First cycling tour in Japan

Marine

Warming-Up
Apr 30, 2015
12
5
3
25
#1
Hello !

My name is Marine, I'm a french girl of 21.
I will come in Tokyo in november 2015 to start a cycle tour in Japan.

I have only one question first : wich bike for best price should I take ?
Then : should I buy it in Tokyo or is it better to buy it before ?

Thank you for answering :)


Yoroshiku onegaishimasu !!
 

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
1,291
133
#2
1. Where are you planning to ride?
2. Road only?
3. How tall are you?
4. What is the maximum amount of money you can spend? (if you buy it in France, you will have to pay extra to get it to Japan and it will be annoying to travel with)
5. How long is the ride?
6. Will you be riding solo, or in a group, and are you able to service your bike yourself?
7. How fit are you (athletically speaking, haha)? This will kind of dictate what kind of bike you could go for; if you are a good and strong, you can do it on a full on racing bike. If not, you will need something a bit more laid back.
 

Marine

Warming-Up
Apr 30, 2015
12
5
3
25
#3
1. Especially on asphalt roads but a lot of because I wanna see the most I can of this country. Then I think that I will ride also on ground roads or I will have to.
2. No, not only. On path too.
3. I'm 164cm.
4. I think about 300-400 euros.
5. It will be abour 3 months.
6. I will be with my boyfriend who will have also a bike.
7. I am a dancer so I am quite ok with sport :)
 

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
1,291
133
#4
1. Especially on asphalt roads but a lot of because I wanna see the most I can of this country. Then I think that I will ride also on ground roads or I will have to.
2. No, not only. On path too.
3. I'm 164cm.
4. I think about 300-400 euros.
5. It will be abour 3 months.
6. I will be with my boyfriend who will have also a bike.
7. I am a dancer so I am quite ok with sport :)
1. I meant geographically; November will be really cold and snowy in certain areas.
2. I meant road, as opposed to off road.
3. OK, so you will be able to get a frame to fit you in Japan no problem.
4. No chance. Double it at least.
5. OK, so you need something that will last.
6. Right, so you will be able to do servicing between you. This means you don't have to get ridiculously heavy parts that don't require much servicing.
7. Good, so this means you can get a racier bike which will go a lot faster and be more exciting and fun.
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#5
4. No chance. Double it at least.
Your budget is indeed tight; doubling it would make life easier. But 164 cm is a very normal kind of height. Being this tall and a dancer doesn't suggest a great weight. Many bikes would fit the bill. You can get an OLD bike. This will be a bit heavier than a new one. [Insert emoticon of horror and disgust.] The difference in weight between this OLD bike and the bike that TCC would suggest will be trivial compared with the difference in weight between you and me, or perhaps you and him. Weight is weight: whether it's part of the rider or a non-rotating part of the bike won't be so important.

Go for "ridiculously" (ie slightly, because you're not racing) heavier parts that won't require much servicing. Go for a less racy bike so that you won't feel any obligation to go fast and instead will be able to look around and enjoy the Japan that you came to see, which will be fun. If the brakes and wheels are sound and everything is aligned right, you still can ride your heavy bike downhill quickly -- and indeed if you round a corner at 55 km/h plus and find a bulldozer immediately in front of you, your "experience" (collision) is likely to be pretty much the same as that on an expensive wonderbike. When you arrive in Japan, visit a branch of "Cycly" and talk to them and see what they recommend for your ambition (quote: "a cycle tour") and budget. But -- sorry! -- realize that when it's time to return to France you'll take the bike with you (which will cost you), give it away, or sell it for almost nothing.
 
Likes: hat and beard

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
1,291
133
#7
lol. For the price of 3 months rental, she could just buy the exact same bike direct from Alibaba.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,512
639
133
Kanazawa
#8
1. Especially on asphalt roads but a lot of because I wanna see the most I can of this country. Then I think that I will ride also on ground roads or I will have to.
2. No, not only. On path too.
3. I'm 164cm.
4. I think about 300-400 euros.
5. It will be abour 3 months.
6. I will be with my boyfriend who will have also a bike.
7. I am a dancer so I am quite ok with sport :)
Touring is not rocket science. Just get some kind of bike and go for it. And have a good time! If your boyfriend has a bike, he may be as good a source of information as here.
 
Likes: hat and beard

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
1,291
133
#9
Touring is not rocket science. Just get some kind of bike and go for it. And have a good time! If your boyfriend has a bike, he may be as good a source of information as here.
Kind of related; what bike has your boyfriend got, and how fit is he? If he is on a decent road bike, and fit, then you are going to need something to match this; nothing more annoying and ride destroying that mismatched people and bikes. It will be annoying for both of you if you are not on the same level of bike and at around the same fitness level, especially over the course of 3 months. Being left standing by a faster rider day in day out is going to have you giving up very quickly. Having to spend the whole time ghost-pedalling and waiting for a slower person is equally as mind crushing, especially if you do it for such a long time. For this reason, you need to be on as close a bike to your boyfriends as you can get.
 

hat and beard

Maximum Pace
Apr 3, 2012
338
276
93
Boso
#12
I think the most important thing to consider is how much stuff you will be carrying and how you plan on carrying it. A backpack might be fine for a day, but would be miserable for 3 months. You really want the weight off your shoulders and on to your bike.
That said, I think this is a great deal: http://www.giant.co.jp/giant15/bike_datail.php?p_id=00000079#specifications
It's well over your budget, but considering it comes with bags, racks and fenders (highly recommended!), it may be just the ticket. If you were going to buy those things anyways this might actually save you some money.
 

