New big guy asking for help

ser

Cruising
Apr 17, 2012
9
0
11
Sumida-ku/Edogawa-ku, Tokyo
#1
Hi all

First time post.. so some introduction.
I'm big Polish guy living in Tokyo for 5 years. Earlier in Poland, I was cycling (to work and for recreation) but nothing special (20-30km daily on flat as most Poland is). After this five years without cycling what is making (this and of course food :p ) me bigger and bigger, I start to think about starting cycling again.
Looking on Tokyo streets, I'm not brave enough to drive on normal roads, but soon I will move to Edogawa-ku (near Edogawa(river) ) so I will be able to drive there without problem with cars, just for fit.

So the question.
I'm searching for some road bike that will not break under me... I'm 186cm and 115 kg. I was trying to search something on Rakuten, but usually there are no information about maximum weight (if is is about ridiculuos 85 kg... I know, I know this is Japan :) ). Also going to LBS is problem as I don't have enough knowledge to be sure that seller is not trying to sell me most expensive bicycle only because it is most expensive (but I suppose that they say that I'm too heavy :) just not to deal with gaijin).

For budget... of course cheaper is better, let's say that I prefer something under 100kyen.

And one more question... I'm also thinking to go with my son/daughter (not in the same time), they are still too small to drive by themselves so I want to ask if there is possiblility to add child seat at back of road bike? (I know that there are mama-chari but... ).

Thank you
--
Regards
Ser
 

StuInTokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
1,662
62
78
#4
Hi all

First time post.. so some introduction.
I'm big Polish guy living in Tokyo for 5 years. Earlier in Poland, I was cycling (to work and for recreation) but nothing special (20-30km daily on flat as most Poland is). After this five years without cycling what is making (this and of course food :p ) me bigger and bigger, I start to think about starting cycling again.
Looking on Tokyo streets, I'm not brave enough to drive on normal roads, but soon I will move to Edogawa-ku (near Edogawa(river) ) so I will be able to drive there without problem with cars, just for fit.

So the question.
I'm searching for some road bike that will not break under me... I'm 186cm and 115 kg. I was trying to search something on Rakuten, but usually there are no information about maximum weight (if is is about ridiculuos 85 kg... I know, I know this is Japan :) ). Also going to LBS is problem as I don't have enough knowledge to be sure that seller is not trying to sell me most expensive bicycle only because it is most expensive (but I suppose that they say that I'm too heavy :) just not to deal with gaijin).

For budget... of course cheaper is better, let's say that I prefer something under 100kyen.

And one more question... I'm also thinking to go with my son/daughter (not in the same time), they are still too small to drive by themselves so I want to ask if there is possiblility to add child seat at back of road bike? (I know that there are mama-chari but... ).

Thank you
--
Regards
Ser
I'm 112 Kg right now, but not long ago I was 136Kg, I don't think you will break any bike in the price category you are looking at, the biggest thing to look at is to have good strong wheels. The wheels I put on my Lrrb build bike the Shimano WHR-500 are great, they are very stout and not stupid expensive either.

I'm sure there are lots of bikes that would be fine for you.

Oh yeah, Welcome to TCC!
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,661
477
103
Japan
#5
Welcome to TCC. How old are the kids? What Stu said is true, do you really need a road bike? How about a cross bike that will have more attachment points for carriers and such?
 

ser

Cruising
Apr 17, 2012
9
0
11
Sumida-ku/Edogawa-ku, Tokyo
#6
Thanks for info...

My daughter have 4 years and son have 2.5 (but there is no big difference in weight between them :) ). Last week we went to children cycling park in Arakawa and my daughter want (and want it now :) ) bicycle ... so I suppose that this seat will be mostly for my son.

I'm really not specialist in bikes, I've said road bike as my plan is to ride roads (along rivers), but it can be any bike (almost, not mama-chari :) ) that is strong enough to keep my weight (and if possible attach children seat). Sorry for using wrong word (I should check wiki earlier... for sure I don't want road bike, I don't care about speed and rolling resistance)

I think that I'm unable to make bike from parts, there is problem with time, novelty and that I usually break things by using too much strength. So propably if I try to do this by myself I will end my work (paying twice of shop bike price)... in winter, but I want to drive this year. Maybe next time.

