Sometimes at a bike show something just grabs your attention, stands out among everything else. In this case it's something that bought a smile to my face, a huge childish grin and I can't help giggling every time I look at a photo of this bike. Ok, it's not the normal kind of thing we'd feature here on Pinkbike, but bear with me...
| The Yasujiro speedbike, with its creator, JC Charrier. |
What is it? The best answer is a cross between a child's push bike and a 1970s street racing motorbike. It's purpose is simple: to go down hills as fast as possible. Sure that will be on tarmac, but speed is speed and this is built to find as much of it as possible. To really understand this bike, you need to swing a leg over. Paddling around a flat field you feel like a child again, but once you get enough pace to tuck into the bike you realised how aggressive the riding position is and the potential of this bike for going scarily fast. A few people tried to make bikes like this in the 1980s, turning BMX frames upside down and fitting drop bars, but they were garage-made bodges, this is crafted out of Tange's finest steel and finished in sexy black and chrome.
| To understand this bike, you just need to look at the brakes: Shimano Saint with big rotors. You don't put those brakes on a bike for show, there are lighter, prettier brakes out there if you want to make a bike to look at. They are there for trying to stop a bike moving very, very quickly. The tyres are as close as you can get to a full slick in a 24" size.|
| The contact points are minimal and functional. The saddle is just enough to brace yourself against and the footpegs are part of what makes this bike so hilarious. Pedaling would make it too serious and compromise the aero-tuck position, they also give it that wonderful childhood feel. Because you can't pedal, apparently you need to learn to corner with it, carry your speed through the apexes without compromising your tuck.|
| I'm a sucker for the black and chrome, it just does it for me. The tubing looks weird at first, but as you spend more time around this bike it becomes incredibly beautiful. Don't ask how or why, it just does...|
| JC, showing how it's done. If the thought of trying to hit 50mph in that riding position doesn't bring a smile to your face, then you have my sympathy...|
JC organised this short film this summer, to show off what the bike can do. The fact the rider is wearing full Moto GP style leathers says enough for us.
We can feel a roadtrip coming on next Spring to head up to the Pyrennes to try this out on some big mountains roads...www.asphaltgravity.com
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