Samurai Cycle Works’ master builder Koh Annoura didn’t have to travel too far to NAHBS in Austin – he’s based in Houston, TX. But his journey as a framebuilder started much further away, in his native Japan where he was a Keirin racer for 17 years.
Fittingly, when he started building he concentrated on Keirin-inspired track bikes, but has now expanded his production to cater for town riders and, increasingly, local racers. “All the customers expected me to make track bikes!” he comments, “but I also have a passion to make road bikes, town bikes and cyclocross, too.” On display on the Samurai stand were a Crit-style road bike and a single-speed town bike, made with Japanese Tange tubing, and Japanese lugs too.
On the town bike in particular, was evidence of one of Koh’s trademarks: he likes to re-chrome and polish old parts – often ones to which their owners have a sentimental attachment – to make his builds more personal and breathe new life into old memories.
Click more for a close-up of the beautiful old Nitto stem on the cream bike, and a set of Kimori brake adaptors peeped on the stand. These can be clamped on to a frame, and used to mount brakes on track bikes that aren’t drilled to take a standard bolt fitting. They’re often used by Keirin riders who have to practise on the road, and Annoura claims the Kimoris are more stable than the more usually seen Dia Compes.