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Kinoko Custom Cycles Soho

The Journal

Issue #1 April/May 2014 Free



The Journal

We wish to thank all contributors and photographers. On the cover Master frame builder Shin-Ichi Konno of Cherubim takes up residence at Tokyo Cycle College as their first professor of frame building. Art Direction & Design William Hibberd Contributors Andrew Hartwell Blam [Mark Blamire] Bobby Whittaker Josh Greet Max Lewis A special thanks to Edmund Fowles Jess Duffy John Wortham Kendal Noctor Theo Sheppard Printed by Mortons Print Typeset in Akzidenz-Grotesk and Dala Floda Contact Kinoko Cycles 10 Golden Square London W1F 9JA Shop: +44 (0)20 7734 1885 Web: +44 (0)20 7243 6088

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Independent Fabrication A look behind the scenes at America's leading handbuilt bicycle works.

Paddington to Princetown An exercise in enduring the British weather.

Yesterday’s Brand New How today will look tomorrow, if you see what we mean.

Paint it Black Not all aluminium frames are created equal.

Tread Online print shop owner Blam talks about Intercity's unhealthy infatuation with bicycle based patterns.

Japanese Steel; A new beginning Witnessing the birth of the next generation of artisan framebuilders.

City Slickers Our ten top products with style and distinction for the urban cyclist.

Road Warriors Ten essentials for the committed racer with a superior sense of sartorial elegance.

DSC x Saffron A stunning British collaboration for Bespoked 2014.

Issue #1 April/May 2014

Kinoko Cycles opened its doors in May 2013. Our goal being to celebrate what we love and to share our passion. We seek out brands from around the world; from handmade specialists to technical masters. Always looking for something fresh. Within the Kinoko family there are fanatics, racers, story tellers and some whose obsession for custom cycles verges on an illness. We are linked by our passion, ultimately defining us as individuals. The Kinoko Journal is a platform to share what we do. Behind every great product is a great story. This journal has been bubbling under the surface since we opened, leaking out in occasional blog posts and Instagram photos. We’re proud to finally put it all together into a physical lasting format. So, here it is! We hope you enjoy our first edition of The Journal.


Independent Fabrication

Independent Fabrication Words by Andrew Hartwell


e are long time fans of Independent Fabrication here at Kinoko Cycles. Of all the modern US based frame builders we really feel they offer the best design, best workmanship and best finish that money can buy and this assurance of quality has really propelled Indy Fab to its current iconic status in the world of custom bikes. From humble beginnings in the fall out from the collapse of Fat City Cycles in 1994, Independent Fabrication has grown to be one of the most respected premium frame builders and is still employee owned. Moving at their own pace they introduced the Steel Crown Jewel, their first road

model, in 1996 along with their Steel Planet Cross and the Roadster. Their entry into the ever growing road market was a success and they introduced the legendary Club Racer in ‘99 before moving into the world of titanium and developing shot peening for ti frames in 2000 with the Ti Crown Jewel. The XS, combining ti and carbon tubing, was introduced in 2005 and that’s when the accolades started coming in, Indy Fab being recognised for their unique vision and superior craftsmanship. The innovative Corvid won the 2009 North American Handmade Bicycle Show category for ‘Best Carbon Bike’, the judges charmed by their full custom carbon lugged frame with its classic looks and modern materials. The Factory

