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Feb 27, 2017

Buying a bike in Tokyo

I'm looking to buy a hybrid bike for local and medium distance rides in and around Tokyo. I'm a bit of a cheapskate so I'm just wondering if anyone can suggest the minimum amount of yen I should be spending to get something reliable and that looks cool. Brands and shops would also be welcome.

Tomuu

Tomuu

Traveler, surfer, and scribe. Based in Tokyo for six years.

7 Answers



  • Ashes

    on Mar 1

    Hi Tomuu, Have you considered one of those trendy fold up bikes? Normally I wouldn't suggest them, the small wheels mean you have to pedal twice as much as regular wheels, but around Tokyo the small wheel size may actually be a benefit, easier to maneuver and avoid things in cramped of busy streets. They are usually light too, and being that they fold up you should be able to carry it into your apartment to keep it safe and also carry it onto trains (probably in a bike bag). Because they're a trend, they have really nice colours, patterns, and accessories too. Another thing to keep in mind is the wheel thickness. My husband has a bike with really skinny tires, and it is hell on his butt when riding around the sidewalks and going over all the bumps and dips in gutters etc. There is no cushion or give in the skinny tires, they're usually for fast, smooth riding on the road which may or may not be your thing (traffic is scary!). I personally have a cross-bike. It is like a mama-chari (the classic simple bike and basket), but it has mountain bike tires and gears. So the tires are a bit fatter than usual and I bounce over all the bumps and what not in my path. We bought our bikes from Asahi, three years ago and have received awesome service from each store we've been to. They do regular complimentary maintenance on your bike, as well as very cheap repairs if you damage something. Our bikes have worn great, and we absolutely flog them doing cycling weekends and daily commutes. Asahi also takes care of the compulsory registration and insurance for you. They have a sale on at the moment if you want to browse online. http://www.cb-asahi.co.jp/ You might like to look online and have a bike delivered. We have also done that in the past and were happy with our purchase too. My husband is tall (for Japan) so we ordered online to get a bike tall enough to suit him. Otherwise, our local secondhand shop always has those fold up bikes. They look almost new, and probably are. I'd try a couple of secondhand stores first before investing elsewhere. You might be able to pick one up cheap.

    1
  • Tomuu

    on Mar 1

    @Ashes Thanks for the suggestions. I'd never heard of Asahi, but I've given the site a look and it looks pretty good. I was thinking about some 'go faster' tires, simply because they look cool! Very shallow I know, but now that you mention all the bumps and dips in the roads maybe I should reconsider! Anyway, I can get started on some better research now. Thanks!

    0
  • Saitama

    on Mar 1

    Another vote for Asahi! We've bought most of our bikes from Asahi. There is a branch in Kawagoe, might be a bit far from you, but if you want to combine sight-seeing and cycle home!!!!.... http://www.cb-asahi.jp/shop/detail/081/  And just realised this is one to add to the list of "to review"!!! My husband used to "cycle" cycle and got his pro bikes here too. He was very happy with them.

    0
  • Jackson

    on Mar 6

    For money-wise, I'd recommend checking out Amazon for cheaper options. I got my full size (26") folding-bike with 6 gears off there for like 14000yen. Service-wise it definitely wouldn't do better than Asahi but it's good for the wallet. Here's just an example: https://www.amazon.co.jp/My-Pallas-%E3%83%9E%E3%82%A4%E3%83%91%E3%83%A9%E3%82%B9-%E3%82%B7%E3%83%86%E3%82%A3%E3%82%B5%E3%82%A4%E3%82%AF%E3%83%AB26%E3%82%A4%E3%83%B3%E3%83%816%E6%AE%B5%E3%82%AE%E3%82%A2-M-501-W/dp/B00HIY5GIW/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1488727617&sr=8-1-fkmr1&keywords=%E6%8A%98%E3%82%8A%E3%81%9F%E3%81%9F%E3%81%BF%E8%87%AA%E8%BB%A2%E8%BB%8A%E3%80%8026%E3%82%A4%E3%83%B3%E3%83%81%E3%80%80%E3%82%B7%E3%83%86%E3%82%A3%E3%82%B5%E3%82%A4%E3%82%AF%E3%83%AB%E3%80%80%E3%82%B7%E3%83%9E%E3%83%8E6%E6%AE%B5%E5%A4%89%E9%80%9F%E3%82%AE%E3%82%A2%E3%80%80FCB266CT-OR%E3%80%80%E3%82%AA%E3%83%AC%E3%83%B3%E3%82%B8 Just make sure to read through reviews to see what people think about them.

    1
  • KevinC

    on Mar 6

    20000 yen is a good price, try Y's Road. They will help you setup correctly.

    1
  • KevinC

    on Mar 6

    By the way, you should try wiggle.co.uk

    1
  • Tomuu

    on Mar 6

    @Saitama A cycle home you say! Could be a good way to break in the new wheels; a cross Tokyo jaunt.

    0

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