totalcycling.com any good?

echothree

Speeding Up
Sep 8, 2008
168
1
38
Mitaka
#2
I've had quite a few orders from totalcycling, found them to be really cheap in selected things (ie. Shamal Ultra wheelset for under $1,000 AUD a few months ago.) Not a huge stock, and they tend to deliver a little slower than others (two - three weeks) and shipping is a little pricey ($50 or so.) But this can be made up for with a good price if you find something on there on special.
I use Chainreactioncycles.com the most often, as it has free shipping to aust., and a bigger range of stuff.
 

Davad

Warming-Up
Oct 15, 2008
116
0
0
Koto-ku, Tokyo
#4
I am in the process of building up my new Wilier Izoard and I have been gettiing everything from abroad. I haven`t used Totalcycling though I`ve looked at their page many times. I went with ChainReactionCycles for a lot of the components because of their cheap prices, sometimes incredibly cheap, as well as the forementioned free shipping. The quality of their service is unfortunately not great. The first box arrived without one of the four items it was supposed to contain, even though it was checked off on the invoice. Fortunately the item (a 44cm handlebar) was too big to have fitted in the box, so when I sent them some photos, they admitted the mistake and apparently it`s in the mail now. I already paid a small customs charge on it though... The next box arrived with all the goodies inside as ordered but I was quite shocked to find the carbon Syncros seatpost, an expensive work of art, rattling around loose in the box without so much as bubble wrap on it. It also appears to be missing a washer. Finally, though as I said their prices are amazing, I am in the frustrating situation of watching the components of my drivetrain order fade in and out of availability; they won`t ship partial orders and it seems they won`t hold items either to prevent other people purchasing them. First my FD was out of stock, then the shifters, now the FD is in but the crankset is out. They haven`t given me any feedback on expected due dates and I`ve given up on doing the Ishigaki Earthride at the end of this month. I placed this order October 31st....
I will still use them in the future but only on simple orders for items that they have in stock.

I have had much better luck with the small "Power Seller" shops on Ebay. I got a set of Spinergy Carbon wheels (200,000yen at the hated Y`s Road) for US$800 including 4-day shipping from a US shop called `Kim`s Bikes`. I also got Dura Ace 7810 pedals from a shop called `High On Bikes` out of the UK. Both arrived professionally packed and the shops had even written `GIFT` on the customs declaration, saving me customs charges... I will definitely do most of my purchases through these kind of shops, rather than big clearing houses like Chain Reaction..

Sorry, long post...
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#6
Thanks for sharing, Davad. Spooky about the lack of packaging for the seatpost. I just ordered a winter jacket and some energy food from ChainReaction on Monday. I'll post a follow-up on how it goes.

Deej
 

Mike

Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
1,066
9
58
Kanagawa
#9
Deej

It's the red one, same as Philip's. I actually asked him if he minded before purchasing it, considering I have the same wheels too! Yes Philip, you are my hero:D

Looking at building it up with the new Dura Ace 7900. Should be one sweet ride:bike:
 

Davad

Warming-Up
Oct 15, 2008
116
0
0
Koto-ku, Tokyo
#10
Awesome choice on the Soloist - that`s the frame I had originally planned to buy until i started reading about how comfy the Izoard is. I have a comment about DA7900. Last month a friend of mine who works at Shimano in Osaka advised me strongly NOT to get this first run of DuraAce. According to him Shimano broke from its long tradition of extensive testing,testing, re-engineering and retesting (repeat) with this group in order to try to balance Campy`s SuperRecord group. He said I should wait at least until spring before getting it, so that they can work out the bugs they didn`t have time to work out before launch. I was quite blown away by his advice, and I trust him. I went with 7800, which is cheap at the moment obviously....

Good luck with the build! I am in the midst of it and I decided to splash out on two long-sought tools: A torque wrench and a pro-style work stand, with the rotating clamp and all. Awesome... no squatting!
 

Davad

Warming-Up
Oct 15, 2008
116
0
0
Koto-ku, Tokyo
#12
As I`m in the midst of building up my new ride I thought I would update some of the comments I made earlier on this thread.

