Yesterday I visited the new Astuto Continental shop in Akasaka, Tokyo (map link). GS Astuto is a local wheel builder and bicycle shop run by long time Japan resident Tim Smith.
Besides selling high quality wheels and road bikes, it is now also filling a void in the market in this metroplis of 13 million people: road bike rentals. While there are several companies here renting out “mamachari” (simple utility bikes) and city bikes, it has been difficult for locals and visitors to find road bikes for weekend rides or to explore the country on short stays.
A couple of weeks ago, GS Astuto announced on the Tokyo Cycling Club forum that they were building up a stable of rental bikes in various sizes and shapes, including lightweight road bikes, TT/aero bikes and cyclocross/CX bikes. Tokyo and surroundings are a great place for cycling all year round, whether you prefer flat rides along the major rivers and the coast line or the hills to the west and around Mt Fuji.
The Astuto Continental shop is based in Akasaka Mitsuke not far from Aoyama dori, right next to the Akasaka police station.