Over the past few years, Japanese builders and other vendors have become a regular presence at the annual North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show.
Beyond sourcing from obvious component providers such as Shimano, American builders of bespoke bicycles like to incorporate pieces into their bespoke bikes from Japanese vendors known for their consistently high quality such as Honjo Koken fenders, Nitto Handlebars and MKS Pedals.
Several of these component brands are represented by the Japan Bicycle Promotion Institute, an industry group representing companies like Nitto Handlebars, Tokyo Bell, MKS Pedal, Hozan Tools, Tioga Saddle, IRC Tire and others.
In the same way we in America admire Japanese quality, Japanese cyclists admire the craftmanship of Made-In-America bikes enough to support Sim Works, a Japanese distributor dealing exclusively with American brands.
Most of these visitors from the Land of the Rising Sun don’t speak much English, but feel free to engage them anyway, admire their wares, and invite them out for a ride or a drink.
I’ll be at the show on Friday. I’ll drive there and back; if you’d like to share a ride from Santa Cruz or the South Bay, please ping me. You’ll want to buy your tickets online in advance, especially if you plan to attend on Saturday.