Need advice about first road bike selection

Ratchet21

Speeding Up
Sep 7, 2020
72
52
28
The chain looks quite bad, and I view the chain as a canary in the coal mine. It seems the previous owner didn’t put any effort into maintaining their bike, so I agree with the others: give your new bike a clean and send it off to a shop. You might need a new chain, for sure your drivetrain will need a tune-up, you might need new inner cables, new brake pads, etc.

And be nice to that shop: buy a new helmet and/or new pedals.
Yes! I plan to use this chance to start to connect with LBS around my place. Im kinda confused, if the chain is visually that bad, should i just tell them to change it right away so I dont need to clean it?

And does tune-up for drivetrain means basic maintenance? Thanks again!
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
3,326
1,389
133
Japan
You should get a new 105 chain as well as a tune up; they (LBS) will adjust the shifting to perfect which for a beginner doing it from a maybe bad condition is not that easy. They will also check that the bike is safe (which should be the number one priority) which means brakes, seat and handlebars. I think the bike you bought has not been ridden that much but it's 3 yrs old with most likely no maintenance. Get a rear flasher and check that Cateye light works.

Don't expect same day service or even two day turn around as you are bringing in a random bike and you are a random customer. If they aren't welcoming however don't be afraid to go to another shop. I'd walk in and ask about bike tune up and see what reception you get before ordering it. Odering the parts and accesories you need at that time is a good investment in getting future consideration.

you will need a floor pump, a micro tool and saddle bag with a spare tube, tire levers and puncture repair kit. https://www.topeak.com/global/en/products/saddle-bags/363-survival-tool-wedge-ii for example is a good option but they should have something similar.
Then practice changing the tubes. https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/tire-and-tube-removal-and-installation
if you develop a hole in the tube https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/inner-tube-repair
After they do that then you can be confident doing your own post ride checks and maintenance. https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/bike-washing-and-cleaning
You can also get a heap of information about cleaning and simple maintenance from this web site but avoid the temptation to buy a whole heap of tools.

pedals and shoes is something to ask about as well. Specialized aren't the cheapest around but they are generally good quality. I would buy low to mid range as if the cycling bug bites hard you will be upgrading but the gear you purchase now will be good for commuting or a spare.

Finally, you can find cheaper on the net but you can't buy a relationship with people that care about seeing you enjoy riding a bike that they have taken responsibility for. It is worth a few thousand extra yen each year IMO.
 
  • Love
Reactions: Ratchet21

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
1,372
1,096
143
43
Yes! I plan to use this chance to start to connect with LBS around my place. Im kinda confused, if the chain is visually that bad, should i just tell them to change it right away so I dont need to clean it?
A chain is relatively cheap, much cheaper than a cassette or new chain rings. So if in doubt, I’d just replace it. However, the rest of the drive train is also quite dirty, so that needs cleaning as well. It might also be hard for you to tell whether your drive train is shifting correctly. When chains get all gunked up like that, they tend to become very stiff, which impacts shifting performance. The only reason why I am not advising that you change the chain is because your bike needs a thorough service.

The state of the chain is a canary in the coal mine. Another one of those is the state of the tires. It looks to me that your road bike didn’t get much love, and you’d want a shop to look at it very thoroughly anyway. When I bought a used road bike from @Karl in this forum, I had the opposite experience: the bike and in particular the drive train was very clean. On the other hand, one of the brake pads and the rear tire were well-used. That told me the bike was really ridden, but ridden by someone who cares for and about his bikes. If it wasn’t for my stupidity, I could have ridden the bike as-is. (I lost the rear derailleur cable in the frame, totally my fault.)

In your case it is the opposite. So one way or another, I’d bring it for a thorough inspection to a bike shop. And then I’d start learning about the basics of keeping your drive train (= chain, derailleurs and cogs) clean. This will make such a big difference. Make sure to clean your bike regularly. You don’t have to be super thorough every time, but when you clean it, you have a chance to check components (tires, brake pads) for wear and make sure your bike is in good condition. Trying to sort out a not-cared-for bike without any serious tool time under your belt will be a hard task, though.
 

pedalist

Maximum Pace
BUT do try and clean it up a bit before you take it in.
Yes, definitly get the bike as clean as possible before taking it to the shop. It's a good way for you to have close look at it and your future bike mechanic would be happy not to remove any gunk before actually looking at the bike, plus it shows him that you actually care for your bike.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kangaeroo

speedwobble

Scorpions - I can't get enough!
Jun 26, 2017
152
218
63
52
I saw the auction and that looks like a good bike to me.
The basic spec is compact 50-34 and 11-32 so if its stock, that's a climbing setup from the start. I don't see much wear on the chainrings or cassette. The chain is a mess, but it might clean up okay,. A big can of spray parts cleaner is something like 250 yen at Komeri.
11 speed 8.4kg, nice low gears. That's a good deal. Have fun on it!
 

