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Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Friday, September 26, 2014

 

Why so Little Air in Japanese University Student Bicycle Tyres?


I was waiting for the lights to change at the main entrance to my university, when I noticed that almost all of the rear bicycles tyres of the students waiting at the lights were very low on air. They are in danger of having "pinch flats."

It was only the rear tyres that were almost flat. Could it be that rear tyres are out of sight and therefore out of the Japanese mind? Or is that bicycles in general -- almost always of the step through, shopper or in Japanese parlance "mama" variety -- are given short thrift in Japanese culture, and to take care of ones bike is a rather nerdy thing to do? Or was it just a coincidence, and in general Japanese students' bicycle tyres are no less inflated than those of any other nation?

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Comments:
I guess Japanese people just don't care. I never had any serious workshop or something to look after my bicycle in Japanese education system, although they had several workshops on how to ride bicycles safely (wearing a helmet, etc.). I even don't know how hard bicycle tyres should be.
Maybe British people learn to look after (or they think of) their bicycles more carefully and seriously. I'm at a university in England now, and they provide free bicycle check every week. I can't imagine it would happen in a Japanese university.
 
Don't be so hard on Japanese students. The tire valves used on bike tires in Jp are a weird old-school variety that are prone to slow leakage. You get rather tired of replacing the little noodle-like rubber segment that goes on the cone thing in the valve. Plus you probably have to drag the pump down from the closet and bring it back up after. And all the neat little neighborhood bike shops have closed down and dang if you aren't late for school already, so time to ride like mad on nearly flat tires with a piece of toast in one's mouth... Must pick up a replacement valve and noodle thingy kit at the 100y store on the way home...
 
Thank you N.N. and Anonymous.

I can't remember being trained on how to repair bicycles when I was at University in England, and Scotland, but the shops were more expensive, so I taught myself. Perhaps that is the reason.

The neighbourhood bike shops are still open in Yamaguchi and they are still very cheap.

So perhaps Japanese students leave their bike repair to shops, and pay less attention to their upkeep.

I have "French," Schrader valves, and wondered about those noodle things in 100 yen shop puncture repair sets and how important they are. Now I know.

All the same I am very keen to pump up my tires since I find it keeps them puncture resistant even to little bits of glass.

Yoi otoshi o
 
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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.