As I'm not experienced in bikes (my bike in Poland I've choosen by checking if is big enough for me and it was good... after changing wheels and pedals few months later :) ). Can you give me some clue what kind of bike I should search? For example when I've check on Rakuten most of bikes are 15" or 17", but searching on internet it looks like my height requires 20-21... I know that if I want to buy something good I should go to shop, so I suppose that I will go, but I prefer to know earlier, what I'm looking for before entering shop.

--
Regards
Ser
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#7
I'd get a Cannondale Bad Boy. They are under 100,000 yen and if they can haul Tim G around with all his gear, they can haul Ser! Though I wish they came in 26" wheel version - it's better for city and you can more easily find wider tires. No problem for the kid's seat - I had one on our old Cannondale cross bike for ages. (Another reason for the 26" wheels) dropping the seat down a bit and getting the kid as low as possible really helps the CG.
 
Apr 3, 2012
401
98
48
Tama Center <-> Otemachi
#8
Hi Ser,

I have two kids as well, a 7 and 4 year old. My older daughter has been riding her bicycle since five years old. My 4 year old son is just about able to go tens of meters but his control has a lot to be desired. I have a bit of experience. ;)

For general utility, the mama chari-ots are really good for hauling kids and cargo. If you have the kid on the back, you won't accidentally kick the child in the head when you straddle the bicycle. Very tame handling...

The Angelino series from Bridgestone have some very good features for kid and cargo hauling.

If you do get a cross bicycle, Topeak makes a versatile child carrier system.. You can easily remove the child seat when not in use. Once the child has outgrown the seat, it can be replaced with the bags that topeak makes. The downside with cross bicycles is the lack of a strong stand and mounting and dismounting from the bicycle is bit of gymnastics. It's made more difficult when the kid is in the seat.

In my opinion, I would get a mama chari from the local bike store. It doesn't matter what others think, as long as you and the kids are enjoying the ride. My kids and I would go for long wandering rides when they were little. My older one is too old to ride with me and range is now limited. I kind of miss the long bicycle rides with them.
 

StuInTokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
1,662
62
78
#9
Ser, what are you looking for in kids bikes? I have a buddy that told me he has two kids bikes that he wants to get rid of, his three boys have outgrown them.

Another fun alternative is the Weeride Co-Pilot

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.weeride.com%2Fimages%2Fgalleries%2Fcopilot%2Fcopilot_1.jpg&hash=cc6973af95dee72458820167b6906c2d


One way to get your kids started on the bike, this would work very well on the cycling paths. I believe that Tim (GS Astuto) has one of these, and likes it!

WeeRide also has the Kangaroo

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.weeride.com%2Fimages%2Fgalleries%2Fkanga2%2Fkanga_1.jpg&hash=7d87becda5cf715e8cf5a391ac58f3ce

The neat thing about this child carrier is that you can put it on a regular bike, and you don't kick you kid when you get on the bike, and when the child outgrows this carrier, you still have a regular bike.

I agree that a Cross bike may very well be best suited to your needs, there are LOTS of them out there, the Cannondale Bad Boy that Tim suggested is a decent bike for sure, and they should have your size too.

Let me know about the kids bike, I'll ask my buddy about the ones he wants to get rid of. I'm in Shinjuku.

Cheers!
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,429
874
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#10
In my opinion, I would get a mama chari from the local bike store. It doesn't matter what others think, as long as you and the kids are enjoying the ride. My kids and I would go for long wandering rides when they were little. My older one is too old to ride with me and range is now limited. I kind of miss the long bicycle rides with them.
I did a lot of mamachari rides with my son when he was little. It was a great experience. Maybe it's what got him started into road biking some 14 years later ;)

My biggest problem with mamachari is the seat position. Too low by far! Mamachari riders seem to want to be able to touch the ground with both legs while seated. Even with the seat post raised to the highest possible position (checking the mark) I always had to pedal with the knees at a ridiculous angle that was not easy on them and very tiring. I imagine it would be even worse for someone another 15 cm taller than me.
 

zenbiker

Maximum Pace
Mar 4, 2008
801
228
63
Chofu
#11
In the crossbar version, the kid will have to bend forward if the girl is going to reach the bars. Also unless you ride with your knees splayed out, you are going to be hitting your knees every stroke.
Ser, what are you looking for in kids bikes? I have a buddy that told me he has two kids bikes that he wants to get rid of, his three boys have outgrown them.

