Miyata is one of the great names of Japanese bicycle manufacturing. The company was established by Eisuke Miyata in 1890, and is sometimes claimed to have manufactured the first genuinely Japanese bicycle. The Japanese bicycle industry developed around two centres, Tokyo and Osaka, and Miyata was one of the anchor companies in the Tokyo group.

I first came across Miyata bikes in the 1970s. At the time I regarded the brand a providing the quintessential Japanese 10 speed bike. A quality butted-tubed, steel, lugged frame, finished with immaculate paintwork, and discerningly clad in Shimano or SunTour equipment, all for an affordable price - unbeatable.

In Europe the name is more famously associated with the Koga Miyata brand. In 1974 Andries Gaastra left his job as Sales Manager at Batavus and formed the Koga Miyata company. Initially, at least, he imported frames manufactured by Miyata in Japan and assembled the bikes in Holland..

Towards the end of the 20th century Miyata seem to have lost the plot, but in 2011 they established the Miyata Japon range - returning to their elegant steel-framed roots.