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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 01-19-06, 04:40 AM   #1
pista_chica
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3rensho, outta control

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA%3AIT&rd=1


is this a joke? spending $1525 on a frame? i know that 3rensho's are somethin special, but you can't even enjoy the riding the frame when you've spent $1525 on it.

lets see what $1525 can really get you...

hostel 3500 yen (35.34 US) per night, 1 adult, 212.04 total US
flight to tokyo 623.00 US, travelling 3/1/06-3/8/06 nonstop from nyc
admission to kierin races, 100 yen (0.83 US)
intra travel expenses, 50.00 US
food, 200.00 US

total trip: 1086.87

leftover cash to buy a used kierin frame from a class III kierin racer $439.00

can this trip be done? i mean, can you buy a used kierin frame in japan for $439.00 US? i will seriously go to japan and pick up 2-3 frames if i could make 1500 a piece.
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Old 01-19-06, 04:43 AM   #2
salmonchild
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you're missing the point- it just happens that that frame contains an njs approved genie, when racing you stroke the downtube and the genie will grant your wish.
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Old 01-19-06, 05:00 AM   #3
hammye
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Hey buddy, there will be none of that down tube stroking talk here.
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Old 01-19-06, 05:07 AM   #4
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Hey buddy, there will be none of that down tube stroking talk here.
+1
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Old 01-19-06, 05:07 AM   #5
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just plain silly.
did you know that 3renshos were made by makino till only a few years ago? why would someone pay that much money when you can get a custom new frame from the same builder under different name for less money??
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Old 01-19-06, 05:36 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by trespasser
just plain silly.
did you know that 3renshos were made by makino till only a few years ago? why would someone pay that much money when you can get a custom new frame from the same builder under different name for less money??
I always thought the big with 3renshos is that aside from being wonderful frames, was that the builder was unable to make anymore. According to Yellow Jersey " Mr Konno was paralyzed in a car crash and there will be no more 3Renshos."

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

So 3renshos have become this well known quality mark with a very finite supply. It is silly money, but people do love his frames. And there is a huge cool cache built around 3renshos.

Obviously different brands have had different builders at different times. I always thought Mr Kono == 3rensho. But you're saying they were built by Makino as well?

Last edited by fixedpip; 01-19-06 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 01-19-06, 06:25 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by fixedpip
I always thought the big with 3renshos is that aside from being wonderful frames, was that the builder was unable to make anymore. According to Yellow Jersey " Mr Konno was paralyzed in a car crash and there will be no more 3Renshos."

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

So 3renshos have become this well known quality mark with a very finite supply. It is silly money, but people do love his frames. And there is a huge cool cache built around 3renshos.

Obviously different brands have had different builders at different times. I always thought Mr Kono == 3rensho. But you're saying they were built by Makino as well?
Yeah, it's like saying all colnagos are built by ernest. no way. 3rensho was a pretty big shop, producing 100s of frames per month through 70's~90's. I have even seen MTB. Makino was one of the builders worked for konno, along with yamaguchi.
It is true that 3rensho are no longer made, but they are by no way rare or sought after, at least in Japan. I saw at least 6 3renshos in shops or auctions here in last 2 weeks for $200~$500!
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Old 01-19-06, 07:47 AM   #8
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i'll laugh when a thread pops up in a few days "just got a great deal on a 3rensho frame!"
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Old 01-19-06, 07:57 AM   #9
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And to think Chimbley wanted us to talk her out of buying that! Looks like the bidders did a better job than we ever could have.

If I had a 3ren, I'd put it up on ebay TODAY! Strike while the iron is hot. As collectible as they may be I'd rather have a new custom built frame to ride than any used Keirin frame.
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Old 01-19-06, 08:05 AM   #10
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welp there have been 7 bids on the thing
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Old 01-19-06, 08:17 AM   #11
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i'm tempted to sell a 3rensho now. They are overvalued. That price is obscene.

