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Mamachari

Old 09-13-20, 02:18 PM
  #1  
sha90
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Mamachari

i think the mamachari is the right bike for me. where can i order one? i looked online and didn't see any website. i called the local bike shop and they said to check with Walmart. i am assuming mamachari are made in japan so not sure if Walmart would carry it? i just need something to commute and buy groceries with.
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Old 09-13-20, 02:23 PM
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Out of the thousands of bike brands and you picked one made of unobtainaum lol If it is something that Wall Mart would offer I would expect that is another in just same quality line up. Wish you well in your quest.
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Old 09-13-20, 02:33 PM
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Mamachari is a term for the city/town bikes usually used by Japanese mothers and grandmothers. What do you think the Mama is referencing? In practice, they are ridden by most Japanese. As far as I know, it's not a brand. Basically it's town bike with a low step thru/over and usually is limited to 3 gears. The easiest is a great granny gear. These bikes are usually pretty heavy and stable. They are not fast at all and it's pretty normal to see people riding very slowly. So just find a bike that you can buy in the US that is close enough to this type of the bike. The one thing that may be difficult to replicate is the hub light. They are a common Mamachari feature but they're not very popular in the US.
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Old 09-13-20, 02:49 PM
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I don't need a hub light. I only bike during the day. i was interested because this bike enthusiast's YouTube channel had a woman on who said her mamachari has lasted ten years with minimal maintenance. plus the price was $100-$250. that's perfect for me. i wish i knew of a brand name. i will ask the bike shops for something similar. tk you everyone!
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Old 09-13-20, 03:14 PM
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Try looking for Dutch bikes, ain't gonna be cheap though.
Mamacharis vary wildly in price points and qualities in Japan, from really nice shaft drive jobbies to hunks of junk that barely deserve the name bicycle. The cheap $100-200 ones are made in China, even the boxes they come in are flimsy. Designed to be ridden for a year or two then left abandoned, chained to a post somewhere, until the municipal authorities come along and do a clean up. I bought one for a friend and it survived a couple of days on tour, along the flat, I swapped it for a hotel room when we finished with it.
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Old 09-13-20, 04:11 PM
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@sha90 "Mamachari" is the Japanese version of the 'Dutch Bike' or city bike. Mainly different in that they tend to be small-wheel bikes, since in Asian urban environments, space is at even more of a premium than Europe. Either way, they tend to be simple, rugged bikes, usually 3-speed, upright, and overbuilt, since they spend most of their lives on outdoor bike racks. They are relatively inexpensive, because they're a tool, utilitarian, kind of how most Americans view something like a lawnmower. You take it out, use it, and put it away, and don't think about it until you use it again.

In the US, this type of bike is not easy to find. There are some, though; Specialized's Roll, and the Electra Townie are relatively easy to find, and while they've got derailleurs, it's as common, and low-maintenance running gear as you'll find on any decent bike. They're good bikes, and though inexpensive, they're not cheap. ($500-$600)

Another option, if you really really want a small-wheel bike would be to look into a folding bike like a Brompton or Dahon. Most of the features you'd find on a 'big' bike, but built around (usually) 20" wheels. Folders are good for short-distance hops, and because of the way they're designed, are good at fitting small adults, or big kids who aren't quite big enough to handle a full-sized bike.

If it's 'just' commute and run to the grocery store, that doesn't sound too demanding, and a typically decent (bike shop level) bike would be able to stand up to it for years without needing much. Would also help if you could share how far of a commute and what metro area, since some places require a little more out of the bike than others (say Seattle / PNW)
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Old 09-13-20, 04:59 PM
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Time to choose another bike. This one is unobtanium...................
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Old 09-13-20, 05:00 PM
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Well if you want to buy a container full they're pretty cheap.

https://jap-express.com/japan-automo...icycle-exports
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Old 09-13-20, 09:25 PM
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I had a mamchari in Japan, inheriting it because it was in a desperate shape, nobody wanted to invest in it and I took a pity on it and also needed a bike. As others have said these are sturdy and practical bikes, but also klutzy, requiring quite bit of effort to make them move and never developing much speed.

