Tokyo Bicycle Show

I went along to the “Cyclemode International 2012” show at the weekend. It’s the largest of the bicycle shows in Japan. It is held in Makuhari, in Chiba prefecture on the east side of Tokyo Bay. I rode the 45Km from home and took some snaps of the things I found interesting. Which, I should mention, generally fall into the constructeur / steel / practical / touring style of bicycles rather than the latest Taiwanese carbon frame and this year’s must-have “gruppo”. To the roadies and weight-weenies – sorry ! But the magazines have all those pics, with the weight and price highlighted in bold, so no need to go to a show to get all the information you need.

Anyway, first up, this simple Pashley :

Steel lugged frame, downtube shifters, and full mudguards. Nothing flashy but an honest bicycle I thought. A bit more flashy was this cafe-racer :

A little too much for me, this one. If you are going to draw attention to the lug, use a nicer lug to begin with ! Same issue with this otherwise excellent mixte :

Better be simple and humble, but well designed, like this Miyata :

Nice integrated seat clamp, and rear brake hangar. Hammered Japanese Honjo full length mudguards. Not expensive this one either ( about £1000 roughly ).

Now this was one of my bikes-of-the-show. Expensive ( about £3000 … ) but quite beautiful. It’s a porteur-style made by Grand Bois in Kyoto :

Front light integrated with the porteur rack :

Very clean cockpit. The rear brake is a Sturmey Archer coaster hub, hence the absence of the rear brake lever on the handlebar :

Hammered Honjo mudguards again. Original chaincase and original Grand Bois 650B tyres :

A lot of the Japanese touring bike manufacturers use the French Randonneurs as their inspiration, with René Herse being the constructeur perhaps most admired. This was on the Grand Bois stand, in tribute and appreciation :

… and a current Grand Bois model in the same style :

Beautiful welding here. I like the “claw” seat stays :

The René Herse crank :

And custom rear light :

Moving on, this was another contender for bike-of-the-show for me. Constructed by Yuka Kitajima :

Yes another porteur, but with … some extras :

Leather chaincase

Essential Tabasco sauce holder

Wine glass and ( on the other side ) wine bottle rack

And Yuka-san herself with her “Pizza Party” porteur :

Handmade, wooden frame, from Sanomagic :

It’s all wood too. The saddle, the post, the wheels, the handlebar and stem, even the light and water bottle holder.

The drivetrain was standard Campagnolo ( not wood … )

For the last 10 years, electric-assist bikes have been everywhere in Tokyo, used mainly by the mums on the school run. The forms are developing from the “mama-chari” ( “mum’s chariot” ) integrated baby-seat style though. For example :

Electric-assist utility bicycle

The trailer is removable. See how small the motor is…

Electric-assist urban/mountain bike

Back to the proper bicycles 🙂 A Cherubim, with lovely clean lines :

High quality brazing, and the builder’s flourish :

Cycled back to Tokyo, past Tsukiji fish market, the row of lights on the right hand bank, sleeping ready for Monday morning’s catch


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