Sunday, 25 August 2013
It is with great sadness that I make this blog posting , but I feel it is the right thing to do under the circumstances . Today mid afternoon I received a phone call at my bicycle shop from one of Kas Korbori work mates to say that on Sunday August 18th Kas was out cycling with some friends when he felt some chest pains and was rushed to hospital , unfortunately he did not make it and passed away in hospital that day.
Kas Korbori contacted me almost 3 years ago with a desire to get a hand made high wheel bicycle built and some how manage to track me down and came to visit me in Niigata , asking me if I would build him a replica high wheel bicycle, at first I said no as it is very difficult to construct , expensive and takes a lot of time. In Japan doing such things takes a lot longer and is generally far more expensive than it would be say in my home country of New Zealand. After a long chat with Kas at a nearby coffee shop I could see he was really passionate on getting a good quality high wheel replica and had dreams of attending international events, Wheelmen meets and tours on his hand made replica high wheel . And how can you say no to someone who shows up wearing a custom T shirt featuring a print of every high wheel bicycle riders hero - Thomas Stevens !. So after much discussion with some overseas contacts in the high wheel bicycle world, I found I could obtain the necessary parts to construct a fantastic high wheel. Those people who follow my blog will know I have spent countless hours making Kas Kobori the perfect bike, the last thing Kas was working on before he suddenly passed away was the handle bars and spoon brake lever as he had found an engineer in Tokyo who could make him the required parts. So for now everything is on hold for quite a while until I contact his family and decide what they would like to do re the bicycle he was getting made. Although Kas will never get to ride it, I will finish it somehow as that is what he would have wanted. My main thoughts from today are , life is sometimes short so we must make sure with have a life that is for filling and try to have a good balance between work and leisure. Pictured in this posting is a you tube clip of Kas riding his first replica high wheel along the Tamagawa cycle road in Tokyo. R.I.P Kas .
Thursday, 1 November 2012
As I am getting near the end of this build and have recently been contacted by a few people who have been following my blog who are about to start building their own replica I have decided to offer a set of 3 technical drawings of the following parts - Spoon brake profile , adjustable mounting step, slotted adjustable cranks. All drawings are 1- 1 scale and then all you have to do is to take the drawings to a company that specializes in laser cutting steel and have the parts cut to the required thickness. Doing this will save you a lot of time and then some minor finishing is required eg. machining of the slotted cranks and drilling the holes in the spoon brake and mounting step. If you take a look back at my blog you can see what the finished items look like . Pictured above are the set of 3 drawings that need to be printed out on A4 paper to achieve the correct size and here is a link to my flickr page for you to download
Thursday, 6 September 2012
For this bike I have chosen to use T grips and after using several different styles of grips of the years, I have come to the conclusion that T grips are by far the most comfortable grips for general riding and long distance touring. The position is far more natural and puts less stress on your wrists whilst riding. As mentioned in a previous posting my mate Ken who is a professional tobacco pipe maker is making two pairs of T grips one in traditional ebonite and the other from black hardwood. Last night I received from Ken a photo of the 1st grip he has made from ebonite. It looks fantastic and will look even better once fitted to the nickel plated drop bars.
Monday, 3 September 2012
This morning at work was quiet so I managed to get a few small jobs done, cutting the saddle pivot bolt a bit shorter so it's a better fit and I drilled a 6.5mm hole in the spoon brake profile for a custom made pivot pin. The main job was to bend , shape and drill the mounting step. Luckily I had some steel tube of the same diameter as the backbone section where the step will be mounted and I used that tube as a guide for bending the step and with a section of 10mm hardboard I was able to get the perfect dimensions of what the step will look like once attached to the backbone. I've made 9 mounting steps before on previous bikes but this one looks to be the best so far and getting the profile laser cut saved a lot of time. I used some spare bolts I had at work but latter on these will be changed to better looking ones. Pictured in this post are a few shots of the adjustable mounting step which once finished will be nickel plated !.