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Japan bike prices climb as commuters pay premium to avoid trains

Commuting shift and food delivery demand coincide with production squeeze

Both supply and demand issues are pushing up bike prices in Japan.

TOKYO/OSAKA -- When Bridgestone Cycle announced last month that it would raise prices for the first time in three years -- by up to 11% for conventional models and up to 5% for electric ones -- Japanese industry insiders were taken by surprise.

"The news made huge waves in the industry," said Haruka Konishi, an executive at independent company Tokyobike.

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