Thursday, December 25, 2008

New 3-speed Mikado Commuter

Thanks to local bike store Citizen Chain and the bike coalition's winterfest, I've now got a "new" bike!  I just took it for a ride to Golden Gate Park, and wearing my green jacket, I looked just like Christmas. It's a mint-condition, vintage 1979 Japanese bicycle. From what I can tell, "Mikado" was a minor bike line, and the Mikado Bicycle Division was a small part of Toyoda America, Inc. (an importer of Japanese manufactured goods, which must have translated the bike's Owner's Manual). Toyoda America, Inc. is still around, only now it's called Toyota Tsusho America, Inc. and it's owned by Toyota. So I guess my new bike is a Toyota.  
A Massachusetts cyclist named Sheldon Brown - who, sadly, died in 2008 - has interesting background on Japanese bicycles at his website.  
The bike comes with a cartridge-type Shimano three-speed hub. I got the paperwork on that, too, and it's copyright Dec. 1978.  


 
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2 comments:

Eric Fischer said...

I found your blog through web searching after being in their store today and seeing another of these bikes for sale. What do you think of it after riding it for a while? Was it a good purchase? Thanks for the advice.

Dale Danley said...

I've ridden the bike about once a week this year and it has done pretty well. Just a few frustrations: the seat post is not very long and so if I pulled it up as far as I would like, it would come out. Also, take a close look at how the various components are attached. It's basically screws and hex nuts. That's not quite as nice as what most of us are used to in more modern components these days. But if you want a decent nice looking cruiser bike for casual rides, you would do all right with this bike.