Shugakuso Shiroishi Outdoor Store
Practicalities dictate that the gargantuan Shugakuso Outdoor Store in Shiroishi Ward is listed first here. While the staff on the cyclery floor might not ooze pure bicycle passion as much as those at Sam’s Bike (below), the basement cyclery floor is very well stocked with touring-specific bikes and gear (think Surly, Brompton, Tern, among others) and the rest of the three floors of this massive outdoor temptation factory is, well, pure temptation. This could be your one-stop shop if you’re short on time and in need of not only bike-specific products and service, but also general outdoor gear.
- Location: About 2km east of the Shiroishi Subway Station on the Tozai Line. The Shiroishi Cycling Road is also nearby. Google Maps link.
- Good points: A one-stop shop for both bike stuff (touring bikes, fatbikes, high-end folding bikes) as well as outdoor gear.
If I had to give an award for Sapporo’s most passionate bike shop (particularly when it comes to adventure cycling), it would go to Sam’s Bike. Everyone I know who are even remotely into adventure cycling are customers of Sam’s Bike, and the staff lead the charge in that area. Their technical expertise is second to none, and the culture they have built around their shop oozes authenticity and homeliness. I’ve had all my wheels built by Sam’s Bike.
Cycle Shop Ono
Cycle Shop Ono is somewhat of an enigma. They don’t really specialize in any particular type of bike. As such, they sell $100 shopping bikes alongside $5,000 road bikes and high-end mountain bikes. Their bread and butter isn’t in touring and adventure bikes per se, but they still have a selection of gear to keep most touring cyclists happy. They’re on the other side of Sapporo City to the first two shops too, so if you find yourself in that area, you should pay them a visit. I’m also told that they hold a small stock of old bike boxes should a cycle tourist need one for their flight out of Hokkaido.
Southern Wind Bicycle
Since we’re giving out awards, we’d happily give Arimori-san from Southern Wind Bicycle the award for smallest (decent) bike shop in Sapporo. The size of the shop doesn’t matter too much, however, because he specializes in folding bikes. I bought my Tern Verge Tour folding bike through Arimori-san, and I appreciated his expertise and enthsiasm. Don’t expect a huge range of touring-specific parts and gear on stock, but if you have a good-quality folding bike, then your options are either Shugakuso Shiroishi (above) or Arimori-san.
Nakamura Cycles is a centrally-located bike shop that specializes in mid- to high-end road and mountain bikes. They have some non-touring-specific parts available, and will do a good service job on any bike. They also have some of the best priced rental bikes in Hokkaido (but their booking process is all in Japanese).
Other Sapporo Bike Shops
Here’s a list of other bike stores that have been mentioned as having friendly, helpful staff. No guarantee they’ll be able to service your Rholoff though…
- Bic Camera Bicycle Section (ht: Mike O’Connell)
While they may not have as much technical expertise as stores listed above, they’re right next to Sapporo JR Station, so they might be a good spot to take a boxed up bike that you need put together (or taken apart at the end of your trip).
- Location: Inside the mammoth 4-storey Bic Camera shop in the Esta building at Sapporo Station. 3rd floor. Google Maps link.
- Good points: Helpful staff, and the closest cycle help to Sapporo JR Station.