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Black Friday 2020 Deals

Ratchet21

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Sep 7, 2020
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Hi all!
Just sharing some Black Friday deal list I found online in case anyone is looking to get anything with savings.

Looks like Wiggle and CRC have some great deals but considering that there is no local warranty for electronics and also not sure if cycling wear are taxable in Japan I wonder is it worth to ship it here.
 

Ratchet21

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Sep 7, 2020
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Anyone here bought wheels online before? (Wiggle/Probikekit)
Saw a few excellent deals online where it is around 8000jpy cheaper than buying from local (Including shipping and tax), but am just wondering if the risk of paying extra for return in case of faulty units or after sales service is worth it to buy it online instead of from local japan shop instead.
 

kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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wheels are fine buying offshore but before you do that ask your now friendly LBS what the best price they can do is. Remember any issues and that extra money is as good as insurance when you need truing or any warranty claims.
 

Ratchet21

Speeding Up
Sep 7, 2020
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Actually I miscalculated, with tax and shipping buying online will be cheaper by 15000jpy compared to other Japan's online shop, in LBS it will be close to 20000jpy after discount. With some negotiations I think it will still not meet 15000 by difference, so it is really about the risk of faulty goods return and after sales service. I have never bought wheels before so not sure if it is that common to have problem with it to warrant the local warranty/after sales service, if it is a very durable parts then I won't be so worried.
 

MattRyuu

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Apr 23, 2019
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Anyone here bought wheels online before? (Wiggle/Probikekit)
Saw a few excellent deals online where it is around 8000jpy cheaper than buying from local (Including shipping and tax), but am just wondering if the risk of paying extra for return in case of faulty units or after sales service is worth it to buy it online instead of from local japan shop instead.

Yes, I bought a custom order from https://www.lightbicycle.com in the summer of 2019 (arrival) and they are great. I'd probably go with https://www.gsastuto.com if I had to do it again and get a bike along with it for the reasons @kiwisimon said, among other things.
 

Ratchet21

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Sep 7, 2020
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Yes, I bought a custom order from https://www.lightbicycle.com in the summer of 2019 (arrival) and they are great. I'd probably go with https://www.gsastuto.com if I had to do it again and get a bike along with it for the reasons @kiwisimon said, among other things.
I checked out gsastuto too, heard good things about them! But it looks like their lower end wheel is out of stock and it is also above my budget because I'm only looking for a good entry level wheel to replace my current one. If wheels is not that prone to problem and chances of having it serviced are very low then maybe ordering overseas with savings is not a bad choice.
 

luka

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Jan 13, 2015
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I guess in most cases you should be fine, but as with buying anything else, things can go wrong. I think most retailers would cover the shipping fees in that case. I know they have for me in the past (not for wheels exactly but the same should apply...)

I bought two sets of wheels online from overseas. one were hunt wheels, which came to about 45,000 JPY for the pair. I don't think there were comparable wheels at the time in Japan, and waiting time for Shimano GRX ones was too long. the other is some light weight DT-Swiss I got heavily discounted. shipping and everything came to about 80,000 JPY, when they were selling in Japan for 120-130,000.

so you should be able to find good deals, especially around the year end sales period coming. that said, the risk might pay if you go for some higher end wheels, but if even astuto low end is above your budget it might not be worth it. also, you only just got your first ever road bike, right? and still riding with flat pedals? if I were you, I wouldn't be tempted with buying wheels just now, no matter how good a deal it is. you likely still haven't developed your riding style and preferences, and don't know if the next bike is going to be bought as a whole, or separate etc. I think there might be more things you would be better off spending your money on (or even saving it for now, so you can buy something you really want and need later on)
 

GrantT

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Oct 2, 2012
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I have never bought wheels before so not sure if it is that common to have problem with it to warrant the local warranty/after sales service, if it is a very durable parts then I won't be so worried.

Are your DT Swiss-rimmed wheels done for?
I bought some Campagnolo Zonda wheels from Wiggle a few years ago. They are popular for training and get good reviews overall. After about 30,000 kilometres mine are still going strong. Just needed the bearings re-greased a few times by a friendly LBS.
Shimano factory built wheels also have a good reputation for being bombproof and low-maintenance.
 

kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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also, you only just got your first ever road bike, right? and still riding with flat pedals? if I were you, I wouldn't be tempted with buying wheels just now, no matter how good a deal it is. you likely still haven't developed your riding style and preferences, and don't know if the next bike is going to be bought as a whole, or separate etc. I think there might be more things you would be better off spending your money on (or even saving it for now, so you can buy something you really want and need later on)
this was my first thought too. Unless you have a broken wheel, just wait and ride some more.
 

