biking lifestyle

Tokyo Bike Bisou Review

July 28, 2019

Although we each have a beloved Brompton M6L bike, there were a lot of cases where I wanted to lock my bike outside but couldn’t bring myself to do it. That’s when we thought of a “throw-away” bike. Not literally a throw away bike, it just means a bike that if it were stolen or something bad happened to it, it wouldn’t hurt as much as losing a Brompton. So when we flew back to Australia, we decided to box up my Toyko Bisou Bike and take it with us to London.

So far, it’s been fantastic being able to lock it outside on the streets whilst we pick up groceries in farmer markets on weekends. Remembering back to when people have “weekend” cars, I now feel privileged to say I have a “weekend bike”. It’s bright mustard yellow and just makes me smile when I ride down the street. See my other post on the Tokyo Bike CS model.

The Bike

The Tokyo Bike Bisou is a simple, light-weight, city bike with 7 speeds. The relaxed style of frame allows for a more leisurely ride and accommodates for riding with a skirt or dress. The curved back handles gives a comfortable up-right riding position which makes it feel like a traditional dutch bike. The wheels are 26″ with a choice of semi-matt finish or a range of gloss finishes. The Shimano Trigger Shifter systems is easy to use with well indicated numbers to inform you of which gear setting you are on. This bike is easily fitted with baskets and carriers which improves the portability of items when commuting to work.

Bisou Specifications

Price: 950.00 AUD (incl.GST) / 580 GBP
Frame: Full Cr-Mo steel
Colours: Willow, blue grey, vincent blue, blue jade, moss green, jeffer red, saffron, and ivory
Gears: Shimano 7-speed with Shimano M310 Trigger Shifter
Wheels & Tires: Silver rims and black / ivory tires (HE 26×1.15) with Quick release skewers
Details: Upright handlebars with brown grips, brown saddle, bell and a silver kickstand.
Weight: 12kg (42 cm)

Size Guide

420mm (S)  4’8″ – 5.2′” (142-158cm)
500mm (M) 5’1″ -5’9″  (155-175cm) – I’m 160cm so I opted for this one.
550mm (L)  5’8″ -6’1″  (172-185cm)

For full specs and more information see the tokyobike website  

The Frame

The frame is constructed from lightweight chromo steel. Although it is not the lightest material it’s slim diameter frame certainly makes it look and feel very light weight. In addition to being lightweight, the Bisou offers a complete upright & comfort minded ride position.

The Handle Bar

The handle bar is a flat handle bar with leather grips. Due to the frame and handle bar, the riding position provides a comfortable ride. It feels very sturdy and nimble at the same time.

The Seat

The seat is leather with a slight cushion. Great for shorter rides however not as comfortable when commuting over and hour in length.

The Brakes

In keeping with the lightweight profile of the bike, it comes fitted with quite standard rubber brakes which are replaceable when worn out. Although not a disc brake, it does its job well and have never had a problem coming to a complete stop when needed.

The Pedal

The original pedal is constructed on metal with groves that makes it comfortable and non slippery to all types of shoes.

Gears

The Tokyo Bike Bisou model comes with a 7-speed Shimano gear set. It shifts gears very seamlessly and quickly. The display of what gear it is on is also very helpful as it can be hard to tell what gear you are on.

Weight

This is one of the most important factors as I have to carry the bike up two flights of stairs every day. This bike is under 12 kg which makes it more or less strenuous to carry up the stairs. I do struggle with it for a few seconds because of the way the handlebars splay out in a non-compact way.

Optional Accessories

Bottle Holder

The bottle holder is quite handy when going for longer rides where I need to carry water and replenish during my ride. The colour of this particular holder blends into the overall style of the bike.

Combination Lock

One one the most handy and light weight bike locks out there. Really simple and easy to use and transport. I have mine constantly wrapped on my bike.

LED bike lights

This pair of front an rear lights are so useful when required. These are battery powered LED lights that will require battery replacement if it runs out.

Verdict

This is one stylish bike and gets many compliments while on the road. However, it’s not the lightest or easiest bike for a small female to carry up stairs, so I do struggle bringing it up and down every time I want to ride it. However, when I get going on the bike, it is a dream to ride and I feel joy each time.

The bike costs £580 brand new, and is a hefty price tag. I think it is worth if you don’t have to carry it up and down narrow flights of stairs.

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