BUT... if anyone wants to ride mine sometime to see why people are willing to overvalue them, you're welcome to. I've ridden a LOT of frames - my friends' gan wells, anchors, kalavinkas... i've never been on a nagasawa, admittedly - and i've never had the sense of sheer geometric perfection that the 3renshos have. They're tight but forgiving, responsive but not twitchy, and they fit me perfectly.

So, yeah. Overhyped? Yeah. Deserving of some hype? Yes.

Also, this really cool random guy in CA saw Okashii on the FGG and sent me all this old Yoshi Konno stuff. I should scan and post it. It's awesome.
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Old 01-19-06, 08:19 AM   #12
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I bought a fully built up 3rensho (with mostly NJS components) less than 3 months ago for about half what that frame went for. I think eBay is completely unpredictable and not indicative of the market at large.
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Old 01-19-06, 08:36 AM   #13
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My local shop owner got one of a friend for about 700 and sold it the very next day for 1200 to a collector... The frame is a thing of beauty though... and maybe thats silly money to pay for a frame but if i had it i would have bought it. the frame was absolutly the most amazingly beautiful thing i have ever seen (in the realm of bikes offcourse).
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Old 01-19-06, 08:36 AM   #14
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from what i understood makino stayed and kept the 3rensho factory going for a couple years after konno's accident until he decided to leave and start his own. i don't think it changes the fact that makino was building the frames before konno was paralyzed as well. he wasn't just "one of the builders" but the person who ran the factory for konno, and from what i gathered from emailing with andy muzi, makino had been the factory manager for a long time. i believe yamaguchi only apprenticed there.

from and old article on the yellowjersey website: "Traditional crafts, science and romantic ideal are all present at the 3 Rensho factory. Six stubborn framebuilders, following Makino (Factory Manager), work in an amiable atmosphere. Each craftman has mastered the various tasks, such as cutting, brazing and filling, etc., in order to perfect the finished master piece."

like trespasser suggests, it seems pretty normal to me that a factory that put out as many bikes as 3rensho would have different people performing different tasks at different times. though i would only assume the amount of 3rensho frames that are track/njs are more rare in comparison to the 1000's of other frames the factory produced.

Last edited by HexagonSun; 01-19-06 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 01-19-06, 08:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chimblysweep
BUT... if anyone wants to ride mine sometime to see why people are willing to overvalue them, you're welcome to. I've ridden a LOT of frames - my friends' gan wells, anchors, kalavinkas... i've never been on a nagasawa, admittedly - and i've never had the sense of sheer geometric perfection that the 3renshos have. They're tight but forgiving, responsive but not twitchy, and they fit me perfectly.
I'd love to try a 3ren sometime to see what all the fuss is about, but I'm guessing yours would not be sheer geometric perfection for me.
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Old 01-19-06, 08:41 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Walkercycles
I gave away an old 3Rensho road frame for a bottle of Scotch (which I havent seen yet....)

DW
thats the best unresponded to side quote ever. you are my hero.
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Old 01-19-06, 08:42 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlindRobert
I think eBay is completely unpredictable and not indicative of the market at large.
+1
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Old 01-19-06, 08:43 AM   #18
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this all kind of reminds me of andy warhol.

and don, what kind of scotch was it? i think if i knew how to build my own quality frames, just about anything else would be disposable (unless it was ridden by eddy merckx himself).

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Old 01-19-06, 08:44 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trespasser
Yeah, it's like saying all colnagos are built by ernest. no way. 3rensho was a pretty big shop, producing 100s of frames per month through 70's~90's. I have even seen MTB. Makino was one of the builders worked for konno, along with yamaguchi.
It is true that 3rensho are no longer made, but they are by no way rare or sought after, at least in Japan. I saw at least 6 3renshos in shops or auctions here in last 2 weeks for $200~$500!
This makes a lot of sense to me. I always wondered how Konno would have been able to make bikes for Specialized and Giant in the '80s.

