Help Buying a Toei

Jul 10, 2013
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#1
Hi! I'm looking to purchase a Toei (bike or frameset) and was told to come to this forum for some advise on how to go about this.

1. Can I mail order if I have all my bike dimensions on paper? Or do I have to personally go to Toeisha?

2. How long does it take for the frame to be built?

3. And the most important question...who do I contact?

Thanks in advance! :)
 
Jul 10, 2013
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#3
1 Where are you?
- Thailand but will be travelling to Tokyo in about 1.5 months time
2 What kind of Toei
- Hmmm...I'm not sure. I was originally smitten by the 650b randonneur but I reckon I have to get mine custom built due to my size.
3 How's your Japanese?
- I can only order my meals in Japanese...so yeah...it's bad :(
4 Welcome to TCC.
- Thanks!! :)
 

kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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#4
In that case I would fax these questions in English to the factory in Saitama (+81-48-256-0390) and see if you get a response. Good luck.
Oh and you can order by fax if you know what size bike you want, the order form in Japanese and downloadable form is here. BUT personally I would want to meet or at least talk to my custom frame builder before I dropped a bucket of cash.
http://www.generalworks.com/toeisha/pdf/std_order_sheet.pdf

No reason you can't get another Japanese builder to build to fit. Toei aren't the be all and end all of Japanese bike makers. This guy had a good experience with Kalavinka. http://forums.roadbikereview.com/bikes-frames-forks/kalavinka-finally-done-246077.html
 

microcord

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Aug 28, 2012
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#5
Likes: kiwisimon
Jul 10, 2013
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#8
Thanks for those helpful advise! I have to say I am infatuated with Toei frames, but I will look at the other frame builders too. :) Honestly don't mind waiting a few months as long as they can freight it out to me as I'm only going to be in Japan for a short while. I've read in some forums that the toeisha folks don't speak English. Any truth to that or is it a urban myth?

Perceval, I'm not born Thai but am based here.

By the way, Toei stock geometry is not available on the net is it?
 

kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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#9
Urban myth? No I would naturally assume they don't speak English, that's why I suggested another builder that has set up their business for dealing with foreign orders. BUT it's your time and money, good luck.
 

Sheep

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Jul 27, 2009
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#11
I also wouldn't assume that a frame builder would send the frame outside Japan.

But anyway, there's also the long-established Toei offshoot S W Watanabe (one website, another website; account of first stage, reverse-chronological account of later stages).
Velocraft (in your links) is where I was told about the long waiting list. That basically seems to apply to any hand built frame... they're also NOT CHEAP, but of course that's no problem if you're flush. Nice shop staff though.
 
Jun 6, 2013
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#12
I think I heard that Kalavinka has a long waiting list. (Near-) Tokyo alternatives include Ravanello and Cherubim. Up in Sendai there's Amuna (written "Amvna"); see this.
Ravanello makes really nice looking bikes, whatever you think of the name. And, he builds in alloy too which is a BIG +. Why more builders don't work with aluminium is beyond me, steel is NOT real for every application. Maybe I should learn how to weld frames myself and come up with some clever Italian word to slap on the downtube.

BUT, his frames are f*cking expensive! That must be why you don't see them on the streets.
 

microcord

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Aug 28, 2012
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#14
Ravanello makes really nice looking bikes, whatever you think of the name. [...] Maybe I should learn how to weld frames myself and come up with some clever Italian word to slap on the downtube.

BUT, his frames are f*cking expensive! That must be why you don't see them on the streets.
I've seen several Ravanello bikes on the Tamagawa Cycle Road. As for real roads, well, I seldom notice brand names there, though I do sometimes notice the unusual shape of chainstays of bikes that have overtaken me (or even, rare occurrence, that I'm about to overtake). I've seen Cherubim, Pegasus and of course Toei as well, though I don't remember Watanabe or Kalavinka.

Yes, Ravanello is indeed a clever Italian word. It always makes me smile.

Good luck with the welding classes!
 

bawbag

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Mar 20, 2013
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#15
Velocraft (in your links) is where I was told about the long waiting list. That basically seems to apply to any hand built frame... they're also NOT CHEAP, but of course that's no problem if you're flush. Nice shop staff though.
Velocraft is a lovely shop, but I'm not exactly sure it's the best location for a shop which focuses on audax stuff. Needs to be somewhere a bit more "tweed jacket." Was fun when I turned up on my bike, replete with Brooks saddle and shellacked cloth bar tape. The owner pretended to go out of the shop to "do something" just so he could check out the steed. He looked extremely confused by the combination of a barcon and brifter for shifting. Well, his comment was "面白い" but I' took it to mean "what the hell are you doing? That makes no sense."

I'd cut out a lung with a McDonalds coffee stirrer for one of those Ravanello Competitions. I'd ask him to use Kaisei 019 instead though.
 
Likes: Sheep
Jul 10, 2013
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#16
Wow...those ravanellos are nice! I should do some homework on those other links from now til my trip to tokyo end summer.

Thank you everyone...you have been most generous with your advise! I'm sure I'll be having more questions before my trip so I'll be back! :)
 

microcord

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#19
The owner pretended to go out of the shop to "do something" just so he could check out the steed.
The proprietor of Hasegawa Jitensha Shōkai doesn't bother with any such pretence. He simply walks out of the shop to the bike and barks comments and questions. I suspect that any bike really ought to be French or have a Tōei frame in order to win full approval. Come to think of it he may have barked that one or both of my bikes was/were omoshiroi. If so, a fair cop.

Hasegawa Jitensha Shōkai has a selection of used Tōei frames. I haven't looked closely but would assume that most or all would be sized for the middle-aged or older Japanese gent.
 

Gunjira

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Oct 2, 2009
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#20
Another njs frame maker you can actually order from overseas. Not really familiar with his road frames, but track has good reputation:

"Bomber pro" in saitama