Tag Archives: yoshi nishikawa

My First Bike: Yoshi Nishikawa

My First Bike explores the life and work of professional frame builders by going back to the start and looking at the first bike they ever built. Today’s My First Bike features Yoshi Nishikawa, a production welder for Seven Cycles who recently launched his own company, Kualis Cycles.

Give me the short rundown of your first frame: when was it built, where, materials, any special details about it, etc.

These two frames were almost built at the same time. One of them is for a C1 racer on the Rapha Japan team. The other one is also for a C1 racer.

I had an order from the customer directly through my blog and website. The customer wanted a bike which made him win in a cross race.

When I design a bike, when I decide what tubes to use for the customer, after checking the customer’s information, I always imagine a frame in my head before it is built. Maybe this way is from my past experience as an architect. I make a little story between the customer and a bike.

I follow all the processes from touching a tube, to adjusting the alignment by feel after welding. I imagine clearly about the tubing character and the stiffness, softness …

This bike was also built through the process for only this customer.  I design and build each bike with each character. Every bike is different even though I use the same tubing.

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Framebuilding Porn

I love finding new blogs, especially when they’re already well established and I can spend hours sifting through the archives. This morning I came across Yoshi Nishikawa’s Builder’s Life and spent more time browsing than I’m sure my bosses would care to know. Yoshi left his job as a frame builder at Japan’s Level bikes several years ago and started work as a Ti and steel welder for Seven Cycles in Boston.

Yoshi’s blog mostly centers around the work he does at Seven. The picture-heavy posts feature a lot of detail shots of his amazingly clean welds as well as other interesting shots from around the factory, of complete bikes, and occasionally from his personal life.

His writing is sparse. Each post contains just a few sentences (in both English and Japanese); enough essential details to give the reader an idea of what they’re looking at. But, the pictures alone provide a fascinating glimpse into the life and work of a high-end bike builder.