Photograph by Bobby Whittaker


Issue #1 April/May 2014

Photographs by John Jackson and Chris Milliman

Lightweight followed in 2010, pushing modern steel to its limits with the lightest Indy Fab frame ever. Small town New Hampshire seems like an unlikely home for such a world class brand, but maybe this more rural location, away from the hype, commerce and trends of the East and West coasts helps keep Indy Fab special, allowing it to think independently and focus more closely on the end product. “IF is a great place to work. We’re a small family of sorts.” Said Chris Dornbach, one of the designers. “There are 8 of us here on a daily basis. Enough to keep things interesting but small enough to keep a close group. Pranks, beers, bikes and food... and the occasional good hearted teasing like any good family.” Being a relatively small operation for such a renowned name, everyone carries out a certain amount of multi tasking. “I mostly work with shops and directly with clients, “ said Chris. “Any R&D for new models etc. is typically a family affair. We all weigh in when it comes to the big stuff.” With some of the day taken up by working on design for new clients, there is also a lot of email generated by the custom process, as well as strict attention to quality control at every step. I asked Chris if he felt innovation was a key part of the Indy Fab brand: “I don’t think innovation is huge for us in terms of production. We’re more focused on staying current with new technologies and materials but try to avoid trends and fads... at least on a larger scale, for us anyway.” To this end, all Indy Fab frames do have something of the classic about them, all are tried and true geometries and all built with meticulous precision and the finest materials. I wondered if Chris is ever asked to work on something less classic by clients, what kind of demands they make? “All the time! Wonder bikes that can fly a colony of endangered turtles to the moon while cooking poached eggs... and that make any rider look good while doing it. The last part is the easy one.” Dornbach explains further: “Seriously, most people want bikes to do too many things; Light weight, touring bike, gravel road, single track mud loving rocket ship that can race Cyclocross in the Fall, and that can be used for the occasional Time Trial. Too many masters. In these cases, I always advocate that they at least pick one thing they want the bike to do well... then see what we can do about the rest.”

This approach serves the brand well and their line offers a frame for pretty much anything, all with customisable options within that frame concept. So while no turtle transporter space bikes are currently planned, Chris and his colleagues are remaining grounded and yet still looking to the future: “Independent Fabrication has strong ties to, and a great appreciation for, our heritage. With respect for our past, we strive to continue making the same sweet frames that put us on the map while at the same time we like to keep an eye on the horizon. That’s in our blood as well.” • END



Paddington to Princetown

Paddington to


Photographs by Max Lewis

Issue #1 April/May 2014



Ed prepares his Cherubim Sticky

Paddington to Princetown

Issue #1 April/May 2014

Cherubim Sticky

Poc Octal Helmet

Josh puts on his Giro Empire road shoes



Paddington to Princetown

Josh wears; Kinoko Castelli Team Jersey, Search and State S1-J Riding Jacket, and a Poc Octal helmet. Ed wears; Morvelo Pedale Race Jersey, Morvelo Eroica Race Shorts, and Oakley Racing Jackets.

Kendal pulls on the front wearing Castelli Velocissimo Due Bib Shorts, and a Castelli Gabba WS long sleeve jersey.

Josh and Ed getting tucked

Issue #1 April/May 2014

Z-Vetements Retro Cycling Cap, Oakley RadarLock Path Sunglasses, Castelli Head Thingy, Gabba WS long sleeve jersey.

Search and State S1-J Riding Jacket, Capo Euro 200 socks.

Ed wears; Cinelli Caleido Cotton Cap, Morvelo Pedale Race Jersey, Morvelo Eroica Race Shorts and Endura road overshoes. Josh wears; Cinelli Supercorsa Cotton Cap, Search and State S1-S Riding Shorts, Castelli Nanoflex Knee warmers, Giro Empire Road Shoe, Sealskinz Ultra Grip Hi Vis Gloves. With his Cannondale CAAD10 black Frameset build. Kendal wears; Velocissimo Due Bib Short, Gabba WS long sleeve jersey, SealSkinz Over sock.


Issue #1 April/May 2014


Yesterday’s Brand New Take what you want from cycling; for most it’s the joy of riding, for some it’s just the bike and for a select few it’s the design. Or take all three. The golden age of catalogues is long gone. Most of us involved in putting this journal together won’t be able to remember when most of these catalogues were published. This only adds to our amazement when we open old paper treasures and see our prized vintage parts were once brand new and labelled as the ‘leading edge of technology’.


Paint it Black

Paint it Black Smooth as butter, feather light and fast as hell.

