Track Supermarket - Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully you can find the answer to your question here on this faq page, which focuses mainly on availability and compatibility or Japanese track racing bicycle parts. If you still have a question, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. How can I buy a hand made steel Japanese track bike frame?
Track Supermarket takes orders for custom made frames, hand made in Japan, by makers such as Panasonic, Nagasawa, Nakagawa, Bridgestone/Anchor, Samson, Baramon, Vogue, Cherubim and Ganwell Pro, with more brands to be offered in the near future. We are currently working on a custom frame ordering mini-web store, which should help a lot. Currently custom frame ordering is done via contact/email, apart from Panasonic frames, which can be ordered in the FRAMES category of tracksupermarket.com
Alternatively, you can buy used. Track Supermarket usually offers a small range of select keirin track frames. The advantage of buying used is the low cost, and the fact that a NJS approved headset and bb set is often included.
2. What about restored frames?
Track Supermarket also restores used race frames, and then offers them for purchase via the website. These frames have usually had a top tube replacement (necessary due to crash damage), and inspection by a pro frame builder in Japan. The frame is then sent to a top quality pro frame painting shop, for repainting. For Nagasawa frames, they are completely 100% returned to NEW condition! This is a very, very expensive process, and is completely done by Mr Yoshiaki Nagasawa, himself.
3. Panasonic hand build frames?!
Although Panasonic is best known for its TVs, and Stereos, the company has a deeply involved history with bicycles and bike racing. Panasonic NJS frames are built by hand in Nara, Kansai Japan, with lost wax lugs and 3D designed, original Tange tubing, using the same techniques Nagasawa San is using to build his frames. Panasonic's factory is also surprisingly very modest.
4. Nagasawa frames available for order?
I am very lucky to be have a close relationship with Nagasawa San, and he has been generous enough to allow me to take orders for pista frames. They must be built with allowances for brakes front and rear, due to Nagasawa Sans personal view on riders using no brakes on the street. If you are going to be riding on the velodrome, a 'no brake holes' frame can also be built. For Nagasawa frame orders please email me at email@example.com with as much information regarding your body dimensions as possible, as well as information regarding the type of stem/bars, pedals and saddle you plan to use. Current building time is around 3-4 months average.
5. Can I use brakes on a keirin track frame/bicycle?
Yes of course! Thanks to companies in Japan such as TEMPRA and Dia Compe, you can fit clamp-on type brakes to a keirin track frame which originally was not drilled to allow brakes. There are front and rear types, and you can find them in the BRAKES category at tracksupermarket.com
6. Are track frames able to be ridden on the street?
While it would be wise of me to advise that a track frame is built for track racing, I must add that through my own experiences a
Japanese steel track frame makes a brilliant street bike.
7. What type of bottom bracket and headset do I need for my Japanese track frame?
Track frames in Japan generally take a 1 inch JIS threaded headset, and an English thread/JIS bottom bracket. NJS bottom brackets are between 109mm/109.5mm/110mm in axle length.
8. What about hubs? Don't Japanese keirin frames use an odd 110mm x 8mm rear hub?
This is true for about 50% of older frames in Japan, and about 20% of newer frames in Japan.
Most recent (last 10-15 year old) frames use the standard 100mm x 9mm front hub measurement, and
120mm x 10mm rear hub measurement, so there is no problem there.
9. What seat post diameter does my Japanese track frame take?
Unfortunately this is not standardized. Japanese keirin frame seat tubes accept one of three different size seatposts.
26.8mm, 27.0mm, or 27.2mm (most common).
10. What size frame do I need?
Some people like to know their frame fits them perfectly, while for most, close enough is good enough.
You can always adjust stem length, stem angle, type of handle bar, angle of handle bar and seat post height and saddle position
to suit, but it is good to start with a frame that fits as close to perfect as possible.
1. What is the story with NJS approved rims?
Regarding NJS approved rims, the only model you are likely to ever see, is the Araya Gold 16B low profile, 36 hole
tubular, polished rims, which are still available today for purchase at Track Supermarket. They are painfully
beautiful classic narrow tubulars, with a mirror-polish finish. They are not chromed, and are not anodized.
UKAI also produced a pro race rim for keirin riders a long time ago, but they are long out of production and
extremely rare. They look very similar to Araya Gold 16B rims.
2. What about NJS clincher rims?
In short, they do not exist. Keirin race bikes use only tubular tyres and tubular rims. Unfortunately there is nothing very similar to the Araya Gold 16B in a clincher style. So, best to get used to running tubulars! :)
3. Where are all the Araya Super Aeros?
Sorry, I am searching for them too. They are surprisingly rare in Japan too, probably due to their original
price tag of around 180 USD per rim.
