The specifications for the tubing employed for frames used in professional keirin racing in Japan are strictly regulated.
Precluded by rule from seeking technical advantage from exotic materials or unusual designs, elite racers redirect their focus upon framebuilders with the requisite skills to render frames of uncompromised accuracy and precise handling. Within this exacting arena, the prestige of one name stands above others: Nagasawa.
(text source: Business Cycles)
Tradition and Technology.
Yoshiaki Nagasawa's shop rests in the foothills southeast of Osaka, in the village of Kashiwara. It is a good location-far away from the choking smog and impenetrable traffic of the country's business capital, and close to the border of Nara prefecture, where good cycling roads await.
Not that Nagasawa has much time to ride these days. As Japan's most famous frame builder, he is swamped with more orders than he and his single assistant can possibly hope to fill. He holds up a piece of paper filled with customers' specifications and notes wryly, "Only one piece of paper makes 26 bicycles." The situation is hopeless, but not serious.
Nagasawa's chief claim to fame, of course, is that he builds bicycles for Koichi Nakano, the ten-time world professional sprint champion. Nakano is also one of the world's richest cyclists; he earns over $400,000 a year on the keirin circuit. That kind of success has garnered Nakano a lot of admiration and respect, and has given his frame builder the lion's share of the bicycle business among the top-ranked riders.
(text source: by Ted Constantino, of Bicycle Guide magazine June 1987, via Classic Rendezvous).
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