Rough Guide to Maintance Fees Requested

Oct 15, 2010
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#1
I have had my first road bike for a couple months/1,200km and the other day I noticed a creaking sound coming from what appears to be the bottom bracket. I have some tools, but had a look at the FSA Omega Compact MegaExo bottom bracket my bike came with, and I have no idea how to tighten it - most other stuff I try to do myself. I have never taken a bike to a shop in Japan, but years ago when I was back in Canada riding a mountain bike, the shop fixing it was always asking high amounts for service and suggested expensive replacement parts. I'd like to take my bike to the Y's near Nikotama tomorrow but would like to go in with some idea of the fees to expect. If I ask them to check the bottom bracket and tighten if needed, or tighten up my wheels or make sure my front derailleur is aligned properly, etc. the amount of work for an expert seems to be almost nothing, but what should I expect to pay for that service?
 

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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#2
If you can do the work yourself, I'd invest in the tools and do it, really, most bike shops do charge a lot, but if you have no space or any inkling of how to fix your bike, well that is what they can charge you, so they do.

Most Bottom brackets are straight forward, but you do need the right tools, most of the tools are NOT that expensive. You can also download the PDF sheet on the part, showing how to adjust and fix it, as well as possibly finding videos on the net showing tips and tricks.

I'd never dealt with an Alfine 8-speed hub, I wanted to change the rear cog to lower my gearing, I bought the cog at Y's Road Shinjuku and I asked them to change it for me, as I knew nothing about it, they balked, saying they were also not familiar with the Alfine 8-speed hub (I did not buy the bike there!) I looked on the web and found out how to change it, dead simple and no special tools needed.

I like doing my own work, it is much cheaper, and the answers are usually easy to find when you get stumped.

Cheers!
 
May 22, 2007
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#3
YouTube is your friend. I've learned many bike maintenance tips and techniques online. Servicing Mavic freehubs is just one example - there are loads of videos for that. I watched a few, until I'd got the general idea, then did it.

But to answer your question: I'd expect to be charged between 1,500 yen and 5,000 yen for that lot, depending on whether it's just tightening or disassemble/re-grease/reassemble that's needed.

Most new bikes develop a few creaks and squeaks after a month or so, so it's a good idea to have a pro look it over. If you can, watch what they're doing and ask intelligent questions. Then it becomes a maintenance lesson (great value!)
 

jdd

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Jul 26, 2008
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#4
On the plus side of buying a bike here...

And while I'm on my 6th season on it, I had them do a complete overhaul last year, and new cassette and chain and another minor thing or two about 5-6 weeks ago. (that stuff paid for)

Both last season and this, I was (and have been) into the shop several times for adjustments and chasing down noises. I ask about paying, trying to be polite, but they've never charged anything. The other day, due to the latest little noises, after he had tried some other stuff the mech showed me a minor amount of play in my crank, and he pulled it apart and re-assembled it, thinking that play might be causing the chain to rub a bit on the front DR. That wasn't it, and in the end he got the noise. But after about 45 min of attention he anticipated what I was going to ask and was saying don't worry, no charge.

on edit: and it was sunday, and while they weren't overloaded, they were still a little busy. And he looked at it right away.
 
Oct 15, 2010
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#6
Update

So I thought I would head out and see what it would take to get my bike looked at. First stop was Y's in Nikotama. I was not impressed with the service there before when window shopping etc. and the guy was like, ''well... we can turn the screws on your front derailleur for ¥800, but we are pretty busy and we can not do anything today if it is the BB, but you could leave it here and we could do this and that, but because we don't know what the exact problem is yet, the fee would be ¥800 for each 5 minutes of labor and we will play it by ear. Not too bad, but since no basic questions were asked, like if the clicking was only when pedaling or not, I decided I don't ever want to go back. They just don't want to give me any service. I have come to have pretty high expectations in that regard in Japan.

Next stop was a small place called Bike Room Sin, or something like that between Futako Shinchi and Takatsu. As usual, the rare time that I want to go there, to see what they have, it was closed.

The last stop was a place in Futako Shinchi called Starfuckers (seriously - and the owner ensured me in English when he gave me his card that the name had no meaning) that deals more with fixies etc. That place was also closed but the owner was unloading some stuff and said he would take my bike, that it seemed like it was the BB since it was only clicking when pedaling and that it would be between 3,000 and 5,000 to fix. I was satisfied with that, but then he was like, OK, so someone will call you on Saturday to talk about it. Afterwards, I was wondering if it was going to be done on Saturday, or they were going to start on it then.... So complicated!

Now the plan is to bring it to Bike Room Sin tomorrow and see if they can take care of it before the weekend. I do want to ride it after all.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#7
SUPER expensive!

To put it in prespective my LBS built a set of wheels for me for 6,000 yen..... that included the spokes and 3 after service visits to get the wheel in perfect shape for my riding style and weight.

It seems that cost to "repair" and I use the word lightly is tobasically put a new BB in. The BB depending on brand and modelwill cost a maximum of 3500 JPY for a Dura Ace, Shimano 105 will cost 1,000 JPY.

The tool to remove the cups will cost about 1,500 JPY and the 20 minutes spent reading the Shimano technical document supplied with it and then a YouTube search will cost you a cup of coffee or a can of beer depending on preference.

All in all to do the job yourself from scratch will cost you about 3,000 JPY. Level of difficulty in swapping a BB out on a level of 1 to 10 is a 2 for a first timer and a big whooping ZERO for the second time ;)

Seriously bike stores in Tokyo will take you for a ride when it comes to repairs or fixing mystery clicks. Why? Because it’s so damn easy to do yourself that they will take you for an idiot that has no idea at all and fleece you for everything you’ve got.