Ratchet21

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Sep 7, 2020
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that said, the risk might pay if you go for some higher end wheels, but if even astuto low end is above your budget it might not be worth it. also, you only just got your first ever road bike, right? and still riding with flat pedals? if I were you, I wouldn't be tempted with buying wheels just now, no matter how good a deal it is. you likely still haven't developed your riding style and preferences, and don't know if the next bike is going to be bought as a whole, or separate etc. I think there might be more things you would be better off spending your money on (or even saving it for now, so you can buy something you really want and need later on)

Really good points here, thank you!
Actually wheels is one of my few options, what happened was that I have grown to like cycling more than my other hobby, so I just moving my budget there to here instead, hopefully to increase my cycling experience.

And agree about aiming for higher grade wheels upgrade range instead of lower range, my other worry was that I plan to upgrade my bike next year once I get to know what I want more, and if that bike happen to be a disc brake it would mean my current wheel investment is greatly reduced since it can't carry over. I think I might just start from upgrading my tyres for now.

Some of my other consideration is to get cycling computer or an indoor trainer so I can get better at cycling, that might be a better longer term spending.

As for pedals, I have thought about changing to cleat after I get better at handling the bike! Sounds really scary to tumble and break my arm/shoulderbone now...

Thank you for the insights!


Are your DT Swiss-rimmed wheels done for?
I bought some Campagnolo Zonda wheels from Wiggle a few years ago. They are popular for training and get good reviews overall. After about 30,000 kilometres mine are still going strong. Just needed the bearings re-greased a few times by a friendly LBS.
Shimano factory built wheels also have a good reputation for being bombproof and low-maintenance

The wheel is still okay but I find it a little heavy and also not responsive? Not sure what is the right word to describe it. I don't think I have outgrown it but it definitely does not add anything to my riding experience is my feel. I can continue using it as it is but was just floating the idea of upgrading it!

And yes Zonda sounds great, The LBS recommended me Zonda range too.
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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And agree about aiming for higher grade wheels upgrade range instead of lower range, my other worry was that I plan to upgrade my bike next year once I get to know what I want more, and if that bike happen to be a disc brake it would mean my current wheel investment is greatly reduced since it can't carry over. I think I might just start from upgrading my tyres for now.
If you want to upgrade wheels, I'd look for a pair of used carbon wheels. Since you have a rim brake bike, you should have plenty of choice as everyone is moving to disc brakes. They'll be more expensive, but if you, say, intend to spend ¥50,000 on aluminum rims I don't think they'll be a huge upgrade.

Also, weight is not everything when it comes to wheels wheels. I tried a few carbon wheels, although I don't own a pair — yet. (Just one more month …) And the difference was stark. The best wheels by a wide margin that I have tried were 3T's C35 Discus carbon wheels. On paper they don't look special. But oooooh boy were these awesome. They tracked incredibly well, carving corners was like carving butter, and were comfortable at the same time. I got to try Bontrager carbon wheels of similar depth and they didn't feel special under the best circumstances and they scared me when a gust of wind pushed me left or right. The 3Ts did nothing of the sort. I'm sure that once I try e. g. Enves I wouldn't want anything. Given their price tag, I will just have to not try them then ;)
 

GrantT

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The wheel is still okay but I find it a little heavy and also not responsive? Not sure what is the right word to describe it. I don't think I have outgrown it but it definitely does not add anything to my riding experience is my feel. I can continue using it as it is but was just floating the idea of upgrading it!

It's always fun to window-shop.
What tires do you use? New tires are cheaper than new wheels but might be an even better upgrade. There is a huge difference between fast tires and tires built to last for 10 years.
 

MattRyuu

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Apr 23, 2019
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I'll echo what everyone has said above:

  • If you're starting to find your next level of cycling as a time/money/emotional investment, and you are going to buy a next bike anyways next year, don't get new wheels now.
  • If its the heavy feeling, carbon rims are probably what you want to go with. On a nice set of tires. Mine were the 56mm deep carbon (rim brakes) from LightBicycle. I regret them not because I don't love those wheels but because I want disc after a hair raising up/down hill mountain experience with Luka last year. Once I upgrade they will effectively be up for sale or just something I am doing flats/rollers on my current bike. They cut through the mostly northerly blowing winds along Arakawa really well.
  • If you're not in cleats yet, focus on that first...maybe practice on a cheap trainer or watch some videos with your bike against a wall practicing clipping in/out until you're comfortable. I don't think a more expensive wheel set, especially carbon, is going to provide much benefit over doing that. If you have a parking lot or something you can practice in, upgrade to that. Not sure where you are riding/live but I'm happy to come for emotional support and some fairly useless advice that is already free on YouTube =)
  • Once you do upgrade, I'd again recommend GS Astuto for the whole package. They sell their rental bikes sometimes and those will come with both a great frame but also a nice set of wheels for a good price. This was my last research into upgrading to disc and I emailed them with a few quotes provided.
  • Tires are another thing. https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/specials/grand-prix-5000-comparison was a great resource when I decided to upgrade from some stock wheels and 23mm tires to deep carbon rim wheels and 32 mm tires.
  • If I had to do it over again, I'd probably be putting around 100km/week on my old 23 mms, consistently for most weeks for a year (which I was not) and determining where my weaknesses, comfort needs, and riding style truly were and then making a more complete informed decision about what I wanted out of a bike before starting to upgrade my wheels.
 