Ratchet21

Speeding Up
Sep 7, 2020
72
52
28
You should get a new 105 chain as well as a tune up; they (LBS) will adjust the shifting to perfect which for a beginner doing it from a maybe bad condition is not that easy. They will also check that the bike is safe (which should be the number one priority) which means brakes, seat and handlebars. I think the bike you bought has not been ridden that much but it's 3 yrs old with most likely no maintenance. Get a rear flasher and check that Cateye light works.

Don't expect same day service or even two day turn around as you are bringing in a random bike and you are a random customer. If they aren't welcoming however don't be afraid to go to another shop. I'd walk in and ask about bike tune up and see what reception you get before ordering it. Odering the parts and accesories you need at that time is a good investment in getting future consideration.

you will need a floor pump, a micro tool and saddle bag with a spare tube, tire levers and puncture repair kit. https://www.topeak.com/global/en/products/saddle-bags/363-survival-tool-wedge-ii for example is a good option but they should have something similar.
Then practice changing the tubes. https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/tire-and-tube-removal-and-installation
if you develop a hole in the tube https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/inner-tube-repair
After they do that then you can be confident doing your own post ride checks and maintenance. https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/bike-washing-and-cleaning
You can also get a heap of information about cleaning and simple maintenance from this web site but avoid the temptation to buy a whole heap of tools.

pedals and shoes is something to ask about as well. Specialized aren't the cheapest around but they are generally good quality. I would buy low to mid range as if the cycling bug bites hard you will be upgrading but the gear you purchase now will be good for commuting or a spare.

Finally, you can find cheaper on the net but you can't buy a relationship with people that care about seeing you enjoy riding a bike that they have taken responsibility for. It is worth a few thousand extra yen each year IMO.
Thank you so much! This is really informative! I'm just wondering what is the Japanese to tell them about what I need, is it メンテ or チューンアップ?
Yeah, I plan to clean the sprocket and chains and give it a good wipe before i bring it over to LBS, and yes I can't agree more about building a good relationship with LBS!

I still have my tools from my folding bike so it'll work for now I guess, more inclined to get basic cycling wear and maybe change my tyre from 25 to 28mm for ease of ride, shoes and clipless will have to come later because I have no confidence in using it right away haha.

A chain is relatively cheap, much cheaper than a cassette or new chain rings. So if in doubt, I’d just replace it. However, the rest of the drive train is also quite dirty, so that needs cleaning as well. It might also be hard for you to tell whether your drive train is shifting correctly. When chains get all gunked up like that, they tend to become very stiff, which impacts shifting performance. The only reason why I am not advising that you change the chain is because your bike needs a thorough service.

The state of the chain is a canary in the coal mine. Another one of those is the state of the tires. It looks to me that your road bike didn’t get much love, and you’d want a shop to look at it very thoroughly anyway. When I bought a used road bike from @Karl in this forum, I had the opposite experience: the bike and in particular the drive train was very clean. On the other hand, one of the brake pads and the rear tire were well-used. That told me the bike was really ridden, but ridden by someone who cares for and about his bikes. If it wasn’t for my stupidity, I could have ridden the bike as-is. (I lost the rear derailleur cable in the frame, totally my fault.)

In your case it is the opposite. So one way or another, I’d bring it for a thorough inspection to a bike shop. And then I’d start learning about the basics of keeping your drive train (= chain, derailleurs and cogs) clean. This will make such a big difference. Make sure to clean your bike regularly. You don’t have to be super thorough every time, but when you clean it, you have a chance to check components (tires, brake pads) for wear and make sure your bike is in good condition. Trying to sort out a not-cared-for bike without any serious tool time under your belt will be a hard task, though.
Thank you for the advise!! Yes, depending on the mechanic's advise I'm open to change the chain right away, as for the brake caliper it looks kind of rusty but if its still working perfectly I think I will leave it alone for now, and yeah will leave the rest of the check-up/maintenance to the mechanic and see what he says. Hopefully one step at a time and I can learn to enjoy doing maintenance on my own too!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kangaeroo

Ratchet21

Speeding Up
Sep 7, 2020
72
52
28
Yes, definitly get the bike as clean as possible before taking it to the shop. It's a good way for you to have close look at it and your future bike mechanic would be happy not to remove any gunk before actually looking at the bike, plus it shows him that you actually care for your bike.
Agreed!

I saw the auction and that looks like a good bike to me.
The basic spec is compact 50-34 and 11-32 so if its stock, that's a climbing setup from the start. I don't see much wear on the chainrings or cassette. The chain is a mess, but it might clean up okay,. A big can of spray parts cleaner is something like 250 yen at Komeri.
11 speed 8.4kg, nice low gears. That's a good deal. Have fun on it!
Thank you! I hope so too but I do still need to spend a little more money in getting it back to shape!
Got my parts cleaner and chain lube too from Amazon so that should hold it for awhile until I get it to the LBS.

