Article Road bike + gear rental in Tokyo?

EdoTokyo

Warming-Up
Jul 30, 2013
7
0
1
31
#1
Hi everyone! I am potentially looking at doing a 500km bicycle tour during Obon (over 5 days or so). I don't have gear but would be interested in renting some. Does anyone know a place where I could get a good road bike + extra equipment (helmet, gloves, etc) in Tokyo? other big cities (not sure yet where I will leave from)? Thanks in advance for the suggestions
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#2
The question of bike rental in Tokyo comes up often here. The simple answer is nobody seems to have heard of a place in or near Tokyo that routinely rents out the sort of bike on which people would like to ride 500km; but for more detail and one or two long shots just type "rent" in the search box.

I suggest that you buy. Bikes aren't necessarily expensive. I bought a good old one at Yahoo Auction last year for 36,000 yen including delivery. With a few replacement parts so that it fits me better, it was still under 50 thou. It definitely wouldn't be my choice for riding 500km (though I once did 90km on it in one enjoyable day); but if I had the good fortune to be under 175cm tall I'd easily be able to find something suitable for just as little money. At 180cm+ one just needs more patience/luck.

Clothing from the most obvious sources in Tokyo tends to be expensive, but see this thread.
 
Likes: kiwisimon

EdoTokyo

Warming-Up
Jul 30, 2013
7
0
1
31
#4
I figured knowing my size would help get a better understanding of what kind of bike I would need. I am 1m76...

Thanks in advance for the help
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#5
I figured knowing my size would help get a better understanding of what kind of bike I would need. I am 1m76...
If you want it for obon you'd better hurry. You'll have to decide the kind of thing that you want, and your budget, and then go to a decent bike shop and ask what they have, or can get, in your size. If you say roughly where you live (or which areas are easy for you to reach), then people here may have recommendations for particular shops.
 

EdoTokyo

Warming-Up
Jul 30, 2013
7
0
1
31
#6
Thanks for the advice Microcord.

I live in downtown Tokyo and am ready to go check any places that might have simple but good equipment (I do not need cutting edge stuff) either in Tokyo or out (within a 1h-1.5h distance by train).

I am 1m76. I am ready to spend my money on equipment that is decent and very simple. I am not that interested in brands; all I want is a bike + gear that will do the trick for my 500km itinerary between August 14th and August 18th.

Happy to discuss prices if anyone has what I need

Thanks in advance
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,681
494
103
Japan
#7
Are you looking at staying in hotels or camping? If the former you'll get by with a backpack, if the latter you'll need panniers. How is your bike fitness? If your not that cycle fit 100kms a day with panniers might be a stretch. Maybe a road bike and a 25 liter backpack is all you need. All depends what you aim to do with the bike as to what gear you will need. If it were me I would get a crossbike that can take a carrier but not a full on tourer which are over built and heavy, or a steel road bike that is a few years old. good luck
 

EdoTokyo

Warming-Up
Jul 30, 2013
7
0
1
31
#8
Thanks for the great comment, kiwisimon.

I am actually a good hiker but not much of a bike dude. I like challenges, hence my idea to go on a 500km tour with friends.

We plan on resting in hotels after our daily bike rides. Based on your comment, my understanding is that road bike (or even crossbike?) + good backpack is the best option, right? Can you tell me why panniers are not that good for me? Too tiring to have on the bike itself?

Thanks for the help, I appreciate it
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,681
494
103
Japan
#9
You are basically sleeping and eating in concrete buildings, you don't need to carry food or shelter so panniers are redundant IMO. Exytra weight that will wear you out. If you get a strong head wind the panniers are like anchors. In group travel you can carry the spares amongst you so really all you need to carry is clothes and snacks, perfect for a backpack tour.
 

EdoTokyo

Warming-Up
Jul 30, 2013
7
0
1
31
#11
@ Kiwisimon: thanks for the clarifications, it is very helpful

@ Sibreen: the itinerary is still in discussion but we thought about the following main steps: Yokosuka, Hitachi, Choshi, Isumi, Nojimazaki Lighthouse, Minamiboso, Futtsu

I will definitely get shorts with bum pads!!;) Any idea where I could get decent and cheap ones in Tokyo? (I only need them for this trip since I am not a die hard biker...)
 

Sibreen

Maximum Pace
Jul 23, 2010
564
242
63
Hanno, Saitama
#12
@ Sibreen: the itinerary is still in discussion but we thought about the following main steps: Yokosuka, Hitachi, Choshi, Isumi, Nojimazaki Lighthouse, Minamiboso, Futtsu

I will definitely get shorts with bum pads!!;) Any idea where I could get decent and cheap ones in Tokyo? (I only need them for this trip since I am not a die hard biker...)
Nice route. Would be cool if you wrote a brief report on the ride when you get back - I (and I'm sure many others) would love to read it : )

Bog-standard bike shorts by Shimano or Pearl Izumi are about 5000yen from any Y's Road. These bog-standard ones are plenty comfortable (I have PI ones), but can get a little hot.
However, if you're buying a new bike, you might ask the shop to throw in a pair for free along with some other biking necessities!
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#13
The differences in weight among candidate bikes for your trip is going to be a lot less than the differences in weight among you and your chums. So I wouldn't worry about it. (Differences in rotating weight do matter, but it's most unlikely that anyone will try to foist a bike with steel rims onto you.)

