I have lived in and travel to Japan for my professional life from time to time. Of course even when I am in the land of jyutai and politeness I never stop seeking out bike culture. Last September I found this shop and ever since I knew I needed to share with the blogs about it. This trip I took a couple pictures and can publish a bit about this turborad bike shop in Nagoya. I never expected such an amazing shop with values so close to my own would be around this industrial region of Japan, but Circles is just that.
The prime time mural shown in the first picture was a good sign, but my excitement went into the redzone when I saw in the shop window a custom indy fab track bike with a pink logo scheme! Turns out this entire shop doesn’t have a single carbon frame. Everything inside the store is steel, with a huge portion american made custom frames!!
After I got inside the shop I started inspected these beautiful bikes (checking out welds a bit too, can’t help it) and a shop attendant came over to talk with me. He let me know that bikes were custom and in my horrible Japanese I told him that I build bikes too. He panicked a bit (which made me worry that I accidently told him his mother was a whore) and went into the back room. Luckily I did not insult his mother, he just went to get the owner. Turns out Mr. Tanaka is full on into the hand built bike scene. He comes over for NAHBS every year and is good friends with Hunter Cycles. We had a great conversation and I really hope we can meet up at a bike show sometime. Needless to say I had to buy some locally made Japanese clothing before I left, and just in case Klontz every comes back to Japan they have the limited edition Rapha front covered as well.