Maintenance Tips and Advice
We want to help you look after your tokyobike, so please read the tips and advice below to keep your bike running smoothly.
- Cleaning and lubricating
- Tyre Pressure
- Pumping Up Your Tyres
- Avoiding Punctures
- Quick Release
- Brake shoes
- Leather Accessories
We recommend having your tokyobike serviced by a professional bike mechanic about once every year, or as soon as you feel that it needs it - maybe once every 6 months if you are riding it extensively. Please ensure that your brakes and derailleur are kept in good working order.
Cleaning and lubricating
If you are able, we highly recommend that you clean and lubricate your chain when it becomes dry or clogged with dust or mud. We suggest that you do this approximately once every one to three months, depending on how often you ride and in what conditions. Before applying lubricant, please make sure you clean your chain and cassette thoroughly using bicycle degreaser. We stock Orontas Cleaner and Lubricant from Canada, which is made using high environmental standards.
How to clean and oil your chain and cassette:
• Place your bike upside-down on its spine
• Spray some degreaser onto a rag or paper towel – we recommend environmentally friendly Orontas degreaser
• Hold the rag around the chain and slowly turn the pedal until the rag comes away clean, applying more degreaser if necessary
• Once the chain is clean, use your rag to ‘floss’ the cassette
• After cleaning, reapply lubricant – during the rainy season, we recommend Type B Orontas lubricant, which is more sticky so it won’t come off your chain when it rains
• Apply a drop of lubricant approximately every four chain links as you slowly turn the pedal spreading the oil
Tokyobike frames and components are mainly made of steel so to avoid any rust and keep it in good condition, please keep your bike dry. We highly recommend storing your bike inside, or at least undercover, to prevent colour fade or rust over time. We know that not everyone has space to store their bike inside so if your are unable to do so then we would recommend using a bike cover. We stock Topeak bike covers in two sizes to fit any tokyobike models and most other bikes. After riding in heavy rain it is best to to dry off your bike. Please also be aware that bright colours have a tendency to fade when exposed to direct sunlight, and similarly tyre walls and cable covers can crack or deteriorate over time if consistently exposed to direct sunlight.
Keeping the air in your tyres topped up will result in a smoother, faster ride and help avoid punctures. The recommended air pressure (PSI) is written on the tyre wall and if there is a range you should aim for the maximum. We recommend pumping up your tyres every two weeks even if you are not riding every day. Riding with low-pressure tyres can easily lead to punctures. This happens when the rim hits against the ground, particularly if you go over a bump, pinching the tube and potentially damaging the tyre.
Recommended PSI for tokyobikes
• Bisou: 80 PSI
• CS, Sport and SS: 125 PSI
• CS Semi-matte Finish : 80 PSI
• Mini-Velo: 65 PSI
• Little Tokyobike: 35 PSI
Pumping Up Your Tyres
Tokyobikes come with two different kinds of valves depending on which model you have chosen. The CS, Sport and SS all have French (Presta) valves and the Bisou has American (Schrader) valves. The best way to pump up your tyres is to use a bike pump that has a PSI pressure gauge, so that you can make sure you are pumping up your tyres to the right pressure. We have a number of beautiful pumps by Lezyne available, all of which have pressure gauges. The Bisou tyres can also be pumped up at petrol stations, however, please be aware that most petrol station pumps cannot reach the optimal pressure.
The French (Presta) valves have a cap that must be unscrewed, but also a nut around the tip of the valve that must be unscrewed to the tip to allow air to pass in or out of the tube, and then screwed down to the base when finished to seal the valve.
As well as keeping the tyres topped up, try to avoid glass and debris that can collect at the edges of the road. Regularly check your tyres and remove sharp objects that do get stuck using a tooth pick or similar. Special puncture resistant tyres are available here.
Wipe the frame with a dry or slightly damp cloth to remove any dirt and dust. If necessary, use degreaser spray applied with a cloth and avoid spraying directly or inside components. If you need to oil the chain after riding through heavy rain or on seeing signs of rust, wipe off any excess afterwards. Too much oil picks up dust and debris.
If you have quick release levers on your bike it is very important they are tightly closed before riding. When removing and replacing a wheel please ensure that the wheel is put back on in the correct direction. As well as on the wheels and seat post there may also be a lever on the brake calipers. This must be closed in order to use the brakes properly. To remove the wheels on a Bisou model tokyobike you will need to let a bit of air out of the tyres first so that they can fit over the brake calipers. Please be cautious when leaving your bike locked in public, and secure the wheels and saddle if necessary, or if this happens regularly consider swapping to security skewers.
It is a good idea to regularly check that your brake shoes are in good condition. If you can’t see any grooves, or they seem very shallow, it is important that you bring your bike in so we can change them over for your continued safe riding. Brake shoes are available at the store for $12.
Here is a video by our friends in Japan, showing a slightly different method:
If you have purchased our leather saddles or grips it is also a great idea to maintain the leather to keep it supple and beautiful, and so it will last a lifetime. We have Brooks Proofide available through the online store which conditions your leather accessories to keep them beautiful, waterproof and to assist with the 'breaking in' period.