Introducing The Takara Kabuto
SINGLE SPEED ROAD BIKE
Without a doubt, this bike is easy and fun to ride.  Is it fast you ask?  Of course it is.  It's light and easy to carry.  One of the best characteristics of the Takara Kabuto is the fact that it is just down right flashy.  It catches the eye without even trying.  Once you climb aboard, it feels great - like the perfect fit.  This is the perfect selection if you are looking for a commuter bike.
Takara Kabuto Green & Blue
Takara Kabuto Reviews
Website Review
By Brady Pope on July 22, 2012
Verified Purchase
I'm a 32 year old male who bought this bike as my first effort to try out road biking. So far I have put about 1000 miles on the bike in the three months that I have owned it and now feel the need to give a full review of my experience with this bike so far. For your information, I purchased the 57cm bike, am exactly 6'0" tall, and weigh about 200 lbs.

First, I would like to address some common things that come up in the other reviews of this bike. There is much misinformation with regards to the right pedal making a clicking noise at the top of the pedal rotation. One reviewer, claiming to be a bike mechanic, has stated that the problem is due to a faulty crank. I'm an auto mechanic, not a bike mechanic, but I'm quite certain the problem has nothing to do with the crank. I have fixed and reduplicated the problem four times now to be certain that I have pinpointed the problem accurately. THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE PEDAL NEEDS TO BE TIGHTENED MORE TIGHTLY THAN YOU MIGHT INITIALLY THINK. 

If you happen to own a torque wrench, as I do, you should apply about 40 ft/lbs of torque when tightening the right pedal. If you don't own such a tool, just tighten it with quite a bit of force. In my experience, that will completely eliminate the 'clicking' problem with the right pedal. You might as well tighten the left one a little tighter while you are at it.

Some reviewers are unhappy with the brakes. As I have said above, this is my first jump into road biking and so perhaps it is because I don't know any different, but I have found the brakes to be perfectly capable of stopping me whenever I have needed. I have had to stop very quickly (a deer ran right in front of me the other day) and much of the terrain I cycle on has very steep hills. I have never had a problem with the brakes being inadequate. Yes, they needed a little adjusting at first, but I have not had to mess with them since after the first day of use.

Before I forget, I should warn anyone buying this bike that EVERY SINGLE NUT AND BOLT ON THIS BIKE NEEDS TO BE TIGHTENED WHEN YOU GET IT. I thoroughly went through the entire bike and found that several of the hex-nuts were slightly loose as were some of the other fittings as well. Be safe and take the time to tighten everything well.

Perhaps the seat is hard and not ergonomic compared to others ones, but to be honest the discomfort was only noticeable during my first few longer rides. I am currently cycling about 30 miles a day, four to five times a week and the seat has been perfectly fine as far as I'm concerned. Some of the other reviewers seem to forget that this bike cost them close to $200 and not $1000 like most of the bikes I was looking at in my local bike shops. For the price, this seat is perfectly fine with me. I purchased the Pearl Izumi biking shorts on Amazon and they provide a little added comfort.

The tubes that these tires come with are total crap. Other reviewers have also said the tubes are awful; they are absolutely right. After the first two days of use and repeated blow outs and flats, I replaced the original tubes with Avenir Schrader 48mm Valve Tubes (700 x 28-32C), which can be purchased right on Amazon, and so far I have not had a single flat or blow out. I weigh just around 200lbs and have been putting exactly 105 psi in them without any problems so far. I check the pressure before every trip and must admit that I usually need to put about 5-10 psi in it each time; in other words, the tubes do seem to slowly leak over time. I'm a novice and don't know if this is typical of other bikes or not, but I don't really mind filling them up each time. I should also mention that, just to be safe, I also purchased rim tape at the time I put in the Avenir tubes. There were a few rough spots on the rim that the tape helped cover.

In conclusion, I am completely satisfied with this bike for the price. The single speed makes me work my butt off on the big hills, which gives me a good burn, a good interval workout, and has so far made my weight drop in the last few months from 210 pounds to just under 200. I was hesitant about buying a single speed because the main bike trail I ride on here in Nashville is full of hills and steep inclines. So far I have been able to ride up every hill I have encountered without needing to get off and walk the bike. I'm rather happy I didn't pay the extra money for a bike with gears, which would have been more maintenance (especially the cheap ones I was looking at). For the money, I think this bike is an excellent buy for anyone thinking of trying out the sport for their first time. I plan to ride this bike to death over the next year or so and then think of getting something a little nicer. But for now, this is holding up just fine and is helping me achieve my fitness goals with a lot more fun and enjoyment than I had anticipated. I hope this review is helpful to someone.

UPDATE: April, 2013

Still enjoying this bicycle and it has held up great. I am only cycling once or twice a week now for about 15 miles each time. The bearings in both wheels are still going strong, the brakes have never given me any issues, chain and crank are fine, and tires are still good (original tubes are crap as stated above). For the price and the wear and tear I have put on this bike, I am even more convinced now than I was several months ago that this bicycle is a bargain.

