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Rider Stories

My 12 Minute Commute in Tokyo with Maejima

Takamitsu Maejima is a PR specialist in Tokyo. We joined him for his 12 minute Electrified X2 commute to Omotesando – with a refreshing detour through Yoyogi Park.

You used to ride a ‘normal’ bike. Why did you switch to the Electrified X2?

I actually used to ride a folding bike! It was super-small and portable, which is great for my apartment. But the tiny geometry wasn’t so great for my commute – I was putting in way too much effort to climb those hills. The X2 was an obvious upgrade for me. It’s neat and compact, but I can ride much further and much faster without breaking a sweat.

Tokyo has a lot of traffic, how is it biking there?

The roads can be pretty busy, but you always feel safe on a bike here. You just have to learn to read the traffic flows and you’re fine. Parking and public transport are very expensive in Japan, so I’ve always preferred biking – you just feel so much freer.

“The Electrified is the perfect mode of transport for the city – you can go anywhere.”

You also have a car, right? Do you still use it?

I do own a car, but I honestly can’t remember the last time I used it. Driving is so stressful, and in the city every parking lot is overcrowded – you can never find a spot. I think that’s why electric bikes are taking off right now: they solve all the problems of cars, and can be a real alternative mode of transport for people living in the city.

You told us you took the previous-gen Electrified X for a test ride, how does the new X2 compare?

The Electrified X was a great bike, but I think the X2 improves on it in almost every way. The kick lock on the rear wheel is a genius idea, and really makes it easier to protect your bike. The Matrix Display is another huge upgrade, it’s really smart how the frame of the bike becomes a screen. And of course, the motor, boost, and battery are so much better. You can tell that people have really thought about how this will fit into your daily life.

Maejima rides a Thunder Gray Electrified S2.

Peter Gigg

About this author

Peter Gigg is VanMoof's resident Brit. He enjoys writing, running, and remaining in the EU.