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Japan and Eroica Japan (huge success)

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Japan and Eroica Japan (huge success)

Old 05-15-24, 05:36 AM
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A few more bikes:



Clean lil Cinelli






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Old 05-15-24, 05:44 AM
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Before I get to the ride, a few shots of the swap meet

35,000 yen equals $225 usd




great deals. Nobody was buying. I wish I bought a bike there and rode it. 1/2 less travel hassle.

when this guy brought out these cages, people gathered around like he was selling Ginzu knives, or a monorail.


it wasn’t until after I used the “google translate camera” on my phone I understood what the deal was. Pretty cool and more attractive than a soma rally cage.
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Old 05-15-24, 05:47 AM
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Then again, an Aussie pulled me aside and showed me his $6 on Amazon hack which lowers the RD and does the same thing.

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Old 05-15-24, 05:57 AM
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One thing I’ve noticed, I saw several examples of what I thought were highly polished campy bits.

I was wrong. They like to chrome their aluminum!!

Drilled n chromed

I’ve read about this saddle. Quite heavy. Comes with a Swedish pump just like a, er, no. Like old Reebok sneakers.

also, that Dr guy with all the fancy Cinellis and chrome Masi, . . ., he had a Hermes bike bag for sale. I’ve bought Alfa Romeos for less.


the guys from Steel Vintage Bikes were tickled with my comment, “I look at their site when I can’t sleep.” Nicest guys ever. Great shoes!! I bought a jersey for a silly cheap price.

They flew all the way from Berlin!!
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Old 05-15-24, 06:03 AM
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The ride. Hard to take photos when riding on their side of the street.

the loop bridge is the only one like it in the world.



Brakes!!

mt Fuji on a slightly cloudy day.





even though we shared the road/highway with cars, I never felt threatened or in danger.

the food was great!!
plenty of water, local juice and bubble tea energy drinks. Lunch featured “whitebate” lil fish that add protein and calcium to every meal.

Like a lil gift!!



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Old 05-15-24, 06:05 AM
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Thank you -- delightful thread!
My elder son's job includes a couple of overseas trips per year, and Japan is one of his favorite destinations. I think he is seeing the benefit of having chosen Japanese as his foreign language in high school (maybe because the teacher was cute? ).
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Old 05-15-24, 06:13 AM
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Not sure I mentioned earlier, but the Izu peninsula is also famous for its onsen or natural hot springs.

Thank the gods!!

from a riverside foot bath to my own onsen in my hotel room.



Perfect way to end a day It’s Suntory time!!!
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Old 05-15-24, 06:20 AM
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Excellent report! I have lived in Japan for the past 28 years and the L'eroica ride is next on my 'to do' list. The location has bounced around but seems to have found its home in Izu. Very jealous! If you return to Japan the Shimanami Kaido is the other 'must do' ride. That Gran Fondo is usually held in late October.

So much to unpack from your posts. A few comments from a local:
  • the sign in the bullet train - the Sanyo Line (from Osaka to Fukuoka) is having its 50th. The Tokyo-Osaka route was opened in 1964
  • Pizza place bike - Panasonic, Bridgestone, & Miyata all had bonded alu models in the 80's and 90's. Likely in partnership with SR-Sakae. The top of the rear seat stays is the giveaway. So are the cabling ports integrated into the head and seat lugs.
  • Like most things in Japan, there is a real artisan heritage so I can image seeing lots of boutique builders. You've shown a few - Amanda, Zunow, 3Rensho, Cherubim, Toei, National (Panasonic), etc. My personal favorite are the late 80's Zunows with the monostay. Paint was over the top but all the panto in the lugs and BB were stunners
  • That Colnago... I suspect its a custom mod/alteration of a regular master for the mini wheels. Small wheel bikes are surprisingly popular here - 20" wheels usually. I've been searching for it in Japanese and came up with nothing. There is a small sticker on the top tube that refers to a builder or shop. The blue Colnago for sale seems to be from the same shop
  • The people in the red jackets were part of a Japanese YouTube channel - Ga*****oCycle TV

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Old 05-15-24, 06:33 AM
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Thank you for bringing up the pizza shop “Crank”

I meant to post pics of his collection

Hey, your pizza is getting cold








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Old 05-15-24, 06:35 AM
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More from Crank









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Old 05-15-24, 06:38 AM
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Re: that colnago.

