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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 10-14-12, 06:24 PM   #1
elbento
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Looking for advise on a new folder (from Japan)

Hi All.

I'm going to Japan in a few weeks, and will need a bike.
I'm thinking about buying a folder there (since there are tons of models to choose from, and cheap too) and bring it back home with me.

I currently have a Dahon Speed P8, which is great and 2 generic Dahon licensed technologies cheaper bikes.
I find all 3 to be too big and heavy to be convenient in multi modal transport.

I'd be looking at buying something smaller, and lighter, or at least that I can roll easily while folded (I guess Brompton ish)

Any recommendations?

Thanks in advance
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Old 10-14-12, 07:07 PM   #2
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In the possibly the best folding bike shop in Tokyo, Loro Slow, Bromptons pretty much rule. Another important store, Y's Road Ueno, carries Dahons, Terns, Birdys and Bromptons. I.e. the preferences in Japan tend to be similar as elsewhere in the world. If you go to a lower end, of course you will find plenty of brands and models you never heard of and for a good reason.
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Old 10-14-12, 08:43 PM   #3
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Brompton: smaller, yes, lighter, no.
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Old 10-14-12, 08:48 PM   #4
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when & where are you staying here? you could find lots of folding bike shops in Japan.

Tokyo Cyclemode International 2012 (a version of eurobike or interbike in japan) will be on Nov 2-4. There are tons of bikes/ folding bikes exhibiting here. http://www.cyclemode.net/english/

you might also want to check out BD-1 or Bianchi (Japan's Birdy folding bike), though it folds quite bigger than a Brompton but definitely lighter & faster than the latter.
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Old 10-14-12, 10:10 PM   #5
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Forget the bike, just buy the clothes: http://www.cyclemode.net/ - Nov 2-4
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Old 10-15-12, 02:31 AM   #6
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Nice bikes, but they're all way over my budget. I can go a have a look at them at the shop but that's about it unfortunately.
I was hoping i could find a brompton clone (Like the old Merc) or not necessarily a clone, but a small folder that is not a toy.

I found this bike called arun ky-16A that is 16" and folds smaller than a brommy. for the price, I can easily tell the quality wont be as good as the brompton or anywhere near it. I just wonder wether it's OK.
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Old 10-15-12, 10:42 AM   #7
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Out of curiousity: What is the price level like on Bromptons in JPN?
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Old 10-15-12, 10:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elbento View Post
I found this bike called arun ky-16A that is 16" and folds smaller than a brommy. for the price, I can easily tell the quality wont be as good as the brompton or anywhere near it. I just wonder wether it's OK.
Take the advice with a grain of salt, but all folding bikes are supposed to undergo some fatigue tests and the Japanese have safety standards on products. I find it unlikely you would find a dangerous bicycle sold in Japan. The country is too well organized (difficult to bribe people) to allow complete junk to be sold in its market. I'm sure the Arun is made by a reputable mfg in China or Taiwan so although it will be heavy and not as refined as a Brompton at least it won't explode on you. You can't expect much from a 8500 yen bike, it's like a Walmart bike.

Maybe there's a popular classifieds you can find for a used bike deal?
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Old 10-15-12, 03:57 PM   #9
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I`d look for a Dahon Curve. I like mine more and more.
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Old 10-15-12, 04:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sheygetz View Post
Out of curiousity: What is the price level like on Bromptons in JPN?
They're more expensive than in the UK, pretty much the same as australia $1200 AUD/USD + for the cheapest
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Old 10-15-12, 04:49 PM   #11
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Yeah, I agree with you. should be safe enough but nothing to write home about.
There seems to be a lot of brands in japan though that are not cheap as chips like the arun and look quite decent, I'll try to look at a few of them once i get there. there are around $500 so certainly not wallmart quality (or maybe wallmart quality for 5 times as much :-p )

About buying used, Japan is not known for people buying second hand stuff (I personally like to)

