Need advice on how to buy and ship a Japan-only bicycle to the US.
September 14, 2011 11:44 AM   Subscribe

I want to buy my wife this "Mamachari" bike for her birthday. But they are only available in Japan (I'm in the US.) Any suggestions on how I'd purchase and ship one at the lowest price possible?
posted by soulbarn to Shopping (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Mamachari bikes are pretty awesome, and you can get decent ones from the local (in Japan) home center for the equivalent of $150. Alas, I've only ever seen one of those bikes in the bicycle mecca I live in here on the west coast.

Anyway, Asama produces a "Euro" line of bikes in North America that may be of interest.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:29 PM on September 14, 2011

The importation cost of that bike would probably cost integer multiples of the purchase price. It ain't worth it. I'm sure you've given this a lot of thought already, but if I may I suggest some alternatives:

Gazelle. Dutch. Spendy. IMO they have better lines and are probably better made.
Pashley (also see). From the UK. Also spendy but classic.

Any of these could be rigged up with child seats.
posted by adamrice at 12:44 PM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks. I've looked at the Pashleys, especially. But I love those seats and carriers. Maybe I need to get a job in Japan (I'm a freelance writer) and bring one back myself.
posted by soulbarn at 1:15 PM on September 14, 2011

It looks like the bike is manufactured by A.N.Design-Works. Right now, they're exhibiting at Interbike in Las Vegas, so you might be able to pick one up there. According to their U.S. website, A.N.Design-Works also has an office in Torrence, CA Didn't see that exact model on the US website, but can probably talk to someone in the US office about how to get one.
posted by chrisulonic at 2:11 PM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

A little googling brings up this website from a seller who seems keen on exporting them. The shipping price is a bit steep though.
posted by cazoo at 2:50 PM on September 14, 2011

Since you are in Los Angeles, go to Flying Pigeon. (I bought my daughter's Gazelle there.)

The guys who run it are awesome, eager to just bullshit endlessly about city bikes, and dig out any bike in the store for you to ride around the block. They are strictly city bikes, and carry Batavus, Pashley, Gazelle, Flying Pigeon, and probably others. If the specific bike you want is to be had in Los Angeles, they will know.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 3:46 PM on September 14, 2011

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