Takara Kabuto – Review, Tips & Guide

I met a friend for a quick bike ride through the park a few weeks ago. It’s a monthly tradition that we both really enjoy. We get to spend a few hours in nature and catch up on each other’s lives.

But this past month was different. My friend had bought a new bike, and I refused to talk about anything else until he told me all about it.

He’d purchased the Takara Kabuto, and I was impressed right away.

It’s a single speed bike, and while it’s best used as a commuter bike, my friend had no problem cruising through the trails that afternoon.

I loved the look and efficiency of his bike, so I did a little research on it and here’s what I came up with.

Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike

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Rating

The Takara Kabuto is one of the best ways for bikers to get a commuter bike that’s fast and affordable.

The bike has plenty to offer, allowing bikers to either cruise their way through the city or head off for a biking adventure.

No matter what you choose, you’ll enjoy freedom and a comfortable ride that doesn't let you down. Your Takara bike can be your daily bike or your once in a while bike, depending on your biking needs and style.

The design of the Takara Kabuto single speed road bike is flawless. The green and blue paint job gives it just the right amount of pop without being obnoxious. The handles are placed in such a way that the entire bike’s design seems to rest on them.

I personally loved the flop hub which allowed me to interchange between using the Takara as a fixie bike or using it as a standard freewheel single speed bike.

This bike’s frame is incredibly strong. It can hold up no matter what your journey brings. In fact, the frame is made of steel, which is getting harder to find these days.

While steel is a bit heavier than other bike frame materials, like aluminum, it really gives you the strength that you need to feel confident in the durability of your bike.

To accommodate for the added weight, Takara uses alloy components to save weight in other areas. This was a huge selling point for me.

I knew that I would love my Kabuto bike after the first ride.

I first took it out to run into town for a quick errand. I was impressed with how smooth the ride was. It had been a while since I rode a fixed gear bike but it only took me a minute to get used to pedaling.

As I headed home, I decided to take a shortcut through the park, which has some pretty rough patches. Again, the Takara held up. I knew that the bike would quickly become my go-to choice for commuting.

Size, Weight and Dimension Options

One of the best features about the Takara Kabuto is that it’s made for men and women of all sizes and heights. It has a standover clearance of 31 inches and the alloy rear pull brakes are designed for riders between 5’8” and 6’2”.

The seemingly vintage Takara road bike comes in two sizes. The large measures 58 cm while the medium comes in at 54 cm.

No matter the size, the Takara weighs about 35 pounds. Not the lightest bike in the world, but you should still be able to make it up the stairs or across rocky terrain.

Tech Specs

    • Intended as a commuter bike/long-distance
    • Single Speed
    • 31 inch stand over clearance
    • Fits riders: 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet 2 inches in height
    • Rear Flip Flop Hub for fixed gear or freewheel options
    • Tig-welded steel frame and fork
    • Rims with alloy hub
    • Alloy side pull brakes

Pros

Easy to Assemble

I’ve put together a few bikes, but I can’t think of any that were easier than the Kabuto bike. It came with everything I needed to put it together, and the entire setup is fairly simple. As long as you follow the instructions, you shouldn’t get confused. You don’t need any complicated tools, either. You can go from a packaged bike to one that’s ready to ride in a matter of minutes. It really is that simple.

Affordable

The Takara Kabuto 700c is incredibly affordable. If you aren’t sure if biking is for you, this is a great bike to try out just to get a feel for it. If you don’t like biking as much as you thought you would, you still have a great backup bike that didn’t cost a fortune. If you’re already an avid biker and need a new one, you’ll love how affordable the bike is. You’ll also love how much money it can save you—should you choose to bike to work or outings, you’ll save a small fortune on bus fare or gas.

Comfortable Seat

I sometimes ride my bike for hours at a time. I’ve had a few bikes that had incredibly uncomfortable seats. I couldn’t stand being on them for more than about an hour, which means I had to stand up on my bike for a bit to give my bottom a rest. But I’ve never had this issue with the Takara. I feel comfortable from the moment I sit down to the moment I get back from my ride.

Strong and Sturdy

You might think that you’re buying a less durable bike because of the low price, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Ask anyone who owns a Takara, including me, and they’ll tell you that the frame is incredibly strong and leaves you feeling confident in your ride. Once you go on your first ride, you’ll feel how strong the bike is and you’ll realize that you really did make a great investment.

