Akira’s Yeti Homage Kinfolk ‘Cross Bike

Akira is our friend from Kobe, Japan and every year he comes to visit us in Los Angeles, usually bringing a new Kinfolk frame with him. He works for Kinfolk in Japan, coordinating the frame construction and paint design, as a side job. During the day, he goes to a very traditional office job in Kobe, so working for Kinfolk offers him creative expression, as well as a little extra money to keep his love of cycling funded.

This trip, Akira brought this beautiful Yeti FRO homage ‘cross bike, with a clever detail. Akira loves to race ‘cross in Japan, especially singlespeed races. When he built this bike up, however, he knew one of the first times he’d be riding it was in Los Angeles, so he really wanted gears on the bike. If you look closely, he utilized a PAUL SRAM shifter adaptor to add on the 11 speed SRAM shifter to the bars, and then added the rear derailleur and cassette, allowing him to convert the bike from a singlespeed to a geared bike in a matter of minutes. For levers, he used the TRP Hylex levers.

For the paint, he worked within the confines of the Kinfolk paint department, which requires the logo to be in that exact location and in the traditional Kinfolk typeface, no matter what the client requests. Sure, it’s not the Yeti typeface, nor is it in the Yeti location on the downtube, but I still think it came out pretty slick. In fact, I thought it was a Yeti when I saw it in the alleyway at Golden Saddle. Even the blue anodized PAUL and i9 components look period correct!

I wish Akira and I got to spend more time together in Los Angeles. Our time with him in Kobe was a dream. Playing host to your Japanese friends is important, as they will always take you in at their home. However, I’m sure he’s stoked to get this bike up on the site.

arigato gozaimasu!


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16 responses to “Akira’s Yeti Homage Kinfolk ‘Cross Bike”

  1. Daniel Powell says:

    Sweet. The attention to detail is evident. The shape of the rear triangle/dropouts even give the bike a “loop tail” look!

  2. séamuis says:

    Beautiful bike! I love kinfolk frames and I’ve lusted after several of their track frames. I agree, this bike has an obvious YETI vibe. Rad as hell! I actually did a similar thing on my daily rider. I have two wheel sets. A dura ace 7700 with 10spd cassette (1×10 w/ a 7700 derailleur) and a dura ace 7600 track wheelset setup as a singlespeed. I also have a freehub single speed conversion kit. Because my frame has no braze ons I used old shimano frame clamps for a cable stop & guide and used a dura ace 7900 indexed downtube lever converted to a thumb shifter with a Paul mount. I can mount up or remove the entire setup in just a few minutes and have a completely clean frame when it’s single speed. As a bonus, using a dura ace 7400 crank and 7400 BB, I use the same crank and chainring for both setups, with no adjustment needed at the crank/chainring/BB. I only needed a 1mm spacer for the single speed wheelset. A fantastic setup for traveling. All I need now is a set of frame couplers.

  3. Datech Dahaus says:

    That is one dope ride!

  4. boomforeal says:

    i feel like that shifter placement would drive me nuts (says the guy still running bar-con’s)

  5. Ian Guignet-Simpson says:

    that is a beaut

  6. Aesca Dun says:

    So much time for this!!! Also makes me crave some way of getting my alfine 11 shifter onto a set of drops.

  7. Nicholas Petersen says:

    #18 with the orange O-ring peeking out. Also, I need a pair of those anniversary SPD’s.

  8. ToddsterRides says:

    I thought this was a new Yeti when I hit the page! Gorgeous. Now to research Kinfolk!