4. Are all NJS approved rims 36 hole only?
5. Can I use Araya GOLD 16B rims on the street?
Yes of course, although they are certainly not recommended for high impact riding, trick riding etc.
6. What spokes are NJS approved?
Although I am not 100% clear on the NJS rules regarding spokes, I know that there are only 4 models of spoke in Japan which have NJS stamps clearly marked on the packaging;
Hoshi 305mm Double Butted (round) stainless racing (pack of 72 w/nipples included)
These spokes are all manufactured to a length that is suitable to be laced in a 4 cross pattern to a high flange 36 hole hub such as Sansin, Suzue, Suntour, Dura Ace, Campagnolo.
Hoshi spokes are still available new in Japan, and here at Track Supermarket. Asahi stopped manufacturing their racing spokes years ago, but are rumoured to be re-beginning production.
7. What about those super wide blade spokes?!
Both Hoshi and Asahi have ceased production of the '3 blade' spokes, which are still scarcely available as deadstock
in Japan. These spokes were never allowed in keirin racing, and therefore are not NJS approved.
1. What tyres do the pro riders use in Japan?
Soyo supplies the NJS certified tyres to keirin riders in Japan. There are a few models available, all with
slightly different properties.
2. Why can't I buy these tyres at Track Supermarket?
You can, but they are not featured in the online store. Please email us to order some NJS tyres.
3. Are the Soyo spurt racing green tyres also NJS approved?
No. The Soyo green tubulars featured in the Track Supermarket online store are street training road and
track bike tyres.
4. Why run tubulars? Isn't installation difficult and messy?
If you are using tubulars on the street, please stop messing around with glue, and just use the Miyata tubular
tyre tape, which is sold at Track Supermarket. It is very easy, quick and clean to use.
5. Why are the Vittoria Randonneur so expensive to ship?
Because they are heavy, and do not fold, so require a large box.
6. Why are the white Vittoria tyres often sold out?
They are a limited edition exclusive to Ganwell in Kyoto, Japan and are often sold out due to the fact they are not a general release.
1. What hubs are NJS approved for keirin racing use?
Over the years several hubs have been approved for keirin use, such as;
Shimano Dura Ace, 2 high flange models including the still-used 7600 model, and
a low flange model, also still available new.
2. Which hubs can be bought new?
Only one model, the Shimano Dura Ace HB-7600 is offered at Track Supermarket. Shimano also still produce a low flange model which is NJS approved.
3. Are all NJS hubs 36 hole?
Yes, only 36 hole hubs can be approved for racing in pro keirin in Japan, although the manufacturers do generally offer the hubs with alternative hole counts.
The Shimano Dura Ace HB-7600 is still available at Track Supermarket in either 28, 32, or 36 hole types.
4. What is the deal with '120 spaced' and '110 keirin spacing'? What does that mean?
While 110mm spacing is often incorrectly referred to as 'keirin spacing', all keirin frames are
not 110mm spaced.
Most recent (last 10-15 year old) frames use the standard 100mm x 9mm front hub measurement, and
120mm x 10mm rear hub measurement, so there is no problem there.
5. Are Gran Compe hubs NJS approved?
No, they are sealed bearing, which makes them more weather resistant than open-bearing NJS hubs, and the price is more affordable, but they are not made as pro racing hubs. They are aimed at street use.
6. Where can I get those black Dura Ace high flange hubs? Or those Dura Ace hubs with colorful side plates?
Those photos that have shown up on various websites, are not officially released hubs, but rather standard
Dura Ace hubs that have been modified/customised by the owner (a 3rd party).
1. What size seat posts do NJS track racing frames accept?
It depends on the type of tubing used for your frame's seat tube. All keirin frames
use either 26.8mm, 27.0mm, or most commonly 27.2mm seat post diameters.
2. Only NITTO make an NJS approved seatpost?
Yes, now only Nitto is making NJS approved posts. Previously Shimano produced the Dura Ace
and Ultegra NJS models, which were a collaboration with tubing specialist EASTON. They were
super light and beautifully finished, and are now very rare.
3. What is the story with 30mm vs 44mm rail widths?
Kashima, the Osakan keirin saddle maker, offer the Five Gold 7P and 8P model saddles for use
on track bikes, which use an unusually narrow 30mm rail width. This is to minimize restriction
due to the saddle possibly rubbing on the riders legs while sprinting. It gives a little more
clearance. Hey, have you seen the tree trunk legs those guys have?! It makes sense.
4. Those Sugino seat posts are impossible to adjust! What about Nitto?
Yes, those Sugino and Campagnolo seat posts were a real pain to adjust or install. Luckily the Nitto uses the far more friendly twin-bolt system which is adjusted with a hex wrench from underneath.