Enjoyable Ride

For such a simple bike, I couldn’t believe how smooth my biking experience was. I was comfortable the entire time. Even though the vintage touring bike is a bit heavier than most, I didn’t feel like I was huffing and puffing my way down the street. The design was really well thought out. This became even more obvious once I realized how much I was enjoying the ride, because I wasn’t being jolted by every bump in the road.

Cons

Weak Brakes

I did have to adjust the brakes a few times before I got them just right. For this reason, I have to warn all new Takara riders to take a moment to test their brakes before they really hit the road. It seems obvious how important a braking system is, but the last thing you want to do is find yourself headed down a steep hill without functioning brakes. It’s a quick thing to check and can save you from a crash.

Lightweight Tires

The tires are obviously a crucial part of your bike, but it seems like so many manufactures skimp out on the standard set. If you’re like me, you might want to create some peace of mind regarding your tire situation and head down to your local bike shop for an upgrade. It’s an added cost but one that’s completely worth it to me. You don’t want to end up halfway down a rocky trail and end up with only one functioning tire.

Weight

I’ve already mentioned that the frame of the Takara bike is made from steel. This can be a con for some people as it does make for a heavier bike. I didn’t have an issue carrying the bike up my stairs though, and I’ve definitely worked with heavier bikes in the past. If you’re looking for the lightest bike on the market, this one wouldn’t be for you. But if you’re okay with compromising a bit in order to get a more durable material, you won’t mind the added pounds.

Faulty Pedals

Now I’ve only heard of this concern from others with the Takara bike as I did not experience it myself. But some complain that the pedals are actually quite noisy. This could be due to a faulty crank or something similar. Luckily, it’s a quick fix. If you find that your pedals are a bit too loud for you, tighten them up a bit. You should be all good after that.

Takara Bicycle History

Takara isn’t new to the bike industry. In fact, they’ve been around since the late 1980s. They started making simple bikes in Japan using only the highest quality products and materials.

Before making bikes, Takara was known as a general toy manufacturer. But as time went on and they grew their company and products to accommodate their customers’ demands, it became clear that Takara was destined to be a bike maker.

Their bikes are very popular in the USA, mainly because they’re made for day-to-day usage.

I love the modern look of Takara bikes along with their strong steel frames. Overall, Takara bikes deliver functionality and dependability at an affordable price. I love that the company has a rich history that proves their dedication to their craft and their ability to evolve and meet demands.

Takara Kabuto Assembly

Need a little help assembling your Takara Kabuto?

I’ve got you covered. I took the time to document my assembly and put together a quick guide that should help you out.

Begin by unpackaging the bike and removing any protective materials from the frame and pieces. All the large pieces will be separate, while all the small pieces will be found in a box.

1. Begin with the handlebars. Pop the cover off the bar and slide it into the tube on the front of the bike. Don’t screw anything together yet.

2. Grab the pedals. Unscrew the screws for the strap if you’d like. If not, leave it on. The pedals are marked either L or R for the left or right side. Simply screw each pedal onto the correct side.

3. Next, we'll align the front wheel. Remove the guard from the front wheel. Remove the screws as well. Place the wheel in the frame and replace the screws. Tighten to secure it in place, making sure that it is centered correctly. Make sure that the washer is aligned and locked in the groove of the frame.

4. We’re almost done! Now we’re going to lock in the handlebars. Use an allen wrench to slowly tighten the handlebars. Take care not to overtighten it. If you overtighten the handlebars, you can easily loosen them until they feel comfortable to you.

5. Place the seat in the tube, adjusting it to your height as needed.

6. Next, check the brakes. If you need to adjust them at all, pull down on the wire tension string attached to the tension nut. This will increase your braking control. If you’re having any brake issues, it doesn’t hurt to swing by a bike shop to make sure that everything's okay.

7. The final step in assembling your Takara bike is to tighten all the bolts and make sure everything is aligned. Go for a short test ride either in your garage or driveway to make sure that everything feels secure. If you’re having any issues pedaling or braking, try to adjust them again. I had to do very little adjusting when I assembled my bike and I hope the same goes for you.

You should be all set to go now. Get out there and have some fun!

Now that you know all there is to know about the Takara Kabuto single speed road bike, it's time to get out there and find a Takara bike for sale.

I’m confident that you’ll love every second of it and be the newest Takara bike owner in no time.

About Ethan Wells

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