> Well, I think the Japanese and especially the Chinese know a hell of a lot
> about bicycles, and in the case of China, cycling is today much more
> prominent than in any European country. The difference is that no Asian
> nation has ever been prominent in cycling as a sport. Rather, cycling in
> Asia seems mostly focused on transportation. So perhaps that might
> translate into lack of inspiration in manufacturing lightweights, although
> the same logic would suggest that the Chinese, and maybe the Indians, should
> make the best utilitarian roadsters in the world - perhaps they do.
We must have been to two different Chinas. In all the parts of China that I have visted recently, the bicycles are on a great decline and the bicycle ownership and usership is far lower than in the Netherlands or Denmark. If you want to find a nation where cycling is truly the number one mode of transport, go to Vietnam! It is harder and more dangerous to cross a street in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) than it is in New Yorl City or Tokyo. In China, most of the new bikes are the same ones being offered at your local Walmart, pseudo mountain bikes.
> It may be that Asian riders, like Americans for many decades, are
> handicapped by the lack of any culture of bicycle racing in their homelands.
Ask Dennis about bicycle racing culture in Japan. I am certain that he will confirm that it is alive and well. The only reason why the Japanese don't leave Japan is there is no need to. A Japanese pro can readily earn more by racing in Japan than by going to Europe, without needing to leave family culture and friends behind. Nakano readily showed this. If I am not mistaken, he only raced a few times outside of Japan, but was nonetheless able to beat the world for a whole decade. And no, he was not world champion in a Japanese specialty like Keirin.