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Old 12-19-05, 02:31 PM   #1
Mike T.
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Keirin frame anyone?

Does anyone have a Kalavinka Keirin frame that they imported from Japan? If so, how well is it made and how good was your ordering and importing experience?

Along with some of the other top Keirin frames they are an exercise in simplistic beauty. I've e-mailed a few other builders in N.Am and the UK and the experiences fizzled due to things like long delivery times, ceased communications, high cost etcetera.

Heck I got an answer from Kalavinka in mere hours (I really didn't expect an answer at all) and he apologized for a 2-3 month delivery time!
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Old 12-19-05, 04:15 PM   #2
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Tomity rides one. There's another rider that was at the MNG that had one too. They looked really nice. I was talking to Kalavinka as well. Maybe in the future for me.
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Old 12-19-05, 09:08 PM   #3
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actually u can find time to time kalavincas @ ebay, there is a Gan Well and a makino frame so far this week...
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Old 12-19-05, 10:40 PM   #4
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I have a very old one and a relatively current frame, and one on order. Kalavinka's are easy to order, good frames, and can be customized quite extensively to your preferences. They ride extremely well, but bear in mind that their tradition is one of fast riding at or near the pole line on relatively flat tracks, so steering and handling are oriented in that direction. Bottom brackets tend to be quite high, fork trail tends to be quite low, and seat angle tends to be quite high with a very tight rear end. You can custom-order something different, but this is basically where they start.

The metalworking is first rate -- the equivalent of frames at twice the price. Finish is good but not at the level of a Tom Kellogg or Joe Bell -- however, the Kalavinka is a working bike for a racing cyclist and the paint is durable and well done. The Kalavinka doesn't have the sleeve-type stay-ends and fork tips that Nagasawas and SanRenshos have -- it's too bad because that's one detail that is very classy. But Kalavinka will offer you an internal top tube cable guide, curved seat stays, an amazing range of decals and paint finishes, and all kinds of other structural and aesthetic options.

If you want a lot of help with your fit, I'd deal with Tom Kellogg. You'll never go wrong there, and he knows track framebuilding like no other. You can also get an incredible level of detail finishing and paintwork. But in a Kalavinka you get frame, fork, headset, and bottom bracket all for $1200-1500, and you get a bike competitive with anything you'd put on the track. And Akio Tanabe is a great communicator with a great sense of style and personality. There are perhaps three or four really good keirin frame builders around today (and another 12-15 close behind), and while Nagasawa has the highest cachet, I'd say that a current Kalavinka is so close as to not be worth quibbling over.
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Old 12-19-05, 11:31 PM   #5
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Thanks for a great answer 11.4! That's just what I was looking for. Yes Akio is a great cummunicator as he answered me in a few short hours. That's better than one very well known USA maker who hasn't replied at all.

I was talking to Tom and his frames and finishes are very high class - but about double the price of the Kalavinka. I'd love one of his frames but I don't know if I should justify that kind of expenditure. Nagasawa is probably out of reach due to delivery times and price.

Yes the detailing on a Nagasawa is great. Keirin frames in general just look like perfectly evolved track racing tools.

Again, thanks for your great post. Do you have pics of your Kalavinkas?
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Old 12-20-05, 02:14 AM   #6
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Mike T,

````Tanabe san is a very good man and builder. He takes pride in his work as all builders . He builds all his frames and has a helper in the shop. he makes his own lugs in house.

RAP is another builder in Tokyo , built by Nemoto san. He builds his own frames also with a helper who works the shop only.

2-3 months is now the norm with most builders in Japan, at least the ones I know personally.

Need any help PM me as I don't post often only on certain topics.

S/F,
CEYA!
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Old 12-20-05, 08:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceya
Mike T,

````Tanabe san is a very good man and builder. He takes pride in his work as all builders . He builds all his frames and has a helper in the shop. he makes his own lugs in house.
Makes his own lugs!!!! That is sensational!
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Old 12-21-05, 05:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by classic1
Makes his own lugs!!!! That is sensational!

Yep.

I'm impressed.
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Old 12-22-05, 05:43 PM   #9
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Is their paint clear coated after decal application? Are seat post sizes 27.2?
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Old 12-23-05, 12:49 PM   #10
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Kalavinka will put it the way you want it. most are on after painting. most are 27.2 seat post size.

Remember, this is custom so it is what you want.

S/F,
Ceya!
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Old 12-23-05, 03:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceya
Kalavinka will put it the way you want it. most are on after painting. most are 27.2 seat post size.
Remember, this is custom so it is what you want.
S/F,
Ceya!
Can I gather from this that clearcoat over the decals is not standard? From what knowledge I have that would make for very delicate decals. If one has to ask for this to be done then it makes me wonder what else I might be taking for granted!

Now you've got me scared!
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Old 12-25-05, 06:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike T.
Can I gather from this that clearcoat over the decals is not standard?
I'll answer my own question with the reply from Tanabe san (or his interpreter) -

"Our frame painting coats clear paint over decal or cast film (Oracal 851).
It is standard work. We entrust the frame painting to the craftsman in Osaka.
And, almost Kalavinka logo mark is made by computer at our small factory. Also,
frameset for overseas customers, It is double clearcoat."
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Old 12-25-05, 01:15 PM   #13
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Hi!! This is Tomity
I heard you from Mr. Tanabe.
I keep using KALAVINKA frame for 30 years or more.

[jrowe]

He ordered KALAVINKA from foreign countries.
It is the best to ask him.
jrowe
http://www.bikeforums.net/members/jrowe-21333.html
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Old 12-25-05, 02:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomity
Hi!! This is Tomity
I heard you from Mr. Tanabe.
Hi Tomity. Mr. Tanabe is talking about me?


Quote:
jrowe - It is the best to ask him. He ordered KALAVINKA from foreign countries.
Yes I've already talked to Jeff san and he's been a great help as has CEYA (William san) and a few others.
I've seen pics of jrowe's bike too plus I've seen your own website and bikes. Thanks Tomity!
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Old 12-25-05, 03:25 PM   #15
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there is another owner of a customer Kalavinka - in MKE, WI:
http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/2005...rtVandelay.htm (custom built frame)

and this one:
http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/2005/oct/BlackSheep.htm
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Old 12-25-05, 03:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [165]
there is another owner of a customer Kalavinka - in MKE, WI:
http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/2005...rtVandelay.htm (custom built frame)
and this one:
http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/2005/oct/BlackSheep.htm
Thanks! I've found those two bikes on the 'net already. Is there access to the bike pics on your blog? Some of those look familiar too.
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