It would only make sense that when I decided to build my first real track bicycle that it too would have to be a vintage bicycle… it isn’t that I have not built and ridden a lot of fixed gear bicycles over the years but those were factory built road / club models like my 1955 Raleigh Lenton and conversions like my 1951 CCM. A good number of my geared bicycles also spent their early years as fixed gear equipped bicycles.
I have lost track of how many fixed gear bicycles I have built up for other people… or helped them build.
I picked up this Bridgestone Kabuki Diamond track frame almost a year ago and the frame and fork had been gathering dust ever since so yesterday I looked through the tickle trunk to see what parts I had to build up the bike with. Suntour Cyclone cranks, Gran Comp brake levers, Alex/Formula wheels, Gb stem, Sakae bars… you do not need much to build a fixed gear.
The bicycle dates to the mid seventies and was a mid level offering that was built by Bridgestone and marketed as a Kabuki “Diamond”, from what I have gleaned the brazed models are rarer than the lugged equivalents and were built to order which would explain the half measurements like the 53cm seat tube.
The build was pretty painless, I only had to sort out the right bottom bracket to give me a perfect chainline (110.5 for anyone who is wondering) and the test ride was flawless… the bike is light (20 pounds), quick, and has some very civilized road manners.
I plan to build a period correct set of wheels on silver box section rims and will be doing some re-touching to the frame which has seen four decades of use at the track… it speaks well to the build quality of these 70’s Japanese bicycles.