Jack The Commuter

JackTheCommuter

Maximum Pace
Apr 3, 2012
401
98
48
Tama Center <-> Otemachi
So an update:
I got out of office early to visit Positivo to take a look at the shop and get a feel for the vibe. Very good impressions and I've ended up purchasing the 2012 Giant Pace from them. The same as my previous ride.

Things that sold me on Positivo:
  • Friendly and humble staff.
  • Staff that really listens to what you want and makes recomendations based on them.
  • Labor part of maintenance is free.
  • No mark up, everything MSRP.
  • Staff was knowledgable, made recomendations, and had an opinion. They gave me enough knowledge to make informed decisions.
  • No disappointment seen from them when I picked one of the cheapest bicycles. They spent a lot of extra time debating which size would fit me best and explaining possible upgrade paths. In fact they really got into discussing which paths would be the most cost effective.

Thanks for everyone on the list for bicycle and shop suggestions. I visited a few shops, looking for an alternate to Y's Futakotamagawa. I took a long hard look at the Cannondal Synapse Alloy 6 Tiagra and the Giant Defy 3. After consulting with the guys in Positivo, the Giant Pace still ended up as the best fit. Perhaps when my fitness level gets better, I will get a bicycle that will not have to do commuter duties. When that time comes, it will be from Positivo.
 

ikedawilliams

Speeding Up
Oct 15, 2010
669
11
38
Thanks for the update Jack. Great info. I had heard about them before, and they are not within walking distance, but will be the next shop I go to, based on your's and others' recommendations.
 

dgl2

Maximum Pace
Nov 3, 2007
284
48
48
Tokyo - Minato-ku
Jack:

If you did not already see it, there is detailed info about Positivo (including a link Tim/GS Astuto provided to an interview with Koki Nagai from when he was wrenching in Europe) further down in a recent thread about negative experiences at other shops near Futako:

https://tokyocycle.com/bbs/showthread.php?t=3511

I'm glad to hear that you feel you got a decent price on a new bike there, because they are definitely not a discount shop. MSRP, as you said. I have spent a lot with them in the 7+ years I have been in Tokyo. And as I have gradually done more and more myself, I still use them for repairs I cannot do or don't have time to do myself, and on that basis I'm never unhappy to pay the price for a job well done.

But I also don't feel like I can afford to buy much gear there, since it is usually available for a lot less outside the Japanese retail shop system. Maybe if the yen would creep back down to 100 or 110 per USD ...

David L.
 

JackTheCommuter

Maximum Pace
Apr 3, 2012
401
98
48
Tama Center <-> Otemachi
Everywhere I shopped, Y's Road, Giant, Sport Authority, was quoting MSRP for the 2012 Giant Defy 3 or Giant Pace. They didn't have any in stock for my size and they would have had to order it anyways. As a n00b, I didn't want to do mail order for a complete bicycle. So if I'm paying full price, Positivo differentiated themselves with customer service and no bad attitude.

I also bought accessories from them and compared to the mark up at Y's, Positivo's MSRP was cheaper! Most noticeably was the price for spd pedals and shoes. They offer fitment services as part of purchase and having the expertise of Nagai-san available can't be beat. It's amazing to have the expertise available of someone who's wrenched with pro teams in Italy.

Voting with my wallet, I'd like to support a LBS. Internet shopping (even with overseas shipping) is cheaper but I worry it's a race a to the bottom.
 

ikedawilliams

Speeding Up
Oct 15, 2010
669
11
38
Got your bike yet Jack? I was in Positivo today and saw a medium Giant Pace in lime green. Looked just about ready to go, but no bar tape etc. Just curious.
 

JackTheCommuter

Maximum Pace
Apr 3, 2012
401
98
48
Tama Center <-> Otemachi
@john -
Yeah, that should be my ride. Did you point it out to them you know the guy that is buying it? :)

They have been calling me regularly giving me updates. So the customer service has improved from my perspective.

There seems to be an issue with the bicycle. When the bicycle initially came in, the front fork had some discoloration. They ordered a replacement, but it too had a defect, a cosmetic scratch. They offered me a discount if I would take it with the scratch, to which I accepted.

I'll be at shop on Thursday to pick up the bicycle. Should be an interesting ride home. First time on cleats.


