Help Ibaraki! And: I need help.

Jason

Warming-Up
Sep 7, 2010
4
0
0
Moriya, Ibaraki
#1
Hi everybody, greetings from Moriya.

I don't know if I should put this in General Discussion or if this place is good, but,

I've been shopping around for a road/touring bike for about a month now--something that, after a whole lot of training, can get me as far north or south as is possible--but none of the shops I've been to so far have anything they can recommend to me, size-wise. I'm 184cm, about 6'1.5". I've been recommended a frame around 58cm to 60cm, but to be honest, I've never ridden a proper road bike before, so I don't even know what it's supposed to feel like when it fits.

At the shop in my town, they say they can order stuff in my size, but I'm also hoping to get a bike that's back-rack compatible, so I can carry a tent and camping gear along with me. The shop has nothing like that, and they said I wouldn't be able to get anything from them like that for less than 200,000円. I'd be doing myself some serious harm if I spent over 150,000 just on the bike (before helmet, lights, etc.), so I was wondering if anyone had any ideas? I don't mind buying used or vintage, if they'll last a while--I'd prefer it, if it turns out the life span of the bike isn't greatly decreased.

So, more or less: help! And any assistance is greatly and forever appreciated:eek:uch:
 
Jul 13, 2010
279
6
38
Shinjuku
#2
Hi Jason,
I was in a similar situation a while back. I am 191cm tall and had some serious problems to find a bicycle here in Japan.
I ended up ordering a bike from a webshop in the UK. Price was less than half compared to here in Japan and I had the bike after about a week.
I bought my bike from wiggle.com. I am sure there are other similar webshops that ship internationally.

Hope this helps
Andreas
 
Jan 14, 2007
2,514
213
83
Noda
japanichiban.com
#3
I can only suggest the new SEO shop in Moriya LOC City.
I'm sure they won't have the frame size in the shop but they may have one in their other shops.
The owner of the shop is the manager of our racing team... Have you seen that shop? It's not well known yet...
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#4
I'm 187 cm and, as Andreas says, finding a bike that fits is difficult here--most distributors (and even manufacturers with a presence here) don't go over 56 or so. It's going to be even harder for a "niche" model such as a touring bike/lighter tourer that you're looking for. Ordering from overseas via online shops is your best bet; most of the tall folk here do just that.

You can look for retailers that are willing to ship Soma or Surlys, say, or look at some of the UK shops such as Wiggle (for some reason, the UK shops have more of these kind of specialty bikes, as opposed to strictly road racers). Maybe try Planet X too; their Uncle John cyclocross frameset, for example, is a good deal and makes a decent tourer.
 

Jason

Warming-Up
Sep 7, 2010
4
0
0
Moriya, Ibaraki
#5
Thanks guys! So it seems a lot of people get their bikes from the Internet machine...are there any risks involved with that? I heard from lots of people that test-riding is nearly a must, because all bikes are measured differently. How did your experiences online-shopping work out?
 
Jul 13, 2010
279
6
38
Shinjuku
#7
Thanks guys! So it seems a lot of people get their bikes from the Internet machine...are there any risks involved with that? I heard from lots of people that test-riding is nearly a must, because all bikes are measured differently. How did your experiences online-shopping work out?
I took measurements according to a few of the online bike fit calculators and looked at different frame geometries. Since this was my first real road bike it wasn't easy to know what I wanted. I ended up getting a Focus Cayo in size 60cm (XXL).
If you measure your inseam properly you can see from the geometry numbers how big the saddle to handlebar drop will be for example.
Since I didn't have much to compare with I am not sure how helpful it would have been to go out on 15 minute test rides. It takes quite a while to get used to a new type of bike and riding posiiton.

So...if you spend some time researching the sizing and buy the bike from a reputable webshop I would say that the risk is very low.

/Andreas
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#8
Modern frames can accomodate much wider range of fit than the old 'classic' geometry. As Anreas said, you can easily size your self with an online calculator , then choose a frame that will fall into your range. Then, when you have your bike here in Japan you can take it to a good LBS to get a final fit. There is minimal risk in ordering online and you'll save enough $$$ to get that new kit and shoes as well! Agreed about the test ride - unless you have the bike setup perfect for you and ride it for several hours, you aren't really going to be able to make a solid comparison - only get a gist of whether you like it or not.

As for bike itself - they generally fall into categories of 'road' , 'tour' , 'cross' , 'mtb' , 'city'. Touring on road bike is fine - just depends on how self contained you want to be. If you plan on cruising through all conditions, schlepping your bike on a train, etc .. I'd probably lean towards an Aluminum or Titanium frame (Or steel - like the Surley's). I've found that in Japan there is no real need for panniers and bags all over the bike. The plethora of conbini, onsens, ramen shops and minshuku allow anyone with a few yen and whim just to ride anywhere without all the baggage. Basically you just need a lightweight backpack or perhaps a tail rack and bag and thats about it. So - you could just pickout a nice, fast, comfortable roadbike and do quite well.
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#9
ATouring on road bike is fine - just depends on how self contained you want to be. If you plan on cruising through all conditions, schlepping your bike on a train, etc .. I'd probably lean towards an Aluminum or Titanium frame (Or steel - like the Surley's). I've found that in Japan there is no real need for panniers and bags all over the bike.
True for credit card touring, but Jason did mention carrying a tent and gear for camping; which suggests mounts for a rear rack at least would be nice to have.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#10
Im a 188cm and ride a 56cm Pinarello FP3 with 120cm stem and 172.5 compact crank and 175 standard crank.

Also riding a 55cm Fuji SL-1 for racing, selection of different length stems and cranks depending on race type.

with modern frames and your height you should have no issues with either one of these frame sizes. If you want to try a large frame size out let me know and I can arrange a test ride for you..... it will be a Fuji frame however.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,514
639
133
Kanazawa
#11
One of my local shops sells this Surly bike, the long haul trucker--note the available sizes and price:

--deleted, instead look at the link in the next post--

Not a road bike, but it's a well-known (and admired) choice for touring the world. Long wheelbase, so it while it's comfortable and easy to control it probably won't fit typical bike bags (esp. the frame size you may need), but is designed explicitly for long-distance riding. You can choose a frame designed for either 26" or 700c wheels (26" is more common worldwide, clearance on either for fenders), braze-ons for three water bottles, also of course all the necessary spots for both front and rear racks. Another nice thought--on the left chainstay there's a dedicated spot that you can attach/carry a couple extra spokes.

Wiggle UK has these frames for something like 35,000 yen, probably another 5-7000 for shipping. Then maybe you could have your local shop build it up, if they're nice the total could be less than what's listed in the above link.

(edited to correct the wiggle price, etc.)
 

Jason

Warming-Up
Sep 7, 2010
4
0
0
Moriya, Ibaraki
#13
Wow, thanks for all the detailed help, guys!

FarEast, I think if I can manage to get out to Yokohama on a day that's convenient for you, I'd love to give your Fuji a try.

And jdd--who curiously shares my initials--thanks a lot for the link. The bike is just over my budget, but yeah, I'm going to do some price-checking around for different parts and see what I can do. Hopefully I'll be able to get out and start training before the leaves start to turn...it'd be nice to see the colors falling from the roadside while not in a bus or on the train.
 

Jason

Warming-Up
Sep 7, 2010
4
0
0
Moriya, Ibaraki
#15
Sorry for taking so long to reply, FarEast. About your team's bike shop: are there any English-speaking staff there, or should I take a friend along? My spoken Japanese is still pretty awful, so I don't have much confidence walking into a situation where I'm going to want to ask lots of questions.

And also, does your shop have a website that I can get directions from?