Visiting Makino, the Japanese BuilderJan Heine
Just before the pandemic made travel next-to-impossible, Natsuko and I visited Makino Cycle Factory, one of Japan’s most renowned builders. It was intended as a short visit to take a few photos, but it turned into a wonderful day of watching the craftspeople at work, discussing frame geometry and stiffness with the master himself, and even test-riding one of his bikes.
In between, we managed to capture a little video to show you how a Keirin frame is brazed – watch the builder tap the lug points to make sure they lie closely against the tubes – and how the lugs are filed to perfection. It was a fascinating visit!
If you enjoy the video, check out the 20-page feature in the Spring 2021 Bicycle Quarterly. It includes photos of framebuilding, tools, fixtures and bikes, and also Masahiko Makino’s thoughts about how to tune a bike’s handling, stiffness and performance to its rider.
Click here for more information about the Spring 2021 Bicycle Quarterly.