Japan in the 90s

Spudalumps

Retro Guru
Just curious 🧐

Was mountain biking big in Japan in the 90s? Given that shimano was Japan based you would think that their top stuff is still out there ;)
 

Gtpulse

Dyna-Tech Fan
Stuff does appear on eBay Japan based with mega prices and shipping. When I’ve searched the web for more obscure stuff (an ‘80s Suntour rear mech comes to mind) it always appears on auctions.yahoo.co.jp or buyee.jp and there is plenty of it. The language is a barrier when it comes to searching though even with Google translate. You also need one of the shipping consolidators/forwarders to get it out of Japan. Suspect there’s a lot to be had but at expense.

The Araya catalogue archive is extensive, here’s the ‘92 Araya Worx

Look there’s both carbon and titanium Muddy Foxes who’d have thought it! There’s some full XTR going on there!

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Gtpulse

Dyna-Tech Fan
*no idea! I’m UK based, just spent lots of time searching for stuff that I’ve found is in Japan and hit a brick wall trying to get it!
 

BlackCat

BoTM Winner
Fat Chance Fan
Seem to recall reading an article in one of the usual suspect mags bitd on some pro’s trip to Japan.. All the locals showed up to watch / ride with him on meticulous, high end kit.. then basically either couldn’t ride it or didn’t want to risk getting it muddy!

Might be a slightly different scene over there. Sounds like they spend a fortune on assembling perfectly curated bikes.. then just polish them and take staged photographs in picturesque locations.. there’s probably even some hyper niche forum where they all congregate to share the pictures..

Weird place, Japan.
 

MattiThundrrr

Kona Fan
Might be a slightly different scene over there. Sounds like they spend a fortune on assembling perfectly curated bikes.. then just polish them and take staged photographs in picturesque locations.. there’s probably even some hyper niche forum where they all congregate to share the pictures
Nothing like that going on around here. Not whatsoever.
As far as Japanese bikes go, I have a strong preference for their steel. Tange, obviously made a huge impact on the sport, and frames by Miyata, Panasonic, Nishiki, Shogun, Univega, Kuwahara, etc were good if not great bikes. Araya, Shimano, SR, Japan had a big part to play in early mountain bikes.
 

Betsy

Retro Guru
There is no domestic ebay in Japan, there hasn't been since the early 2000's those goods are for sale via ebay.com.. you can find pretty much all of those "expensive" ebay sales listed on domestic JP auction sites for half the price of ebay (broadly speaking it's not the goods which are expensive, it's ebay's costs for JP sellers) as previously mentioned Japan does have plenty of auction sites to choose from.. Yahoo, Mercari ect but Buyee isn't one of them.. Buyee is a proxy service which provides a link to the listings in the same vein as FromJapan, Jauce, ZenMarket ect..

Goods in JP are generally cheaper tho, there is no 20% VAT just 10% consumption tax for domestic sales.. for example, my last purchase, a NOS
Syncros seatpost cost £32

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If you want to buy anything just fwd the URL to one of those previously mentioned forwarding services, here is a costing for that^ Syncros

Purchase price ¥5350 (£32) comision ¥300 (£1.95) to ZenMarket (ikr?) and ¥2450 (£16) for EMS shipping for 360g from JP to UK.. so £50 in total, it would cost nearly twice that from ebay.co.uk. If you need to ask any questions this can be done via your proxy service, they're often multilingual.. You only need a proxy service because you can not sign into Yahoo Auctions without a domestic JP shipping address.

There is a culture of collecting, displaying and caring for things in JP you see it in the collectable toy world, sneakers, vintage denim, pottery, musical instruments ect ect Hence it's a perfect place to buy your well cared for bike components, i've been buying from JP since 2005 without a hitch.
 

Betsy

Retro Guru
Only minor problem, the vast majority of bike parts you'll find for sale in JP will be American so don't expect to find Hope, X-Lite, Middleburn ect.. they couldn't care less for British components.. their collecting of 90's (golden) era bike parts is just an extension of Amekaji (American tradition + Japanese style) linked to Japan's post-war obsession with American culture..
 
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Prodigal Son

Retro Guru
Only minor problem, the vast majority of bike parts you'll find for sale in JP will be American so don't expect to find Hope, X-Lite, Middleburn ect.. they couldn't care less for British components.. their collecting of 90's (golden) era bike parts is just an extension of Amekaji (American tradition + Japanese style) linked to Japan's post-war obsession with American culture..
The japanese are big buyers of vintage campagnolo, De Rosa and other italian iconic road brands. They also collect french cyclotourisme. The japanese love collecting and love bikes. Not only bikes: they are big on Leicas. Yes.. there is something about America but most of all they seem to have great taste.
 
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