It's ridiculous to buy a new bike for a five-day trip and not for any significant use thereafter. (A used bike could be a good deal, but you'd have to look around, be patient, accept that there's a certain risk involved, etc.) Time to reconsider rental.

I only know of the "Rin Project" from mentions of it by other people and from its own website. But at least a couple of the bikes visible there look as if they might do the job. Drawback: (i) even the candidate bikes seem to have just a single chainwheel, so you'll sometimes have to get off and walk your bike uphill; (ii) the bikes have a metal plate under the top tube advertising the Rin Project; (iii) combine the two, so people see you're advertising the Rin Project as you walk uphill, and it's a bit embarrassing. However, I'd find it less embarrassing/ridiculous than paying a wad of banknotes for just five days' riding.

How about paying a visit to the Rin Project, explaining your situation, and asking for their suggestion?
 

EdoTokyo

Warming-Up
Jul 30, 2013
7
0
1
31
#14
@ Microcord: thanks for the suggestion. I actually came across their website while doing research before... I will definitely consider checking them out if I can't find what I need soon. I don't mind the advertisement if it allows me to save money.

@ Sibreen: I appreciate the info on the shorts. Sounds like a decent deal. Also, I will definitely update you and the other members in this forum about my trip. At this point, I just hope I'll get my equipment in time. Am working on it hard! ;)
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#16
this https://tokyocycle.com/bbs/threads/anchor-neocot-rcn7-size-52.4751/ is a deal, if it fits but at that price you need to hang on to it, well worth the investment. And I used to help make these.
I hate to disappoint, but I'm pretty sure it's too small for you. Forgetting for now how one of my bikes is "56cm", it is "56cm" and it needs a l-o-n-g seatpost, even though I'm a mere 183cm (as measured today). It's now OK for its intended purpose, but before going for a 500km ride on it, I'd also want a t-a-l-l stem. (The other bike is 59cm, and really it's too small as well, though that's a long story, which I'll spare you.)

Here for example (a Yahoo auction) is an old-fashioned bike that's cheaper, and that I think should fit you. It's unexciting: it won't thrill you, it won't arouse anybody's envy. (Actually your mates riding carbon fibre might laugh at it and you.) It might have one or more serious defects, for all I know. But (without bothering to read the description or look at the photos, sorry) I'd guess that any problems that aren't described are also unknown to the seller: after all, he/she takes the trouble to describe and photograph it carefully, and has sold a lot of bike stuff without garnering complaints.

If you buy it and like it, it was me who pointed it out; if you buy it and don't like it, I didn't promise anything, right?
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,519
650
133
Kanazawa
#17
Thanks for the advice Microcord.
... all I want is a bike + gear that will do the trick for my 500km itinerary between August 14th and August 18th.

Happy to discuss prices if anyone has what I need

Thanks in advance
EdoTokyo,

You're getting a lot of road bike suggestions, above. Tho I haven't got any links for you, my guess is that you will want some lower gearing, especially if you have a rack and some panniers. So my two cents will say you might be better off with a touring bike (harder to find, but for more than your budget, google either "giant journey" or "giant great journey") or maybe a cross bike (as a substitute for a touring bike).

The same goes for your companions.
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#18
So my two cents will say you might be better off with a touring bike (harder to find, but for more than your budget, google either "giant journey" or "giant great journey") or maybe a cross bike (as a substitute for a touring bike).
That's a good point.

However, I've recently realized that a fair number of distinctly "road" bikes these days have a smaller chainwheel that's a lot smaller than the larger one. So small, indeed, that as is it might be small enough for most tasks. And depending on the design of of the crankset of a new bike and the company's policies, etc, it might be possible to substitute a pair of chainwheels that's six teeth smaller. You'd then have with something like a 46-tooth big chainwheel (easily big enough unless you want to race) and a 28-tooth little one, which is as small as what you might get on a real touring bike.

Meanwhile, the bike whose auction page I pointed to looks much more like a touring bike (heavy, fenders) than do the road bikes I was looking at today, but its smaller chainwheel isn't so small and therefore in at least one way it could be less of a tourer than than they are.

Sorry, I know this all sounds complicated. I suppose what it boils down to is: Don't rely too much on first appearances: ask the assistant about non-obvious pluses and minuses if in a shop (or anyway one staffed by knowledgable people); ask here otherwise. (I'm not knowledgable; others are.)