Test rides

Thien Che

Cruising
Sep 14, 2020
28
28
13
Hey folks!

I happily purchased a Canyon Endurace online at the onset of Covid, but part of me regrets not test riding before getting my first road bike, as well as feeling guilty for the perception it may give to hard-working LBS owners in the area when coming in for routine or complex maintenance.

Now that I've been riding more seriously for some time, I have a good idea of the kind of cycling that I might commit to and thus am looking to purchase my dream bike in the near future. As a young person, I don't necessarily have much disposable income for hobbies, so anything in the typical sweet spot (i.e. Shimano 105/Ultegra, ~200k JPY, entry-level carbon and hydraulic discs) and higher is already a considerable investment. The main factors that I'm trying to assess are fit/position, aero vs lightweight, rim vs disc, etc. which all seem to culminate in subjective ride feel despite all of the existing quantitative data (a la GCN).

Does anyone know of any shops that allow for proper test rides? From what I can find online, test rides in Tokyo are scarce or limited to a few dedicated test models on a small track. I'm also trying to understand what an acceptable balance is between consumer expectation and loyalty and support for the local ecosystem. Is it unreasonable or selfish to want to try everything out at different shops before making an informed purchase at only one (or even online)?

Sorry for the long read and thank you in advance for the wisdom!

Cheers,

Thien
 
Last edited:

Ratchet21

Speeding Up
Sep 7, 2020
72
52
28
hey Thien!

Congrats to the purchase! Coincidently I am also currently in the market for a road bike so am having headache finding one. I noticed in Tokyo in general they don't really provide a test bike other than a few select models in shop, so far I have only managed to have a test ride at Specialized concept shop at Shinjuku.

But if you want something that is under 200k with 105/Ultegra and specifically with hydraulic disc then you will have to look at aluminum build, for carbon at the same price you might only get Tiagra or Sora with rim brake. I'd suggest trying for 2nd hand bike for best value for money (If you picked the right one!)

Also just curious, but which shop did you went to and have test model with track to try at?

Best of luck!
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,151
2,704
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
Decathlon has a store in Makuhari – my kid works there, selling scooters and skates.

It might be a bit of a trek for you to get there, but if it's not wet outside the bike department will let you test bikes outside. And I think their bikes are good value; underpriced even.

 

GrantT

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2012
1,793
1,479
143
Setagaya
Last edited:

PSB

Maximum Pace
Oct 26, 2014
133
96
58
Tokyo
Hi Thien,

Your Canyon is already a big upgrade from the Bianchi so I wouldn't rush to get something new yet. Size will be an issue for a lot of brands here so better I think to take a while on deciding. You should also check online for yahoo auction, Buy_chari, Cypara for second hand. You might not find anything but it will be fun looking!

Paul
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
3,326
1,389
133
Japan
feeling guilty for the perception it may give to hard-working LBS owners in the area when coming in for routine or complex maintenance.
You are going to pay full price for service so don't worry about it. If you find a good shop then make your small purchases lube tubes and accesories from them and be guilt free. The mark up on bikes is not that great. Parts, service and accessories are more vital to a bike shop.
 

Thien Che

Cruising
Sep 14, 2020
28
28
13
hey Thien!

Congrats to the purchase! Coincidently I am also currently in the market for a road bike so am having headache finding one. I noticed in Tokyo in general they don't really provide a test bike other than a few select models in shop, so far I have only managed to have a test ride at Specialized concept shop at Shinjuku.

But if you want something that is under 200k with 105/Ultegra and specifically with hydraulic disc then you will have to look at aluminum build, for carbon at the same price you might only get Tiagra or Sora with rim brake. I'd suggest trying for 2nd hand bike for best value for money (If you picked the right one!)

Also just curious, but which shop did you went to and have test model with track to try at?

Best of luck!
That's a fair point on being a normally inaccessible price point for all of these features. I think it's a more realistic expectation in the sub-300k JPY price range. Getting a bike fit is probably first on my priority list before investing that much money in such a wide range of lightweight and aero bikes to pick from in every major brand.

Aside from @GrantT's recommendations, I've also signed up for a Rapha Cycling Club membership. This allows for affordable rentals of Canyon bikes (like the Ultimate and Grail for something like ~3000 JPY daily) from their clubhouse in Kita-sando, amongst other benefits. Hope this helps!
 
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Thien Che

Cruising
Sep 14, 2020
28
28
13
Hi Thien,

Your Canyon is already a big upgrade from the Bianchi so I wouldn't rush to get something new yet. Size will be an issue for a lot of brands here so better I think to take a while on deciding. You should also check online for yahoo auction, Buy_chari, Cypara for second hand. You might not find anything but it will be fun looking!

Paul
Hey Paul, I'm definitely going to take my time and figure out what matters most in my fit and position. I suppose the relevance of these factors to my riding will continue to change significantly as I move from a beginner to becoming more experienced on a bike. Thanks for the sound advice!
 
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