It’s been difficult for tokyobike fans not living in Japan to get ahold of one of the company’s well respected city bikes, but on May 17th their London shop will officially open. To celebrate Dezeen is giving away a single-speed tokyobike worth $840. To enter, just show up to the opening party in Shoreditch this Thursday night. The winner will get to ride home on the bike that evening, and five runners up with get Gropes leather handlebar grips worth $40 apiece.
If you’re unfamiliar with tokyobike, it’s a small, independent bicycle manufacturer founded in 2002 in Yanaka, a suburb of Tokyo. The name references the bike’s purpose. “In the same way the mountain bike was designed for the mountains, so tokyobike was designed for Tokyo.”
So what makes a bike suited to zipping around the streets of a congested city like Tokyo? “Smaller 650mm wheels and slim, compact, steel frames make the bikes easy to handle and light to ride. More about slow than fast, tokyobike is as much about discovering your city and enjoying the ride as it is about the destination.” It might not be best choice for a bike messenger, but it will do quite nicely for the rest of us.
Before setting up shop in London, tokyobikes hit the streets of Milan for Salone del Mobile – watch a cute video of design week goers biking to events.