Another fun alternative is the Weeride Co-Pilot

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.weeride.com%2Fimages%2Fgalleries%2Fcopilot%2Fcopilot_1.jpg&hash=cc6973af95dee72458820167b6906c2d


One way to get your kids started on the bike, this would work very well on the cycling paths. I believe that Tim (GS Astuto) has one of these, and likes it!

WeeRide also has the Kangaroo

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.weeride.com%2Fimages%2Fgalleries%2Fkanga2%2Fkanga_1.jpg&hash=7d87becda5cf715e8cf5a391ac58f3ce

The neat thing about this child carrier is that you can put it on a regular bike, and you don't kick you kid when you get on the bike, and when the child outgrows this carrier, you still have a regular bike.

I agree that a Cross bike may very well be best suited to your needs, there are LOTS of them out there, the Cannondale Bad Boy that Tim suggested is a decent bike for sure, and they should have your size too.

Let me know about the kids bike, I'll ask my buddy about the ones he wants to get rid of. I'm in Shinjuku.

Cheers!
 

ser

Cruising
Apr 17, 2012
9
0
11
Sumida-ku/Edogawa-ku, Tokyo
#12
Hi Jack


For general utility, the mama chari-ots are really good for hauling kids and cargo. If you have the kid on the back, you won't accidentally kick the child in the head when you straddle the bicycle. Very tame handling...

The Angelino series from Bridgestone have some very good features for kid and cargo hauling.

...

In my opinion, I would get a mama chari from the local bike store. It doesn't matter what others think, as long as you and the kids are enjoying the ride. My kids and I would go for long wandering rides when they were little. My older one is too old to ride with me and range is now limited. I kind of miss the long bicycle rides with them.
Thank you for input. For mama-chari, for sure I will buy one for my wife (we were just looking on this Bridgestone Angelino series), but I'm thinking that mama-chari is not strong/big enough for my size&weight (I don't suppose that it is made to survive meeting with someone that is >100kg). I also think the same as joewein wrote that is too low (not that is not possible but it is not very convenient - on the other side lower is safer...)
So I think I will choose something more solid (and expensive - my wife don't like this part :) ).


If you do get a cross bicycle, Topeak makes a versatile child carrier system.. You can easily remove the child seat when not in use. Once the child has outgrown the seat, it can be replaced with the bags that topeak makes. The downside with cross bicycles is the lack of a strong stand and mounting and dismounting from the bicycle is bit of gymnastics. It's made more difficult when the kid is in the seat.
Thank you for link, I think that this is what I was looking for (especially that some versions are good enough till 22 kg, so maybe it will be enough until my son will be able to drive himself) and I can buy it in Japan. I don't know (no experience) if I will have problem with stability... but if so I can always install mama-chari stand (joking :) )

--
Regards
Ser
 

ser

Cruising
Apr 17, 2012
9
0
11
Sumida-ku/Edogawa-ku, Tokyo
#14
I'd get a Cannondale Bad Boy. They are under 100,000 yen and if they can haul Tim G around with all his gear, they can haul Ser! Though I wish they came in 26" wheel version - it's better for city and you can more easily find wider tires. No problem for the kid's seat - I had one on our old Cannondale cross bike for ages. (Another reason for the 26" wheels) dropping the seat down a bit and getting the kid as low as possible really helps the CG.
I suppose that Bad Boy 9 is something that is good for me - big and strong enough... as I have still some time for decision, maybe someone have another proposition?
I really wantr to have choice before making decision.

BTW. Maybe it is stupid, but as I don't care about look of things, I don't like show off (so I really don't like these Peugeot, Hummer or Louis Vuitton :) it looks like name is most important part of this bike) so this matt black of Bad Boy is bonus.
 

ser

Cruising
Apr 17, 2012
9
0
11
Sumida-ku/Edogawa-ku, Tokyo
#15
Hi Stu

Ser, what are you looking for in kids bikes? I have a buddy that told me he has two kids bikes that he wants to get rid of, his three boys have outgrown them.
..
Let me know about the kids bike, I'll ask my buddy about the ones he wants to get rid of. I'm in Shinjuku.
I still don't know what I'm searching for my daughter... I suppose that I will go to shop, ask her what she want and if it looks that is build strong enough (and no very pink and no Anpanman) I will buy it ... so thank you for info, but I suppose that this is simplest (although not economical) way of buying first normal bike for 4 year girl :)

Another fun alternative is the Weeride Co-Pilot

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.weeride.com%2Fimages%2Fgalleries%2Fcopilot%2Fcopilot_1.jpg&hash=cc6973af95dee72458820167b6906c2d


One way to get your kids started on the bike, this would work very well on the cycling paths. I believe that Tim (GS Astuto) has one of these, and likes it!
I think that this is too early to think about this kind of gear... but maybe after children will be older and we decide to go some longer ride this sis good thing to buy.

