Help Need your advice

Mamegu

Warming-Up
Jun 5, 2011
8
0
0
Kawasaki
#1
Hi! I would like to try long-ride(90-100km) and checking magazines what bike I should buy. I know I should go for a road bike but there are so many brands! I am a very beginner for long-ride.
Will soumeone give me advice of good bike shop in Tokyo area, recommend brand for beginner and important point in choosing a bike?

Thank you
 

StuInTokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
1,662
62
78
#2
Hello Mamegu!

Welcome to TCC!!

I think the best bike for you is one that fits you correctly.

Some questions;

How much money do you want to spend?

Where do you live? (if we know where you live, we can suggest a good bike shop that can help you)

Will you be riding for day trips only or do you want to do over night touring trips?

I think that for a beginner there are a LOT o very good bicycles that you can get, that you will be able to ride for many years. I would not suggest the super lightweight racing style of bike, I would suggest a good steel bike, they are very durable and they are comfortable to ride.

I think a good bike shop that will help you pick a good bike and make sure it fits right is very important.

Again, welcome!
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#3
I noticed you are hailing from Kawasaki..... plenty of good bike store in Kawasaki and Yokohama to choose from and without the strange 5% mark up everything seems to get once you cross over the Tamagawa to Tokyo.

What I suggest you do is head down to Y's road in Yokohama, don't talk to any of the sales staff just have a look around and see what catches your eye. Don't worry about brand names or prices just look for something that you fall in love with.... that one bike that you keep coming back to.

Then find out the brand and model of the bike and the price then come back here and let us know.

You'll then get a whole load of conflicting advice, but it will also tell you what other brands in that price range are out there and it will give you a much better idea of what you are getting for your money. Then with this information you can go back and take a look at those that have been recommended.

Itwill also help us to know some of your measurements, gender and age. Also prior riding experience. It just helps us build a better picture of what will best suit you.

Welcome to the TCC.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#4
Nice note about the strange 5% markup. What about the strange 45% markup that seems to infect nearly anything coming into Japan? With most bikes being built to compact geometry - all you really need to do is buy <anything> that has basically a decent groupset and relatively in your fit range. There are only 3 points of contact to the bike - (4 if you count your wallet). As a novice rider, as long as you hit these 3 more or less comfortably - you'll be fine. The 4th is simply up to you and your significant other. Bear in mind - you do get what you pay for - up to a point. So - for example, I'd consider anything less than a Tiagra groupset to be a poor idea. And ANY frame that has a Tiagra groupset on it will be more than good enough for your riding pleasures.
 
Sep 2, 2009
5
0
0
#5
Yeah, what they all said.

Diminishing returns after Tiagra (...or is it...)

You don't get that 'feels like it is going to break, but it isn't breaking, I am massively confused and excited at what every next second holds for me, oh my GOD, so this is what they were going on about!' feeling, but a bike with Tiagra will be great, for sure.
 

Mamegu

Warming-Up
Jun 5, 2011
8
0
0
Kawasaki
#6
Thank you for your advice,Stuln Tokyo and FarEast!
I live in Kawasaki so I will go to bike stores in Kawasaki and Yokohama. Could you tell me some of the good stores?
Price should be from 80,000-100,000 yen.
For day trip only and no prior riding experience.
How much does good steel bike weigh because I thought lightweigh is easier for carry out.
 
Oct 15, 2010
669
10
38
#7
Steel is okay, but aluminum would be fine too. I don't think you'll find much good steel in the shops here at your budget, but I could be wrong.

Some say there is more vibration with aluminum, but my bike was about 80,000 yen from Evans (UK online shop with inconsistent service but generally low prices) this January. Carbon fork and seat post, and no issues with vibration. Aluminum would be lighter too. You could argue that steel is stronger/more durable, but aluminum in most cases is fine. I just had a look on Evans, and Wiggle (another UK online shop you will no doubt here more about as time goes on) and did not see any smashing deals, but their stuff is often cheaper than buying in Japan, even with the delivery charge.

If I were you, I'd go to Y's and see what looks nice in your budget. I would not talk to the staff (because from my experience at the Futakotamagawa location, they are useless) but I would pay them the 1,000 yen fee to get sized up for a bike using their computer - that is money well spent.

After that, report back and there will be more answers to your questions.
 
May 22, 2007
3,617
1,454
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#8
There's only about a kilogram of difference between a steel-framed bike and a much more expensive carbon frame. They feel different, too. Other frame materials are aluminum (very common for entry-level bikes) and titanium.