+1. It's like brushing your teeth before you go to the dentist.
Oh... Reminds me of all the remorse filled guilty teeth brushing before dentist appointment...
 

speedwobble

Scorpions - I can't get enough!
Jun 26, 2017
152
218
63
52
If the chain has a quick link, you can get it very clean it by soaking it in some kerosene or diesel. Just cut off the bottom of a big PET bottle for a bowl. Disposable gloves and chopsticks might be useful too. The chain will need a wash and full lube after.

Obviously check about the recall too. I've had cars recalled and its not a big black mark against the company.
 

Ratchet21

Speeding Up
Sep 7, 2020
72
52
28
The bike arrived without problem! And to my surprise they actually cleaned up the dirt away from the chain so I didn't had to anymore. (Although it is still a little dusty). Sent it the LBS in front of my house right on Tuesday night and got a phone call this morning telling me the rear tube is damaged so I had to change for a new one, so I had to pay for new tube and wheel changing fee.....

In the listing the shop didnt state any problem with the tube and also stated they checked and it's okay out of the box although they recommend to bring it for maintenance first. If it's a norm to expect some faults from buying 2nd hand bike then I will rest my case but just wondering should I bring the case to the shop about the rear tube...
 

stu_kawagoe

Maximum Pace
Jun 23, 2018
899
945
123
The bike arrived without problem! And to my surprise they actually cleaned up the dirt away from the chain so I didn't had to anymore. (Although it is still a little dusty). Sent it the LBS in front of my house right on Tuesday night and got a phone call this morning telling me the rear tube is damaged so I had to change for a new one, so I had to pay for new tube and wheel changing fee.....

In the listing the shop didnt state any problem with the tube and also stated they checked and it's okay out of the box although they recommend to bring it for maintenance first. If it's a norm to expect some faults from buying 2nd hand bike then I will rest my case but just wondering should I bring the case to the shop about the rear tube...
Did you find out any more about the fork recall on the bike?
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
1,372
1,096
143
43
In the listing the shop didnt state any problem with the tube and also stated they checked and it's okay out of the box although they recommend to bring it for maintenance first. If it's a norm to expect some faults from buying 2nd hand bike then I will rest my case but just wondering should I bring the case to the shop about the rear tube...
Unless you know the seller really well, IMHO you should bring it to a shop even if the bike looks perfect. If everything that was wrong with the bike is a faulty inner tube, you still got a good deal, me thinks. Also, why don't you get a bike fit at the shop when you pick it up?
 

Ratchet21

Speeding Up
Sep 7, 2020
72
52
28
Did you find out any more about the fork recall on the bike?
I called Spez's shop on Tuesday, and just followed up earlier today. They remember the recall but am still checking the serial no of the frame for me at the moment.

Unless you know the seller really well, IMHO you should bring it to a shop even if the bike looks perfect. If everything that was wrong with the bike is a faulty inner tube, you still got a good deal, me thinks. Also, why don't you get a bike fit at the shop when you pick it up?
I sent out an email to the seller asking him about it, let's see if he reply anything. Yeah, when I pick it up I will ask for help with some basic fitting but not sure if he is knows well enough to do a proper one because he sells mostly mamacharis and some hipster urban bike.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kangaeroo

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
3,326
1,389
133
Japan
Re the tube, the seller would inflate the tire and if it stays up they would say no problem. The Spesh shop has inspected it and found a 3 yr tube with a crack. I would not raise it to anyone and just buy the tube.
 

Ratchet21

Speeding Up
Sep 7, 2020
72
52
28
Hi all! Just got my bike back from LBS and took it for a ride to test out the setup! Wow, it feel so different compared to my folding bike, without realizing I actually cycled 20km and Im feeling fresh like I just stepped out of house.

Spez is doing the final check for me about the recall, but over the phonecall it seems like it is fine! The LBS also did some arrangement for me too with my inputs after the ride.

I'd like to thank everyone for the time and advise given here, I really appreciate all the kind inputs. Hopefully we'll have chance to cycle together some day!

Here's a pic with the bike fresh out of LBS!
IMG_20201001_150909_930.jpg
 

PSB

Maximum Pace
Oct 26, 2014
133
96
58
Tokyo
Looks good. You should probably get some front and rear reflectors (and a bell) as they are (technically) legal requirements. They are just a few hundred yen and you can get a those Asahi cycle places or Cyclespot. Learning to change tubes yourself will save you money in the long run and carrying a spare tube, tyre levers and a mini pump will help you avoid long walks home pushing your bike!