To spice it up for fall, Sim Works have released the Homage tire in a 700c x 43mm and 26″ x 1.95″ size run. These tires look so good in person, so if you’ve been looking for something new to roll on this fall, be sure to check them out. They’re in stock for $62 each at Sim Works USA.
It has been amazing to witness how much Tracklocross has grown over the years. To be able to have the Tracklocross World Championships held in Japan was something truly special. Huge thanks and appreciation to the dedicated organizers Chris Namba, Junpei Nakata, Eui Ho Kim, and the volunteers for their hard work that was put into this event.
Honjo, the company that makes Rene Herse fenders in Japan, has improved their process for making black fenders. Prior to this improvement, the black coating would scratch easily, marring the finish but with these recent improvements, Rene Herse is now offering their full fender lineup in black. This includes the fluted, hammered, and smooth finishes. Head to Rene Herse to see their full offerings.
ULTRADYNAMICO Rubber Corp, founded by longtime cycle pals @ultraromance and @ultratradition, launches today with an effervescently-late summer tire aptly dubbed “Rosé”. The Rosé comes in popular 650b x 47.99mm size, with an exotic and luxurious sidewall that is tubeless-ready, without seeping away all your sealant.
In May, ten riders headed to Japan for an adventure with the goal of raising money for cutting edge cancer cell and gene therapy research. “Shinrin-yoku” in Japanese means “forest bath”, referring to a walk in the forest soaking in nature and green light. We are all aware on some level of the restorative effect of going for a walk in the woods, but it took the Japanese to give it a specific word. Starting in Uguri, Japan, the team embarked on a six-day, unsupported tour from the town of Hamamatsu en-route to their finish in Tokyo. Along the way, they searched for inspiration and reflected while in the Japanese countryside, as they honor and remember the loved ones we’ve all lost to cancer. The goal: raise funds for the Alliance for Gene Cancer Therapy – the cutting edge of cancer research and our best hope for ending cancer forever.
Japan’s Blue Lug worked with Phil Wood to make a limited release of these rainbow anodized track hubs. These hubs come in 24, 28, or 32h drillings, feature titanium hub bolts, and are a Blue Lug exclusive. The hubset retails for ¥ 103,000, or approximately $950 USD. If you absolutely have to have these, Blue Lug does ship to the US and they currently have stock. Head to their web shop to see more!
For those not wanting to go into the full commitment into the even large at size small 615mm Towel Rack bars, Crust Bikes worked with Nitto to manufacture a 560mm wide Shacka Bar. There are a few more differentiators, too. Including bar clamp. Shacka Bars are 31.8mm, Towel Rack bars are 26.0 and can be shimmed. The shape of the Shacka Bar is more traditional as well. Got any questions? Head to Crust to see more information and to sign up for an alert when these are in stock!
Without sacrificing the feel of René Herse tires’ supple casing, the team has developed endurance casings for many of their offerings, including the popular Juniper Ridge model. This casing, along with the new Hurricane Ridge 700x42mm Endurance Plus tire – a tire used by Ted King during the Dirty Kanza, round out a very plump tire lineup for the brand, including 700C x 38 mm Steilacoom Endurance, 700C x 42 mm Hurricane Ridge Standard, 700C x 42 mm Hurricane Ridge Extralight, 700C x 42 mm Hurricane Ridge Endurance, 700C x 42 mm Hurricane Ridge Endurance Plus, 650B x 48 mm Juniper Ridge Endurance. See more at René Herse.
BQ editor Natsuko Hirose takes us around the Izu Peninsula for this short web edit. See the full piece in the current Bicycle Quarterly.
Mountain biking in Japan is a relatively new sport. The rules for riding on singletrack aren’t really well established, yet that is changing.
While I’ve toured throughout Japan, there’s one thing I’ve yet to do there and the latest from the 50to01 gang has me pining for it even more now!
Doppo translates to “going alone.” On display at the Sim Works Pop-Up at the Cub House was the steel version of their Doppo ATB bike or all-terrain bicycle. We saw the aluminum version from the Chris King Swarm coverage, and we’ve seen this steel model in Japan being manned by Makoto during our Mount Fuji tour.
These frames are made by a builder in Nagoya named Shin Hattori, exclusively for Sim Works, and for the first time, they’re now available in the USA through Sim Works. They feature a number of braze-ons for racks and fenders, as well as a Tange fork with a unique fender mount. This particular model was built up with chubby 650b road tires and fenders.
The Doppo comes in size Small through XXL and will fit a 43mm tire on 700c or 2.1″ on 27.5″ wheels. A frameset retails for $1,680 shipped from Japan via FedEx. Head to Sim Works to see more!
Shige is in town for the Sim Works pop-up at the Cub House. Normally, he works at Circles, the bike shop that created Sim Works in Japan. His job is to work in the “custom lab” at the shop, where various frame builders display their creations and the Circles customers can choose components and frames to make their dream bike. Remember our Shop Visit? Circles is a beautiful shop!
After the Chris King Swarm event, Shige made his way slowly down to Los Angeles, where we rode bikes and I shot his Sklar Monster Cross, which as the name implies, fits a massive 2.2″ 27.5 tire. The rest of the build is quite balleur, so excuse the excessive bling, but when you’re in the business of selling custom bikes for Circles, your bike has to look this good!
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.
If you’re lookin’ to blacken out your track bike’s drivetrain, check out the newest collaboration with San Francisco’s Mash, who teamed up with Japan’s Izumi on three new chains. Offered in all black (pictured,) black with silver bushings, or black with gold bushings. Check out more at Mash SF.
When Jonny first rolled through the doors at Golden Saddle on this bike, I honed in on it. There was something familiar about the bike, yet I had never heard of the brand painted on the downtube. For some reason, it reminded me of an Eisentraut, or a Sachs. After talking to Jonny, he told me he works for Joe Bell, a literal living legend in the framebuilding world. Joe Bell, or JB as Jonny calls him, paints and has painted the frames of some of the most outstanding builders over the years.
In 1971, Panasonic Bicycles first began exporting bicycles to the USA and while their bikes in Japan are mostly consumer-level mamachari and other commuter cycles, this year at NAHBS, their hand-made division brought this beautiful randonneur with Shimano Ultegra, various Nitto products, and one of the wildest finishes I saw at the show.