Topics: MongoDB | Blog
Japanese bicycles are often of very fine quality, but few are available in the U.S. market today, due to unfavorable currency exchange rates. There are still many very fine Japanese bicycles available on the used market, and this article is intended as a guide to them.
After the Second World War, Japan was primarily known for making cheap knockoffs of foreign designs, competing on the basis of cheap labor. This began to turn around in the camera and electronics industries in the 1950s, but Japanese companies didn't figure out how to make and sell bicycles for the U.S. market until the early 1970s.
As the 1970s opened, the U.S. market for adult bicycles was basically owned by the French and English. While Japanese bicycles were manufactured to very tight tolerances, and nicely finished (considerably better than their European competition), the Japanese had not yet come to terms with the average American's being taller and heavier than the average Japanese. (This gap was wider at the time than it is now, due to the privations the Japanese population suffered during and after the war.)