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Hello from Kamata, Ota city

Sylvr

Warming-Up
Aug 18, 2020
1
1
Aspiring cyclist currently strolling around Tokyo for 20-40 km rides on Mama-chari ;)
Biking really helped me to get out of Corona depression. and I really want to extend my biking adventures.
It's great I found this community of cyclists in Tokyo. I hope I can find likeminded people around my place.

Few things going in my mind currently is
- weather to buy road or cross bike? (I have a 70,000 yen budget, so please recommend something _/\_)
- I am a newbie to camping but really wanna do bikepacking (already bought a tent and a sleeping bag). And since around Tokyo it's hard to find a place to camp and the campsites are kinda crowded and expensive, where can I find more camping friendly and close to nature places?

Thanks in advance and I'm glad to join this community :)
 

GrantT

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2012
1,811
1,513
Hi Sylvr,

GIANT bike stores let you test ride a range of bikes. https://giant-store.jp/store_list/?area_id=2
It's probably a good way to test out and compare a road bike and cross bike.

Road bikes are usually more expensive, though an entry level aluminium framed road bike can be had on your budget second hand.

Dunno about bikepacking in Tokyo. All I know is nature starts getting real out past Hachioji.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
3,445
1,603
Welcome, you can head to the coast as well. Stealth camping with a hammock is something to look at. Won't need a tent or a sleeping bag that way. well maybe from October onwards a thin sleeping bag. Izu Peninsular is reachable from Tokyo and has a relaxed vibe.
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,046
1,145
If you plan to do a lot of bikepacking, consider a gravel bike. Usually they have more fittings for racks and bottles that you'll want for backpacking (and commuting). More relaxed geometry, too. Don't know what's out there in the 70k range though.
 

Omar

Warming-Up
Aug 19, 2020
15
13
For what it's worth I bought a used-but-well-cared-for steel road bike for 7万 off Yahoo Auctions (I just messaged the seller to see it since they were also in Tokyo and paid in cash in person after trying it out), which was relatively tough to find since a) stores really didn't have anything in my size at the time (182cm tall), b) I wanted a more vintage-looking bike, and c) I also was looking for something in that price range, but road bike stores seem to mostly sell stuff minimum 2x the price with nicer components than I care for. I threw on a bike rack mounted with P clips since the frame doesn't have mounts, which to me feels nice and sturdy; I don't use panniers at the moment (i just don't want a sweaty back and aching shoulders from wearing a backpack around the city) but it would be easily doable.

If you're thinking about rides in the 20-40k range or longer I personally think road and gravel bikes without intense geometry feel better than more upright bikes like cross/mamachari, mostly since you split the pressure between your butt and your arms and have a bunch of arm positions to switch to instead of it entirely being on your butt when you're sitting upright. But that depends on your preference/oshiri strength 💪

My wife also got a brand new road bike with entry-level components for 6万 from Y's Road since it was last year's model - she lucked out in that it was her size and they do clearances on previous year bikes, which in my opinion are generally not any different than the current models esp at this price range. Pretty sure a lot of bike brands will be releasing new year models in the coming months so you might be able to snag a good deal from stores as well if you keep your eyes peeled.
 
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microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
1,070
535
For what it's worth I bought a used-but-well-cared-for steel road bike for 7万 off Yahoo Auctions [...]

Me too.

I wanted a more vintage-looking bike,[...]

I'm a veteran rider. I mean, what hair I have is white, what muscles I ever had are withered -- but enough of the self-pity; let's just say I imagine I'd look ridiculous on a fat-tubed frame. However, a point to remember, Sylvr: For every one old steel-framed bike set up for touring, real-world hills and real-world legs, you'll find twenty set up for the monstrously muscled (or normals on timid routes). A mid-80s bike can be wonderful in the right conditions, but if its largest rear sprocket has 25 or fewer teeth and its smaller chainwheel has 42 (both of which are very likely), you will hurt when you ride anywhere worth riding around. Conversion to modern components (for weaklings like me) will add a lot to the total price.

Perhaps look in your local branch of Buychari for a decade-old bike. Both the price and the gearing should be reasonable.

Whatever bike you get, Tamagawa is your highway to the starting points of interesting rides.
 

jonmanjiro

Speeding Up
Dec 29, 2019
35
36
Apologies to the OP for sidetracking the thread somewhat, but I'm interested to know how low you'd recommend going gearing-wise for back of Tokyo jaunts @microcord ! Would a lowest gear of around 30 gear-inches cut it for a budding (older) cyclist who's reasonably fit, do you think? If not, how low would you recommend going?
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
1,070
535
Would a lowest gear of around 30 gear-inches cut it for a budding (older) cyclist who's reasonably fit, do you think? If not, how low would you recommend going?

I'm not just older, I'm old. And I'm not reasonably fit. There are three things that I tell myself I need to be able to do:
  • Go up Kita-Akigawa past the mushroom centre and up Kazahari rindō to Kazahari tōge
  • Go up from Odawara to Mikuni tōge (and Yamanaka-ko)
  • Go up Mogusa(en?)-dōri to Mogusa-en
I mean, without dying on the way. The bike I'm riding these days has 11 to 32 on the back and 43/27 on the front. It has 700x28 tyres. Sheldon Brown's calculator has a gap where 28 should be but says that if I were using 25 then the ratios would range from 21 to 103 inches.

The people I ride with can do these three with a 34-tooth chainwheel and a 32- or even 28-tooth sprocket. Not me!

Having a "big" chainwheel as small as 43 means that I can't pedal at [what for me are] high speeds. This rarely matters.

P
 

jonmanjiro

Speeding Up
Dec 29, 2019
35
36
@microcord thanks for the reply! Certainly seems 30 gear-inches isn’t going to cut it for me. Heading off to look at lower gear options now. Maybe I can justify the purchase of another bike :)
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
1,070
535
Well, if you already have a bike, then try it out and see what happens. If you're building one up, then there are (or have been) "ultra-compact" crankset options from "Dixna" (Tokyo San-Esu) and Sugino.

Most of us are incapable of sprinting at 60 km/h regardless of gearing, and actually have no need to pedal at 50 km/h either. One way to approach gearing is to think realistically about the highest gear that you need, choose the big chainwheel and small sprocket for that, and then see how low you can go at the other extreme. No matter how low it is, you'll probably be grateful for it at some time.
 
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