Words and photos by Morgan Taylor
When we think of building a bike, there’s usually an aesthetic ideal and a finished product in mind. While many of the beautiful bicycles we pore over are works of perfection, the range of aesthetic ideals is as varied as the riders who put them together.
I’ve known Chunks since the early days of fixie freestyle. We used to get together on a weekly basis to do backwards circles and bunny hop converted road frames – sound familiar? That weekly gathering gave us the motivation to ride through winters, sharing laughs and forging friendships along the way.
At the time, the NJS track bike was an aesthetic ideal it seemed we all lusted for. The race-bred, yet street-tough style led many down the path of looseball hubs and B123s in less than optimal conditions. Some went even further, to a carefully curated, freshly imported Keirin frameset dripping in Nitto and Dura Ace.
Woah! In 2006, Kozo Sugino invited Mo from Keirin Berlin to check out all that Japan had to offer in terms of NJS framebuilders. He went to Osaka to meet the amazing Nagasawa-San, then the late Doi-San of Ganwell Pro before visiting the Sugino factory to meet with Kozo Sugino.
Finally, he headed up to Shuzenji to see the Keirin school and further up north with the Shinkansen to Tokyo to see MKS, Nitto and meet Tanabe-San at Kalavinka.
This looks like an insane trip!
If you were around in the mid-2000’s, rode a track bike on the streets and still have that frame, chances are, it might look like this. I love seeing friend’s zippy, fast, track-drop equipped bikes get swapped out for a spinny gear, risers and a Wald basket. When Matt wanted something more lively to ride to work each day, he bought his friend’s old Samson track bike and quickly made the transition to basket track.
Matt is co-owner at Flat Track Coffee, my local shop and every day he rides to work in Vans, with his made in the USA, Austin-based, Helm boots in the basket and a few bags of coffee for customers. This bike is always parked inside the shop and finally I got around to photographing it. Personally, I love this bike so much, as I’m sure Matt does.
See more in the Gallery!
This isn’t something you see everyday. Nice!
This one’s for all the Samson owners. Woof drew up this graphic in celebration of his killer Samson. They were always my favorite Keirin frames, alongside Kalavinka.
When I first walked into the Six Eleven Bicycle Co booth at this year’s NAHBS, I immediately was drawn to this purple machine, like a moth to the flame. Like many people, all I saw was a 3 Rensho track bike. That is until I spotted the very clever 6 Eleven decals. Aaron went overboard here and I’m still dumb-founded that it didn’t win best track bike. It’s so good! Even to the point that a certain Japanese builder asked why he had a 3 Rensho in his booth!
Don’t miss those Sugino-branded Suntour cranks, either! Congrats to Aaron for doing a stellar job on this beauty.
Photos by Kyle Kelley
Everyone loves a well documented track bike, right? Tracko just posted this one up and it’s too good to not share. Check out more of this disco party Panasonic blue beauty at the Tracko Flickr!
It’s not everyday that you see a gorgeous Gan Well Pro track bike rolling on the streets of LA. Maybe 5 years ago, but not today. So when the owner of this beauty walked it into Golden Saddle Cyclery, I had to take it out for some photos. Nitto everything, Suntour hubs, Dura Ace cranks and a well-used perforated Flite. More of this please!
*Unfortunately, the owner has to sell it, so if you’re in the market, call GSC for pricing. Please, serious inquiries only!
I never had an NJS track bike and never really got worked up about the NJS stamp but after seeing bikes like Jonathon’s Nagasawa on the Tokyo Fixed blog, I wonder why the hell I didn’t!
It’s hard to introduce this shop without talking about how they were one of the first track bike-specific shops in the US. At the time, you could count them on one hand and King Kog‘s been on people’s radar for almost 10 years. In recent years, King Kog went from a tiny space on an industrial block to a large, full-service bike shop, right off Graham avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. While they still cater to track bikes, King Kog also stocks vintage road bikes and cycling apparel. Chances are, if you’ve got a classic build to finish off, King Kog has that stem you’re looking for and maybe the matching jersey.
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