I've ridden 10,000 km a year on a steel bike over the last five years, on three continents. No problems at all. In fact, one could argue it's the best material because it's so easy to fix the frame if an unfortunate accident should snap it.

When OwenJames says "break", he means "brake". Don't be alarmed. Tiagra doesn't break. And it brakes just fine.

Where are you in Kawasaki? I'm in Miyamae-ku and there's not much up here in the north of the city, to be honest. FarEast's suggestion of Y's Road in Yokohama is as good a place as any to start.

With your budget you should find plenty of choice. I saw this R7 at Nalsima Frend in Jingumae the other day. Quite tasty.

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Admittedly I pay more than this just for a pair of wheels these days. But that's because I'm trying to spend the kids' inheritance.

But also think about the other things you need to buy. This will include some, all, or less of the following

Pedals - many bikes are sold without pedals because there's such a wide choice of pedals
Cycling helmet
Cycling shoes
Eyewear (e.g. sunglasses)
Cycling shirt ('jersey')
Cycling shorts
Water bottle(s)
Bottle cage(s), to hold the bottle(s) on your bike
Bike bag ("rinko-bukuro") for carrying the bike on the train
Mini pump
Floor pump
Spare inner tube(s)
Cycle computer (if you want to know how fast you're going or how far you've gone)
Portable multi-tool
Seat pouch

etc. etc.

Hope I haven't frightened you off :)
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#9
Good point, Mike. Bugger the bike - spend it on the wear and accessories! Especially eye wear, club jersey and shoes. You won't regret it! (Speaking from the mouth of the guy who is still using 15yr old Persols, 3yr 2XU and whatever I dug outta the BIC bargain bin shoes)
 

Mamegu

Warming-Up
Jun 5, 2011
8
0
0
Kawasaki
#12
I went to Y's road and tried some bikes.
1)Giant Pace 465mm; Aluminun frame;drop handlebar
69,000 yen
I'm not used to drop handle but is it must for long ride?

2)Giant Escape Rx2 430mm;Aluminum frame;Flat handlebar
89,250 yen
My height is 164cm and this fits me the best!
But I'm not sure about handlebar. Should I go for drop one?

Tried other bikes but size is not available.
3)Gios Ampio ;Kuromori frame;stright handlebar
78,500yen
4)Bianchi Cield
59,850 yen
 
May 22, 2007
3,617
1,454
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#13
I went to Y's road and tried some bikes.
1)Giant Pace 465mm; Aluminun frame;drop handlebar
69,000 yen I'm not used to drop handle but is it must for long ride?
Lots of people ride long distances with flat handlebars. And no-one is used to drop handlebars until they try!

The main advantage of drop handlebars is choice of position. You can move your hands around to different positions, which helps to stop your arms getting tired on long rides. And when facing a headwind, or you want to go fast, you can grab the drops and make a more aerodynamic body position.

With flat handlebars, you are stuck in one position all day. You can bend your elbows more or less, but that's all. I can't think of any advantage of flat bars except that they're non-intimidating.

As you want a road bike to do long rides, I would say drop handlebars are best. You should be comfortable with them after one or two rides.

The 2300 equipment on Giant Pace is the lowest grade available. That doesn't mean it's bad, but it's heavy and sometimes difficult to operate from the drops.

As you are looking at small frame sizes I'm guessing your hands are also small. See if you can find something with a Tiagra or 105 groupset within your budget, and when you buy it ask for the special wedges to make sure the brake levers fit your hands comfortably.

In case you don't know, the Shimano groupset grades are, in order of increasing quality and price, and decreasing weight...

2200
Sora (3400)
Tiagra (4500)
105 (5700)
Ultegra (6700)
Dura-Ace (7900)
Di2

Specialized do some nice, smaller sized frames.
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,181
76
68
Kochi
#18
Flat bars are good for commuting, as more upright position (better for seeing and being seen), and easier access to the brakes/gears from the top. I have twice only had access to a bike with just flat bars and they are fine, but I would always go for drop bars given a choice. Simple advice, is just go for test rides on a few drop bar bikes and see how you get on!

If you like the Giant bikes, check out a Defy. Also, stop by Sports Authority as they stock those and often have sales on - I think our local one is currently on a 30% discount promotion.

I`m 165.5 and ride a 48 CAAD 9 so have a look at a 48 CAAD 8 Sora as that might work well (think it will be in budget). Yes, Specialized Secteur/Allez are worth looking at (but again, don`t know prices).
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#20
Mamegu......

Due to my job I have alot of time on my hands so if you want I can meet up with you to discuss bikes and what not.

drop me a PM and we can arrange a time.