Thursday, December 22, 2011

Factory Footage

Dark and frosty outside? Get a mug of hot tea, and settle in to watch these videos. Learn about the mysterious inner workings of bicycle factories!

Here's a look at the French manufacturer Peugeot, from 1985:

It looks as though Peugeot manufactured their own tubing, forks, and even rims. Sekine's factory was much smaller and limited in scope, but used some similar processes.

From the How It's Made video series comes this episode about a bicycle factory (CCM):

Interesting because they're manufacturing plain, low-tech steel bikes, in Canada, much like Sekine did. Obviously some of the manufacturing machines are more advanced (in particular more fully automated wheel building), but it's a simple flow- frames, paint, sub-assembly, conveyor belt final assembly.

Campy chain manufacturing, from the How It's Made series:

And a look at modern, mass-production factory wheel building:

Although this factory is in China, the Sekine wheel build process was similar. Hand lacing, with an automatic machine tensioning, then final truing by hand.

Last but not least, a look at Continental bicycle tire manufacturing.

There's also a longer, very detailed Schwalbe-produced video on Youtube that's worth watching. It's interesting to think that even Canada used to have bicycle tires manufactured domestically.

Anyone else have some good links to bicycle-factory videos?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Keeps rollin' on

I'm excited to say that so far, the Sekine Project zines have sold better than expected. I'm currently working to get them into bikes stores or co-ops, to reach anyone interested in a good read. Sekine were a relatively small manufacturer, but this bicycle brand seems to possess a huge nostalgia factor for many Canadians.
I'm even more excited to acknowledge all the wonderful people I've met through this project. Recently, through my efforts at distributing the zine, I've been introduced to many more cyclists who remember Sekine and have something to share.
Nice Medialle headbage with a white fill, on this SHS 271 from 1974

Naively, I had assumed that once the zine was printed the real work would be over and the project would be finished. Seems a silly notion, in hindsight. What's happened is that with most people I meet, the zine brings out their enthusiasm for Sekine, and I hear a good story or learn something new. So the project keeps rolling on, and I'll try to keep posting interesting items on this blog.

I'm soliciting constructive comments and memories from every reader, because with a project like this, there's always something new to learn.