Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Mikado

This was the first and last time I bought a bicycle off the Internet. It’s not that I got screwed or anything I’d just a) rather support a local bike store and b) seen so many other people that got screwed. In my defence I’ll point out that there is no one that I know of that sells Mikados around here. Also I bought it because I was, at the time, looking for a touring rig and on a bit of a budget. Couldn’t find a new touring bike for under $1000 and used ones, around here, are few and far between… especially ones that fit me.

The Mikado is a 1999 d’Iberville. Bought it from a fellow in Ontario that had is listed on Canadian Cyclist’s web site. I think the current d’Ibervilles are commuting bikes the frames are aluminium. This one is a touring rig. Steel (Cro-Mo) frame – and I think they were lugged and brazed with some sort of internal lug…. Very clean looking joints between tubes.

As I mentioned I was looking for a touring rig at the time because one winter (2003?) I was sitting around and realized it had been a very, very long time since I had done any riding just for the sake of riding – bicycles had become purely utilitarian getting me from home to wherever I needed to go work, groceries, etc and back again. I wasn’t interested in taking up trail riding at that point and got it in my head that I wanted to do some touring and started to plan a tour of the summer of 2003.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

This is the state the Mikado was in when it was sent to me. The fellow even threw in the old Cannondale panniers. Hmmmmm… not sure if those pedals were included or not.

The drive train was Shimano 105 – unfortunately the inside of the STI were gooped up with some sort of paste –like, yellow “lube”. It became very sticky in cold weather and made for crappy shifting - you could shift into bigger cogs or rings (increasing cable tension) but you couldn’t shift back down (would not release tension…).

Shortly thereafter I added a Brooks saddle.

The Brooks got shifted to the Tandem as soon as we got that. We got that because I went out for a few rides in the winter with Amanda – picking destinations far from home – but within the city (it WAS winter after all). It soon became apparent that we simply go at different speeds. For a bit we considered me carrying all of our equipment between panniers and the BOB trailer… then we (Amanda) thought it would be even funner if I not only hauled all our stuff but Amanda too… More on that when I get to the Tandem though…

In the fall of 2003 I took up Cyclocross and raced that whole season on the Mikado. These were all taken at the Saskatoon Double Cross Weekend (races on Saturday and Sunday) at the Lakewood Civic Centre.

I added platform pedals. I can’t remember if I had bought these for an earlier bike….? I must have. Anyway, they’re 1664 Beaver traps.

Yeah…. and those are Brikenstock Montanas I’m racing in…

After it was replaced with the Cannondale ‘Cross bike (and then later the Surly) as road riding and Cross bike it found new life as a winter bike. As the STI sucked chunks I dug a set of bar end shifters and used those for a bit. The saddle is the one that came off the Tandem when I swapped the Brooks over.

Later it became a single speed winter bike. I put a solitary 18T cog on the back with a bunch of spacers and at different times used the small and medium chainrings that came with the bike. I forget what they were in terms of teeth.

I got a new bar, dug up some old brake levers – removed derailleurs and excess chainrings and cogs and found some funky new bar tape.

Later I for some reason swapped the wheels and started using a pair I had built up as a spare set for the Cannondale ‘Cross with XT hubs and mavic rims… of course THEN I realized the cannondale dropouts were spaced for a road hub… DOH! Later still I found the wheel was slipping a lot when I pedaled hard - especially when towing the trailer so I replaced the quick release axle with a solid/nutted one and haven’t had any trouble since!

Since then the Mikado has found further new life as the chariot-towing beast in the summer. I put a new Surly 35T chainring on the front this spring and swapped over the Continental Utlra Gatorskins I’dhad on the Cannondale. This made the Cannondale surplus and allowed me to build up a new Soma Double Cross for Amanda.

I love that bar tape. Don’t you?


Bill said...

Hi Tim,
I've got a D'Iberville a lot like the one you bought. I was thinking of selling. What did you pay for yours?

tim said...

Hmmmm... I can't quite remember. I think it was somewhere around $4-500? Maybe $450 + $50 to get it shipped out here? That sounds about right... included the rack, panniers and handlebar bag - thought the bags were kind of crap.

Anonymous said...


I use my Mikado to commute over ten miles daily. Awesome bikes - looks like you enjoy yours as well!

Hal Turpin said...

I have an old 1970s steel frame mikado. I also use it to commute to work over 10 miles a day. I love it!

tim said...

Nice! Sadly mine hasn't seen much use lately as I mostly use the Yuba as my daily get-a-round bike. One day it will return to it's former glory!