Words by Jess Duffy Photos by Bobby Whittaker


he CA AD10 is the pinnacle of Cannondale's long and fruitful relationship with aluminium. While some riders believe that carbon is the only modern, race worthy frame material - the ‘10 will have you thinking twice! Weighing in at just 1150 grams, the CA AD10 frame is lighter than many of it’s elite carbon competitors. The hydroformed 6069 aluminium tubes are double-pass welded, heat treated and taper-butted to reduce weight whilst increasing strength. The flattened shape and internal butting of the SPEED SAVE seat and chain stays allow enough flex vertically to minimise road buzz whilst remaining as stiff as possible laterally and torsionally. This aids the rear wheel in tracking the ground, improving cornering, grip and speed. Up front, the ‘10 comes with

a full carbon SPEED SAVE tapered fork with offset dropouts which provides the ideal combination of weight, stiffness and compliance that won’t affect the handling. With geometry that’s virtually identical to the SuperSix EVO (which has propelled riders like Sagan, Viviani and Basso to Pro Tour success) allowing for aggressive positioning and super sharp cornering, this frame is ideal for competitive club riding and fast crit circuits. The durability and lower cost of an aluminium frame compared to their carbon competition makes them perfect low risk race machines. The matt black frame with subtle decals comes in at just £799 which leaves you plenty of change in your pocket to invest in some reliable componentry. So if you’re looking to base a stealthy road build around a high performance frame, this is definitely the way to do it! Lighter, stiffer, stronger - simply the world’s finest aluminium road racing thoroughbred. •

Issue #1 April/May 2014

Tread An unhealthy infatuation with bicycle based patterns.

Words by Blam Photos by Dom Moore


n late 2011 we approached design studio Intercity about doing a series of bicycle-themed prints to complement a BMX book they had just published. Intercity liked the idea but didn't want to come up with an obvious solution and, not being the type of company to rush at a problem, we left them to take their time and develop ideas for this series of prints. We were very surprised with what Intercity finally delivered, as it wasn't at all what we were expecting. It's always an absolute pleasure working with designers when they explode your expectations by completely re-inventing the wheel [excuse the pun]. Intercity is a graphic design studio with an international network of clients and collaborators from the worlds of art, design, photography, illustration, digital media and beyond.

The studio applies its considered and highly creative approach across a range of areas including editorial, music, branding, fashion and advertising. Designed by William Hibberd, the Tread print series was born out of an obsession with bikes (plus early memories of friends comparing tyre patterns) and documents a selection of the most interesting graphic shapes and patterns found on everyday bicycle tyres. Building upon the already close-knit relationship between cycling and graphic design, the series includes four prints in total, covering the disciplines of BMX, CX (cyclo-cross), MTB (mountain bike) and road cycling. Available to purchase in A0, A1 (shown) and A2 formats from Print– •



Image Caption

Japanese Steel; A new beginning

Issue #1 April/May 2014

Japanese Steel; A new beginning During my last trip to Japan I was invited by Shin Ichi Konno of Cherubim Cycles to visit the Tokyo School of Cycle Design where he teaches twice weekly.

Words and Photos by Max Lewis


ou would assume with something as common as a bicycle, an object which exists in every village and town across the globe and requires very specific skills to design and manufacture, that colleges teaching cycle design would be common, but this is not the case. In fact the Tokyo School of Cycle Design is a world first. Certainly frame building and mechanics schools do exist, often offering courses which last one to two weeks, but the TSCD course duration is two to three years. Students study everything from mechanics to cycle design with a strong emphasis on frame building.



