Thursday, 1 March 2012
52 inch replica ordinary bicycle
Pictured above is a project I've now been working on for over 2 years, it's a 52 inch replica late 1880s ordinary bicycle. This is the 10th one I have built as I built my first one back in New Zealand in 1994 and last year sold that to a member of The Oamaru Ordinary Cycle Club who is now the New Zealand champion - yes some people race these things and they are quite fast !. I was approached just over 2 years ago by a Japanese collector / high wheel bicycle rider from Tokyo who wanted me to build him a custom made replica ordinary for touring. At first I said no as building such a bicycle here in Japan is very difficult because all the main parts must be imported from New Zealand, Australia, England or the USA and the remainder of the parts you have to make yourself. In New Zealand it took me about 4 months or so to build a replica ordinary but here in Japan it's very difficult, but in saying that I'm almost ready to get the frame welded together and then the handle bars can be fitted along with the brake lever, brake and mounting step. So the end is now in sight and it's looking good so far. I'm pretty sure this is the largest bicycle being built in Japan at present and as I do not intend to build anymore , I'm trying to build the best replica I can with authentic replica parts. Pictured above is a mock up of the bike and this weekend I will cut the backbone frame to the correct length ready for welding which I hope to get done later this month.