TOKYO HANDMADE BICYCLE FAIR
Yesterday I went to the Tokyo Handmade Bicycle Fair. I thought of a quite big event but it's actually a rather small organization. It took place at the Museum of Science just next to the Emperor Palace.
It is not the kind of event like the CYCLE MODE International for example, but more a "family" event. Simple, small and free entrance! (which is quite unusual in Japan). It was a good opportunity to meet the builders and have a chat with some of them.
Just at the entrance was Watanabe San's bicycles.
In fact, I spent most of my time with him as he was kin to teach me some stuff about Keirin bicycles.
As a matter of a fact he has the NJS license to build for the Keirin racer.
He told me that about 45 brands have this license in Japan (if I understood well). The leader being Nagasawa San, followed by Makino San.
He tried to explain to me that each level of riders have different bikes but I must confess I did not understand everything. (The thing is when I start to talk in Japanese they quickly think I am fluent which is definitely/unfortunately not the case. But it's a good practice for me as well).
Now Watanabe San seems to enjoy more to build some comfortable "randoner" bikes, build to live a long life as opposed to keirin bikes.
Next was a first for me : road bicycles almost totally made of wood! One is 9.7kg and the other one less than 8kg!! Must be strange experience to ride these, but the builder assured me it was safe!
The company business is in fact wooden ship building.
Here is a fixed gear by Cherubim, a company of 3 builders. Really nice bicycles they build. We can see them often in bicycle magazines.
This fixed gear (pist bike = ãƒ”ã‚¹ãƒˆãƒã‚¤ã‚¯) was riden by Inoue San at the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games, a peace of history!
I didn't know the brand before : Amanda.
This track bike with wood rim was certainly built for the Incredible Hulk.
This speed ratio is unhuman!
A Ravanello pist bike, nicely built.
Nagasawa San was here also of course, he is the Boss (I am quoting Watanabe San).
The bikes presented were not so fancy though.
I guess he doesn't have anything to prove anymore.
Panasonic was also here.
As well as Makino of course with an unusual but beautiful frame. Me want it!
An other new brand for me : Atelier de Kijafa , specialized in Carbon bikes, seems very good for triathlon.
Japanese people are often creative and build some amazing stuff. Here are some examples of it :
The 2 most strange bikes I ever seen... I don' have any answer to bring I did not meet the builder.
Perplex, I am.
Not as cool as the fixed gear bikes, this Mama Chari (let's say "Mum's bike") specially design to assist the ride.
Certainly with 2 kids on board it becomes unbalanced. One thing interesting is that the builder works for racing car industry - Lotus/Alpha Romeo - and he applied some of his knowledge to build this concept!
An other really funny concept : I guess you have heard about the Segway. Here is the Veloway!
I tried it : your left foot just stays on a platform and the right one is used to produce the necessary energy. It's like a stepper but for only one foot. You can reach a quite good speed on the flat. Much cheaper than a segway!
To finish with, Watanabe San himself, he agreed for me to come to his atelier, I'll try to schedule this.
You can check the full picture gallery here : Tokyo Hand Made Bicycle Fair 2009 Gallery
A selection of links :
Posted on : 2009-01-17 21:04:18 by Jérôme Sadou
Add a Comment - Ask a Question