Seeking a friendly LBS (or not-so-local)

snoogly

Maximum Pace
Oct 14, 2007
695
48
48
Machida, Tokyo
#1
I am totally gutted, as when I took my bike for its annual check-up at the LBS last week I walked in to find a cool atmosphere, and some strange faces. The great guy I have been dealing with for years, and who built up three bikes for me, was no longer there :( I had a great relationship (you know what I mean ...) with him, and he really knew his onions.

I didn't like the atmosphere in the shop, and I am not inclined to risk my bikes at the hands of those guys. So, ...

I am looking for a friendly shop with an English-speaking member of staff, mainly for servicing, and tweaking bits and bobs from time to time. Though of course next time I take the plunge to get a new bike built-up I will order a bunch of components, etc ...

It needs to be somewhere that doesn't focus entirely on road bikes, as my bikes are an MTB and a Rohloff/custom frame/(for want of a better word) 'hybrid'.

I live in Machida (my old LBS was/is in Sagami-Ono), and basically a shop located anywhere between here and Tokyo, or between here and Yokohama, would be OK - though obviously the closer the better.

No matter how hard I try, stuff like wheel-tuning, maintaining EBB/BB, installing brakes and derailleurs, curing mysterious crank noises, etc, befuddles me ~ and I know I should go to others for those tasks ...

Sorry for the rambling post ...
 

DanBell

Speeding Up
Apr 26, 2010
212
2
38
Kawasaki
#2
Interesting. I had a similar experience with ProTech in Shirokanetakanawa, to the point that I will never go there again, and actually warn people away from that shop.

There's a bike shop at this location: 35.542672, 139.447289, in Machida that I have been to a few times. I only bought a few small things there, but the people have always been friendly and had a chat when I was browsing. Not sure about English ability though.
 
Sep 2, 2009
5
0
0
#3
Yeah, your list of requirements is pretty ambitious.

There are some shops out there with staff who don't really speak much English, but who are courteous, good people and bloody good at their jobs.

Sorry to hear that you lost your favourite place.
 

cubex

Speeding Up
Nov 4, 2011
72
0
26
Tokyo
#5
if your looking for shops I'm (Daniel) at Y's Road Shinjuku Honkan and Eric E is at Y's Road Shibuya Honkan I advise calling and asking if we're there/ when we're there
 

zenbiker

Maximum Pace
Mar 4, 2008
802
228
63
Chofu
#7
I've had staff at Ys go out of their way to help me with small part problems. eg making numerous calls to locate parts or info on parts that took lots of time for very little in return. Never had a problem with them. The sale prices on frames in the Shinjuku store yesterday were not bad either.
On the other hand, I've watched a "skilled" mechanic at another pro shop cut and assemble a chain 2 links too short and replace a bearing with one of the wrong size.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#9
Ditto Eric and Daniel - at least they CAN communicate the needs to the mechs. And Y's stocks alot of parts - so if you need something, they are likely to have it kicking around. More specialty oriented and there are quite a few choices like Nalsima Friends, C-Speed, Positivo, etc. But actually, I well tuned bike shouldn't need much attention other than perhaps a couple times a year looking after. As for chain cleaning and regular lube requirements - you should be able to handle that yourself!

I'm trying to convince Stu to have a combination Wine/Sake Tasting and Bike Maintenance Seminar. I know you shouldn't mix alcohol with wrenching - but hey, if it works for NASCAR, it's gotta work for us, right?
 

StuInTokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
1,662
62
78
#10
Ditto Eric and Daniel - at least they CAN communicate the needs to the mechs. And Y's stocks alot of parts - so if you need something, they are likely to have it kicking around. More specialty oriented and there are quite a few choices like Nalsima Friends, C-Speed, Positivo, etc. But actually, I well tuned bike shouldn't need much attention other than perhaps a couple times a year looking after. As for chain cleaning and regular lube requirements - you should be able to handle that yourself!

I'm trying to convince Stu to have a combination Wine/Sake Tasting and Bike Maintenance Seminar. I know you shouldn't mix alcohol with wrenching - but hey, if it works for NASCAR, it's gotta work for us, right?
How about this Tim, we have the wine tasting for the Significant Others, and the wrenching for the cyclists, then after a BBQ for everyone! :D
 
Oct 15, 2010
669
10
38
#13
Y's road != friendly LBS, despite you and Eric being good lads.
Sorry to kill the mood, but I have had nothing but bad experiences from the Y's in Futako Tamagawa. I would be much happier if all staff there were replaced. Completely useless lot, from my experiences. That said, I have not found anyone good nearby and have decided to just to the work myself. I do realize though that not everyone is mechanically inclined. Let me know if you find something. I am not that far away.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#14
I think one of the key issues is getting a shop with competent mechanics and not just regular staff that can pass a test or appear to. I'm hoping programs like the new bicycle institute in Shibuya will foster some good mechs. I do know that the Y's 'Maniac' shop has a very good mechanic, and the main mech over at the Y's 'BYG' store is quite good as well. Also - there's a BMX/MTB shop near my place that has a great mechanic (and friendly, too). Bean's in Nakano is pretty sharp and you can't beat Sunrise Cycles for wheelbuilding and steel frame repairs!

If you're out in Tachikawa neighborhood, then for sure Tomity is one of the guys to see.

Sorry to kill the mood, but I have had nothing but bad experiences from the Y's in Futako Tamagawa. I would be much happier if all staff there were replaced. Completely useless lot, from my experiences. That said, I have not found anyone good nearby and have decided to just to the work myself. I do realize though that not everyone is mechanically inclined. Let me know if you find something. I am not that far away.
 

snoogly

Maximum Pace
Oct 14, 2007
695
48
48
Machida, Tokyo
#15
It's really only a once-a-year check and 'service' I need, and perhaps the rare annoying click or clunk that I can't figure out. I don't trust myself to tinker with headsets, BBs or wheel-truing, but I can handle everything else.

C-speed and Postivo are within my ideal travel zone (I try to avoid central Tokyo) ~ thanks for reminding me about them :D

The bike wrench seminar sounds good to me too!

Ditto Eric and Daniel - at least they CAN communicate the needs to the mechs. And Y's stocks alot of parts - so if you need something, they are likely to have it kicking around. More specialty oriented and there are quite a few choices like Nalsima Friends, C-Speed, Positivo, etc. But actually, I well tuned bike shouldn't need much attention other than perhaps a couple times a year looking after. As for chain cleaning and regular lube requirements - you should be able to handle that yourself!

I'm trying to convince Stu to have a combination Wine/Sake Tasting and Bike Maintenance Seminar. I know you shouldn't mix alcohol with wrenching - but hey, if it works for NASCAR, it's gotta work for us, right?
 

cubex

Speeding Up
Nov 4, 2011
72
0
26
Tokyo
#16
All our techs are A plus the one in charge of mountain work is the Japanese DH National Champions race mechanic. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience at the Futago store so screw them and come to Shinjuku :p