Ernesto famously told the POPE that he only builds “race bikes.”

so seeing this crazy 20” bike seemed anti to all Colnago stands for.
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Old 05-15-24, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Robvolz
Re: that colnago.

Ernesto famously told the POPE that he only builds “race bikes.”

so seeing this crazy 20” bike seemed anti to all Colnago stands for.
That bike above (champagne) has some fascinating wares attached to it. Brake set Cavalotto is something else.
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Old 05-15-24, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Robvolz
Re: that colnago.

Ernesto famously told the POPE that he only builds “race bikes.”

so seeing this crazy 20” bike seemed anti to all Colnago stands for.
Colnago does big business in Japan and had a line of city/hybrid bikes, too. I've never seen anything else like it so I think it a one-off conversion by a builder. Any other photos of the seller's stand/sign (also selling the blue Colnago, which Ciocc and the Specialized Allez you posted) ? I'm trying to look his shop up but am hitting a dead end. Aoto Cicli Bonneville (Ichinomiya City, Aichi Pref.).
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Old 05-15-24, 09:04 AM
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Excellent reporting Rob. Looks like a great event. Thanks.

Brad
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Old 05-15-24, 09:04 AM
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Wonderful documentation of the event. Love it. Incredible collection of enthusiasts.
The wheels on that red Colnago look like 20" to me. Maybe the frame size fools my eyes!
I notice lots of Veloflex tubulars - my favorite sewups of all-time. Ride on! Thanks for posting.
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Old 05-15-24, 09:35 AM
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Thanks for the travelogue!
You noted the popularity of DeRosa in Japan. Perhaps part of the reason is the fact that Nagasawa apprenticed with Ugo DeRosa.
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Old 05-15-24, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by roadcrankr
Wonderful documentation of the event. Love it. Incredible collection of enthusiasts.
The wheels on that red Colnago look like 20" to me. Maybe the frame size fools my eyes!
Ride on! Thanks for posting.
20"
you are probably right.
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Old 05-15-24, 10:16 AM
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Wonderful photos! They have a type of bikes called 'minivelos' which are like dropped bar road bikes with 20" or 24" wheels. It probably evolved because a lot of people there live in 500 sq ft apartments.

The 135000Y Cinelli frame seems pretty reasonable at the current exchange rate : $870

We were just in Japan last month. We didn't come across the otter cafe, but we did visit a Capybara cafe!
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Old 05-15-24, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Robvolz
One of the seminars included this man, noted as the father of Dura-Ace

Japan has its own cycling Chanel. I never found it on the hotel tv



Shimano museum of the bicycle!!
What a trip!! Great stuff!!
The gentleman you are with, I would presume, is Masayuki Hasebe representing the Shimano Museum. Glad to see that he is still active. He was a Shimano junior engineer in 1973 when he was a member of the Japanese team at the Grand Prix of the United States. Hasebe was a top level racer nationally and at the Asian Games.
After the GP he along with teammate and fellow Shimano employee Shimpei Okajima gifted me various Crane and Dura-Ace prototype/early production components to make room for gifts to take home. Hasebe gave me a DA crank set that he said that he had finish machined. The parts went on the frame that their coach, Takao Ono, built for me later that year in the Panasonic custom shop.
Might have to try and make next year just to meet up with them again.
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Old 05-15-24, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by obrentharris
Thanks for the travelogue! You noted the popularity of DeRosa in Japan. Perhaps part of the reason is the fact that Nagasawa apprenticed with Ugo DeRosa.
Brent
Totally agree with obrentharris on the origin of the DeRosa obsession in Japan. Nagasawa is one of the most highly-regarded frame builders in Japan, and the fact that he first worked in Italy for DeRosa making frames surely has contributed to a "special" relationship that Japanese cyclists associate with the brand. icemilkcoffee is also right on with the "minivelo" comment. I would add that Colnago has a Japan-specific subsidiary that sells bikes tailored for that market, so likely that minivelo was a stock item and not a custom one-off.

