This is a”mini velo” type bike I saw in the Roppongi neighborhood of Tokyo. In Japan, Mini velo bikes include anything with small wheels, including Moultons, Bike Fridays, and a whole host of Japan only bikes, but not exclusively folding bikes.
Just a few more days till my homeboy and me jump a bullet train for Kyoto and attempt to ride back through the mountains of central Japan. Currently enjoying not working in a bike shop.
So my group was walking the streets of Tokyo after finding the Tsukumo Cycle Sports bike shop, home of Kalavinka Cycles. Kalavinka bikes are known as top notch keirin bikes.
Anyways, we were walking along when I saw a Bianchi Mini Velo 9. The Japanese have this thing for bikes with really tiny wheels, but there is a subgenre of bikes that look like regular road racing bikes but have 20-inch wheels.
Here’s an example I found. It’s an aluminium frame about 52-54cm size, with downtube shifters. Looks like fun, but I’ve never ridden one.
Though I could have easily ridden this one. Check out how the only thing keeping this bike from being lifted is the feeble lock around THE BRAKE HOUSING. Bike theft isn’t the problem it is in other countries, apparently
Wanna get a bike shop mechanic to do a spit take, say, “hey the new Trek Madone has got precision fit socket technology!” Some may just spit their coffee right out their nose, laugh uproariously, shake their head, or remind you of that year the Madones used Klein’s bottom cup design on their forks and how that didn’t work.
Same thing when talking to a guy like Bill Davidson who can prove he’s seen it all before in the industry, by showing me a 1985 Magic Motorcycle external bearing bottom bracket design – referred to here in an FSA article from 2004. “But hey, you can just press those sockets in by hand, according to Zinn! “Righto!” according to the mechanics.
All for technology here at the bike hugger, we’re also skeptical of precision anything when it comes to headsets and bottom brackets. Well, at least the old-school mechanics we know are. Whom btw, also didn’t trust Mavic’s Heliums or the Krysiums, which revolutionized the built-wheel market.
A topic for another day is square v. compact frame design. As I said to our friends at Novara yesterday, “taking a 1/2 pound off a square bike would’ve been an even more impressive achievement.”
Taking another tact on the utility bike is the Yuba Mundo. I hadn’t seen it before and was tipped by Ben Sarrazin who, according to his bio on Yuba’s site, worked for several years with Xtracycle. Props to the straightforward design, and for building a bike to, “to carry things, to ride anywhere.”
Filed under Stupid is the back-to-back recumbent seen below. Contrast that with this “amazing” video of motorpacing at 110 mph and then back to stupid, we have the sideways bike. Then there’s the Cobra in Malorca, which is def amazing.
Cascade Bicycle Club counted more than 19,000 cyclists on Starbucks Bike to Work Day setting a new record for Seattle. The Group Health Commute Challenge also shattered expectations with more than 7,500 riders commuted an astonishing 997,830 miles. According to Cascade, that’s nearly a million pounds of CO2 saved. Not only that, but think of all the stress relief of not sitting in traffic.
Jet-lag has me waking up hella early and collapsing at 9:30 at night.
Today Angelo, Katherine, her Japanese bf, myself, and maybe our friend Min will go to this festival at one of the temples just south of the Imperial Palace. The big hook is that this the one time when the yakuza walk about with all their tattoos displayed. Other than that i have no idea what it’s about. Hopefully after that we can visit a bike shop with a bunch of keirin stuff.
Talking about tattoos and yakuza reminds me that i might have a problem on the bike tour…I was hoping to visit an onsen (hot springs) on the way, or at least try a public bath house (by the way, it’s a VERY different cultural role here compared to the united states). However, I have several tattoos, and tattoos are associated with the yakuza in japan. And yakuza are frequently barred from public baths. Still, the fact that i am an incurable gai-jin (slang for “foreigner”) might quell the idea that I am a Japanese gangster, but we’ll see.
I am kinda clueless to what this logo signifies on this bike stem. It’s a reasonably nice stem, like a Ritchey but polished. If I spoke better Japanese, I would have asked for an “It’s Techno” stem, or maybe an “It’s Indie Rock” stem.
Wait a minute….there’s profit to made in these ideas.
Bike hugger Tees are still on the road, now in Montreal. Team Bike Hugger sponsored us an the Redlands Classic in March. My teammate and I Jennifer Wilson decided to jump into the World Cup and Grand Tour in Montreal. We take our bike hugger shirts to every race. Fans love em
Love the hugga! Read more about Jennifer racing at Redlands on the Team Bike Hugger blog. And see shirt photos in our Flickr photostream.