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.

Watanabe 自転車

In fact, I spent most of my time with him as he was kin to teach me some stuff about Keirin bicycles.

Watanabe 自転車

As a matter of a fact he has the NJS license to build for the Keirin racer.

Watanabe 自転車

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.

Watanabe 自転車

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).

Tokyo Hand Made Bicycle Fair 2009

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!

Tokyo Hand Made Bicycle Fair 2009

The company business is in fact wooden ship building.

Tokyo Hand Made Bicycle Fair 2009

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.

Cherubim bicycles

Cherubim bicycles

Cherubim bicycles

This fixed gear (pist bike = ピストバイク) was riden by Inoue San at the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games, a peace of history!

Cherubim bicycles

Cherubim bicycles

I didn't know the brand before : Amanda.

Tokyo Hand Made Bicycle Fair 2009

This track bike with wood rim was certainly built for the Incredible Hulk.

Tokyo Hand Made Bicycle Fair 2009

This speed ratio is unhuman!

Tokyo Hand Made Bicycle Fair 2009

A Ravanello pist bike, nicely built.

Ravanello bicycle

Nagasawa San was here also of course, he is the Boss (I am quoting Watanabe San).

Nagasawa Fixed Gear

The bikes presented were not so fancy though.

Nagasawa Fixed Gear

I guess he doesn't have anything to prove anymore.

Nagasawa Fixed Gear

Panasonic was also here.

Panasonic track bike

As well as Makino of course with an unusual but beautiful frame. Me want it!

Makino Track Bike

Makino  Fixed Gear

An other new brand for me : Atelier de Kijafa , specialized in Carbon bikes, seems very good for triathlon.

Atelier de Kajifa

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.

Tokyo Hand Made Bicycle Fair 2009

Perplex, I am.

Tokyo Hand Made Bicycle Fair 2009

Not as cool as the fixed gear bikes, this Mama Chari (let's say "Mum's bike") specially design to assist the ride.

Mama Chari Tokyo Hand Made Bicycle Fair 2009

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.

Watanabe San

You can check the full picture gallery here : Tokyo Hand Made Bicycle Fair 2009 Gallery

A selection of links :


Posted on : by Tokyo Handmade Bicycle Fair

Tags : Fixed Gear Bicycle Tokyo

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Add a Comment - Ask a Question

By Thierry At 2009-01-18 00:54:44

I am afraid you will get a bigger leg than the other with the Veloway. ;)

By Jérome At 2009-01-18 03:47:19
from Kamaya Cho ,is hungry...

he he yep, it can be a problem indeed!


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