The namesake of this angelic machine is the crane, an elegant bird that annually crosses continents for their winter migration. It’s an apt title for this fast randonneur, designed by Berlin’s Kimura Cycle Works and built by Fukuda-san of Raizin Works in Japan.
When Yuji Kimura was a teenager, his friend’s father owned a bike shop that also produced made-to-measure frames. While Yuji rode his Bridgestone around, he also admired the custom bikes that emanated from the inner sanctum of the shop.
He studied industrial design in Germany, delving into entertainment electronics and eventually gravitated towards the automotive sector. But even though he was working at the pinnacle of the European market, his primary interest was still in bikes.
Yuji continued to ride to work even though he had been given a company car as part of his remuneration. Over time, he realised he was bored with automotive design and decided to found Kimura Cycle Works.
“As a benchmark,” Yuji tells us, “I looked to my beloved Singer and De Rosa bicycles. The frames that I design and bicycles I build should be able to stand next to these masterpieces without shame.”
This model from Kimura Cycle Works is named Kranich — the German translation of crane. It’s a road bike whose geometry and components have been modified for traversing long distances with speed and comfort.
Fukuda-san built the frame using a fillet brazed bi-laminate construction from Kaisei 8630R tubes, forming slender points towards the centre of the head tube, reminiscent of the crane’s slender head.
The Kranich debuted at last year’s Berliner Fahrradschau, the first of a series of models that will range from mixtes and mountain bikes to world tourers and commuters. If they continue in the style of the Kranich, they’ll be something to behold.
Kimura Cycle Works Website