We want to help you look after your tokyobike – please read the tips below to keep your bike running smoothly.
We recommend having your tokyobike serviced by a professional bike mechanic once every year, or as soon as you feel that it needs it – around once every 6 months if you are riding it extensively. Please ensure that your brakes and derailleur are kept in good working order.
Cleaning & Lubricating
If you are able, we highly recommend you clean and lubricate your chain when it becomes dry or clogged with dust or mud. We suggest you do this approximately once every one to three months, depending on how often you ride and in what conditions. Before applying lubricant, make sure you clean your chain and cassette thoroughly using bicycle degreaser.
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
• 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, apply lubricant
• Apply a drop of lubricant approximately every four chain links as you slowly turn the pedal spreading the oil
Here is a video by our friends in Japan showing a slightly different method.
tokyobike frames and components are mainly made of steel, so to avoid rust and to maintain 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. If you are unable to do so, we would recommend using a bike cover. After riding in heavy rain it is best to to dry off your bike. Please be aware that bright colours have a tendency to fade when exposed to direct sunlight, and similarly tyre walls and cable housings 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 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 your tokyobike:
• Bisou, CS (26" wheels) – 80 PSI
• Sport, SS, CS (650c wheels) – 125 PSI
• Little tokyobike – 35 PSI
Pumping Up Your Tyres
tokyobike models come with two different valve types depending on your model. Sport, SS and older models of CS (with a gloss finish) have French/Presta valves and Bisou, CS, Mini Velo and Little tokyobike have American/Schrader valves. The best way to pump up your tyres is to use a bike pump that has a PSI pressure gauge to ensure correct pressure. We have a number of beautiful pumps by Lezyne available with pressure gauges.
The French/Presta valves have 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 along the edges of the road. Regularly check your tyres and remove sharp objects that do get stuck using a tooth pick or similar tool. We stock puncture resistant tyres subject to availability – please enquire.
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 that they are tightly closed before riding. When removing and replacing a wheel, ensure it 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 for the brakes to operate properly. To remove the wheels on our Bisou model, we suggest you let a bit of air out of the tyres first, so that they can fit past the brake calipers. Please exercise caution when leaving your bike locked in public, and secure the wheels and seat post if necessary using a Security Skewer Set.
It is a good idea to regularly check that your brake pads are in good condition. If you can’t see any grooves, or they seem very shallow, have your bike checked by a mechanic for a safe ride. Brake Pads are available for purchase from our online store.
If you have purchased our leather saddles or grips, it is a great idea to maintain the leather to keep them supple and beautiful so it will last a lifetime, and to assist with the 'breaking in' period.