Visiting Makino, the Japanese Builder

Visiting Makino, the Japanese Builder

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. Or just add it to your order from Rene Herse Cycles. (There will be a prompt when you check out.)

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