The part of industrial giant Bridgestone that makes bikes, started doing so in 1949. Some were called Kabuki, some called Anchor (pretty crappy name for a bike I figure), and today they still make track bikes for Japanese Keirin (track) racing. However, it’s the mountain bikes from the mid 80’s on that I really care about.
I read on a forum not too long ago that even when new, Bridgestones were old-fashioned. Once my jimmies were sufficiently un-rustled, I realized that this was pretty accurate. They never made a mountain bike from aluminum and they were really late to the suspension party. In 1994, I’d guess they realized they were making bikes that just weren’t going to be popular, and decided to pull the plug on North American operations, rather than get modern.
What was unique about them, was product manager Grant Petersen. At this time, what a lot of companies did, was simply buy a bunch of Shimano DX component groups, and a bunch of XT groups, put them on two frames, and there was two price points done. The reason for this was the discount Shimano offered for buying the entire group. And we’re not just talking brakes, and front derailleurs, but even the little plastic guide for the derailleur cable that goes under the bottom bracket.