Could someone help this newbie identify this Sekai?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Could someone help this newbie identify this Sekai?

    Hi all,
    I just joined the forum today. I recently bought this Sekai on eBay from a gentleman in Oregon. He couldn't tell me much about it. In fact, I'm not sure whether it's a cruiser or an early mountain bike. The front fork leads me to believe it's a cruiser.
    Can anybody help? Thanks in advance!
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  2. #2
    IVMTB & VMBEFG Illuminati
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    the fact that it has forward facing rear drop outs and a derailleur hanger means it was meant to be a mountain bike. back in the early days of mountain biking people would either make a beach cruiser into a mountain bike, a BMX cruiser into a mountain bike or a even a Schwinn 10 speed into a mountain bike. you have a BMX cruiser company's attempt at a mountain bike. it's a really early one too considering it has the beach cruiser suntour thumb shifter and 7/8" BMX stem and probably a motorcycle handlebar.

  3. #3
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    optical illusion or are the top and downtubes buckled?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by surly357
    optical illusion or are the top and downtubes buckled?
    yeah, i see that too. that frame is wrecked it looks like.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veloculture
    yeah, i see that too. that frame is wrecked it looks like.

    nice klunker fork to ebay & make back a few bucks.....

  6. #6
    Schipperkes are cool.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Better suited to non-aggressive 125# gals named Russell.
    I ride so slow, your Garmin will shut off.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veloculture
    yeah, i see that too. that frame is wrecked it looks like.
    So do I. At least if I'm crazy I'm not alone.

  8. #8
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    Sekai bikes were contract built in Japan for a store in Seattle. The shop was The Velocipede when it was owned, at the time, by the 3 Tamura brothers. The bike dates from before '88 because that's when I started working for them and they had stopped the whole Sekai thing by then.

    I don't think they did many MTB bikes and I saw very few in my 2 years working for them.
    Last edited by themanmonkey; 12-01-2008 at 09:55 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickD.
    So do I. At least if I'm crazy I'm not alone.
    Could be an optical illusion caused by the way the gusset isn't cut to follow the angle of the downtube too...
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

  10. #10
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    That bike is awesome.

    Make it a cruiser.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by themanmonkey
    Sekai bikes were contract built in Japan for a store in Seattle. The shop was The Velocipede when it was owned, at the time, by the 3 Tamura brothers. The bike dates from before '88 because that's when I started working for them and they had stopped the whole Sekai thing by then.

    I don't think they did many MTB bikes and I saw very few in my 2 years working for them.
    How sure of this are you? I had a Sekai as my first MTB in the late '80s. It was bought at a shop in the Bay Area. I think it was Taiwanese made as well. Maybe it was a different Sekai brand.

  12. #12
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    yeah, make it a cruiser!

    Quote Originally Posted by elvez
    That bike is awesome.

    Make it a cruiser.

    a cruiser with an eighty degree head angle

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boy named SSue
    How sure of this are you? I had a Sekai as my first MTB in the late '80s. It was bought at a shop in the Bay Area. I think it was Taiwanese made as well. Maybe it was a different Sekai brand.
    100% positive. They may have had some made in Taiwan too and they did sell through other shops. My first "real" road bike was a Sekai 500 back in '81 or so that was bought in North Idaho. When I started working for them they had a bunch of frames laying around collecting dust. I don't know why they stopped importing the bikes, but it may have had something to do with the brothers breaking up the business.

  14. #14
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    Whatever that means, looks like my Panda and that rides great.

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    heres a link...looks like '86

    Quote Originally Posted by themanmonkey
    Sekai bikes were contract built in Japan for a store in Seattle. The shop was The Velocipede when it was owned, at the time, by the 3 Tamura brothers. The bike dates from before '88 because that's when I started working for them and they had stopped the whole Sekai thing by then.

    I don't think they did many MTB bikes and I saw very few in my 2 years working for them.

    http://www.yellowjersey.org/sekai.html

    http://bmxmuseum.com/bikes/sekai/

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    saw that as well

    Quote Originally Posted by surly357
    a cruiser with an eighty degree head angle
    and the TT and DT look kinked as stated above

    no canti bosses and a single oversized front caliper

    looks like a geared BMXer

  17. #17
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    That's a new(ish) Yellow Jersey page, the older one mentioned the Tamura's. I wonder what happened.

