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Coming to Tokyo in October!


Jul 28, 2008
Hi everybody,

I'm coming over to Tokyo Mad City in October. I'm a born and bred cyclist but I have some questions to ask.

1. I really don't think I can bring over all seven of my bikes (expensive and probably nowhere to store them). What would be recommended? I was planning to bring a racer (possibly carbon, possibly steel - was meant to sell the Kestrel but now it's getting closer I think it will break my heart to do that) for racing and training and an old steel fixie to tool about getting to work and around town.

2. How expensive is bike gear over there? I thought Shimano stuff grew on the trees but now it seems like Korea is the place for cheap stuff. Over here I make great use of 2nd hand gear via jumble sales and ebay as I'm not very rich at all. How easy is it to do that? Or should I buy plenty of cheap spares to bring with?

3. What's the racing scene like? I'm a six-foot Englishman so I like to trial and I don't know what a mountain looks like. I can't wait to get going into the local hills around Kanto.

4. I've worked as a cycle messenger for the last few years so I'm used to urban riding. Lots of people say it's suicidal to ride in London, but that's bollocks. It's great to ride in London. I hope it's the same with Tokyo - everyone says it's mad and insane but actually it's alright. Is that true? I'll go crazy if I can't even commute.

Thanks in advance for any advice or answers - I'll stand drinks when I get there!

1. Road bike, I'd say. Carbon for the hills--there are many.

2. Bike gear is expensive...Shimano stuff is perhaps a bit cheaper than overseas (especially groupset parts bought individually). You might find things cheap coming from Europe, though.

3. Race scene is not bad...but flat time trials are very rare. They're my favorite event, too, but I've only found two in the year so far in the entire Kanto area. By far the most common road bike event are time trial hill climbs, usually for 10 km to 15 km. There are a reasonable number of criteriums throughout the year, on varying courses, and a few "enduro" events, usually held on auto racing circuits.

4. The Tokyo guys would know better (I'm out in the inaka), but I've had no problems riding into Chiba city and Tokyo. Some roads are better avoided, but I'd say it's no worse than any major congested, narrow-road city such as London or New York.
1. Your Favourite road bike should be fine. I ride fix at the moment but find it fustrating on the flatlands and will be bringing geared back when I go back to the uk for a week soon.

2. Same sort of price for most stuff. not much in it

3. No Idea, but maybe I'll join you for a couple

4. If you rode in london you'll be fine. Like phil says, busy city, but I guess you're used to that.

You sure you wanna stand beers... it aint cheap

See ya
I love riding through Tokyo traffic. my friends also think I'm a nut job.

commuting by train is an experience I avoid as much as possible here.

I don't know what your work situation is but I always have to lock my bike outside. I have a heavy Kryponite lock that I bought in America and I've never seen them sell something that heavy duty here. It gives me piece of mind even if it weighs a ton.

so bring your favorite lock too.
Bought my Kryptonite locks from Nankai, a motorcycle parts and accessories chain. Even these are useless unless tethered... a skateboard or two under the wheels and Bobs your uncle.
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