Doppo: Continuing the tradition of Japanese Handbuilt

SimWorks has worked with a small crew of builders locally in Japan, since the inception of Doppo as a badge within SimWorks almost 10 years ago now. Located in Aichi Prefecture, as with Circles and SimWorks – our Doppo frames have been built in small numbers by lead builder Shin Hattori, and his fabrication partner Makoto Yokoyama – an original Circles employee and long tenured bike mechanic and motivated fabricator in his own right.

Domestic production of bicycle frames in Japan has declined dramatically over the last 40+ years. With the outsourcing of frame production to Taiwan and mainland China by almost all major bicycle brands, and the aging and passing of a generation of experienced builders in Japan unable to pass their skills on to a younger generation of people who are increasingly less driven towards manufacturing and the industrial arts- the number of accomplished and established builders remains very low, and looks to continue to decline.

SimWorks has always hoped to place a celebration of Japan and their rich history of cycling culture and manufacturing methods at the forefront of what we do. It’s the foundation of our business and while we are proud of our dedication to this history and these ideals, it presents challenges at times in terms of how we compete in the Global marketplace.

Doppo is as much an effort to sustain Japanese fabrication of bike frames as it is about creating quality frames for riders to piece together the machine of their dreams; because we feel that it’s a tradition worth sustaining. Additionally, it provides an outlet for creative expression and a labor of love for a small team of individuals who wish to demonstrate their passion and their skill sets. Keeping production localized to Aichi also allows for the quick development of sample frames and new models, allows us to keep our minimum batch sizes low and cuts down on transportation costs.

The models in the Doppo line prioritize practicality, versatility and durability. They utilize common industry standards, proven geometries, and have a clean but subtly distinct aesthetic. When you purchase a Doppo frameset, you are getting a truly handbuilt artifact and expression of SimWorks mission to produce quality goods close to home. And you’re actively supporting the livelihoods of a small team of individuals who have chosen a path that’s defined through it’s devotion to craft.