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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 04-13-14, 04:26 PM   #1
jacky_qt
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Are NJS builds really that good?

Hey guys! New to B-F here;

Thought I'd make my first post about the community (in general, not just B-F)
I'm still new to the scene and bought myself a beginner bike, a Fuji Track Classic and basically just bought a bunch of different parts and replaced all the stock items. Just to learn how to build and you know, to have something my own. I'm really happy with it.

I went to some meet up though to meet people who also ride fixies and a bunch of them had something called NJS builds? Didn't know what that was but they were kinda like show offs; I heard them talking a lot of trash about other people (which is weird; who does that lol)

One of the guys saw my bike and was like "niceee", then he saw that it was a Fuji and was like, "oh.."

I don't know. I google'd NJS; they look nice and classy! But freakin expensive. I don't know... is beginner stuff really that bad or were those guys on this specific night just dicks ahaha..

Anyway; happy to have found this forum!
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Old 04-13-14, 04:34 PM   #2
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It sounds like you are hanging with the wrong crowd. People who talk trash about other people's rides are about as useful as a tit on a boar's ass. Anyways, NJS is just a Japanese standard for professional keirin racers, and does not denote quality as much as standardization of design and reliability for racing. NJS bikes can be very nice or just average, and they really are not very practical for regular street riding. Just enjoy your Fuji, which is a perfectly good bike, and ignore the jerks.
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Old 04-13-14, 04:37 PM   #3
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NJS is a standard that bikes have to meet to race in Japanese Keirin races. They are standardized to that riders don't have an advantage over one another so there is a minimum weight for example. All of which is to say they are high in street cred but low in actual street riding value. If you want good value you should definitely look elsewhere. A Fuji track classic is a perfectly nice bike and you shouldn't be embarrassed about it unless you are using it to demonstrate the fact that you have money to waste.
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Old 04-13-14, 04:38 PM   #4
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Pfffffffffff. Everyone knows that Campy > NJS anyway.
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Old 04-13-14, 04:39 PM   #5
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Come on, Keirin frames are often pretty sweet. Not too into anything else NJS necessarily but the frames and Nitto Pearl stems are nice. Admit it.
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Old 04-13-14, 05:02 PM   #6
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Come on, Keirin frames are often pretty sweet. Not too into anything else NJS necessarily but the frames and Nitto Pearl stems are nice. Admit it.
Over a custom like a Vanilla or something like that or even just over a handmade italian frame? No, dude. NJS frames in the absolute scale of things are only cool because of Keirin races. I'm completely unconvinced that a run of the mill bridgestone is that much nicer than a Kilo Team. Now, there are some 3renshos out there that are definitely nice but even then most of what you are paying for is hipster tax.
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Old 04-13-14, 05:04 PM   #7
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I'll never understand the NJS love.
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Old 04-13-14, 05:10 PM   #8
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Come on, Keirin frames are mostly plain and boring. Not too into anything else NJS necessarily but the frames and Nitto Pearl stems are about the same as everything else. Admit it.
Ftfy
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Old 04-13-14, 05:29 PM   #9
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A used Keirin frame is like $500 with forks, headset and bottom bracket often and much nicer than most low to mid priced fixed gear frames like say a Fuji Feather.

Just saying all NJS isn't hype. There is some good stuff particularly if you want a lugged steal frame and don't want to pay $1000 for a custom Vanilla (just guessing here no idea what a Vanilla costs).
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Old 04-13-14, 07:31 PM   #10
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A used Keirin frame is like $500 with forks, headset and bottom bracket often and much nicer than most low to mid priced fixed gear frames like say a Fuji Feather.

Just saying all NJS isn't hype. There is some good stuff particularly if you want a lugged steal frame and don't want to pay $1000 for a custom Vanilla (just guessing here no idea what a Vanilla costs).
If one were to get a Vanilla for 1k, run fast before the owner catches up to you. Try well north of that.
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Old 04-13-14, 07:34 PM   #11
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There's a certain novelty to them that gives them the charm of which so many people speak.
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Old 04-13-14, 08:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by nightfly View Post
A used Keirin frame is like $500 with forks, headset and bottom bracket often and much nicer than most low to mid priced fixed gear frames like say a Fuji Feather.

