Vintage anyone?

Dawes-man

Warming-Up
Dec 1, 2010
8
0
0
Tokyo
#1
In Tokyo, a born again biker of some 8 years, I wonder if anyone in this fair city shares my passion for 1950s lightweight English machines.

I ride a variety of bikes. My monicker is based on my rain-bike, a 1979 Dawes Atlantis which was originally Dawes' top racing bike but which I've fitted with mudguards and a Sachs-Fichtel Torpedo, a 2-speed kick-back hub from Germany. It's the bike that made me go 'Wow!' 8 years ago and started me off building bikes.

The 1st bike I built was a 1982 Trek 730 - only available from the factory as a frame. which I fitted with a 1978 Campagnolo groupset. The last bike I built, which is actually still a work in progress, is a 1954 Hetchins, sold back then as a 'Short distance time-trial machine'. It was and still is a fixed-gear machine. I rode it for the first time last Thursday (went out to Hasegawa Jitensha to see if he had any Mafac brake parts) and am now doing bits here and there to make it perfect. Today I re-adjusted a little play out of the front wheel bearings. That kind of stuff.

I have another Hetchins from 1950, a 1975 Peugeot I built for touring and a 2009 Chesini Pista, my first fixed gear.

Anyone else out there? Tokyo is a big place, after all.
 

fredstaple

Speeding Up
Nov 1, 2009
198
1
38
Puerto de la Santa Maria
#2
Old Steel Lightweights

I love these too. Funny, my first real road bike (not a Schwinn), was a 1982 Trek 715. It was factory spec with the addition of a Brooks saddle. It is still running, but as a fixed gear I ride manly in the rain.

Most of my favorite bikes are Italian and British from the late 1960s. My current obsession and one that I want to find in good condition is a late 1960s/early 1970s Falcon San Remo A76. I have a couple frames from the lower end San Remo models, but still looking for the A76.

I was not able to bring my old bikes to Japan and miss working on them.

Have you been able to find any classic Japanese road bikes since you have been here? I was hoping to come across something like a 3Rensho or a Nagasawa. I realize this is a bit of a pipe dream, especially in a larger size frame, but maybe someday I'll get lucky at Off House!

Please post some pictures of your Hetchins, the lug work on those has always been impressive.
 

Dawes-man

Warming-Up
Dec 1, 2010
8
0
0
Tokyo
#3
Have you been able to find any classic Japanese road bikes since you have been here? I was hoping to come across something like a 3Rensho or a Nagasawa. I realize this is a bit of a pipe dream, especially in a larger size frame, but maybe someday I'll get lucky at Off House!

Please post some pictures of your Hetchins, the lug work on those has always been impressive.
Hi there. No, it's very difficult to find large-frame, classic Japanese bikes here as if they were made it was for export. Katakura Silk, now defunct, was near to the US base out Hachioji way and quite a few servicemen had large-frame bikes made and then took them back with them. The largest you are likely to find here is 56cm.

YahooAuction is a good source for old Silks, Panasonics and the like. I bought a very nice mid-80s Silk Gloria for around ¥12,000, stripped it down and rebuilt it for a friend. Spent a another ¥20,000 on cables, tyres, ball bearings and stuff and it turned out beautifully. Likewise a 1987 Panasonic. See pics below.

Yes, Hetchins lug-work is amazing although I don't like the later work, which is over the top for my taste. Photos of my 2 Hetchins below. The darker red is the 1950 MO and the post-office red the 1954 NS.
 

trad

Maximum Pace
Dec 4, 2006
393
30
48
Tokyo
#6
Welcome dawes.. My first real roadbike was a 1979 Dawes Atlantis... Brings back memories - Reynolds 531, beautiful lugs, red, etc... Too bad I didn't hold onto it, but ocean air in coastal areas of San Diego took its toll on on steel frame...
 

Dawes-man

Warming-Up
Dec 1, 2010
8
0
0
Tokyo
#10
Welcome Dawes! I don't own any vintage bikes myself, but have a soft spot for the classic lines of old steel racers. Looking forward to seeing some of your collection on the road.
Thank you, Phil! If you had been on the Koshu Kaido, aka Route 20, yesterday you might have seen me as I rode my fixed-gear Hetchins all along it to Hachioji from Shinjuku yesterday. Took me 1h 42m. Came back on the train tho coz I was too tired to cycle back.
 

Dawes-man

Warming-Up
Dec 1, 2010
8
0
0
Tokyo
#11
Dawes, I think you and Don need to get together for a ride sometime. http://3speedtouringinjapan.blogspot.com/
I really like his blog. Welcome by the way.
Thank you, kiwisimon! I've just had a look at that site and it's got some really interesting stuff. There is lots of stuff on the net about the stuff I'm interested in but it's all in Japanese and too laborious to read so it's nice to see it in English.

Maybe I'll plan a ride up to Niigata to see him...
 

Dawes-man

Warming-Up
Dec 1, 2010
8
0
0
Tokyo
#12
Welcome dawes.. My first real roadbike was a 1979 Dawes Atlantis... Brings back memories - Reynolds 531, beautiful lugs, red, etc... Too bad I didn't hold onto it, but ocean air in coastal areas of San Diego took its toll on on steel frame...
Ah, glad you liked it. As I said, it was my Atlantis that got me hooked. Here are some photos of mine... as it was and how it is now.
 

Dawes-man

Warming-Up
Dec 1, 2010
8
0
0
Tokyo
#14
I don't know Semas but that IS a very nice looking machine. Looks typical of 1980s Japanese stuff, like the Panasonic and Katakura Silk I posted pics of earlier. But ¥160,000 seems way too much to me! The Silk I restored cost a total of ¥30,000 (I think... it might have been ¥38,000). Get a bike like that, fit it out with Campag and you could save yourself ¥100,000.

I have to say that the prices dealers charge for stuff are mad.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#16
Pretty short chain stays... looks like a fast frame. Cool!
Very fast..... it was one of the bikes from the Tour and I bought it off a mechanic that was selling it.

My Dad is still riding it in the UK and gets stopped all the time, the reaction people give it when they find out its the original and not the new remake being sold is awesome.

I also have a 16 year old KONA AA - Custom XC Mtb that was raced in the UK national champs.
 
Feb 21, 2011
16
0
11
orange county
#17