The Village Velodrome Appreciation Society

A blog about jitensha and jogging

Monday, April 23, 2007

Ishikawa Cycle Sports

I checked out a bike shop today Ishikawa Cycle Sports in Ryogoku. It's like a museum of European bicycle parts. The guy who owns it has an amazing collection of parts - some for sale, some not.

I think I need to learn how to speak to older shitamachi men. All of my efforts to talk to the owner of the shop fell flat. "Sugoi gitensha ya! (great bike shop)" I said. "Hmph," came the reply. But a friendly hmph.

I bought something, which I thought might break the ice. Then I headed outside and he followed. My bike was parked outside. He noticed my rare back wheel. "Campagnolo ni-ju-hachi hole hub," I timidly said. "San-ju ni hub arimas," he said. We were talking! Exchanging ideas. "Kono rim mimasuka (have you seen this rim!?)" I excitedly countered. "No," he said. And walked off.

I sort of gave up trying to make small talk at that stage, asked if I could take some photos and reverted to polite foreigner mode. Pity really.

The shop is worth a visit, but I think the owner would rather be left alone with his bikes and parts.

Boxes and boxes of new old stock Campagnolo parts

A 1950s or early 60s Campagnolo front derailleur

1980s and 90s Campagnolo parts

Sugino 75 track cranks with rare 60 tooth carbon fibre chainring

A 1990s Z-Peugeot helmet, as worn by three-time Tour de France winner Greg Lemond

An Alan carbon fibre frame (my size too!) in front of lots of Merckx frames. The green one in front is a Ciocc.

Old Campagnolo rear derailleurs plus some other brands

A massive chainring for motorpace racing (also the type of thing you'd use for land speed records). The rear mechs include 1980s Japanese ones by Suntour and Shimano. The case also contained a Huret derailleur - an amazingly light rear mech for the 1980s, which weighed in at just 179 grams and remains one of the lightest rear derailleurs made.



At 7:58 pm, Blogger haramija said...

oh friend, you must have little experiences with old japo bicycle shops. you hardly find any where they are willing to sell you anything at all. you were lucky man...

At 8:53 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had similar experiences with bike shops in Tokyo. But particularly the service which is universally dreadful. In every other aspect the service in Japan is fantastic.

At 1:32 pm, Blogger The Land of Molly said...

Hey, any chance you could give me directions to this place? Sounds great! Really enjoying reading your blog, too. Sam.


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