Just saying all NJS isn't hype. There is some good stuff particularly if you want a lugged steal frame and don't want to pay $1000 for a custom Vanilla (just guessing here no idea what a Vanilla costs).
If I see a used NJS frame for $500 it typically is very used, i.e. bent, scratched, dented, and on sale because the hipster trust-fundy who bought it in the first place has moved on to collector axes and can afford to take a loss. Maybe this isn't always the case but it seems that way every time I've seen one on craigslist or e-bay. I'm not shopping on the collector sites and I don't know Japanese.

Second you are comparing a $500 frame against a $500 bike. Even with the headset and bottom bracket that isn't a fair comparison by many miles. Seriously, without having a good look at it I would still say it is better to take the Kilo Team and sink money into the parts. Even better would be to find a used bareknuckle but you can't find them used because people don't treat them like they are pokemon cards.

Again, the Japanese frame makers know what they are doing and they care about it. These guys learned steel from the grampa's who learned it from making samurai swords so it isn't as thought there is no value there but in terms of street use, there are just way better ways to spend your money. If you want a collector's item get into garden gnomes.
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Old 04-13-14, 09:28 PM   #13
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Think of NJS in the same way you might a vintage musclecar. Sure there are Lamborghinis out there but to the guys who swear by a Chevy big block, nothing else will do. Like NJS or not, it is just a style of bike.
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Old 04-14-14, 05:55 AM   #14
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There are about 10 Keirin frames south of $500 on ebay right now:

keirin frame | eBay

Barenuckle for $650 brand new on Scrod's site:
EAI Bare Knuckle track frameset | Retrogression

Personally I think it's sort of dumb to take a low end frame and put high end parts on it. Rather keep the parts equal to the frame and get a better frame down the road.
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Old 04-14-14, 08:06 AM   #15
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Frames : Track Supermarket - NJS/Keirin track/fixed gear bikes, frames, and parts from Japan
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Old 04-14-14, 08:13 AM   #16
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There are about 10 Keirin frames south of $500 on ebay right now:

keirin frame | eBay
All of which are dented.
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Old 04-14-14, 08:20 AM   #17
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Personally I think it's sort of dumb to take a low end frame and put high end parts on it. Rather keep the parts equal to the frame and get a better frame down the road.

So that you end up with a high-end frame and low-end parts? How is that better?
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Old 04-14-14, 06:02 PM   #18
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i never knew a bk was low end
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Old 04-14-14, 06:06 PM   #19
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but dood no njs stamp zomfg!
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Old 04-14-14, 07:00 PM   #20
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It sounds like you are hanging with the wrong crowd. People who talk trash about other people's rides are about as useful as a tit on a boar's ass. Anyways, NJS is just a Japanese standard for professional keirin racers, and does not denote quality as much as standardization of design and reliability for racing. NJS bikes can be very nice or just average, and they really are not very practical for regular street riding. Just enjoy your Fuji, which is a perfectly good bike, and ignore the jerks.
Well said.

What those disparaging folk are admiring are track machines frozen at a predictable & rather pedestrian standard.
A well designed modern FG with proper provision for road riding is more comfortable and faster over distance on the road.

I'd take your Fuji for my favorite 25 mile FG ride, I gave up on track bikes on the street 40 years ago.

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Old 04-14-14, 07:25 PM   #21
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^
Ya.
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Old 04-14-14, 07:32 PM   #22
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But what's better? Riding and enjoying your bike or mad street/internet creds?
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Old 04-14-14, 07:44 PM   #23
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To summarize what others have said:

NJS bikes aren't so much good as they are standard. It's about providing as level a playing field as possible for the gambling-based Keirin racing in Japan. If the racers had their choice of equipment, they would all be using modern Alu/CF frames with thicker tubing and advanced design. Having said that, I would like to purchase a NJS frame sometime and deck it out with risers for fun jaunts around town and for the novelty value.
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Old 04-14-14, 07:44 PM   #24
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But what's better? Riding and enjoying your bike or mad street/internet creds?
i want a njs bike for both purposes

but to answer your question, imo, riding and enjoying your bike is better ofc!
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Old 04-14-14, 09:50 PM   #25
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So hard to ride your bike though when you can't lock it up anywhere cause it's gonna get scratched/dented by some jabroni.
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