So, am I a sucker for believing that Tanabe-san builds every Kalavinka? I thought I'd seen that stated...somewhere.
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Old 01-19-06, 08:55 AM   #20
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So, am I a sucker for believing that Tanabe-san builds every Kalavinka? I thought I'd seen that stated...somewhere.
Kalavinka is run out of a tiny little shop - scan through the pictures on the website and you'll get a sense of it. I think it's safe to say that Mr. Tanabe builds them all himself.
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Old 01-19-06, 09:05 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pista_chica
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA%3AIT&rd=1


is this a joke? spending $1525 on a frame? i know that 3rensho's are somethin special, but you can't even enjoy the riding the frame when you've spent $1525 on it.

lets see what $1525 can really get you...

hostel 3500 yen (35.34 US) per night, 1 adult, 212.04 total US
flight to tokyo 623.00 US, travelling 3/1/06-3/8/06 nonstop from nyc
admission to kierin races, 100 yen (0.83 US)
intra travel expenses, 50.00 US
food, 200.00 US

total trip: 1086.87

leftover cash to buy a used kierin frame from a class III kierin racer $439.00

can this trip be done? i mean, can you buy a used kierin frame in japan for $439.00 US? i will seriously go to japan and pick up 2-3 frames if i could make 1500 a piece.
FWIW I stayed in Kyoto for 6 weeks off 2 grand. If you hunt around you can find some great deals on places to stay.
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Old 01-19-06, 09:10 AM   #22
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http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAP...iid=7211793833 The other stuff that guy buys is equally ridiculous..
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Old 01-19-06, 09:14 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by matthavener
http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAP...iid=7211793833 The other stuff that guy buys is equally ridiculous..
Meh, I'd pay at least $7.39 for these.

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Old 01-19-06, 09:23 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcatano
Kalavinka is run out of a tiny little shop - scan through the pictures on the website and you'll get a sense of it. I think it's safe to say that Mr. Tanabe builds them all himself.
Good to hear it. My dream bike remains unchanged...
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Old 01-19-06, 09:33 AM   #25
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3Rensho's were built for several years by Yoshi Konno on his own. He got busy and added a few builders, who later came to the US or sold here a lot and promoted the Yoshi Konno roots. Back in the late 70's, I think it was, 3Rensho's were coming into the US and were nice but not considered spectacular frames -- that was reserved for Masi's, Confente's, a few domestic builders, and even bigger builders like Colnago. Nagasawas were occasionally around, but mostly as a legend ridden by Nakano.

After his accident, a few of his builders kept the shop going for a couple years before starting their own brands. The place was bustling at that point and they had some assistants to help with brazing and finishing (more than Konno had, and not the quality builders that Konno recruited).

I was lucky enough to manage a Nagasawa and an old Kalavinka, and have a couple older frames as well (Sachs, Confente, etc.). The Japanese keirin frames are all very 1970's style European track design -- relatively steep, quite tight, and fairly short trail. They are a compromise between the huge long tracks that keirin is raced on in Japan and the rather twitchy track frame designs from Europe that Japan was so enamoured of at the time (and that then became memorialized in the classic keirin design). They become increasingly stable at speed, but they can sometimes be a little erratic at less than race speeds (a little too twitchy on the road, and on the track they don't keep a line as well until they're up to speed).

Nagasawas are pieces of art in addition to exquisite racing tools. Worth it at $2385, which I believe is still the current price for frame/fork/headset/bottom bracket. Still worth it at up to about $3000 (that's around what you pay for a Pegoretti BLE or a Sachs, after all), Kalavinkas aren't quite as nicely finished, but pretty darned close and both better priced and available without a long wait. Tanabe has also moderated the designs a bit to reflect your actual riding or racing conditions, so they race and ride as fixies really well. I've ridden an assortment of other Japanese frames and can't say there's a bad one, but the finish quality varies a bit and of course the tubings under the paint vary as well. We get very picky about the tubing in a European frame, but no one ever seems to ask about a Japanese one. The difference between a 8630 and an 019 frame is huge -- in stiffness, responsiveness, and weight. Some of these frames are like mid-range Trek's -- they really should only sell for $350-600. It's a place to be discerning about the frame -- the NJS certification doesn't mean they're all built to the same quality level.
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