Japan is not the only place where practical bikes are common and, again as has been suggested, you might want to look into the options coming from other countries that are easier to obtain than a mamchari and maybe are better bikes. Germany is a place where practical bikes are common and innovation around such bicycles is welcome in their market and maybe not so much in Japan. I would look in particular at the Easy Boarding series from Biria, that I found outstanding pleasant to ride, even though the appearance might suggest otherwise


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Old 09-14-20, 01:14 AM
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tk you all for the advice and tips. wow, that container of bikes was so cheap. my commute and shopping are all less than two miles. i am in honolulu and we don't have great bike infrastructure but i am grateful for anything. beats walking!
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Old 09-14-20, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by sha90 View Post
i think the mamachari is the right bike for me. where can i order one? i looked online and didn't see any website. i called the local bike shop and they said to check with Walmart. i am assuming mamachari are made in japan so not sure if Walmart would carry it? i just need something to commute and buy groceries with.
my daughter lives in Japan and has a Mamachari bike!! She loves it! She is in the Navy and has been there for 3 years already. She is shipping her bike to me when she leaves Japan next summer. They are really cool bikes. I spent two weeks in Japan visiting her back in 2018.

I have seen several beach cruisers that I am sure you can use for the same purposes. Since you are in Hawaii it might be harder to find something in stock but start looking on Facebook marketplace for people selling their beach cruisers and you just might find something that will have the basket and back racks you need for your shopping trips.

this is the bike my daughter has in Japan.

These come with a cool rear wheel lock on them



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Old 09-14-20, 09:50 AM
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Oh and also definitely check with Walmart I just bought a brand new beach cruiser for my wife last weekend at Walmart she insisted she had to have this bike and I was surprised to see this beach cruiser has Sturmey Archer 3 speed gear hubs and rear disc brakes. Not bad for a cheap Walmart bike and it has a very sturdy rear rack. This beach cruiser will be used for our RV lot at the campground to just ride around the campground




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Old 09-14-20, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by sha90 View Post
i think the mamachari is the right bike for me. where can i order one? i looked online and didn't see any website. i called the local bike shop and they said to check with Walmart. i am assuming mamachari are made in japan so not sure if Walmart would carry it? i just need something to commute and buy groceries with.
Well, There Is actually a shop in the UK which sells mamachari bikes imported from Japan. But I don't really know if they contemplate international shipping overseas.

https://www.mamachari.co.uk/shop/bikes/mamachari/

Last edited by Atvar; 09-14-20 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 09-14-20, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Atvar View Post
Well, There Is actually a shop in the UK which sells mamachari bikes imported from Japan. But I don't really know if they contemplate international shipping overseas.

https://www.mamachari.co.uk/shop/bikes/mamachari/
$150 for the bike.

$700 to ship it to Hawaii.
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Old 09-14-20, 06:02 PM
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It's not really a proper mamachari unless its got an electric motor and baby seats on both the front and the back! Like this one on Tokyo craiglist. Ohhhhh how embarassing it is to be passed by one of these fully loaded as you're slogging up a hill on a "real" bike haha.
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Old 09-14-20, 10:17 PM
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You can find them at Bic Camera, they used to export the US, but the cost of shipping would equal the cost of the bike. Your ordinary mamachari is a simple, single-speed bike with a step-through frame a rack on the back, and a basket on the front. They are not just for mamas, students use them to get to school, salarymen use them to get to the suburban train stations. A new one costs under $200. More money will get you a few gears. Bic Camera bikes

If you want a power-assist mamachari, they start at about $1000 for a new Panasonic, Yamaha, or Bridgestone. These always have a kids seat on the front or back, and a basket for carrying groceries. The older versions had 26" wheels, but 20" models are more popular now as they have a lower center of gravity. These bikes are very heavy, and you don't want to ride one when the battery goes dead. I bought my wife a nice Panasonic version 4 years ago for mothers day, and it has seen a lot of miles. She uses it a lot, and so do I. A full charge will get me from my home in Roppongi to Kasai Park and back.
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Old 09-15-20, 12:16 AM
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If you're in Hawaii, a beach cruiser is appropriate.

Why not check out an Electra cruiser?

(https://www.bikefactoryhawaii.com/beach-cruisers/womens)

Or find Honolulu's Giant dealer, go there and look at Liv bikes, it's Giant's female-targeted brand (they're more comfortable as they have female-specific saddles,etc).
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Old 09-15-20, 12:47 AM
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There a guy whod come through here from time to time and post photos of mamacharis from the Philippines. A bit different than the ones in this thread. They had 20 inch front wheels and Stingray style ape hanger bars. They had a front basket that converted to a kid seat much like a shopping cart, that fit within the handlebar above the stem.

