RE: [CR]Japanese frames

Example: Racing

From: "RB" <>
To: "CR" <>
Subject: RE: [CR]Japanese frames
Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2005 19:06:38 -0700
In-Reply-To: <>

No disrespect intended, but I don't understand 'The sudden interest on Japanese frames is mind boggling'. comment.

First, I don't see a huge new level of interest here. There's always been a certain level, maybe just not visible. Also, track and fixed are hot right now, so lots of bike people are getting into it. Something new always has a draw. Road has become a high end equipment sport, and I think the Japanese builders are seen as desirable because of this. But their stuff is very nice too. Perhaps not as stylized as the Italians used to be, but frankly, they are not anymore either.

I think it's also that all the high end frames are up there in price. People want something not everyone has. Something exclusive. Something different. Something with cachet, not just another same-old Italian bike like everyone else, no matter how nice. Once you get into this price point for a 'toy', if they are going to spend the money anyway, to lots of them I think it's "whats a couple hun more, for something really special, I can always sell it and get most of my money back later". Plus, they are usually built to order, not an off-the-shelf size and bike. Plus, with carbon road bikes running $5K plus retail (not everyone get's an employee purchase deal ;) ), motorcycles running $8-15k, etc, you can get the most spectacular track bike on the planet for a LOT less.

I also think it's largely the 'hand built' aspect. That's what made the vintage lightweights, and the KOF bikes hot. It's something that's missing from the current high end offerings from the traditional shops, even DeRosa and Pinarello (which are hand built, but not in the same way). It's tons of experience and tradition, but still made by one, or a couple of specific and recognizable master craftsman. They sweat the details, and that's all they do. Not some johnny-come-lately college kid fixed gear builder hiding mistakes with file work, sanding, and paint. Not some huge concern pumping out frames built by whatever builder happens to be working for the shop at the time. It's the same reason Ron Cooper and Richard Sachs (for example) command high prices and long waits - they're special. It's not just paying for the name either. It's paying for the craftsmanship, the experience, the care, the attention to detail, and having it built 'just for me and in my size'.

This has always been a hallmark of Japanese culture. The 'atisan' factor. That's highly valued in Japan. Make no mistake, these kind of bikes, Japanese or not, are definitely artisan pieces too. I think some people in America recognize this, and as usual, a lot of others are seeing this and wondering "what do they know that I don't", maybe I should get in on this too.

Bill Roberts Jacksonville, OR

-----Original Message----- From: []On Behalf Of Sent: Friday, October 28, 2005 6:10 PM To: Subject: [CR]Japanese frames


The sudden interest on Japanese frames is mind boggling. I have a custom Kalavinka by Akio Tanabe. Very clean, very nice. But very straight forward investment cast lugs and bottom bracket with Vertical mill mitering. Their conception of a frame is very different than the one here in the US. Their prices are also very different: you can get a frame from master craftsmen like Cherubim (Konno's Brother), Makino, Vivalo, Kalavinka, and Nagasawa for about $1400.00 (NJS). I suspect that when they add the hours for frame construction they can come up with a fair price, their market is very different also (keirin racing etc.). The same goes for TOEIs. Their basic frame (sans racks) is $1200.00. All of these makers can ship to the US.


carlos martell San Diego, Califas.

ps. Some makers take internet orders. So go direct to the source.

> they're a well-respected keirin builder. there are a few folks here in san francisco who ride their frames, and what i've seen has been very nice.
> don't know if they're availble in the states, the ones i've seen came from, but they're not shipping overseas right now. galen pewtherer
> san francisco, ca
> On 10/28/05, <> wrote:
>> List:
>> Anyone heard of Makino from Japan? Are they available in the states? Any
> info would be appreciated.
>> Tom Martin
>> Oakland CA