Extra Large Study Abroad Student

Mikey K

Warming-Up
Apr 26, 2013
6
0
1
29
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
#1
Hello All,

I am traveling to Tokyo at the end of August and staying until December. I have 2 questions:

1) I am 6 Ft 5 Inches Tall (198 CM) and am deciding whether I should bring my bicycle from home, or try to rent or buy a cheap one while I'm In Tokyo. I plan on taking long weekend rides while I'm in Japan. Does anyone know where I can find a 61 CM Road Bike for sale or rental?

2) Anything else a cyclist of my size should know while I'm in Japan?

Thanks for the help, see you in August.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#4
That's silly.

1) We have plenty of kits in XXL, XXXL and 4XL. And most of the brands have larger sizes available for order - ChampSys does for sure, and so does Pearl Izumi
2) We also have bike in 59+ CM for ongoing rental.
3) Shoes are no problem either - Diadora and Shimano have quite a few models stocked locally in in sizes up to 46-48
4) Y's Akasaka has quite a few larger bikes and frames in their basement
5) Y's Shibuya also stocks quite a bit of larger items (and has English speaking staff)

Maybe stock is not as prevalent as US where riders tend to be taller (and wider), however, there are plenty of choices here if you just ask.

65+ CM bike would be rare anywhere - and I'd suggest bringing that. Most mfg XL size is about 59cm-60cm regardless where you live. Leader (distributed in Japan) makes a 65cm steel roadframe - I'd probably be inclined to buy one of these (cheap in the US) , then build it up in Japan.


I have heard the same from people your size who live here. Bring what you can.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
2,865
1,451
129
...
#6
It's not silly. He will walk into 99% of shops and have zero or very limited options. And if he is going to be here for a few months he would be best to bring gear with him. I mean why order it here and have to wait he might as well just bring it. Right?
 

saibot

Maximum Pace
May 29, 2012
795
935
113
Taito
#7
4) Y's Akasaka has quite a few larger bikes and frames in their basement
This is what I heard too last year, but when I went there, the basement was off limits, and the biggest frame they had was 58 (which is quite big for japan I have to admit.) The selection wasn't good at all for 56 and up.Also, Ys staff there was…. "ma ma".
 
Oct 28, 2012
36
4
28
Tokyo
#8
Interesting thread - Personally would have thought some shops stock bigger sizes there are big and tall people here after all. What do you think of the Leader bikes out of interest. have a 725 TR and am really happy with it despite some negative press on other sites. Thanks. Good luck to OP in getting sorted here.

65+ CM bike would be rare anywhere - and I'd suggest bringing that. Most mfg XL size is about 59cm-60cm regardless where you live. Leader (distributed in Japan) makes a 65cm steel roadframe - I'd probably be inclined to buy one of these (cheap in the US) , then build it up in Japan.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,519
648
133
Kanazawa
#9
...
I am 6 Ft 5 Inches Tall (198 CM) and am deciding whether I should bring my bicycle from home, or try to rent or buy a cheap one while I'm In Tokyo. I plan on taking long weekend rides while I'm in Japan. Does anyone know where I can find a 61 CM Road Bike for sale or rental?...
For that length of time, and your goal of long weekend rides, I would strongly suggest bringing your own bike. By the time you spring for rental costs (assuming you ride a lot), or eat the resale loss (even if you buy second-hand), I think you will be ahead. And you'll have your own bike, that fits, not something that is kind of close, or almost. I guess these days you'll pay some extra when checking it, but I would regard that as money well spent.

And if not your bike, I would again (and even more strongly) suggest bringing your own kit--shoes, and so on. Why waste time sorting/ordering that when you could be riding? My experience is that while you can order anything here, at your sizing, you cannot try-before-you-buy. If you order something, you own it. The shop cannot send it back--so you either buy it, or force them to eat your order and retain stock that they'll probably never sell. And given that situation, they won't be ordering anything else for you.

Okay, I'm not in Tokyo, so all that might not be right for there...
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#10
It's not silly. He will walk into 99% of shops and have zero or very limited options. And if he is going to be here for a few months he would be best to bring gear with him. I mean why order it here and have to wait he might as well just bring it. Right?
I agree, Yes they can order but it can take up to 3 months for some brands to get fame sizes in over 56cm.
Regarding shoes - yes they have big sizes but actually trying to find a shop that has them and the style you want. I've never yet seen a 61cm bike in any of the shops nor order forms.