Japanese Steel; A new beginning

I left my tour of the school with my jaw on the floor. Although all teachers in TSCD come from the cycle industry the school was founded by the Hiko Mizuno College of Jewellery. Their campuses are situated in the heart of Tokyo's most fashionable Shibuya district in modern buildings purpose built for the school. Its a alluring place to be. The school was filled with the sounds of grinding and whirring and the courtyard was filled with students bending metal with blow torches and hammers. I walked past glass walled classrooms full of students stitching shoes and buffing jewellery. On the top floor frame building is taught. The classroom has about 15 jigs all with welding facilities. At a glance it looks like a factory but look closer and you'll see pencil cases and frames of all different shapes and geometries. Other classrooms are devoted to bicycle design and mechanics as well a machining room on the ground floor. I saw rooms filled with Park Tools professional mobile tool kits, each student has their own. I sat in on a class on rim design, one of many I would hope, and saw their school shop which sells Nitto quill stems, Mizuno tools and a galaxy of frame building materials. Yes, my jaw was on the floor. As I walked through school one question grew in my mind. What will happen to these frame builders when they graduate? They will leave the school with more than enough experience to build professional quality frames. Obviously there is no straight forward answer to this question and in reality every graduate cannot or will not want to set up shop and start their own brands. I am sure though that if you love hand made cycles Japan will soon again be the place to watch and a golden age is coming. I was able to ask course founder Rinri Mizuno a few questions: Why did Hiko Mizuno College of Jewellery choose to open a school of Cycle Design? The main focus of our school is jewellery and shoes. We not only teach our students to design but manufacture also. We saw the similarities between making jewellery and frame building and thought this was a good opportunity to do something new. We saw that bicycle culture was changing and more people are becoming interested and passionate about frame building but there was nowhere to study the subject. Also we have a rich culture of frame building in Japan based on Keirin. Most people focus on the racing and gambling but not on the frame builders who are very skilled. I wanted pass these skills onto a younger generation. Can you tell us about the curriculum? We offer a two and three year course. In both courses students will become experts in bicycle design, assembly, maintenance and manufacturing. The three years course offers students among many other things to explore more creative projects.

Issue #1 April/May 2014


How many students will graduate this year and what are their job prospects like? This year we saw our first 20 graduates in March from the two year course. Most students are going into employment as bicycle mechanics and engineers for bicycle companies. Some students will setup shop as independent frame builders and a few will find employment with existing frame builders. As the course is very new the bicycle industry is very interested in our graduates. Their level of skill is very rare with young new employees. • END


City Slickers

City Slickers Our ten top products with style and distinction for the urban cyclist.

01. Kinoko Musette £29.99 02. Giro DND Full Finger Gloves £26.99 • 03. Hiplok v1.50 £69.99 04. Mission Workshop Division Chino Trousers £170.00 • 05. Chrome Barrage Cargo Backback £160.00 06. Brooks Cambium C17H Saddle £19.99 • 07. Giro Ride Crew Pockets T-Shirt £69.99 08. Mission Workshop Zurich Jacket £295.00 • 09. Cinelli Mash Parallax Frameset £799.99 10. Chrome Kursk Pro 2.0 SPD Shoes £89.99

Issue #1 April/May 2014

Road Warriors Ten essentials for the committed racer with a superior sense of sartorial elegance.

01. Giro LX Mitts £59.99 02. Defeet Etouch Glove £14.99 • 03. Search and State S1-A Riding Jersey £100.00 04. Giro Wind Jacket £99.99 • 05. Search and State S1-S Riding Shorts £150.00 06. POC Octal Helmet £225.00 • 07. Cinelli Eye of the Storm Cotton Cap £14.99 08. Oakley Racing Jacket Polarized Sunglasses £230.00 • 09. Cannondale CAAD10 Black Frameset £799.99 10. Giro Empire Road Shoe £229.99



DSC x Saffron

DSC x Saffron Words by Max lewis Photos by Josh Greet


his frame is handmade by Matthew Sowter of Saffron Frameworks whose workshop is based in Camberwell, London. Matthew has been building frames for the last 4 years. He tells us that his ambition when building this frame was to marry comfort with a tube-set designed for racing. Comfort comes standard with steel. So, to bring the racing element into the mix he used oversized tubes. These bring stiffness into the bottom bracket and the head tube whilst limiting the loss of power between the bottom bracket and the rear axle. The tubes are Columbus Spirit HSS with Paragon breezer dropouts and an oversized head tube. The entire frame is fillet brazed and then filed back to smoothly integrate the tubes. The rear brake cables runs internally through the top tube. The DI2 has runs internally from the headtube and pops out where the mechs are. •

Issue #1 April/May 2014




Issue #1 April/May 2014 Free

The Kinoko Journal  
The Kinoko Journal