UPDATE: August, 2014

A year later and still cycling about 15-20 miles one time per week. I have not had to repair a single thing on this bike except for a brake lever handle that broke because I wrecked. About every six months I am sure to spray lubricant into the gears and to keep them lubed up. About 8 months ago I decided to upgrade the seat on this bike. I upgraded to the Adamo Full Gel Road and absolutely love it (hated it for the first month! it is dreadfully hard to get used to). I was getting numbness in the groin region after my rides and did a little research to find a seat that wouldn't have that effect. I will never go back to the original seat that comes with the bike now that I am in love with this one, but the original held up just fine for as long as used it. Oh, and I am yet to have a flat tire on this bike, but keep in mind that I ride on a greenway, which is much smoother and cleaner than roads around the city.

 

By iankirby on May 4, 2011
Verified Purchase
I bought this bike back in Jan 11. Packaging for the bike was as expected, very solid. The set-up for the bike is nice and easy and required only basic tools to get her up and running within 10 minutes. So, with that that said, this is great for someone looking to buy an affordable, high quality, and stylish bike. Flashy colors, big tires, comfortable to ride, though maybe it is a bit on the heavy side, but nevertheless smooth, fast and simple and the flip-hub feature, which gives you the option of riding in fixed gear, is a great addition. I ride this in Austin, TX where there are a lot of hills and it is a little less than ideal, but very manageable once you become familiar with the area. So, maybe if you live in a hilly area and are new to biking then a single speed may not be what you are looking for (but to each their own!). Here in Austin there is a big bike scene so naturally a lot of people ask about the bike. They always seem surprised when I say it was only 220 and I keep hearing how much of a steal it was. And by the way, the colors are a huge hit; I get compliments on that all the time. Also, please take into consideration that you are not getting road bike tires. The tires seem to be cross or hybrid, meaning they are much bigger and thicker than road tires. Though, to be fair, I am not sure what the actual tire type is called. The tires also say 80 PSI max but that, to me, felt low and prevented the bike from catching that speed that I knew it had. So I ride mine at (the not recommended!) 110-120 PSI, which feels great and allows me to catch all the speed I want. Final note on the bike: the tires are a bright mustard yellow while the handlebars are a darker more true yellow.
Takara Kabuto Special Features
  • Steel Frame and Fork
  • Alloy Rims With Alloy Hub
  • Rear Flip Flop Hub
  • Brakes: Alloy Side Pull
  • Tires Yellow Kenda 700 X 32
  • Frame: Tig Welded Steel Frame With Horizontal Drop Out
  • Fork: Tig Welded 1 Inch Threaded
  • Handlebar: Steel Road 42.5cm Wide
  • Stem: Alloy Quill 1-inch 90 deg x 100mm
  • Crank: Steel 3-piece 170mm 44 Tooth Steel Chain Ring
  • Bottom Bracket: Loose Ball And Cone, English Thread
  • Pedals: Alloy Cage With Toe Clips
  • Rims: Alloy Singlewall 32 Hole With Stainless Steel Spoke
  • Hub Rear: Joytech Alloy 16-Tooth Freewheel & Fix Gear, Bolt On
  • Hub Front: Joytech Alloy High Flange, Bolt On
  • Seat Collar: Alloy
  • Seatpost: Steel 25.4
  • Kickstand: Steel
  • Bar Tape: Cork
  • Weight: 29.5 Pounds
Pros and Cons For The Takara Kabuto
  • Lightweight, Only 29.5 lbs - Easily Handled by Women
  • Pedal Straps Are Easily Replaceable
  • A Water Bottle Cage Is Easily Attachable
  • The Seat Is Adjustable in Height And Angle
  • You Must Tighten Every Single Nut & Bolt Before Riding
  • The Pedal Straps Can Be Irritating
  • The Freewheel Is Of Lesser Quality Than Expected
  • Upgrade The Brakes As Soon As Possible
Overall Rating
Takara Kabuto Product Ratings
Overall Rating 4 Star.  This was achieved and maintained through 445 customer reviews, 339 of which were 4 star or above.
Here's a Typical Rating:  By michael - February 19, 2015 - As a novice in the sport of biking I wanted to get a starter road bike where I knew I could go on long bike rides. The price was awesome! The bike is easy to install and is very smooth.
Rating Categories
Rating
Affordable Pricing
Easy To Assemble
Perfect For City Riding
Outstanding Beginner Bike
From Kelsey Gibby - January 15, 2015 - My husband loves his road bike! He rides this to work everyday from the train. It's light, fast, and perfect for biking in the city.
From Bobby Schafer - December 17, 2014 - Bought this bike almost 2 years ago and I'm still on the original tires. Crank has a clicking noise since the day I bought it, but it's still working fine.

Tell Us Your Thoughts On The Takara Kabuto...

Comments

  • February 2, 2016

    I have an old (only in years and is in fantastic shape.) Takara Takarm 12 speed road bike. I would like to know more about it. Can you give me a little info about it. It is all original. Thank you.

    • SiteAdmin
      February 23, 2016

      I’m not familiar with your particular bike…but let me offer this suggestion. Check out http://www.bikeforums.net – you might locate someone that can really update you on your specific ride.

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