    Yea, I remember the BMX bikes and we had one in the window of the store forever. Sekai was pretty big during the BMX boom of the late70s/early-80s. I never saw many MTBs, but it looks like the company went down in '86. They may have only made them for a year or two, or it could just have been a regional thing.

  18. #18
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    The steep head angle was the first thing I noticed. It might not be worth the labor but you could try to fix it.

    I thought Park Tool made a tool resembling a car jack which was used to push the head tube back to near normal. It braced against the BB shell and inserted into the head tube. Then you increased the tension pushing the head tube away until the desired angle was reached. The fork could be similarly realigned. I guess it would depend on how much you desired to have it be ridable.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  19. #19
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    ...also check if the seat post is frozen in the seat tube.

    Carsten

  20. #20
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    ok, I see it now.

  21. #21
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    Small correction

    I'm not sure where you're getting your information from, but Sekai was the United States branding of Norco Bikes.

    It was Norco's first attempt at entering the US market. If you search for older bikes like Sekai Mountaineer and Bigfoot, you will notice that they are identical to the Norco models of the same name for each year, just different decals.

    Quote Originally Posted by themanmonkey
    100% positive. They may have had some made in Taiwan too and they did sell through other shops. My first "real" road bike was a Sekai 500 back in '81 or so that was bought in North Idaho. When I started working for them they had a bunch of frames laying around collecting dust. I don't know why they stopped importing the bikes, but it may have had something to do with the brothers breaking up the business.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by surly357
    optical illusion or are the top and downtubes buckled?
    It's strange. The tubes look bent, but they actually both are tapered. I looked at them really closely when I took the bike out of the box. I don't see any obvious signs of bending, the welds look ok.
    Either way, I'm gonna fix it up, put it together in the spring and ride it. Any recommendations for a new handlebar/seat/cruiser tires?
    Thanks!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by richieb
    I'm not sure where you're getting your information from, but Sekai was the United States branding of Norco Bikes.

    It was Norco's first attempt at entering the US market. If you search for older bikes like Sekai Mountaineer and Bigfoot, you will notice that they are identical to the Norco models of the same name for each year, just different decals.
    The question is where are YOU getting your info? I got it from a guy named Ric Shutt who managed the shop that did the importing The Velocipede in Seattle and was the Tamura brothers right hand man for many years. This was also backed up by most every other long term industry pro is Seattle. I've never heard the Norco connection until seeing the BMX bike posted.

    Norco unfortunately say anything about it on their history page or on the wiki.

    Can everybody be connected, sure. If anybody in Seattle can find and ask Craig Tamura we might actually be able to get a real answer. Lloyd Tamura refuses to talk about it from what I understand. The third brother is Glenn and I don't now if he'll talk about it either. Sekai, as I stated earlier, went down early in the MTB era, so my guess that by the time MTBs started to become popular they may have had Norco rebadge their bikes instead of doing a whole line themselves.

    I think at best some of us have second hand information, so if anyone really cares they should contact some one at Norco that was there at the time or Craig Tamura or maybe Andy Muzi at Yellow Jersey. I'm going on info that I was told by people who were there, but 5-6 years after the bikes stopped coming in, so the could be conflating things or building up their personal agendas.

  24. #24
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    I worked at Norco for several years and worked closely with the people who did the importing/manufacturing of their bikes at that time...

    Perhaps that shop had them sent to them from Norco's builder in Japan...

  25. #25
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    SEKAI started in Seattle then moved to NORCO

    SEKAI started out in Seattle as the Tamura Brothers at Velocipede. Unfortunately they ran into financial troubles and were sold off to Norco, which ruined the brand. The history of the brand is related here :

    http://search.bikelist.org/getmsg.as...11101.0874.eml

    - Don

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by systemBuilder
    SEKAI started out in Seattle as the Tamura Brothers at Velocipede. Unfortunately they ran into financial troubles and were sold off to Norco, which ruined the brand. The history of the brand is related here :

    http://search.bikelist.org/getmsg.as...11101.0874.eml

    - Don

    Don Van Winkle,

    You joined in 05, and this is your first post: to a 2 year old thread?