It could be a good or bad thing though, bad thing because maybe i can't find any second hand bike to buy, or maybe good because if there is it would be affordabe due to lack of interest..
It'll probably be more a combination of both.
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Old 10-15-12, 08:29 PM   #12
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I think I'm going to focus on getting a used bike, unless I get some recommendations.
Anyone happens to know where to search for used bikes in japan?
1) Craigslist has a japan page but only 2 there :-(
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Old 10-15-12, 09:21 PM   #13
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Craigslist isn't very popular in Japan. Try these sites/shops for used bikes:

http://www.cycly.co.jp/buy/item_list.asp?category=3
http://www.cycly.co.jp/buy/item_list.asp?category=4
http://www.adgp.co.jp/ds/tabid/56/Ca...4/Default.aspx
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Old 10-15-12, 11:49 PM   #14
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You could consider a Pacific Cycles CarryMe. It sure looks like a toy but we have a forum member who swears by it, and another forum member who hires these out in Japan. He transports them to customers by folding bike. Can't remember his forum name right this minute. fwd-bwd?
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Old 10-16-12, 02:36 AM   #15
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That`s me! Feel free to contact me if you would like to rent a Carryme during your trip. If you would just like to try one (You can also try my Curve SL if you`d like) just let me know and I will try to meet you (I`m in Yokohama) If you have some more time I`d be happy to show you some of the really great bike shops here, including Loro, Y`s Road, Green Cycle Station, and a Cycly used bike shop. Also, good idea to keep your eye on Tokyo Craigslist.

Check out Yokohama Rides and Rentals on facebook for my contact info.

https://www.facebook.com/yokohamarides
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Old 10-16-12, 02:57 AM   #16
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Hi
Here is a link to give you an idea of the type of stuff available. Bike shops are everywhere and most department stores will have full size and folder bikes.

http://www.cycle-yoshida.com/bicycle...lding_menu.htm


The quality of the cheap stuff is not too bad but it will usually be a Dahon type rather than Brompton type. Bikes in Japan tend to have a hard life. Many people use bikes.

There are a few recycle stores, that may have a bike or two,and a few bike shops occasionally will have a second hand bike but usually most people buy new.

Enjoy Japan.
Rob
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Old 10-16-12, 04:52 AM   #17
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Thanks for the offer owenfinn, I'll let you know if I end up going to Yokohama.

after a bit of searching i get the impression that the prices of bikes (at least brand name bikes) in Japan are not as good as I expected.
They're pretty similar to what I can get in Australia (and theyre expensive here compared to the US, lucky yanks ;-)

The reason I'm looking for a new folder to use there is not for touring but my Partner's parents (where i'll be staying) live about 20 minutes walk from the train station.

Last few trips we did, We just used their mamachari, but since they only have 2 of them, if they both went early in the morning we had to walk :-(
It's its a boring walk, nothing worth seeing on the way to the station.

I've seen some good comments about Strida clones.. I wonder whether I could get one there.. hmmm.
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Old 10-16-12, 06:26 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunawang View Post
How about
Schwinn Loop 7-Speed Folding Bike?
Low, stand-over alloy frame, 20-inch alloy rims.
This is a low cost alternative. I'd pass on it tho, as it's pretty bad in build quality, & the components are pretty shoddy (cheap plastic).
__________________
Fitness is only a side effect,...I feel alive when I ride!!!
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Old 10-16-12, 12:30 PM   #19
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I've seen some good comments about Strida clones.. I wonder whether I could get one there.. hmmm.
If you want to go down the route of buying clones, you may get them straight from the source (China) via eBay and a few other sites:

Strida clone
http://www.ebay.com/itm/220882586933

Dahon Mu lookalike
http://www.ebay.com/itm/261032073507

I've seen Birdy knockoff (upgraded to 20" wheels!) before but can't find a link right now. Needless to say I'm not endorsing any of these...
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