OreoCookie

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@MattRyuu
Great list, seconded. To emphasize a point on your list, I think the best upgrade you can make to a buy, even and especially an entry-level bike, are high-quality tires. Especially with road tires, you don't see much of a difference from the outside, but the differences are huge. Continental GP5000s are a great choice, as are Schwalbe's Pro Ones and Vittoria's Corsa Controls. Go for at least 25 mm, although you can probably fit 28 mm in your bike. Go for as wide as you can.

The next points I'd upgrade are the contact points, saddle, pedals and handlebars.
 

Ratchet21

Speeding Up
Sep 7, 2020
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If you want to upgrade wheels, I'd look for a pair of used carbon wheels. Since you have a rim brake bike, you should have plenty of choice as everyone is moving to disc brakes. They'll be more expensive, but if you, say, intend to spend ¥50,000 on aluminum rims I don't think they'll be a huge upgrade.
Great list, seconded. To emphasize a point on your list, I think the best upgrade you can make to a buy, even and especially an entry-level bike, are high-quality tires. Especially with road tires, you don't see much of a difference from the outside, but the differences are huge. Continental GP5000s are a great choice, as are Schwalbe's Pro Ones and Vittoria's Corsa Controls. Go for at least 25 mm, although you can probably fit 28 mm in your bike. Go for as wide as you can.

The next points I'd upgrade are the contact points, saddle, pedals and handlebars.
It's always fun to window-shop.
What tires do you use? New tires are cheaper than new wheels but might be an even better upgrade. There is a huge difference between fast tires and tires built to last for 10 years.

Yes, I think I will get myself some tires upgrade first then (And practice changing it while I'm at it!), there is great deals for GP5000 and Pro One now at wiggle so I think I might pick up either one during this sales, it should be a big upgrade from my current stock specialized tires. After taking in everyone's input, wheels will not a high priority now unless there is super great 2nd hand deal as I will be most probably try to change my bike next year.

I'm currently using 25mm, I thought of changing to 28mm but it seems like it will be really tight for Allez's fork (Even though the spec sheet said it was okay but people online have posted about difficulty for them after changing to 28mm) so I might stick to 25mm even thought I am tempted to try 28mm.

If you're not in cleats yet, focus on that first...maybe practice on a cheap trainer or watch some videos with your bike against a wall practicing clipping in/out until you're comfortable. I don't think a more expensive wheel set, especially carbon, is going to provide much benefit over doing that. If you have a parking lot or something you can practice in, upgrade to that. Not sure where you are riding/live but I'm happy to come for emotional support and some fairly useless advice that is already free on YouTube =)

I am currently selling my folding bike, once it is sold I am thinking of getting an indoor trainer to train more over the winter and then maybe I will then buy and start practicing using cleat! Am reading about indoor trainer now and if anyone have great suggestions please do share too!

As for handlebar and saddle it feels okay to me so far, not much complain and I'm not sure what to expect from upgrade too.
 
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microcord

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Aug 28, 2012
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Actually wheels is one of my few options, what happened was that I have grown to like cycling more than my other hobby, so I just moving my budget there to here instead, hopefully to increase my cycling experience.
Here's another option for increasing your cycling experience:

just-ride-book.jpeg

(Reading the book is inessential. Reading its title is enough.)

Less time spent fantasizing about spending more money on cycling means more time free for cycling.

Oh, I had a quick glance at those "huge savings". Even after those huge savings, the stuff is still more expensive than what I've bought in Japan. I've no reason to think that buying anything there would make cycling more pleasurable, faster, etc: as usual, it's the engine that needs improvement.
 

MattRyuu

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Apr 23, 2019
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OreoCookie

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I agree fully on the tires, @OreoCookie.

@Ratchet21 , my bike is rim break Allez Elite. I was able to get 32mm GP5000 on but it took the full rim break holsters being at their maximum opening and even then I had to do just a smidge of break pad filing down.
I don't have experience with rim brake road bikes, I thought to have clearance with the brake calipers you could go to 28 mm max. But if 32 mm works, my vote is to go as wide as you can.
 
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