Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Tokyobike

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Tokyobike

    Does anybody have any experience with the Japan-made "Tokyobike"? It's a commuter model, available online at www.tokyobike.com (site's just in Japanese). I took a spin on one during a visit to Japan. It seems like a pretty solid, light bike and they retail for under $400. Any thoughts, anyone?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    1,169
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It looks like a million old bikes you could buy used for $150 without having to have them shipped from Japan.

  3. #3
    sdime
    Guest
    Is it made in Japan?

  4. #4
    tired donnamb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Portland, OR
    My Bikes
    Breezer Uptown 8, U frame
    Posts
    5,660
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This one also retails for under $400, and I'm sure would be easier to get in North America. It's got fenders and a partial chain guard, too. I've taken a test ride, they're nice for their purpose, which seems to be about the same thing as the Tokyobike.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the replies.
    sdime: Yes, it is made in Japan.

  6. #6
    Senior Member eibeinaka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT
    Posts
    152
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That's what is known in Japan as a "Mama Chari ".

    For a fun read there's this article "Bicycle biddies terrorize streets of Tokyo". "Bosozoku " are Japanese Hell's Angels, sort of.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jpatkinson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    San Francisco
    My Bikes
    Gunnar, Surly
    Posts
    255
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Very cool bike!

    I spotted one of these in Kyoto back in early May of this year, when I was cycling around town with my brother. The bike caught our eye out of a gazillion bikes that day -- which to me says that it was unique out of all the bikes in Japan (though I don't know why). I say go for it.


  8. #8
    Haunted Halloween's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Elsewhere
    My Bikes
    brandomly generic 29er
    Posts
    218
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dumplingdog
    It's a commuter model, available online at www.tokyobike.com (site's just in Japanese).
    It's not a 'commuter model', it's a 'mama-chari' (mother's bike)... a ride-to-the-supermarket-or-nearby train station bike... this type of bike is pretty much considered to be disposable by the average Japanese consumer.

    One reason it's considered to be disposable is the cost of getting a flat tire fixed at the local bike shop.

    The average Japanese person doesn't have the tools or know-how to change a tire... nor the desire nor time to learn. So, their local bike shop charges around $50 for parts and labor just to fix a flat tire... on a bike that probably cost just about twice that.

    So, the average Japanese consumer is happy to just buy another $100 bike. They'll leave the 'old' bike with the flat tire at the train station or supermarket, and after about a week, it'll be picked up by the city and then shipped off to some poorer Asian country with thousands of other abandoned shopping bikes.

    Take a look at the 'SPECS' link on that website... those bikes feature Shimano Acera derailers... basically, the next-to-the-bottom-of-the-line component that Shimano makes and still has a model name.

    The 'TOKYOBIKE' is priced at 48,000 yen... roughly US$500.

    A 'commuter' bike with no fenders, no racks, fake GripShifters, crappy side-pull brakes, and a 25-lb chromoly frame...

    For about 10,000 yen/US$100, you can get a 3-speed shopping bike with fenders, a front basket, skirt-guards, and a generator light, and even a bell... for about another $30, you can get a kid-carrier, or even two... (one in front, one behind).

    I'll bet it's not selling well in Japan... there are no skirt-guards... no front fork bracket for a generator light... no seatstay braze-ons for a rear carrier or child seat... and most Japanese city streets are relatively flat... no need for a 16-speed shopping bike.
    Most mama-chari are single-speed or 3-speed bikes.

  9. #9
    EMT
    EMT is offline
    Senior Member EMT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    392
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Halloween
    The average Japanese person doesn't have the tools or know-how to change a tire... nor the desire nor time to learn. So, their local bike shop charges around $50 for parts and labor just to fix a flat tire... on a bike that probably cost just about twice that.
    More like 1000 yen ($8) at any LBS near me ...