--
Regards
Ser
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#16
You're welcome to try mine out. My daughter likes the 'buddy bike' as she calls it. The only issue I have is she falls asleep while riding. I can tell when it happens because of the tell tale 'bobbing' which jacks the rear of my bike around a bit. It comes from taking her on many rides as a baby - I'd bundle her up in my jacket and a sling and ride around til she fell asleep. Then later, on the kid's seat, after 2 or 3km she's out cold. Another thing about the Buddy Bike is you can mount an additional kid's seat behind the main stocker seat. This would let you trailer 2 kids as long as they are not more than 40kg or so together.

The only hassle with this rig is:

1) Parking. It's quite long.
2) Attention. You have every kid in the block chasing you and wanting a ride.
3) Police. By law it's illegal in Japan. So they always stop you to ask - mostly they are puzzled - but I haven't gotten a ticket - just friendly 'ki wotsukete kudesai'
4) Visibility. It's low - and quite frankly I have little trust for Japanese drivers coming up and rear-ending me. They just aren't used to seeing these types of multi-purpose vehicles on the road.

So - how do we use it? Generally I use it to take my daughter to the park. I put her Razor on the back so she use that at the park. And drive carefully on minimal traffic roads. Plus my daughter has a BIG BELL and she rings it continuously. Plus she's taken up my habit of cursing at any Taxi (oops). For longer rides I go with my wife and she rides behind the buddy bike. This way we appear a bit larger on the road. And I have her ride about 50cm to the right of the buddy bike to 'block' for it.
 
May 22, 2007
3,591
1,416
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#17
For longer rides I go with my wife and she rides behind the buddy bike. This way we appear a bit larger on the road. And I have her ride about 50cm to the right of the buddy bike to 'block' for it.
This reminds me of a YouTube (or similar) clip I once saw of a guy who had built four full-size animatronic 'secret service' agents and attached one to each corner of his car. Silly but clever. IIRC the car was a VW Beetle!
 

Forsbrook

Maximum Pace
Feb 13, 2008
399
64
48
Katsushika-ku
#18
Ser,
I have one of those Topeak Child Carriers that you can have for free.It is a little tatty but otherwise it is in good condition.
I live in Katsushika-ku,so I guess it is pretty close to you.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,429
874
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#19
Ser, I don't know how well your daughter rides at 4 (I only started cycling at 6!), but here is something I learnt from a local bike shop guy about teaching kids to ride: Forget about training wheels, they don't help at all!

When a kid first learns to cycle, they need to learn about keeping the balance and training wheels are counter productive for that. Also, the pedals initially can get in the way of stabilizing yourself with your feet when stopping, which scares kids.

So the best thing to do is to have the bike shop remove the pedals and have the kids use the bike like a scooter, just pushing themselves around with their feet or using a light slope. Then, when they have confidence in being able to steer, balance and brake (after a couple of weeks maybe), put the pedals on and they'll do just fine.

These days there are also pedal-less training bikes for small kids, but they don't give you anything that a regular kid's bike with the pedals removed wouldn't give you, it's just a waste of money as you soon have to discard them when the child has learnt to balance and is ready for a proper bike.
 

StuInTokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
1,662
62
78
#20
Ser, I don't know how well your daughter rides at 4 (I only started cycling at 6!), but here is something I learnt from a local bike shop guy about teaching kids to ride: Forget about training wheels, they don't help at all!

When a kid first learns to cycle, they need to learn about keeping the balance and training wheels are counter productive for that. Also, the pedals initially can get in the way of stabilizing yourself with your feet when stopping, which scares kids.

So the best thing to do is to have the bike shop remove the pedals and have the kids use the bike like a scooter, just pushing themselves around with their feet or using a light slope. Then, when they have confidence in being able to steer, balance and brake (after a couple of weeks maybe), put the pedals on and they'll do just fine.

These days there are also pedal-less training bikes for small kids, but they don't give you anything that a regular kid's bike with the pedals removed wouldn't give you, it's just a waste of money as you soon have to discard them when the child has learnt to balance and is ready for a proper bike.
What Joe said! :D