    Better late than never!

  27. #27
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    The mystery Sekai almost three years later

    I ride this thing nearly everyday and it's been a blast so far. Whatever people thought was going on with the tubes up front has not been a problem and the bike rides just fine.
    I still can't figure out what exactly it is/was but I don't care. I haven't seen anything like it here in Chicago and it gets lots of attention. I acquired some really nice chrome bullmoose handlbars over the winter and I found a place that sells blue anodized wheels that will take bigger tires. Stay tuned!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Could someone help this newbie identify this Sekai?-bike.jpg  


  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by thefog72 View Post
    I ride this thing nearly everyday and it's been a blast so far. Whatever people thought was going on with the tubes up front has not been a problem and the bike rides just fine.
    I still can't figure out what exactly it is/was but I don't care. I haven't seen anything like it here in Chicago and it gets lots of attention. I acquired some really nice chrome bullmoose handlbars over the winter and I found a place that sells blue anodized wheels that will take bigger tires. Stay tuned!
    Looks great!

  29. #29
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    Could someone help this newbie identify this Sekai?-sekai.jpgCould someone help this newbie identify this Sekai?-sekai-brick.jpg
    First pic is as found (also from Oregon) second is how it sits now

  30. #30
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    Nice grips.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldcruiser26 View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	811846Click image for larger version. 

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    First pic is as found (also from Oregon) second is how it sits now
    Wow that looks great. I think it's the same frame I have. Yours appears to have been in better condition. And looking at yours I think maybe mine was damaged up front, though it hasn't really been a problem.

    The biggest problem I have is with the chain popping off the rear wheel. The stays are spaced so far apart I have a hard time getting the wheel to stay true with all the spacers I had to add. Got any tips for that?

  32. #32
    4AM
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    Craigslist buy

    I was looking at porsches on Craigslist and I came across a listing for the same bike people have been posting on here. It was 50 bucks and I having had nothing to do during winter break I went and picked it up half an hour later. Brought it home and replaced the cables so the shifting and braking are dialed. Tomorrow I am going to true the rims and repack the hubs, headset, and BB. Here is the picture from the listing:Could someone help this newbie identify this Sekai?-00e0e_fzoamfzriy_600x450.jpg
    The fork looks like it might be bent but it might just be one of the other weird things about this bike that someone already mentioned. Hoping to get most of the rust off and maybe get a brooks seat for it. I have another seat I got off a different Craigslist purchase to replace the piece of crap that is on there right now.

  33. #33
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    Awesome! Yeah I recognize the frame and the chain ring. Looks like yours was black but it's the same bike. I still have mine! Love riding it around town.

  34. #34
    4AM
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    I have been scrounging for pictures online and it does not seem like there are very many of these bikes around. On a different forums page someone seemed to know a lot about Sekai. If I got some fenders for these it could end up as a pretty sweet commuter. Especially if I got some Compass Rat Trap Pass tires: https://www.compasscycle.com/shop/co...rat-trap-pass/ The bike came with some Continental Town and Countries which are fairly light weight considering their price. Saving weight on this bike was obviously the last thing on the minds of the people that designed it. I weighed mine today and it came in at 38.4 pounds flat (17.42 kg). By far the heaviest bike that I own. Could someone help this newbie identify this Sekai?-img_20171222_155659491.jpg
    Since this bike is kind of beater I might just find a good seat for it then wait for things to break before I buy anything new. I have an old Schwinn World Sport with a basket and super upright bars, but I converted my road bike to 650b with the big tires and now the narrow tires feel horrible. Hopefully I can sell my Schwinn and put some of the money towards a nice seat on this bike. I hope that more people find this thread that have the same type of bike and maybe I can learn a little bit more about. There is not very much information online. This is the most that I can find in one place: https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...-database.html
    There were some things about serial numbers but those were unrelated to the ones that were on my bike. Here is a picture of mine: Could someone help this newbie identify this Sekai?-img_20171222_171121784.jpg
    If you can't read it it says "DSBM" on the first row and on the second row it says "31003608". If you guys are wondering about the serial number that would be great if you posted it on here. I would like to figure out more specifics about these bikes.

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