The Best Japanese Bicycle Brands
Bicycles are called ‘jitensha’ (自転車) in Japan. They are quite a popular mode of transport for going from one place to another. Besides this, Japanese bicycles are known for their great build and quality. Below are the top Japanese bicycle brands.
- Fuji Bikes
- Panasonic Cycle Technology Co., Ltd.
- Bridgestone Cycle Co Ltd.
- Tokyo Bike
- Asahi Cycle
Japanese companies are known for making quality bicycles. As a result, Japanese brands are preferred all over the world. If you are in Japan, there are several places in the country that are great for cycling. Thus, Japan has a well-known cycling culture.
Fuji Bikes make bicycles and related equipment. They are also known for their high-endurance bicycles. Fuji Bikes was earlier known as Nichibei Fuji Cycle Company, Ltd.
Fuji has been making bicycles for more than a century. It has bicycles for city traffic, mountain bikes, as well as racing bikes. Fuji bikes can be chosen and bought online on their website. Then, the bike is assembled at the nearest store. After this, it can be picked up from the store. Fuji also makes cycling gear and accessories.
- Founded: 1889
- Website: https://www.fujibikes.com/usa/
- Popular product: Rakan 29 1.1
Yoshiaki Nagasawa is a former professional cyclist. He started building bicycle frames in 1976. The Yoshiaki Nagasawa bicycles are famous because the frames built under this brand were used by Koichi Nakano in professional bike racing and he went on to win 10 world titles consecutively.
Nagasawa bicycles are known for the Keirin frames. Thus, when it comes to Keirin racing bikes, Nagasawa emerges as the most trusted name. Yoshiaki Nagasawa owns a shop in Osaka. At this shop, the bicycles are crafted based on custom orders. However, it is a small establishment. But the reputation of the shop is indisputable.
- Founded: 1976
- Popular product: Weltmeister Nagasawa (Kochi Nakano won the 1985 world championship using this bicycle.)
Panasonic Cycle Technology Co., Ltd.
Konosuke Matsushita started this brand. He created innovative bicycle designs under the brand. The brand became popular due to its high quality standards. The company also makes cycling gear and spare parts.
The bicycles are made from high-quality steel, titanium, and aluminum. They also make a range of different bikes. They make the mamachari and commuter bikes in this brand. Also, they make touring and track racing bikes. In fact, some of their road bikes have been used in the Tour de France. They have also launched the electric-assist bikes.
- Founded: 1951
- Website: https://cycle.panasonic.com/
- Popular product: Panasonic Electric-Assist Bike
Bridgestone Cycle Co Ltd
Bridgestone makes bicycles under its own brand as well as under Anchor. It has also marketed their bicycles under Kabuki earlier. They ventured into the then-new mountain bike range. Soon, they became the innovators in that area.
It is known for not following the trends in bicycle manufacturing. Instead, they focus on building dependable and comfortable bikes. Bridgestone makes mountain bikes with shorter chain-stays. The bikes also have a steep frame angle. This makes the structure of the bike nimble. Thus, it gives better agility for mountain climbing.
- Founded: 1949
- Website: https://www.bscycle.co.jp/en/
- Popular product: Bridgestone X9B Elite
Tokyo bike was founded less than two decades ago. But it quickly got the reputation of being a trustworthy brand. The brand promotes bikes made for exploring. The designs are minimalistic. However, they are modern and in sync with the urban trends. They also exude a certain vibe that is characteristic of Japan, with the straight lines and sharp angles.
The frames are made from a Cr-Mo alloy which makes the bike lightweight. Thus, these bikes are great for city commute. The wheel size is also small making the bike compact. Thus, these bikes are ideal for owners who live the city life with fewer spaces for parking. These agile bikes are a dream to ride. They can also quickly accelerate due to their linear design. These bikes are very lightweight.