  10. #10
    Haunted Halloween's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Elsewhere
    My Bikes
    brandomly generic 29er
    Posts
    218
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by EMT
    More like 1000 yen ($8) at any LBS near me ...
    Well, lucky you.

    I've yet to see an innertube for less than 900 yen, and generally, they're more around 1,000 yen.

    That's just for the innertube.
    Most bike shops in the Kansai region (Shiga, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Hyogo) charge between 3,000 and 4,000 for labor to fix a flat.

    The average high school kid or middle-aged office worker would just as soon either steal a bike or just go buy a new one as pay to have the one they already have fixed.

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hey guys! I've actually had a Tokyobike for two years... and here's what I think:

    I love my bike, but I've made a lot of special modifications myself. When I bought it, it was a stock sport 9-speed, and I was a guy getting his first bike since junior high school. The sport version is most definitely not a mama-chari. At 10.5kg, it's pretty light, but the gearing is a bit low for anyone with bike experience. Also, the chain is complete crap. It rusted on my pretty quickly, and I replaced it with a Dura-Ace.

    I got it for riding around the city. As I got used to riding, I ended up going up to a 54-tooth chainring, and switching to bullhorns, with a Paulie Thumbie to shift.

    I ride a lot for work, so over time, I've worn pretty much everything out. I didn't like the ergonomics of the Paulie, so I ended up switching to drops and brifters. I had some wrist problems, so I got a slightly more risey stem, and at the beginning, I had to replace the seat tube, because my legs were longer than the seat tube would allow. This year, I've noticed damage to the cones, so replacing the wheels is on the horizon, and I've already replaced the bottom bracket. The stock BB was a cheap one that looked like two rollerblade bearings with a tube of metal between them. The Shimano one I replaced it with looks much more competent.

    I had to do some modifications to fit a rack to it, so I could use panniers on my way to work. I fabricated a clamp that fits around the seat-tube, and then attaches to the rack.

    So yeah. The frame is a bomber steel commuter frame. I love it. It has been wonderful, and treated me well. The parts... well. Are you a beginner? If you're a beginner, and find that a Tokyobike fits you well, because there's a retail shop near you that has them, go for it. But otherwise, give it a pass.

    The biggest concern is the wheels. I'm looking at replacing my wheels, and it looks like I'll be building my own. The wheels that come with the bike, like all of the other parts, are bog-standard, and 650c is an awkward and unpopular size, so you pretty much have to order everything special for them. Actually... that goes for pretty much everything. It's build on the older steel-frame standards, which means that it's hard to find parts for. I have spacers to make my stem fit, and had to be careful getting the right BB.

    But if you can see far enough ahead to have the new item on hand before the old one fails, it's a bomber bike. I did a century on it this week, with a mountain in the middle, and commute on it daily.

    But I have replaced a lot of the parts. I've replaced the original Sora derailer with Tiagra front and rear derailers. I burned through the rear cassette, and replaced it with the same 12-25 Shimano cassette. I ditched the extraordinarily heavy 42t chainring for a 54t, and now I'm using a 39/53t Shimano 105 set (I got sick of standing up on the hills). I replaced the generic BB with a Shimano when it stated grinding, Replaced the stem, the seat(the original worked like a sponge in the rain, and took days to dry out), the chain, the seatpost, replaced the straight handlebars and Rapidfire shifter with a drop bar and the 105 brifters... and the wheels are next. So the bike that I ride now isn't really the bike I started out with.

    But the frame is solid. I really recommend the Tokyobike Sport to anyone new to bicycling, and tiny. I'm on the edge at 5'7" / 5'8" on a good day, but anyone shorter than me, who might really benefit from 650c wheels, should give it a look.

    But that's a pretty small market. If you've got experience, you're looking more up-market. If you're a big person, you can get a better deal on 700c wheels. Really. Look around for a generic steel road frame, and find parts used at the co-op/LBS/Craigslist/local bike club. Most of us have extra parts lying around(anyone need a rear 9-speed rapidfire?).