Marine

Warming-Up
Apr 30, 2015
12
5
3
25
#13
1. I meant geographically; November will be really cold and snowy in certain areas.
2. I meant road, as opposed to off road.
3. OK, so you will be able to get a frame to fit you in Japan no problem.
4. No chance. Double it at least.
5. OK, so you need something that will last.
6. Right, so you will be able to do servicing between you. This means you don't have to get ridiculously heavy parts that don't require much servicing.
7. Good, so this means you can get a racier bike which will go a lot faster and be more exciting and fun.
1. Sorry ^^ We would try to make a tour from the north to the south (in short : Tokyo > Aomori > Kyoto > Hirohima > Kagoshima > Yakushima)
2. Ok, it will be on road and path but not really off road.
3. 4. 5. 6. 7. alright :D
 
Likes: TCC

Marine

Warming-Up
Apr 30, 2015
12
5
3
25
#14
Your budget is indeed tight; doubling it would make life easier. But 164 cm is a very normal kind of height. Being this tall and a dancer doesn't suggest a great weight. Many bikes would fit the bill. You can get an OLD bike. This will be a bit heavier than a new one. [Insert emoticon of horror and disgust.] The difference in weight between this OLD bike and the bike that TCC would suggest will be trivial compared with the difference in weight between you and me, or perhaps you and him. Weight is weight: whether it's part of the rider or a non-rotating part of the bike won't be so important.

Go for "ridiculously" (ie slightly, because you're not racing) heavier parts that won't require much servicing. Go for a less racy bike so that you won't feel any obligation to go fast and instead will be able to look around and enjoy the Japan that you came to see, which will be fun. If the brakes and wheels are sound and everything is aligned right, you still can ride your heavy bike downhill quickly -- and indeed if you round a corner at 55 km/h plus and find a bulldozer immediately in front of you, your "experience" (collision) is likely to be pretty much the same as that on an expensive wonderbike. When you arrive in Japan, visit a branch of "Cycly" and talk to them and see what they recommend for your ambition (quote: "a cycle tour") and budget. But -- sorry! -- realize that when it's time to return to France you'll take the bike with you (which will cost you), give it away, or sell it for almost nothing.
My budget may be too tight in fact. I don't realized.
Thank you for this adress, I will go there and ask as you said :)
What do you think about a man who is 180cm and also a dancer so is not really big weight too ?
Yes I thought about leave or sell the bike before returning but thank you to warn me about it.
 

Marine

Warming-Up
Apr 30, 2015
12
5
3
25
#16
Touring is not rocket science. Just get some kind of bike and go for it. And have a good time! If your boyfriend has a bike, he may be as good a source of information as here.
Hi !
Yes, I will take a bike anyway even if I don't find what I really want. As you said, the target point is to have fun, advices could just help me to get it easier.
He don't have any bike neither, we will buy bike together.
 

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
1,291
133
#17
1. Sorry ^^ We would try to make a tour from the north to the south (in short : Tokyo > Aomori > Kyoto > Hirohima > Kagoshima > Yakushima)
2. Ok, it will be on road and path but not really off road.
3. 4. 5. 6. 7. alright :D
1. That is a decent mission. I reckon you are going to want the fastest bike you can get. Dragging a heavy touring bike all that way is going to be nasty.
2. Great, so you can focus on a road bike then.

Will you be camping, or will you arrange hotels to stay in each night / have places to stay with friends or whatever?

What do you think about a man who is 180cm and also a dancer so is not really big weight too ?
So your boyfriend does not have a bike either? Well, I think he should follow exactly the same advice as yourself.

There is a vibe with some people that doing a bike tour (or even just going on a single ride) requires huge amounts of baggage, stuff with heavy clothes. This might be true if you are completely away from all civilisation, but with a bit of planning you can cut this right down to nearly nothing in Japan. You don't need to take all the clothes you will wear for the whole time, as you can buy them easily on the way, cheaply, then throw them away as you go. There are convenience stores that sell tshirt, pants, socks etc, the whole way. The same is true about tools, and bike spares.

With this in mind, I think you should focus on getting as light and fast a bike as you can, and travelling with the minimum amount of stuff. You can buy most of it along the way, if you plan carefully. This will make your ride a LOT more enjoyable and free feeling. Flying down mountains on fast bike and being able to ride efficiently and quickly every day is much much better than dragging a heavy slow bike around with you.
 

Marine

Warming-Up
Apr 30, 2015
12
5
3
25
#18
Her boyfriend would have to be about 164cm tall for this to work, with an identical body ratio.

@Marine; are you dating Nairo Quintana?
He is more about 180cm actually ^^
No ahah I even don't know his name before you wrote it here, he seems to be pretty good as well !
 
Likes: TCC

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
1,291
133
#19
He is more about 180cm actually ^^
No ahah I even don't know his name before you wrote it here, he seems to be pretty good as well !
Haha, well you definitely can't swap bikes with your boyfriend then.
 

Marine

Warming-Up
Apr 30, 2015
12
5
3
25
#20
I think the most important thing to consider is how much stuff you will be carrying and how you plan on carrying it. A backpack might be fine for a day, but would be miserable for 3 months. You really want the weight off your shoulders and on to your bike.
That said, I think this is a great deal: http://www.giant.co.jp/giant15/bike_datail.php?p_id=00000079#specifications
It's well over your budget, but considering it comes with bags, racks and fenders (highly recommended!), it may be just the ticket. If you were going to buy those things anyways this might actually save you some money.
Hi !
That's a good point in effect :) Thank you, I am taking note of it !