Sancycles
MAMACHARI Philippines
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Old 09-15-20, 12:54 AM
  #19  
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thank you everyone for all your advice. i will go through all the links. that mamachari looks nice! i did not know they usually come with electrical assist. and I did see that uk website that sells them, but yes the shipping to us is killah. I was so hoping one of the local bike shops carried them but if their quality can vary then I will keep my search open to other suggestions too. plus i am not sure if i want the electrical assist. someone at work did suggest I get a cruiser from Walmart but part of my commute goes up so I thought I would need more gears? the bike shop near me carries liv so I will go check it out one day. they are out of bikes in my size right now. I would consider buying used. bottom line though is I have no idea how to gauge a good bike from a bad one. the bike shop people seem pretty honest though and i think they will also give good advice. i will re-read all your responses too. i am in no rush. tk you again!
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Old 09-15-20, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Well if you want to buy a container full they're pretty cheap.

https://jap-express.com/japan-automo...icycle-exports
$20 per bike is a pretty good price. Too bad you have to buy 600 at a time.
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Old 09-15-20, 10:00 AM
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Nobody mentioned Public bikes?
https://publicbikes.com/collections/...32391588446271
its sold out just like everything else but here you go:

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Old 09-15-20, 10:32 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
Nobody mentioned Public bikes?
https://publicbikes.com/collections/...32391588446271
it’s sold out just like everything else but here you go:
The appeal of real mamcharis is that they are pretty much complete bikes equipped with lights integrated with dynamos, baskets, racks, elastic cords for the racks, fenders, padding and rain covers for baskets, skirt guards, child seats, chain guards, sturdy kickstands. What gets offered in the US tends to be close to a drawing board, sometimes pretty sad.

Last edited by 2_i; 09-15-20 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 09-16-20, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by sha90 View Post
my commute and shopping are all less than two miles. i am in honolulu and we don't have great bike infrastructure but i am grateful for anything. beats walking!
And that is the shame of being a cyclist in the US. bikes have been viewed as recreation, not transportation for the last half a century; Americans just like their cars too much.

There are very few places in the US that people can live close enough to work, shopping, and services, AND have safely cycleable routes between them, to provide much of a market for those kinds of bikes. Nobody wants to build, market or import a bunch of bikes that wont sell, no matter how cheap they are.

Brands like Priority and PureFix make some decent city bikes, but you pay a little premium for the image and style, like a $5 cup of coffee from Starbucks.
The IKEA bike had some real promise, but the company got cold feet and pulled it off the market over a really minor design flaw.
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Old 09-17-20, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
And that is the shame of being a cyclist in the US. bikes have been viewed as recreation, not transportation for the last half a century; Americans just like their cars too much.

There are very few places in the US that people can live close enough to work, shopping, and services, AND have safely cycleable routes between them, to provide much of a market for those kinds of bikes. Nobody wants to build, market or import a bunch of bikes that wont sell, no matter how cheap they are.

Brands like Priority and PureFix make some decent city bikes, but you pay a little premium for the image and style, like a $5 cup of coffee from Starbucks.
The IKEA bike had some real promise, but the company got cold feet and pulled it off the market over a really minor design flaw.
where did my reply go? well here it is again;p

unfortunately, unless one is a super athlete, for long distances, traveling by car is often more comfortable and easy. (it's hot over here) when my car died, I was taking the bus but with covid I have to find other ways to get around. I love how biking gives me more independence. my state is small so some places are accessible. car traffic during rush hour is horrendous. I hope seeing me bike will get at least one other person to take it up. all that being said..i also have to look for a car...
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Old 09-24-20, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by sha90 View Post
where did my reply go? well here it is again;p

unfortunately, unless one is a super athlete, for long distances, traveling by car is often more comfortable and easy. (it's hot over here) when my car died, I was taking the bus but with covid I have to find other ways to get around. I love how biking gives me more independence. my state is small so some places are accessible. car traffic during rush hour is horrendous. I hope seeing me bike will get at least one other person to take it up. all that being said..i also have to look for a car...
just wondering if you have found a bicycle yet?
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