- Founded: 2002
- Website: https://tokyobike.us/
- Popular product: Classic Sport 26
At Asahi Cycle, the belief is that bicycles hold a lot of potential for the future. They view bicycles as the solution for issues such as pollution and traffic congestion. The brand aims to promote eco-friendly living. And this reflects in the cycles they make.
Asahi Cycle makes bicycles that are great for city rides. They are convenient and functional. Thus, they are a perfect option for everyday life. The company also takes the quality of their bicycles very seriously. All regulations are complied with. Also, regular reviews ensure consistent quality. The brand aims for customer satisfaction. This shows in their good quality bikes. Their non flat tire bikes are quite popular. You never have to worry about flat tires or air leaks.
- Founded: 1986
- Website: http://www.asahicycle.co.jp/
- Popular product: Non-flat tire bicycles
Araya started cycle rim manufacturing in Japan in 1903. By 1946, they were making Swallow Bicycles. The ‘Swallow’ brand is associated with original designs. Also, these bicycles are known to be very durable. They make touring cycles, mountain bikes, folding bikes. They also make practical city bicycles. All of their designs boast of great build and quality materials.
Araya bikes are known for their good quality wheels. Their small-diameter wheels are practical. This makes the bikes lightweight and functional. Their mountain bike range Muddy Fox (launched in 1982) is very popular. Araya also makes bicycle spare parts. Their high-quality bicycle wheels for racing bikes are famous.
- Founded: 1903
- Website: http://araya-rinkai.jp/
- Popular product: Muddy Fox MFB
Maruishi Cycle makes bicycles that are great for family use. They also make the ‘mamachari’ cycles with a seat for a child. Also, the Junior range of Maruishi Cycle is a good buy for children. They have launched the electric-assist bikes, too.
Safety is given importance in the bicycles made by this brand. It is a family-oriented brand. A lot of models have an option to attach a child seat. With the child seat attached, the design optimizes the center of gravity. As a result, these bikes ensure a safe and stable ride. Most of their bikes have the option of attaching two child seats. Thus, these bikes are great for families.
- Founded: 1972
- Website: https://www.maruishi-cycle.com/
- Popular product: Frackers Float Cozutti
Dahon was founded by David Hon in California in 1982. However, it was licensed as a Japanese brand quite recently in 2018. Dahon was started as an eco-friendly option for city life. The brand is known for its good quality bicycles and great designs.
Dahon is known for its innovative folding bikes. The design, pioneered by Dahon, has become popular due to its functionality. The technology was conceived by Hon more than 35 years ago. Over the years, it has been improved upon further. But, the basis of the technology remains the same.
- Founded: 1982
- Website: https://www.dahon.jp/index.html
- Popular product: Horize Disc 20 inch
Kuwahara was started as a small family owned business in Osaka. Soon, business expanded and bicycle and spare parts started being exported. The well-known Apollo brand was also manufactured under Kuwahara.
The Kuwahara bike was even featured in the movie ET. But that’s not its only claim to fame. The bikes are known for their robust build and stringent quality checks. Old school BMX bikes from Kuwahara more than 20 years old are still sought after.
- Founded: 1918
- Website: http://www.kuwahara-bike.com//
- Popular product: Ibis Mojo 4
Miyata is a Japanese bicycle brand that has been making quality bicycles for more than 180 years. They are known for their unique frame building. Miyata was the first to use the triple butting technique. From its inception, this brand has been able to make their mark in the bicycle market in Japan as well as worldwide.
Miyata is known for their racing bicycles. Its new racing bikes were based on the Koga Miyata frame. This frame is famous as it was used in the bicycle that won the 1981 Tour de France. Miyata sells custom made bicycles. The frames are hand-built. Also, they use the chromoly steel process.
- Founded: 1890
- Website: https://www.miyatabike.com/project/sport/
- Popular product: Miyata Sport 2015
If you are looking for a robust bicycle, Japanese brands should be your go-to option. So, which one will you choose?
Love traveling? Check out this post for the best guide to Getting Around in Japan.