1. What saddles do keirin pro riders use?
All riders now use Kashimax (kashima) racing saddles, in either white, black or brown; the
only colors allowed in pro racing.
2. Are custom colors available?
Track Supermarket custom orders limited runs direct from Kashimax, in different finishes such
as shiny silver, white or gold, black or white ostrich, or bright pink.
3. Are the custom saddles NJS approved?
No, but that is just because the colors do not fit into the NJS rules. The saddle is the same Five Gold 4P model, just with a different cover on top!
4. Are the Kashimax Aero saddles original from the 80's?
Although originall a BMX model from the 1980's,
they were re-released by Kashimax in Japan in late 2008 in a range of colors.
5. Why do Track Supermarket not offer a black plastic Kashimax Aero saddle?
Sorry, Kashimax chose not to release a black model this time around.
6. So Kashimax is the only producer of keirin saddles in Japan?
Yes, but many years ago, ARIAKE and FUJITA were producing saddles for use in keirin racing. Both have since ceased production.
1. Where are all the 17 tooth NJS cogs?
Due to the specific needs of pro racers, NJS approved cogs from Shimano are
only produced in sizes 13,14,15,16.
2. Are the HKK Vertex Blue chains actually 'blue' ?!
Yes and no. They are black, but have an oily shine that flashes blue in certain light.
3. What is the difference between the HKK Vertex blue, silver and gold chains?
Nothing other than the color/finish. They are all essentially the same chain.
4. Can you explain the finish of the NJS chains?
HKK Blue - black that shines an oily blue in certain light.
5. Why are those Sugino NJS cogs so damn expensive?
They are titanium coated, and super light, with a tough finish.
1. What BB should I use with my NJS crank set?
If you are using a NJS approved square taper crank set or similar, such as the Dura Ace 7600, Sugino 75, Grand Mighty, or Suntour Superbe Pro cranks, you should consider a suitable bottom bracket such as the Hatta R9400, or Sugino 75. If you are using an octalink type Shimano Dura Ace set, please use the matching octalink type NJS bottom bracket, also made by Shimano.
2. What cranksets are NJS approved for pro racing in Japan?
Currently, the Shimano FC-7600 and octalink FC-7710 models, as well as the Sugino 75, and Sugino 75 Grand Mighty models.
3. What type of chainring do I need for my NJS crank set?
The bolt pattern is 144 pcd, so you need a chainring with a 144 pcd, such as the Sugino 75, Sugino Zen, Shimano Dura Ace track. You should use a chainring with a track-standard 3mm thickness.
4. Are chainring bolts and crank caps included with cranksets purchased at Track Supermarket?
About 3 years ago, all Sugino cranksets included crank bolts caps/covers, but they are no longer
5. Are crank bolts included with new cranksets?
No. Cranks bolts are included with new bottom bracket sets, not cranksets.
6. Does Track Supermarket stock older 151 pcd type chainrings?
We usually have some used 151 pcd rings, so please use the 'contact' link to send an email request.
7. Are different brands of chainrings and cranks interchangable?
Yes any crank and chainring combination is possible, as long as both are 144pcd, and the chainring
is a 3mm track style thickness, although you can get away with a 2mm road style thickness also.
1. Can I use a Nitto track stem with my frame?
To use a Nitto track stem, such as the Pearl, NJ PRO, and Technomic models featured at Track Supermarket
you will need a frame with a 1 inch threaded headset/fork.
2. What about compatibility between stem and handle bars?
The track standard in Japan is 25.4mm, which is the diameter of the clamp area, where the stem grabs onto
the handle bar. Most Nitto bars and stems will work together, with a notable exception being the Nitto RB021
silver bull horn/pursuit style bar. This is a 26.0 bar, so expect an undersized 25.4 stem to scratch it up a fair
bit, unless great care is used during installation.
3. What width of handle bar do I need?
For riser bars, you can cut them to length, so this is not such a problem.
4. What is the difference between the NJ PRO and PEARL stem types?
The NJ PRO AA and NJ PRO have very similar angles. They are deep aggressive track stems, with short quill sections.
This means they sit low into your headset, and then angle drastically down toward your front tyre.
5. Why doesn't Track Supermarket sell the Nitto B259AA riser bar?
Unfortunately, Nitto chose to discontinue 3 of their best parts in 2007, including the B259AA riser, Crystal Fellow stem, and High Crown stem.
6. The B Witch riser bars have been sold out for ages? What's the deal?
Sorry, it is very hard to get ahold of stock in Japan. We always have them on back order, so as soon as they are available we will have them in the online store!
7. Where can I get spare parts for my Nitto stem?
Please contact us, and we can most likely get you a missing bolt, washer or whatever part you are missing. These spares do not, as yet, feature in the online store.
