Tokyo Bike Shop: Carnival Oct 7, 2009


Carnival sits above W-base in the Shibuya district of Tokyo. When we pulled up to W-base, I thought Carnival was their storage space. It took me a minute to realize it was another shop. (What tipped me off was the work station on the porch above W-base’s storefront.)

It’s hard to think of two bike shops stacked on top of each other, sharing the same building lot and surviving in today’s market, but Carnival’s interests lie in vintage track and road bikes, Italian and Japanese.

Italian road and track bikes

After visiting a lot of shops, I was surprised to see some bikes in my size range. The Italian track bikes remain a luxury item for bike enthusiasts in Tokyo. With Keirin frames literally being a dime a dozen and in all the right sizes, I saw very few Italian steeds rolling around. This Faini was Super Record-equipped and adorned with pantographed components. Dialed-in to perfection and just my size. Too bad it wasn’t in my budget!

frames from the ceiling

Once again, the every inch of space is utilized to the fullest. Frames hang from the ceiling and the displays are jam-packed with vintage and modern track bike components. Carnival’s collection is pretty dense. It took me a while to browse through everything the first time I visited it and even the second and third times I went up to see the shop, I was finding that I kept overlooking things.

tons of wheels

With wheels ranging from “No-Record” Campy hubs, to early Dura Ace and modern fixed, you have plenty of options on how to build your next bike.

151 bcd Campagnolo inch-pitch

I think I saw more Campy Inch Pitch in Tokyo than I have seen anywhere else. The admiration for Italian componentry was insane. So much NOS Campy porn to be had!

anodized components

Like many shops in Tokyo, Carnival has launched their own branded components. Cranks, saddles and even their own frames are spread throughout their shop; and of course, all the anodized fixed bits you could ask for. People in Tokyo must keep their bikes pretty clean; I couldn’t imagine having an anodized lockring. In two weeks of riding, you wouldn’t even be able to see the coloring!


Tokyo and American street culture are everywhere in the shop. Posters, stickers, t-shirts, hats and shoes are all over. Little trinkets make the space and the friendly staff were always smiling.

Once again, when you’re in Tokyo next, make sure to swing through Carnival!

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  • Cycle Man

    Wow, two bike shops on top of each other! It sounds very interesting but at least you would probably always find the parts you need in either one of the stores.