Robvolz great to see some of the niche domestic Japanese brands represented: Cherubim, Amanda, Zunow, Ravanello, San Rensho, and Toei. They represent a generation of Japanese hand-built frames that is rapidly disappearing as the artisans behind them are retiring or have passed away.
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Old 05-15-24, 12:34 PM
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Excellent write up Rob,,again. (Cuba)

Great pictures from a Fantastic event. Japan is a wonderful place and they are serious about their vintage bikes . Glad to see you made it out there and are reporting all the Happenings for us . Your posting is Greatly appreciated .

In 1987, I was fortunate to race a 25 mile Crit in Okinawa , I showed up on my Olmo with Campy and I was the center of attention as everybody wanted to take pictures of me and my Olmo ,as Italian bikes were somewhat uncommon there.( as were Levis 501's ,somebody offered to buy mine) I remember Zunow being the weapon of choice there as well as Panasonic and Miyata's . I never saw an Italian bike in Okinawa while I was there , except sitting in a Bike Shop window. In Tokyo I saw quite a few European bikes, but never on the road .

Oh yeah, halfway thru the crit I blew up the field and demolished everybody ,,until about 1 mile to go and then I was promptly dropped like a bad habit . Japan was Fun !
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Old 05-15-24, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by stoneageyosh
What a trip!! Great stuff!!
The gentleman you are with, I would presume, is Masayuki Hasebe representing the Shimano Museum. Glad to see that he is still active. He was a Shimano junior engineer in 1973 when he was a member of the Japanese team at the Grand Prix of the United States. Hasebe was a top level racer nationally and at the Asian Games.
that was indeed him.

he had stories.
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Old 05-15-24, 01:41 PM
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Re: The small-wheeled Colnago - I have nothing to add about the bike itself, but it reminded me that Cino Cinelli came to believe that a racing bike should have smaller wheels (the metric equivalent of 24", I believe) and longer cranks than the then-more-or-less standard 170mm (180mm-plus, I think). Some of Cino's ideas caught on (sloped fork crowns, plastic-based saddles, non-steel bars and stems), some didn't (M71 pedals, bivalent hubs). So far, this one hasn't.

I suspect the small-wheeled Colnago was either a one-off or, as has been suggested, developed for the Japanese market, and had little or nothing to do with one of Cino Cinelli's more eccentric ideas. Ernesto Colnago has been a mechanic and a frame builder, but more than anything else he has been an entrepreneur. If there was a chance to make a buck (Yen? Lire?) selling small-wheeled bikes in Japan, I can easily imagine Ernesto going for it. But this is all surmise on my part.
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Old 05-15-24, 02:22 PM
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Small wheeled bikes are very much liked in Japan where space in house or apartments is tight.

I grew up in Japan , Okinawa all through the 70’s. Never saw high end bikes ridden, mostly grocery getters and Bridgestone 10 speeds.

Your bathroom instructions made me laugh, I have one hanging in my bathroom stateside.
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Old 05-15-24, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Robvolz
that was indeed him.

he had stories.
There were a lot of things back then that we can look back on and scratch our heads wondering, what ( . . . . . ) were they thinking?
Not sure if it was Hasebe or Okajima that told me that the reason Shimano derailleurs used different small parts, screws and springs was each was designed by a different person and they all spec’d different small parts to help distinguish their design from other Shimano products.
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