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Old 05-29-09, 11:35 PM   #1
Litespeedy
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To drill or not to drill my NJS frame?

I have a retired NJS Kiyo Miazawa frame with full Suntour track group and Suntour dropouts on the frame, almost all NJS with Nitto bars/stem. The racer who previously owned it has his name stamped and painted in Japanese charachters on the bottom bracket shell. He is called Sensei or Master in the links we found. I built it up for fun as a winter project. But now I can't decide what to do with it...

If I keep it, I will drill the fork to accept a front brake. But I keep seeing negative comments about doing this. It's an older bike and is heavy by todays standards so it won't be raced seriously again...(although I might give it another run at Marymoor Velodrome).

I am about $1200 into it.

My question is...Is it worth more undrilled to a collector, or drilled for a really fun rider?
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Old 05-30-09, 12:04 AM   #2
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Why not just run another drilled fork and save the original?
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Old 05-30-09, 12:49 AM   #3
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Yes, this is the problem.

I can buy a vintage Suntour brake, lever and cable etc. for about $100.00 and can drill the fork myself.

Adding a fork with brake, bars and stem adds about $300+ to the build. I would be able to switch back and forth. But the original fork looks so cool with the hearts in the fork crown...

Drilling might add value to make a beautiful bike "road ready. Or I can spend more money on all those parts...which I don't want to do.

I also think this bike might be close to being a collectors item. Whaddayathink?

Please Comment!
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Old 05-30-09, 04:22 AM   #4
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You could purchase a clamp-on keirin training brake and avoid the question altogether.

In your shoes, I'd buy a new fork before drilling the other one. To answer your question, it's worth more undrilled; however, it's also worth more (in a different way) when you get what you want out of it. Get the best of both worlds with the clamp-on brake.
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Old 05-30-09, 06:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Litespeedy View Post
Yes, this is the problem.

I can buy a vintage Suntour brake, lever and cable etc. for about $100.00 and can drill the fork myself.

Adding a fork with brake, bars and stem adds about $300+ to the build. I would be able to switch back and forth. But the original fork looks so cool with the hearts in the fork crown...

Drilling might add value to make a beautiful bike "road ready. Or I can spend more money on all those parts...which I don't want to do.

I also think this bike might be close to being a collectors item. Whaddayathink?

Please Comment!
Why would you need to add a bar and stem? You know that these things are interchangeable, right? A replacement track fork costs $70 through bikeisland.com and comes pre-drilled, and a caliper should cost all of $10 to anyone remotely familiar with buying on eBay or who knows another "bike guy" with that kind of stuff laying around.

Drilling this bike will definitely not add value - no way, no how. Bikes are only original once, though I'm not sure this bike is a collector's item, since the US market is currently flooded with track bikes of all types, including thousands of keirin bikes, and Kiyo isn't a particularly collectible marquee. Clamp-on Keirin brakes are widely available now - I think I paid $40 for mine, which included the lever and caliper.

Regardless, this post belongs in SS/FG, not Track.
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Old 05-30-09, 09:22 AM   #6
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Please don't!

Anyhow, if you drill you may find you don't have the clearance necessary to get the pads on the rim. Those forks are often very tight. The clamp-on keirin brake is the correct answer.

Here you go:
http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...oducts_id=3751
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Old 05-30-09, 02:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I also think this bike might be close to being a collectors item. Whaddayathink?
No, it's not. Nobody really cares about NJS anymore. It was just a cool "I got this rare thing and you don't" badge that was only valid 3-4 years ago. It was cool because:
- It was foreign
- It was high quality
- It was rare

Having all of those 3 qualities would make anything in the hipster world valuable...for a while.

What many people fail to realize is that NJS just means that it was built to a standard that was set 20-25 years ago. It's nice, but it's old style. Would you want a car that was made in the style of a car from 25 years ago? I wouldn't. It'd be nice to look at, but I'd spend my money on a modern car if it costs the same.

If it's worth something to you, that's cool. But, "collector's item", no.


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Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
The clamp-on keirin brake is the correct answer.
+1

Problem solved!
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Old 06-01-09, 03:07 PM   #8
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Don't drill it. Go down to Recycled Cycles and buy a fork.

If I were a prospective buyer, I would never buy a bike with a drilled fork. These fork crowns were not designed for that and while I'm sure you have a steady hand, I would question the alignment and quality of the job.

Don't drill it.
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Old 06-01-09, 04:47 PM   #9
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Yeah, that's another point worth making - putting a hole right through the middle of the crown could very easily result in failure given that these forks were not designed or intended to be drilled for a brake. I doubt it'd snap right under you, but I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised if small cracks eventually developed around the hole
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Old 06-08-09, 01:01 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone,

The clamp on brakes suggested by queerpunk and babypuke are clearly the best plan. Drilling a fork with such a tight clearance could cause weakness... and, as you said, it might not line up properly with a standard brake.

I had been considering two sets of everything (fork, bars etc.) so that I could easily "swap them out" and still try to race this bike at the local velodrome. But the clamp on brakes are a great solution and go along with the NJS thing...

I really like the NJS Keirin racing and am in love with this bike.

Thank you,
rj
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Old 06-21-09, 04:34 AM   #11
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Thought I'd post some pics of my new clamp-on brake for those who might be interested. It's a hell of an eyesore, but it works.

As you can see, if I had drilled the fork it would not be possible to set the pads on the rim.
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File Type: jpg brake1.jpg (42.0 KB, 106 views)
File Type: jpg brake2.jpg (45.4 KB, 100 views)
File Type: jpg brake3.jpg (42.3 KB, 89 views)
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Old 06-24-09, 12:36 PM   #12
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Road style brake levers on track drops make me sad.
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Old 06-24-09, 06:53 PM   #13
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Aw, don't be sad. It comes off when the bike is on the track. It's only for road training.
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Old 07-20-09, 07:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Road style brake levers on track drops make me sad.







totally common thing for on-road training by keirin riders (these guys are still in school). so....don't be sad.
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Old 07-27-09, 05:43 PM   #15
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interesting they put rear brakes on...
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Old 08-16-09, 08:30 AM   #16
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It's because they haven't heard that in the US hipster community, it is totally lame to not be able to skid brakeless. And therefore put the brake on the rear.

TBH i haven't asked them. I saw a Keirin dude riding along Tamagawa near the Keio Keirin track last week. If I see anyone again I will ask them.
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Old 08-16-09, 08:41 AM   #17
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The Don, we are neighbors. I live in Mukogaokayuen, and I just rode at Keiokaku today. Are you riding track in Japan?
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Old 08-24-09, 05:44 AM   #18
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how about a drum brake?
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Old 08-28-09, 10:44 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
You could purchase a clamp-on keirin training brake and avoid the question altogether.

In your shoes, I'd buy a new fork before drilling the other one. To answer your question, it's worth more undrilled; however, it's also worth more (in a different way) when you get what you want out of it. Get the best of both worlds with the clamp-on brake.
..
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