on it. Never got comfortable enough with the Nashbar Noodles, there. They looked cool, but looks don't beat the headwind, and sore hands make me grumpy.

Still, I'm not commuting on it, either... another month or two and I may put it up on the block for sale.
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Old 09-22-06, 10:35 PM   #15
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Nice job. I enjoy seeing old bikes getting another chance at life. I commute on a old Falcon that I saved. Actually, I didn't really save it as it was in mint condition when i got it as it was collecting dust in someones basement for 30 years. It has evolved a lot since the picture with new panniers, lghting, bottle cages ... I recently saved a Bianchi Campione which I am currently converting to a winter/CX commuter.
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Old 09-25-06, 10:23 AM   #16
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Nice job. I enjoy seeing old bikes getting another chance at life.
That's what this bike is all about. It was suffering a fate worse than dissasembly - neglect. Nothing (bicycle-wise) makes me sadder than seeing a bike being left to rust, or abused.

One item I forgot to mention is the seat. It's actually the seat from a department store MTB I used to ride as a commuter in the '90s. This seat has seen my not-so-pretty-side for thousands of kilometers now and is attached to it's third host bicycle. There's nothing fancy about it, just a hard plastic seat with minimal (and now thoroughly squished) padding under a vinyl covering.

But there's nothing quite like a worn-in seat that's anatomically personalized by use.
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Old 10-23-06, 07:40 AM   #17
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Update (October, 2006):

Here's the Sekine with attached panniers and geek lighting system. The white box tucked under the seat stays will contain the 8 x 1.5v batteries I intend to run the 12v MR16 Halogen attached to the front. The housing for the light itself is about $4 worth of PVC pipe fittings. I'll have more details on the light system once it's 100% complete and operational, including plenty of pictures of it in various stages of production. The goal is a bright halogen light to see where I'm going for - the lowest dollar amount possible.

Changes from previous photos (aside from 600km of riding since I created the thread) - new cork handlebar wrap, cables, brake pads and 20w home-made light, and more rust removal.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg sekine_october.jpg (58.3 KB, 93 views)
File Type: jpg sekine_with_light.jpg (76.1 KB, 77 views)

Last edited by Novakane; 10-23-06 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 09-09-09, 12:41 AM   #18
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A minor update on this bicycle, if anyone cares. I salvaged a donor stem for the steering which was always slightly crooked and corroded stuck that way. I've tried and tried the ammonia and hacksaw method of removing it. To this date, I am still removing pieces of aluminum despite soaking what was left of the it in ammonia for over a month after much hacking and prying and applying ammonia. Either try strong stuff like PB Blaster (I've not tried it yet, but have read it actually works) or get a machinist to remove the stem - ammonia doesn't do much. The little it does on a stuck steering tube isn't worth the time.
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Old 09-09-09, 03:13 AM   #19
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Cool. Another proud Sekine owner ("World Finest Bicycle").

One of the best parts of owning one is seeing the deer-in-headlights look on the face of the LBS owner when he asks what kind of bike you have.
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Old 07-20-11, 02:17 PM   #20
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Just a little update to my bike's thread... This old girl is back on the road:



Since the last photos from a few years ago - "new" stem and fork (never managed to get all of the old stem disengaged from the original fork, it's hiding behind the front wheel) - always use grease folks! They where salvaged from the Raleigh frame in the background.
New super small road slicks - it's a hard bumpy ride but they make it fast.
Added strap-less & cleat-less toe-clips, new cassette, new chain, different rear-rim, proper rack mount, new rack (old rack self-destructed after a particularly heavy load), modern Tektro road levers, and an improperly placed rear light (should be on the rack, whoops). Also visible in this shot is the partially deformed pants guard which was the result of a nasty collision with a huge jagged rock hiding in tall grass when I got run off the road commuting one morning.

I recently saw the original owner's wife (who gave me the bike years ago) and she was amazed and pleased it was still getting use, as am I.
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Old 03-02-12, 09:32 AM   #21
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a friend of mine back in the late 70s had a Sekine, I was always envious as it was quite light compared to my tank, and one could go so fast on it!
And it was in the nations capitol to boot! (we were teenagers then)
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