As master builder Shin-ichi Konno tells it, Cherubim cycles was founded in 1965 by his father Hitoshi Konno after the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The games brought many European race bikes to Japan, especially Italian ones, and these beautiful machines sparked the imaginations of cyclists all across Japan. This sparked what could be considered a golden age for the lightweight high-performance bicycle in Japan. Building upon the inspiration of the ’64 Games, Cherubim lead Japan into Mexico City as the official supplier of the 1968 Olympic team, only three years after its founding.
After Mexico City the Japanese golden age of lightweight handmade bicycles continued. Inspired by Hitoshi, two more companies, 3Rensho, and Miyuki, were founded and the three Konno brothers competed, inspired and pushed each other to better their trade. Out of this competition and the Japanese spirit of tradition, respect and craftsmanship a gorgeous new Japanese style began appearing.
Now almost fifty years after its founding Cherubim is lead by Shin-ichi Konno and his unique approach: incorporating Japanese artistic style into modern steel bikes. His arching lines, thin profile tubing and sharp finishing accents make the Cherubim look instantly recognizable and extremely sought-after. The bikes, still extremely rare outside of Japan, have been winning awards both in and out of Japan, including the NAHBS 2012 Best Of Show for his ‘Hummingbird‘ bike.
After watching Shin-ichi Konno for years and admiring his work we’re happy to introduce him as one of our custom bike builders. Cherubim brings a unique build aesthetic to our line-up and we are very excited to work with them to create bikes that are unusual and innovative. Though well established with their own shops in Japan, Cherubim has very few partners outside of their home country. We hope to bring our 40 years of experience building unique and sought-after custom bikes to make this a wonderful opportunity for a few lucky customers.