Old 07-23-11, 07:52 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Sendai, Japan
Posts: 1,649

Bikes: Vitus 979, Simplon 4-Star (Romani), Woodrup Giro, Gazelle AB

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Were I in your situation, I'd go to Toei or one of the other fine Japanese "classic" builders, and have a nice long conversation about what I want, which bikes I like, which I don't, put down a deposit and trust the builder. Don't insult the builder by dictating everything - you'll only end up with an inferior product.
I agree with you on every point. And your advice is consistent with what noglider says. (By the way, I have read about that couple — very interesting business.)

The problem with doing what you say — seeking out one of the master builders and down south — is that it would escalate the price and put it right out of reach. The train fare and hotel bills alone would murder my bank account.

Mr Matsumoto who builds Amvna has told me that he will build a frame for me for under $1000 — lugged or braze-filled. He works in the tiniest of shops set up on a shopping street. It's crammed with heavy machinery for bending and milling. I've not visited since the quake, so I hope that his shop stood up OK. He was no where near the tsunami.

And you are right. I should not hold him to an exact reproduction. If I have him start cutting lugs I will either have to get a night job or my wife will kill me in my sleep. If I show him the Vitus and say, "Can you make something like this in lugged steel?" he'll have a free hand to make a bike that fits me perfectly and hopefully rides the way I hope and imagine. He'll have the factory specs and drawings to ponder over. And he uses a computer and a CAD app to map out his designs. You are right. I should let him figure it out and use the Vitus as a rough pattern.

Perhaps replica was the wrong word of choice, but it gets the ball rolling.

But I am still fixed on the idea of using "vintage" parts or today"s retro designs — as I said above, the stuff that is currently on my '85 Trek but for the quill stem which will have to be different. (The Technomic stem was an adjustment to get the 54 frame to fit me.)
Vitus 979, Simplon 4 Star, Gazelle Champion Mondial, Woodrup Giro, Dawes Atlantis

Last edited by Lenton58; 07-23-11 at 08:10 PM.
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