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Biwakoguma Bicycles

Matthew Butterman

Monday 21 March 2016

Biwakoguma Bicycles: Out of this world

Biwakoguma Bicycles from builder Tsuyoshi Ishizu turned heads this year at NAHBS with a bike called "Galaxy" that featured a Jackson Pollock-inspired paint scheme.

Biwakoguma Bicycles: Out of this world
Photo: Matt Butterman

Tsuyoshi Ishizu is the man behind Biwakoguma Bicycles, and he brought a bicycle named “Galaxy” (and nicknamed “UFO”) to his New Builder table at NAHBS this year. The bike’s paint scheme was inspired by American artist Jackson Pollock’s “action painting” style.

Ishizu built this bike for a Japanese friend and used Kaisei 019 steel tubing. The bike is suited for long-distance rides, with classic road bike geometry. Ishizu used chrome-plated polished lugs, a curved bend front fork with traditional threaded steerer tube, and triple-triangle style curved bend seatstays.

Here are the design details:

Top tube length: 560mm

Seat tube length: 550mm

Head tube angle: 72.1 degrees

Seat tube angle: 73.8 degrees

Fork rake: 48mm

BB drop: 70mm

Wheelbase: 1010mm

Chainstay length: 410mm

Maximum tire clearance: 28c

Ishizu orchestrated and performed complete production of the frame, from design to its attention-getting paint scheme, which involves gold and silver leaf accents. He calls the complete paint scheme “UFO flying galaxy”.

Biwakoguma Bicycles

The catalog introducing Jackson Pollock’s first exhibition called his talent “volcanic. It has fire. It is unpredictable. It is undisciplined. It spills out of itself in a mineral prodigality, not yet crystallized.”

While the same might be said of the Galaxy’s visceral paint job, clearly the bike's overall craftsmanship is grounded in the great tradition of Japanese precision and highly disciplined frame building.

Find out more about Biwakoguma Bicycles at their website.