Japanese Steel: Classic Bicycle Design from Japan

Between the 1950s and the ‘80s, Japanese bicycle builders had been producing many of the most stylish, immediately identifiable and extremely sophisticated bicycles at the cutting edge of both competitive and recreational cycling. Japanese Steel: Classic Bicycle Design from Japan is the first publication to chronicle the golden age of Japanese bicycle design.

On the subject of bike collecting, some individuals favor Italian or French racers or bespoke British bicycles. However there exists an entire strata of enthusiast for whom nothing but Japanese steel models will do, from the “great export years” that started off with the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 and lasted into the 1990s.

From the well known silhouettes of key companies like Fuji, Panasonic, and Bridgestone to the rarest frames from artisanal builders like 3-Rensho or Nagasawa, Japanese bicycle designers dominated the cycling world and created machines that are still revered today.

Illustrated with specially commissioned photographs of fully restored bikes, and supplemented with artifacts and ephemera from technical manuals to photography of the legendary Keirin racing circuits, this book is must-have for anyone with an interest in cycling and the phenomenon of Japanese design.

The author William Bevington is an information and product development designer, a passionate collector of Japanese bicycles and cycling ephemera, and the foremost authority on the leading Japanese brand Fuji.

Be it a collectible track racer or a classic road frame, all these machines form a beautiful “biomechanical alliance” when ridden, Bevington writes, whether used for “pragmatism or pleasure, for competition or companionship, to improve the self” through exercise or simply to minimize one’s carbon footprint.”