If you really are mechanically backwards then I suggest you buy the BB and go to a shop and ask them to swap it out, that way you only pay for the work they actually do.
 
Oct 15, 2010
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#8
Thanks!

I saw the response to my update this afternoon and raced down to the shop I left my bike at to ask if they had started and they said no, and I said I had a friend that could do it for free, and they said fine. They also said the problem was from the new Shimano MTB pedal (http://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-pd-m520-pedals/) with only 1,200 km on it. There does seem to be some play there, so I will try taking it apart, tightening it up or getting a new pair if the click gets too bad. I feel so much better, thanks to your responses! I hope I can return the favor some day.
 

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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#10
I saw the response to my update this afternoon and raced down to the shop I left my bike at to ask if they had started and they said no, and I said I had a friend that could do it for free, and they said fine. They also said the problem was from the new Shimano MTB pedal (http://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-pd-m520-pedals/) with only 1,200 km on it. There does seem to be some play there, so I will try taking it apart, tightening it up or getting a new pair if the click gets too bad. I feel so much better, thanks to your responses! I hope I can return the favor some day.
I' ve got the same pedals on both of my bikes, and I've not had any problems with them,touch wood, but I have taken apart other pedal, and there were a BUNCH of tiny ball bearings in there, it was impossible to put them back together, so be REALLY careful. I'd ;look for some kind of a service manual or PDF to take a look at first, maybe there is a way of taking up the slack with out taking the pedal apart...?

Maybe there is a way to lube them without taking them apart too? Mine are still trouble free, I've not had to do anything with them at all.

best of luck!
 
May 22, 2007
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#12
I'm just a few km away from you, and I have a brand new pair of these pedals in silver that I will never use. If you decide you want to replace, and would like to buy mine, let me know.
I also have several old pedals (I switched to TIME) so if you want to just try one to see if your click goes away you're welcome to do so.
 
Oct 15, 2010
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#13
Stu, thanks for the link. I saw it earlier and it was pretty detailed.

Mike, thanks for the offer. I will play with it for a bit, but if I can't get it fixed will PM you about buying your pedals off you. Just out of curiosity, the ones you switched to are that much better?
 
May 22, 2007
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#14
Just out of curiosity, the ones you switched to are that much better?
I wanted to keep MTB shoes & cleats, but wanted more float in the pedal and something a little less ubiquitous than SPD. These were recommended to me by GSAstuto as providing just that. Only been using the TIME pedals since January, but am pleased with them so far.
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
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#15
I've never paid more than 1,000 to 1,500 Yen for a repair, including having the BB taken apart etc. Nowadays I have most of the tools and do most of the things myself, but that's less to save money than time and get a closer feel for the bike.

Having said this, I have relied on only two shops in Tokyo for repairs: Y's in Fuchu, and Nagai-san @ Positivo. Nagai-san is clearly the best and undercharging for his quality. It's like paying the maestro the same for a music lesson as some music student earning some cash on the side. Plus Nagai-san let's you stand just next to him and watch (or help). The Y guys in Fuchu are fairly competent too, no complaints. Conveniently located when you head out or back in on the river.

And no, I didn't buy my bikes at these shops. They don't actually owe me any favours... I owe them a lot of gratitude.
 
Oct 15, 2010
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#16
That is good to hear Ludwig. I went back to the Y's in Nikotama today asking if they had a Shimano PD-40 and they looked at me like, wtf are you talking about. I explained that it went over top of the plastic bit on SPDs and still no clue. That was one of the mechanics, not the cashier guy. Loosing faith in those guys each time I go there. Maybe the Fuchu guys are better. Thanks for the info. It seems I need to just DIY, to be at one with the bike and also get the job done. Cheers.
 

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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#17
That is good to hear Ludwig. I went back to the Y's in Nikotama today asking if they had a Shimano PD-40 and they looked at me like, wtf are you talking about. I explained that it went over top of the plastic bit on SPDs and still no clue. That was one of the mechanics, not the cashier guy. Loosing faith in those guys each time I go there. Maybe the Fuchu guys are better. Thanks for the info. It seems I need to just DIY, to be at one with the bike and also get the job done. Cheers.
I'm not surprised they don't know what the pedal tool is, at the price of shop service time and the price of the pedals, it is cheaper for most customers to just toss the pedals and buy new ones, than have a shop service the old ones, I'm not saying I like that way of thinking, but on a purely dollar or yen scale it makes sense to most customers.

I think I'll get one of them pedal tools on order so when I have to rebuild my pedals, I'll have it on hand! :D
 
Oct 15, 2010
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#19
The clicking went away mysteriously on the left side a while back, but recently there has been a clicking on the right side. I thought it was the other pedal, but it seems it is the bottom bracket now. If I yank on the crank arm I can feel what I guess is a millimeter or so of play, and a bit of a clicking sound. I will take it apart if I can tonight and see if I can make it better - will hit an LBS near work tonight too, to see what they can do compared to Wiggle. Seems I can get a DA BB from Wiggle for about 3,500 yen. I guess I need the Italian threads for my Bianchi (even though it is from Taiwan) Will play with it a bit first though before I do any shopping.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#20
DA BB's are about the same price here in Japan.

Might as well pick it up from the local Bike store. Also to be honest Ultegra seems to be a little harder wearing than the DuraAce sealed BB's especailly in the wet, so unless the few grams difference is essential to you I would save yourself some cash and get one of those instead.