    So yeah. The people calling Tokyobike a Mama-chari kinda pissed me off. Certainly, their cruiser model fits that description, but even stock, my sport never was. But, that being said, I would still call my hot-rodded Tokyobike a commuter, and I wouldn't expect to keep up with the carbon fiber wonders. But I love my bike because it's mine, and it gets me everywhere in this town, and when I lock it up on the street next to the Pinarello, I know which one the thieves are going to steal.

    For the curious... here's the stock Tokyobike Sport ~ even the same matte-black as mine.

    http://www.tokyobike.com.au/sport.html

    And here is the current iteration of my bike~

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/timdesu...in/photostream

    If you have any questions, feel free to email me. I may not come back and check on this thread, but you can find me at http://timdesuyo.com/contact_eng.html

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Halloween View Post
    Well, lucky you.

    I've yet to see an innertube for less than 900 yen, and generally, they're more around 1,000 yen.

    That's just for the innertube.
    Most bike shops in the Kansai region (Shiga, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Hyogo) charge between 3,000 and 4,000 for labor to fix a flat.

    The average high school kid or middle-aged office worker would just as soon either steal a bike or just go buy a new one as pay to have the one they already have fixed.
    You're both right. Innertubes go from about 600 yen (mama-chari) to 900ish yen (standard road tubes) in Tokyo... but the LBSs that market to your average treat-the-bike-like-crap-only-want-cheapest-mamachari-but-will-buy-fake-MTB-that-has-car-branding-to-look-manly will **** you on labor. Seeing as how anyone can change a flat with 300 yen of tools, I think the only option is clear. And really. Anyone in the middle of Tokyo that needs help learning how to change a flat, email me. Contact info's up above. It's stupid easy, and worth doing yourself. But then... I started two years ago knowing nothing, and now, I'm comfortable with 90% of bike repairs. You can do it, too. I am not special.

  13. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    huh. Apparently there's a filter here. Cool beans. I will watch my potty mouth.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    483
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That's not a mamarachi by any stretch of the imagination. Mamarachis are what we call open frame design, with factory baskets. Most have internal gear hubs with a few high ends that have derailleurs. That one is a city bike, This is what a mamarachi bike looks like.



    Nowadays $1 = 80 yen. 1,000 yen is $12.50

    On my neck of the woods mom-&-pop bike stores fix minor things for cheap. Fix a flat? 1,000 yen. True a wheel? 1,000 yen. Tune a derailleur? 1,000 yen. Then again I'm in the deep north.

  15. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yeah. You get a better deal for being out in Inaka.

  16. #16
    Senior Member RayB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    My Bikes
    Trek 520, Civia Bryant
    Posts
    245
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Was going to jump in on the claims of that being a mamachari but noticed this thread is like 4 years old.
    RayB

    2010 Civia Bryant
    2008 Trek 520

  17. #17
    a.k.a., Point Five Dude Surrealdeal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Twin Cites, MN USA
    My Bikes
    1987 Trek Elance 400 T
    Posts
    793
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by notfred View Post
    It looks like a million old bikes you could buy used for $150 without having to have them shipped from Japan.
    +1
    Fat is sweat, on the wrong side of your skin.

  18. #18
    Senior Member eibeinaka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT
    Posts
    152
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That picture has changed at the link. It was definitely a mama-chari in the picture 4 years ago!

  19. #19
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Indiana
    My Bikes
    RANS V3, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
    Posts
    11,451
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Zombie threads can't be trusted.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  20. #20
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    On the bridge with Picard
    My Bikes
    Specialized Allez, Specialized Sirrus
    Posts
    5,720
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    Zombie threads can't be trusted.
    +1

    Time to start a new thread, this one will be closed.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    So Tom only hires people that are nutty? Is part of the requirement to be a moderator on this site is that you have to be nuts??
    Forum Guidelines *click here*

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •