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Tokyo Bike London

A Japanese brand of classically-styled lightweight bikes makes its British debut

by Richard Prime in Design on 24 May 2010

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As part of London's Clerkenwell Design Week, running from tomorrow, 25 May 2010, through 27 May 2010, director of the festival Peter Murray will lead a number of cycle tours around the area. To make sure participants look the part, cult cycle brand Tokyo Bike will supply the bikes. "These guided tours are all about enjoying the ride, exploring the city and the freedom that goes with it," says Ichiro Kanai, founding director of Tokyo Bike.

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In other efforts to spread the word about their lightweight, well-designed models, Tokyo Bike will also open its first pop-up store in London this summer. For the month of July, the store will stock the company's full range of cycles for the urban rider.

Using chromoly steel for a more comfy and durable ride, Tokyo Bikes still clock in at just around 10 kilos (22 pounds). The design touches don't end there; compact and straight handlebars give a little more control in the urban environment, while slightly smaller (650mm) and thinner wheels than standard road bikes makes for speedier acceleration and quick changes of direction and also cuts down on weight.

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The number one cycle brand in its native Japan, Tokyo Bike wins buyers over with its good build quality—and its range of striking colors doesn't hurt either. At a moment when the U.S. is seeing the launch of their own European-style bike brand Public and with sites like cult cycle blog Copenhagen Cycle Chic and its international counterparts championing the sit-up-and-beg style, the timing seems right for Tokyo Bikes to make a bid for the London rider.

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