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Citizen Tokyo Upgrades

Old 08-20-16, 10:07 PM
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RadicalDreamer2
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Citizen Tokyo Upgrades

Hello! I got a Citizen Tokyo folding bike the other day. I have seen other threads about this, but they are all 4+ years old. I will be using this bike to commute < 1 mile to work and back a few times a day, daily usage would be around 3 miles or so on flat ground. I don't have any real complaints about the bike, but I was planning on taking it to the LBS soon to get tuned up and I thought that it might be worthwhile to look into upgrade options before I went to the LBS. After reading over other threads about this bike it appears that lack of speed seems to be the biggest complaint; I was thinking that I should consider a 11t-28 7 speed freewheel and new tires with a higher PSI, are there any brands that would be recommended? Also are there any other upgrades that I should consider?

Thanks!
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Old 08-20-16, 10:14 PM
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Abu Mahendra
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Tell us first what you got now in terms of components. An upgrade path is dependent on the point of origin.

Originally Posted by RadicalDreamer2 View Post
Hello! I got a Citizen Tokyo folding bike the other day. I have seen other threads about this, but they are all 4+ years old. I will be using this bike to commute < 1 mile to work and back a few times a day, daily usage would be around 3 miles or so on flat ground. I don't have any real complaints about the bike, but I was planning on taking it to the LBS soon to get tuned up and I thought that it might be worthwhile to look into upgrade options before I went to the LBS. After reading over other threads about this bike it appears that lack of speed seems to be the biggest complaint; I was thinking that I should consider a 11t-28 7 speed freewheel and new tires with a higher PSI, are there any brands that would be recommended? Also are there any other upgrades that I should consider?

Thanks!
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Old 08-20-16, 10:58 PM
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Whoops, sorry about that. The stock freewheel is a Shimano 14-28T 6 spd, and the stock tires are 16" x 1.75" 45 psi. Some of the other componets include:

Stock plastic foldable pedals
Alloy V-brakes
170mm alloy crank arms with 48T alloy chainwheel
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Old 08-21-16, 12:11 AM
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Looks like your gearing a bit short on the top end. It tops out at about 57 gear-inches. Does the bike achieve a sufficiently high top speed?


Originally Posted by RadicalDreamer2 View Post
Whoops, sorry about that. The stock freewheel is a Shimano 14-28T 6 spd, and the stock tires are 16" x 1.75" 45 psi. Some of the other componets include:

Stock plastic foldable pedals
Alloy V-brakes
170mm alloy crank arms with 48T alloy chainwheel
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Old 08-21-16, 12:36 AM
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Top speed is about 15 mph. I wasn't expecting a speedy bike, but if it's possible to get an extra 2-3 mph out of it via upgrade, I would consider it.
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Old 08-21-16, 01:41 AM
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The 11-28 freewhel you are considering would raise your top end.

Originally Posted by RadicalDreamer2 View Post
Top speed is about 15 mph. I wasn't expecting a speedy bike, but if it's possible to get an extra 2-3 mph out of it via upgrade, I would consider it.
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Old 08-21-16, 06:19 AM
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Going to an 11t instead of the existing stock 14t is a difference you should notice. it still won't be a speedster, but you should pick up a little top end. I would do it, no question.

The freewheel swap is probably the most economical thing you can do. I think the crank on those are square taper, but the chain ring and crank are one piece*, so a chain ring swap would mean all new crank. If you went to, let's say a 52t, chain ring, then you would notice some more top end being developed. But, you get into the "How much do you want to spend on a Tokyo" scenario.
Crank with chainring swap not as costly as I thought, found this: https://www.amazon.com/Aluminum-Chai.../dp/B01F1REUWA
*You would have to verify it would work for your application.

52/11t should be noticeable over the 48/14t. Depends how much you want to spend and how much you want more speed.

I am thinking, if the tires aren't shot, ride them for a bit, then decide what you want to swap to after some actual experience?
If your tires still have some life in them, try them for a bit. 45psi is low end, but you can probably pump them to 50psi without too much risk. How much do you weigh?

For your 3 miles round-trip commute this bike should be fine. You will be on the bike for a very short period of time each way.
You already have fenders and a rack, that's about all you need.
They make zippered luggage trunks for the rear rack, or use a backpack, whatever fits your needs best. You should be good to go.

Disclaimer: I am a gear swapper, it's an addiction. Depends on your budget. But on the 16" Tokyo, flat ground, I'd go to 52t/11t

Last edited by SkunkWerX; 08-21-16 at 06:30 AM. Reason: adding stuff
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Old 08-21-16, 09:02 AM
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I added a 52/38 double to mine, no FD. Have to change manually. I keep freewheel, but plan to upgrade. I also put on some Ergon barends which really helped out with more reach. I've been my Tokyo for several months and enjoy it. My next upgrade will be new tires. I'll post pictures when I get home this afternoon.
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Old 08-24-16, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by RadicalDreamer2 View Post
Hello! Also are there any other upgrades that I should consider?

Thanks!

I own a citizen Miami and think for the price of under $200 delivered anywhere in the US it is a very good bike for commuting price wise.I also have a Brompton 6spd for a whole lot more and think both bikes do what they are supposed to do quite well.One thing I might suggest on the Citizen Tokyo is to try removeing the fenders and the rear rack(if it has one).You will save almost three to four pounds in weight and if you still need such things you can buy very low weight racks and even plastic fenders.It made a big difference to my Miami.
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Old 08-24-16, 02:06 PM
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If you have no complaints, then there's nothing to change.

In theory, at least. I can never leave anything stock. I must share SkunkWerX's affliction.

For me, especially with a folding bike, I always look at the possibility of a gear hub. To me they just make sense on a folding bike. Of course if your bike doesn't have horizontal dropouts, then you end up with a chain tensioner, in which case it might not make as much sense. But then I like IGHs, so that's a swap I always plan to make.

Seat preferences are very personal. I would expect that might be a good thing to swap.

I broke the cheap, plastic, folding pedals on my old Dahon. I don't know if that's a concern for you. I've considered replacing the metal, folding pedals on my Downtube, but they seem pretty sturdy so far (I think they may be Wellgo). There's non-folding set in the closet, just in case. Folding pedals on a folding bike really help with a decent fold, so I don't know if I'd "upgrade" to non-folding if I wasn't having a problem. Although if someone wanted to go clipless, they probably could. MKS has a folding pedal and, I think, a quick release pedal that might be an upgrade.

I don't know what the handlebar situation is, but that's another place where I make changes. But some folders, like my old Dahon, do not use a standard handlebar/stem set-up, so swapping might not be easy.

I like a fatter tire, especially on a smaller wheel. My last bike had Big Apples, and my current bike has one, with plans to add a 2nd Big Apple in the future. Wheels will probably be swapped out as well. The rear so I can add an coaster brake IGH (I also like coaster brakes on folding bikes, because it's one less line running across the fold), and front so I can add a dynamo.

There's wisdom in the idea that putting a lot of money into a cheap bike might not be worth it, but my feeling is that if I buy components I like, then they may outlast the bike. A wheel I built for my Tote/Cycle went on to do time my Dahon and Raleigh Twenty. My most comfortable seat always gets moved to the bike I ride most. Pedals get moved around between bikes all the time. Basically, the only stuff I really worry about buying is stuff that can only be used with one, specific bike.
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