Readers’ Rides: Julian’s Cherubim Triplecrown Track Bike

Wow. A Cherubim Triplecrown track bike for a Readers’ Rides?! What is this, 2008? We’re all here for it. Track bikes. We can’t quit drooling over them. The most simple form of bicycle that has been sculpted and crafted into stunning machines. Julian, who happened to work on this website’s design, submitted his stunning Cherubim Triplecrown track bike for this week’s Readers’ Rides. Let’s check it out!

Photos by Amy Danger

My love for bikes started with a beat-up Surly Steamroller I picked up on Craigslist after my previous bike was stolen, and I needed something cheap to get around on. Since then, I’ve grown to own and love riding all sorts of bikes, but my passion, excitement, and appreciation for track bikes have remained strong. A couple of years ago, I decided that I wanted to get my dream track bike built.

I’m half Japanese and grew up between Japan and the US so although I consider myself more American now, I feel a strong connection to Japan and its culture. Also, as a creative person, I particularly felt a strong connection and admiration for how Japanese craftspeople tend to take their skills to a level of precision and perfection that is hard to find elsewhere, and that was an obvious point of attraction for me to Japanese Keirin bikes.

So, after I’d saved up enough money, I started looking for a builder to build my dream bike. As I grew up in Tokyo, I wanted to find a builder based there for the sentimental connection. When I discovered that Cherubim’s shop is only 30 minutes from where my parents live now, it felt like a no brainer to go with them. In addition to the proximity to my Japanese home, the history behind Cherubim bikes, originating with Hitoshi Konno, one of the legendary Konno brothers, was exciting to me as well.

As I waited for the frameset to be built, I started collecting parts. During that time, I picked up the Nitto Pearl stem that is currently on the bike through Craigslist. It wasn’t until I was greeted at the door that I realized the person selling the stem was the legendary Amy Danger! (Yes, THAT Amy Danger) I was a bit star-struck, to say the least. I brought up the idea of having her shoot some photos of the bike for me once it was complete, and she graciously accepted, which is how I had the honor of getting these shots of the bike.

Although the bike is designed as a track bike, I would mostly be riding it on the street, so I wanted to make sure it was a bit more practical than a true track bike. There’s clearance for “bigger” tires, there’s more toe-overlap clearance and there are bottle bosses on the down tube. I also had them build me a duplicate fork that is drilled for a front brake so if I ever decide I want to put a brake or a rack on, I have that flexibility. As silly as it might sound, I want this to be a forever bike so that when I’m older and I decide I don’t want to ride fixed gear anymore, I have the option to throw on a freewheel, brakes and some upright bars and keep riding it.

Cherubim is known for red bikes so although I considered many other paint options, I decided to go with the classic look. Red also looks fast so although. I’m not fast, at least I can look it! I had them chrome some of the lugs and tubes as well  to complement the paint. It’s a happy accident that the paint job reminds me of one of my favorite childhood heroes, Ultraman.

One specific component that I wanted to highlight as I’m super stoked on them are the bar end plugs made by Nao Tomii of Tomii Cycles. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the inaugural Made bike show in Portland last year. And while I was off looking at something else, my amazing partner bought a set of his hand made bar end plugs to gift to me later on. The blue might seem a bit out of place on this matchy-matchy build but it further reminds me of Ultraman and his blue life-force indicator, which is what made the bar ends feel perfect on this bike.

The bike rides like a dream. It’s so fast and responsive – it’s wildly fun to rip around on. Now that Amy’s taken the beauty shots for me, I’ll be riding this thing around town as much as I can!

Build Spec:

  • Headset Chris King GripNut
  • Crankset Sugino 75 NJS
  • Pedals MKS Sylvan Stream Next
  • Cog/Chainring/Chain EAI Gold 18t / Sugino 75 49t / Izumi V Super Toughness
  • Handlebar Nitto Mod. 177, 40cm
  • Stem Nitto Pearl 8, 26.0
  • Saddle Ergon SR Men
  • Seatpost Nitto Jaguar NJS
  • Wheels Dura Ace 7600 NJS Hubs, Hoshi NJS Double Butted Spokes, Araya RC-540 Rims
  • Bottle cage Nitto Type R
  • Accessories Traffic safety charm from Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Spurcycle Raw Bell




We’d like to thank all of you who submitted Readers Rides builds to be shared here at The Radavist. The response has been incredible and we have so many to share over the next few months. Feel free to submit your bike, listing details, components, and other information. You can also include a portrait of yourself with your bike and your Instagram account! Please, shoot landscape-orientation photos, not portrait. Thanks!