Did you get your headset issues sorted out?
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,791
1,775
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
I'll be at shop on Thursday to pick up the bicycle. Should be an interesting ride home. First time on cleats.
If you only used flat pedals or straps before, I would recommend practising a bit in a quiet street before riding back.

When you have to slow down somewhere such as towards a traffic light, near pedestrians etc, if in doubt, unclip one foot!

Set the tension low to start with so that it's easy to unclip.

Wear gloves, so you don't scratch your hands as easily if you do fall (as everyone does at least once).

If you're somewhere that needs your full attention for other vehicles, pedestrians etc, and you have trouble engaging the cleats, clipping in should never be your first priority. First pay attention to your surroundings and clip in when the situation is a bit safer.
 

ikedawilliams

Speeding Up
Oct 15, 2010
669
11
38
@john -
Yeah, that should be my ride. Did you point it out to them you know the guy that is buying it? :)
Didn't mention it because I wasn't sure if it was yours and if the guy I was dealing with would have known. Thought about it though.

I'll be at shop on Thursday to pick up the bicycle. Should be an interesting ride home. First time on cleats.
Would love to ride back with you, but I won't be able to go back until Friday. I still remember my first time with SPDs. Seeing a usually competent friend go over with his new SPDs a few weeks before I got mine was a shock, and a big lesson on what to expect. Just practice twisting out sideways a bunch of times before you ride and it'll become second nature.

Did you get your headset issues sorted out?
I made two trips there on the train in the miserable weather today. It was taking longer than expected and I needed to leave both bikes there. I assume I will be able to bring both bikes back on Friday.

I did enjoy seeing the guy there do the work on my bikes. All the tools they had that I will never own, to remove the base plate on my steel bike with 1'' fork, to take out the threaded headset on it, to install the nuts that go inside the forks, cut the fork on my new Ti bike etc. It was money well spent, no doubt. The guy working on my bike was from Kobe, and I first lived there in Japan, and went to the same university as the guy's family so there was something in common between us that helpped. Got offered brownies from some guy who brought them in as omiage from a trip he took. The Giro was on in stereo a the shop... Nagai-san came down from upstairs at one point because the guy working on the bike was having a little trouble and appoligized with a deep bow, maybe because the staff needed help, maybe because they forgot to call me... either way, I felt like a valued customer. I will wait to see what the bill is on Friday before I form a final opinion, but it is better than is was a few days ago.
 

JackTheCommuter

Maximum Pace
Apr 3, 2012
401
98
48
Tama Center <-> Otemachi
Bicycle get

I picked up my Giant Pace from Positivo today. The place is busy! Lots of people flowing through getting bicycles checked and people shopping for supplies. All they need is a cafe or something and it would be good hang out spot.

Nagai-san did the fitment for me. It was the first time I used cleats and he was very patient with me while I struggled to get clipped in. Initial setup was spot on, no further adjustment. He seemed a bit surprised himself.

He also attached the rear rack for me, made the necessary adjustments by bending the brackets to clear the rear brakes. (Y's didn't do this for me...) Attached the rest of bits including kickstand, front, and rear lights.

Again friendly and no attitude. I feel sheepish for having someone who wrenched for pro teams work on my entry level bike and put things on like a rack and kickstand for me. But that's just me and I'm grateful that it just gets done.

He told me to come back in a 100km or so... So it looks like I'll be going back Sunday!

It felt great riding a road bike again. It's been over 2 months, with weeks of pedaling around on the papa-chari. I clearly haven't learned my lesson and found myself trying to chase down taxis. No problems being clipped in. In dicey situations, I leave one foot unclipped and pedal one footed. Not quite enough saddle time yet to figure out how to pull up on the pedals. I think I'm still stomping. It is a lot easier to spin clipped in. Made it home, only about 4 km, without incident.
 

onm

Sep 2, 2009
5
0
0
^Sick

Not just a clever name then.

Glad you got a good service. Thought I was going mad up here with SEO Omiya being so good, and everyone else posting horror stories.

Will visit the place soon.

Re: bending brakes getting them working; best trick in the book, especially V-Brakes; just manipulate the springs slightly, using the human hand (which is the greatest tool ever evolved) and you are there.

Post some pics of the bike!