May 14, 2008 Comments Bicycles, Blog Posts

History of the Bridgestone Bicycles

Bridgestone Cycle Co., Ltd. started as a division of Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd. (the present day Bridgestone Corporation), which began manufacturing bicycles after World War II following its shift in focus from military supplies to consumer products. The division developed and was later spun off as the first major affiliate of its parent company.
Currently, Bridgestone Cycle is promoting the development of Japan’ bicycle industry as the top manufacturer in the industry. The Company’ technology development division develops new products based on the latest technology, and its three plants produce products of highest quality. In addition, Bridgestone Cycle has two sales companies with seven sales headquarters, comprising a nationwide sales network to offer its customers the best possible services.
Bridgestone Cycle also operates an industrial machinery business as its other major activity. In this field, the Company provides high quality solutions to meet the full spectrum of demands related to manufacturing equipment, through its excellent technology for machining and assembly.
As we explained, Bridgestone Cycle engages in a complete range of bicycle business, comprising R&D, production and sales. Moreover, the Company is expanding its business in various fields of industrial machinery.

This is my pimped Bridgestone cruiser

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1984

The Company developed the gear type non-stage transmission.

1949

Bridgestone Bicycle Co., Ltd. was established as a result of Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd. spinning off one of its divisions.

1951

Bridgestone Bicycle obtained a patent on the manufacture of bicycle bodies via the die cast method in Japan, Britain, France, Holland and Italy.

1953

Otani Machinery Industry Co., Ltd. (the predecessor of Bridgestone Industrial Machinery Co., Ltd.) was established.

1960

Bridgestone Bicycle built its Ageo Plant in Ago, Saitama Prefecture. The Company began manufacturing motorbikes named Bridgestone Champion., as well as motor bicycles, after incorporating the small engine division of Prince Motor Co., Ltd. (an associated company). Bridgestone Bicycle was renamed Bridgestone Cycle Industry Co., Ltd.

1966

Bridgestone Cycle Industry received the industry’s first Good Design Award for “Super Light” (comfort) and “Jet Bambi” (kids [tricycle:]).

1968

The Company received the industry’s first Okochi Memorial Production Award, in recognition of its innovative bicycle frame manufacturing method (based on the die cast method) as an excellent research result leading to reduced costs and improved productivity.

1969

The Company and Belgium’s Bekaert Engineering concluded a technical support agreement on machinery for manufacturing tire steel cords.

1970

The Company newly established its Industrial Machinery Division (former Precision Machinery Division), and began producing machinery for manufacturing tire steel cords.

1971

The Company’s Kisai Plant was established in Kisai-cho, Kitasaitama-gun, Saitama Prefecture; and started operation.

1976

The Company was renamed Bridgestone Cycle Co., Ltd. Its Saga Plant was established in Kitashigeyasu-cho, Miyaki-gun, Saga Prefecture; and started operation.

1978

Otani Machinery Industry Co., Ltd. was renamed Bridgestone Industrial Machinery Co., Ltd.

1982

Bridgestone Cycle developed the belt drive system.

1985

The Company began using new materials (aluminum, carbon etc.) for mass-producing bicycle frames, following its development of the structural adhesion method.

1986

The Company developed the four-stage transmission for the front interior.

1987

The Company received the Japan Invention Special Award for its belt drive mechanism (floating gear method).

1988

The Company developed the FFS (Fami-com Fitness System); and began producing order-made systems called Taylor-Made.

1989

The Company developed the Dyna Ridge tire with Bridgestone Corporation. It also developed “Minna,” a new tricycle (two front and one rear).

1990

The Company developed the Auto Light, a new power generation system.

1991

The Company developed the Neo-Cot Frame using the optimum shape theory. Bridgestone Industrial Machinery Co., Ltd. moved to Higashimatsuyama, and started operation there.

1993

Bridgestone Cycle’s Kawasato Plant was established in Kawasato Village, Kitasaitama-gun, Saitama Prefecture; and started operation.

1994

The Company established in China as a joint venture. It also developed the Neo-Cot carbon monocoque frame.

1995

The Company developed a comfort bicycle with single-pivot suspension.

1997

The Company merged with Bridgestone Industrial Machinery Co., Ltd.

1998

The Company received a Good Design Award (Grand Prix) for Transit, a cantilever type shaft drive bicycle. It also developed a bicycle with electronically controlled automatic transmission; a “keyless key”; and Anchor, a top quality sport bicycle.

1999

The Company developed a series of car bicycles named the Transit Series.
The Company dissolved the joint venture with , and reorganized
into

2000

The Company developed Tough Road Tires jointly with Bridgestone Corporation.
The Company developed Bridgestone/Moulton, jointly with Britain’s Alex Moulton Bicycles.

2001

The Company introduced a hit product “Albelt,” featuring a combination of an aluminum frame with a belt drive mechanism.
The Company developed the world’s first air pressure checker, allowing users to visually determine the optimum air pressure.

2002

The Company developed Raku-Raku, a bicycle with a comfortable seat permitting the adjustment of saddle height via a hand lever.
The Company developed Alsus, a bicycle with hyper-suspension.

2003

The Company developed double locks, permitting the simultaneous locking of rear wheel and handle; and the White Beam Auto Light, a LED light that is bright and does not burn out.
The Company developed Abios, a “new concept bicycle” for adults (especially baby boomers).

2004

The Company jointly developed Air Hub, that always ensures a comfortable ride by sending air automatically into the tire tube during the wheel rotation; and Raku-Start, a mechanism to ensure an easy and stable start.