i first saw nagasawa frames in the middle/late 70s at the
now defunct n.y. international cycle shows at the coliseum
at columbus circle. (data point: only the circle is left; they
leveled the coliseum). i started taking a booth there in 75 and had
always (tried) to keep my antennae up. though unmarked,
i'd annually notice the coolest frames, not at the importers of
italian goods, but used as a platform by suntour for their line
of components. confused? in essence, that firm used matte-
black-and-decal-less nagasawa frames to showcase the
parts they made. from my first view and from the subsequent
detective work i carried on, i became a nagasawa devotee.
i will leave out a ton of information here because i'm a one-
finger typist, but the message is that i was convinced that this
maker and these frames were the closest i would come to that
age old fantasy (that we all at one time bought into) that here
was the real thing. i have been to italy many times and i have
'seen' many of the so-called top tier shops go from family
businesses into major manufacturers and into 'brands'. and
i don't begrudge them or those choices. but, as a neophyte,
i looked for a role model. during those years and those that
followed, i would come first to the suntour booth for a dose
of inspiration. ultimately, i'd see the frames marked as nagasawas
and his stock rose even higher.

because i was 1) always suspicious of the cycle industry and its
ever-present need to create a buzz just for the heluvit, and concurrently
2) i was fascinated with the 'national living treasures of japan thing'
(apologies for expressing it so trivially...) i had created this image of
a mr. nagasawa holed up in osaka making perfect frames at his own
pace and answering to no one. and i apologize for personalizing this,
but my point here is that i adapted (sp?) my notion of this fellow as my
own personal role model. whether founded or not, the information i
dug up about this fellow, and the quality-the consistently extremely high
quality of his work-all this, when juxtaposed against my lowering
opinion of the so-called high zoot italian built frames...well-i just
had this belief that nagasawa came (comes) the closest to being the arch-
typical master builder of the classic road/track frame. i was always unsure
as to why he didn't get much airplay outside of japan and the keirin circuit.
but no matter...i followed this guy all these years. i never understood when
CR listees didn't 'get into' his frames.

i tried other times to get threads going about his work and they
mostly fizzled. but thanks to spotting those pics on dale's show
page perhaps some others will give this bicycle maker his just do.
i think he is without peer. maybe it's a 'rose colored glasses thing'.
but until it's shown to me to be otherwise, nagasawa frames made
in the classic manner are the best of the best.