Also expect to pay more for less here in Japan especailly import brands! I would recommend two things; buy back home and bring with you or buy online and put your Japan address as the shipping location.

The store at Akasaka is now a discount bike shop wwhere they clear parts, accessories and frames/bikes. I was there a few weeks back and the basement Big Size has now gone.
 

Sheep

Maximum Pace
Jul 27, 2009
285
54
48
Tokyo
#11
Yep, I'm close to your size and you'd definitely be better bringing your own. I went to Y's Akasaka after hearing about the big frames, but nothing. Tried other shops and it was at least 3 months to order so ended up buying overseas. Shimano makes shoes up to a 50, but basically no shops will have that size in stock. Jerseys and shorts you can probably get if you're slim, but you'll have to select your shops. If you have big feet and want cycling socks you have no chance.
 

Mikey K

Warming-Up
Apr 26, 2013
6
0
1
29
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
#12
Thanks GSAstuto and thanks everyone else for the info, but still my gut feelings were reaffirmed. If I find a reasonable bike I will probably end up buying or borrowing it, bringing it with me, and reselling it when I'm back. Either way, I'm definitely bringing my own gear. I look forward to exploring Japan, and maybe even with one of you!
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#14
Thanks for the heads up regarding Y's Akasaka - I'll ask what they are doing with the taller sized bikes these days. Also keep a lookout on Craigslist. Occasionally you see some good deals of gaijin (non-japanese) bailing and selling everything for cheap. (Including bikes).
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#16
I had a friend stay with me a few times. He is about 6'5 as well - and quite large. When I had a super plush mansion in Omotesandou - no problems, the rooms (and beds) were large enough for even him. Though, when I had moved to a more traditional size apartment things got cramped very quickly. He was always having trouble fitting into std size Japanese conveniences as well. Put it this, don't get drunk and find yourself wedged into a typical Japanese Business Hotel loo - neither you , nor the toilet will come out unscathed.
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#17
I'm a comparatively petite six foot zero. When, a few months ago, I was looking for a used, sound but cheap (and probably unattractive) "road" bike in more or less my size, one of the websites I examined was Cycly. It didn't have anything that appealed to me, but it did have several unusually large bikes/frames at low prices. There are lots of "ifs" here, but if you know somebody in Japan who has a fair amount of spare time (that's me eliminated) and knows a bit about bikes (me eliminated a second time, probably) and can get something in advance and store it for you (me a third time) and if you can then fix it up quickly, well, that acquaintance could contact Cycly and they could take a look through their stock. (Unfortunately their website doesn't allow you to select by size, as far as I've noticed; and eyeballing dozens of little photos after dozens of little photos does get rather soporific.)
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#19
I'm guessing that you'll be staying in some apartment provided by the host university. You might assume that the university will provide somewhere covered to park your bike both at home and on campus. Assume neither. Universities do not encourage commuting by bike. And there may be nowhere to park your bike, other than your room. And it might not be allowed there, either. Also, I've heard of university accommodation that lacks elevators and has narrow, twisty staircases. If you can park your bike outside, don't assume that it's going to be protected against the (considerable) rain or against benign drunks or miscellaneous idiots.

If it seems that the only place to park a bike is your room, don't try to confirm beforehand with the university that doing so is OK. You might well be told that it is not. In this situation I'd park it in your room, but have it hanging from a stand so it clearly doesn't risk dirtying the floor or anything else; and then depend on "don't ask, don't tell". Such stands are easy to find, and cheap enough.
 

Mikey K

Warming-Up
Apr 26, 2013
6
0
1
29
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
#20
I'm guessing that you'll be staying in some apartment provided by the host university. This will provide somewhere covered to park your bike, as will the campus. Obvious, right? Er, no, not obvious at all. Universities do not encourage commuting by bike. And there may be nowhere to park your bike, other than your room. And it might not be allowed there, either. Also, I've heard of university accommodation that lacks elevators and has narrow, twisty staircases. If you can park your bike outside, don't assume that it's going to be protected against the (considerable) rain or against benign drunks or other miscellaneous idiots.

If it seems that the only place to park a bike is your room, don't try to confirm beforehand that doing so is OK. You might well be told that it is not. In this situation I'd park it in your room, but have it hanging from a stand so clearly doesn't risk dirtying the floor or anything else; and then depend on "don't ask, don't tell". Such stands are easy to find, and cheap enough.
That's a very good point! I just sent them an email on the subject, if I'm lucky I'll hear back by next week.