1. My frame has no holes drilled for brakes, do I need to drill my fork?
No! Please check out the Dia Compe brake sets for track bikes, featured in the online store at Track Supermarket.
2. Do these kits work well? Are they safe to use?
These kits are hugely popular and I have never heard any bad news about them. It is a great way to ride safe, and preserve your track frame to its original condition.
3. Which type do I need; round, oval or aero type?
This depends on the shape of the tubes your fork was made with. If your fork uses classic track style round tubes, they you need
the round version. If your fork's tubes are slightly oval in shape, you need the oval version. If your fork features pronounced 'blade'
type tubes ,then you need the aero type kit.
4. Is a brake lever included with the Dia Compe front brake kit?
The silver and black kits include a brake lever, which can be used only with drop handlebars. If you have a riser bar, flat bar, bullhorn, or you want to use a brake lever on the top of your drop handlebars, you will need to purchase a separate lever, such as the MX-122 by Dia Compe, or the Shot Lever by Gran Compe. Also the red, gold, and blue brake kits do not include any brake lever.
5. Do I even need brakes on my track bike?
Of course, when riding on the street nothing beats the safety of using a good brake on both the front and rear of your bike.
Also, it is most likely a legal issue depending on where you live.
6. How does the Shot Lever work? Does it control both front and rear brakes?
The Gran Compe Shot Lever is a strange and interesting model of brake lever. It does not control 2 brakes. Rather, it allows you to control one brake, with either left or right hand. The lever mounts next to the stem, and can be controlled with either fingers of the left or right hand.
7. Track Supermarket also sells the Dura Ace brakes, but how can they be fitted to a track bike?
These are only meant for people who have forks drilled for brakes already.
1. What head sets do pro riders in Japan use?
90% of pro keirin riders use the Hatta Swan Super Deluxe open bearing headset, which has mirror polished bearing races as standard.
Hatta parts are rarely seen outside of Japan. They concentrate only on Keirin parts for Japan's pro track riders. The Hatta R9400 bottom bracket is the most popular square taper bb on the pro circuit too.
3. Are there any sealed bottom brackets and headsets for track bikes?
Yes, Shimano Dura Ace. The 7410 headset is sealed cartridge bearing, very quick and easy to install, with
no adjustment necessary.
4. What type of headsets do Japanese keirin frames take?
1 inch threaded JIS headsets, such as Hatta Swan, Shimano Dura Ace NJS, Tange Levin.
5. What type of bottom brackets do Japanese keirin frames take?
109/109.5/110mm axle, English threaded (68) such as Hatta R9400, Shimano Dura Ace NJS, Sugino 75, Campagnolo NJS.
6. Do Hatta make Italian 26.4/30.2 Swan headsets?
Yes, but right now, Track Supermarket does not stock them. Sorry.
7. Can all NJS approved cranksets, work with all NJS approved bb sets?
Yes, with the exception being the Dura Ace octalink series, which use a splined type axle, rather than a square tapered axle.
8. Where can I get some new replacement Sugino bb/crank bolts?
Track Supermarket stocks these. Please contact us to order. They are not in the online shop.
9. What about bearings?
Again, please contact us to order some Hatta bb bearings (compatible with Sugino 75), or headset bearings.
1. What grips do keirin pro riders use?
Soyo long grips, Soyo short grips, Soyo SV long grips, Strong V grips, Champ grips.
2. Are those grips NJS approved?
No, not technically, since grips do not receive NJS approval.
3. Can keirin type 'long grips' be used on riser bars?
Yes, of course, but if you are using brake levers, the grips might be too long!
1. What is the difference between the MKS custom nuevo, and MKS royal nuevo?
The cages of the custom nuevo are black, and the bearings are sealed.
2. I heard you cannot use double straps with the RX-1 model pedals, is that true?
You can use double straps with the RX-1.
3. Are the RX-1 pedals for race use only?
No, I personally used RX-1 pedals on the street for about a year straight. They are fine for street use, but some riders might prefer a bigger pedal, understandably. The RX-1 is a very light, small pedal.
4. Why are the TOSHI double straps not NJS approved?
I have no idea, to be honest. The singles are approved, and very popular with keirin pro riders. I need to research this further! They are very tough straps which should never break on you.
5. I am having trouble getting my straps through the holes in the pedals. What am I doing wrong?
Japanese racing toe straps are very thick, and can take some time, patience and force! I like
to use pliers to pull them through the holes. Some people also cut the ends to create more of a sharp,
arrow-shaped end. You might also try applying a little grease or oil to the holes or end of the strap.
6. Why do the Kashimax double straps not include the 'coupling patch'?
Kashimax stopped including those patches in Japan about 2 years ago.
7. Do I need special toe clips, if I want to use double straps?
No, you can use any regular toe clips you wish to use.