Cake
  • Log In
  • Sign Up
    • I'm thinking of getting a new bike so I can start exercising a bit more in all this COVID. I can't decide what to get but figure all of you beautiful people would have an idea. I've started looking at a few shops that custom make bikes (like the one in the photo). They can fixies, single speed, and multispeed. I found a another shop that restores vintage road bikes. I've just started looking at new bikes as well. Mostly I'm just going to ride around my town: Tokyo...

      Any riders with recommendations?

    • I have 20 or so bicycles and ride numerous types of bicycles. First you need to consider what type of biking you’d like to do. Where you’re most likely to bike. The type of roads or paths or trails you’d like to go on. Then you have to do a self evaluation of what your body is capable of as far as flexibility. I wouldn’t recommend a fixie for someone who isn’t an experienced cyclist who knows exactly what they want. I also wouldn’t recommend a single speed bicycle (like a cruiser) unless you know you’ll exclusively be doing flat terrain at a very casual pace. Flexibility determines what seating position is likely to be comfortable. More often than not a new cyclist who wants to do casual riding with possibly the occasional rough surface riding will want a hybrid bicycle. It’s a bicycle that’s fairly upright with tires that are narrow enough to be relatively fast but not so thin they aren’t comfortable on rougher pathways and roads. A regular Mtn bike is also a very versatile bicycle that may be a little slower on roads but more versatile and often more comfortable. When buying a Mtn bike be careful of going with an overly expensive one that may have race geometry that isn’t as comfortable because it’s very aggressive bent over position. A Mtn bike with only front suspension (known as a hard tail) should be more than sufficient. The Mtn bikes have mostly straight handlebars whereas the hybrids have a similar upright position but a bit narrower handlebar with a bit more curve or sweep in the bar. I’d recommend getting a bicycle with at least 3 speeds. Typically more expensive bicycles have more gears but that’s not always the case. Seats matters and often An experienced cyclist will change the seat on their bicycle to match their unique body needs. No one seat is best for everyone.

      Test ride several bicycles at least before buying one. Every decent bicycle shop allows test rides and will give you a loaner helmet. A reputable bicycle shop will also help you find a bicycle that fits. In the current environment with so many bicycle shops sold out of bikes or having far fewer bicycles than normal there may be more pressure to sell you a bike that isn’t your size. Test riding a few bikes will help you get a better idea of what feels natural to you. When test riding the bike, try shifting through the gears while pedaling to see if it feels natural to you. I’ll leave it at that and let others add to what I’ve said. Bicycles are a great way to explore, get fresh air and stay fit and healthy. Good luck

      I just saw you are living in Tokyo. It’s unlikely you’ll find many Mtn bikes there but then I’m no expert on Tokyo.

    • I did the same recently, what I did was borrow a bike from a friend to start and soon realized that it wasn't the bike for me, luckily like @cvdavis he had more than a few to choose from. I swapped and changed before I settled on one. So it might be an idea for you before spending cash actually find a bike to suit, maybe borrow or rent, and if that bike shop is friendly make sure they help you set it up 'for you' for optimum performance and comfort as it makes a huge difference.

    • Cool Dave! I imagine you on a hipster bike like the one you showed in the pic, except good for the obstacles of the city — kinda like the Dutch often ride in Amsterdam. My wife swears by them because she wants fenders for the rain, an upright riding position, and slightly wider tires. She’s not hipster but is badass.

      So like the Bixby from Shinola:

    • Electras are great bikes, if they're comfortable for you. I didn't really like them, but my wife has had two in the past.

      I don't know what the terrain is like in Tokyo - I'm assuming it's mostly relatively flat there, but I've never actually spent any time there. All my time in Japan was spent in Kansai - in and around Osaka prefecture. I had a mountain bike, which comfortable to ride in Japan. Although you're probably better off with a hybrid that has road tires - pretty much the only time I got off of pavement and concrete was at entrances to shrines and temples. I've never been a very accomplished bike rider but because of the hills, if I'd had a bike with only a single gear I would have spent a decent amount of time pushing my bike. I know the mamacharis don't look cool, but I knew a guy that biked up Mount Koya on one. So they're definitely enough to get you around. I did it on a mountain bike and it was so much fun.

    • Thanks all for the feedback. I've done a ton of research and checked out a bunch of shops. I think I single speed is probably not right for me. I found a cool shop near my house that restores road bikes from the 70s and 80s named Corsa Corsa (video). I'm thinking this is for me. The owner is very knowledable. We are trying to see what we can find for me. It might be a nice little restoration project. Thankfully Tokyo is full of collectors so my guess is he might find a completely restored one for me as well. I'll post some photos of the restoration or bike depending on which way I go.

    • You might want to shy away from shifters on the downtube. They require you to let go with your hands and while they look cool you’d essentially end up with a single speed road bike. Test ride one that’s done first before you pull the trigger.

    • Single speeds other than BMX bikes are pretty sucky if you live anywhere with hills.

      Racing handlebars are likewise a pain unless you are racing.

      If I only had to have one bike it would be like CV says.

      A more upright hybrid/hardtail with at least 24 speed gears. They cover the highest amount of applications.

    • fyi, Dave (ShootTokyo) is a hipster in the best way, and a great photographer. We shot a profile of him: