Interbike 2013: Cherubim...
One of the more unusual bikes at this years show, and very likely the most unusual, was this Cherubim. Shown at the Fairwheel Bikes booth, it was eye-catching both for its bright red finish and its non-traditional design. Lacking in both a "normal" downtube, as well seat stays, I have to wonder at its performance capabilities. Similarly, without the means to accommodate waterbottle cages or racks would seem to hamper its functionality. It is a classic example of a concept piece, though, a bike which explores different territories, geometries, methods, in an attempt to refine (or redefine) what is possible.
Cherubim bikes were founded by Hitoshi Konno in 1965, following in the wake of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. Success for the company was almost immediate, and three years later Cherubim supplied the bicycles ridden by the Japanese Olympic team in Mexico City. Following those 1968 Olympics Konno's two brothers formed their own bicycle companies, 3Rensho and Miyuki, the three competing and pushing each other to excel at their craft. Needless to say, they are among the most sought after of Japanese made frames.
Today Cherubim is directed by Hitoshi Konno's son, Shin-ichi Konno, who has furthered the artistic vision begun by his father and, I dare say, brought it to new levels. His Hummingbird won the Best of Show Award at the 2012 North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Not all Cherubim bikes are as non-traditional. In fact most of the company's line follows the standard double-triangle design. The company has also remained true to their beginnings, focusing on the build and ride qualities of steel tubing, as well as the artistic opportunities that steel affords.
As with all these reviews from Interbike 2013, I have not received any prior compensation, nor promise of later compensation, from the above mentioned company, nor am I connected to them in any way. Views expressed are the result of my observations and subsequent research only.