First, about overseas mail order - my earlier positive and negative comments about ChainReaction Cycles still stand, though I did talk to someone who informed me they are currently overloaded with orders due to a huge flood-damage sale they are having, and that is affecting their service. I`ve also found another UK site very similar to Total Cycling and ChainReaction - it`s called Wiggle. Similar low prices and free shipping.

http://www.wiggle.co.uk

Regarding import/customs taxes when ordering from overseas, my experiences so far have been benign. I`ve received 6 separate packages and paid nothing on 3 of them, 5% sales tax on two and 15% on one. Not sure of the logic on the 5 versus 15 percent issue. Luckily the frame/fork biggie was only hit at 5% and it was insured for full value on the customs declaration. All these charges were paid to the delivery person; no need to visit any offices. Considering the savings of 40 - 60 % compared to prices here, it is well worth the risk/occasional stress...

Next, after 2 years of living in Tokyo I`ve finally found what seems to be a good LBS (though it`s 35 minutes away by train): Cyclehouse Ishida in Mitaka. Great little shop. Ishida-san seems like he`s really into cycling, really into his shop and his customers. Last time I visited miserable Y`s Road, I saw two of the staff get into an actual physical fight - pushing and shoving each other in front of the customers....

http://www.cyclehouse.jp/

(don`t let the recycled-tire handbags on the webpage turn you off)

This final point is a bit arcane, but potentially cost-saving for someone working with a new carbon fork. Having never cut a carbon steerer tube before, I was slightly intimidated and so I grazed the internet for information and found a lot of sites saying a special kind of saw is required, regular hacksaws won`t work, etc. I popped down to the local homecenter and for 480 yen I got a hacksaw for `carbon`. It was written right on the packaging (in Katakana). Went through like butter. Finiished it up with 400 grit sandpaper. No problem.
 

Terry

Speeding Up
Jan 13, 2007
60
0
26
44
Tokyo
www.team-nfcc.com
#13
This final point is a bit arcane, but potentially cost-saving for someone working with a new carbon fork. Having never cut a carbon steerer tube before, I was slightly intimidated and so I grazed the internet for information and found a lot of sites saying a special kind of saw is required, regular hacksaws won`t work, etc. I popped down to the local homecenter and for 480 yen I got a hacksaw for `carbon`. It was written right on the packaging (in Katakana). Went through like butter. Finiished it up with 400 grit sandpaper. No problem.
Very good final point! as I have to do that on my new frame (fork), too.:)
did you have any probleme to cut it straight ahead?
 

Davad

Warming-Up
Oct 15, 2008
116
0
0
Koto-ku, Tokyo
#14
I used the tried and tested kitchen table method. Measure, wrap with tape, saw next to tape, eyeballing it. Unless you`re planning on having your steerer tube extend above your stem with spacers on top, the perfection of the cut isn`t crucial. There are these great dedicated mitres that you can buy which will guarantee a perfectly perpendicular cut, but I didn`t think it was worth it.
 

Pete

Speeding Up
Sep 22, 2006
144
1
38
Ichikawa Chiba
#17
I've had good service from Chain Reaction, Wiggle and Evans Cycles in the UK for prompt and reliable service to Japan.

There are two other European mail order firms who seem to have some great deals on parts, frames and complete bikes. But I haven't used them myself.

Comobicycles which are based in Italy and Bellatisports who operate out of Switzerland.

Sorry no links.
 

chazzer

Speeding Up
Nov 23, 2006
449
0
36
Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire
#18
Procycling

has been very good for me. Wiggle was annoying. I ordered some Assos stuff which appeared to be available and then wasn't leading to a long delay before the order was processed. Having said that they did communicate status regularly. Point is why didn't they state this up front a little more clearly.

A small grumble on the whole though and they do have a good rep generally.

chazzer
 

Davad

Warming-Up
Oct 15, 2008
116
0
0
Koto-ku, Tokyo
#19
Okay, one last update on Chain Reaction Cycles. My drivetrain finally arrived: DuraAce except for the cranks, which are Control Tech Shields. Everything as requested except for the minor point of there being NO CRANK BOLT. These cranks use a proprietary self-extracting compound bolt on the non-drive side, ie, there is NO WAY TO INSTALL! I`ve written to them but no reply yet. So my final verdict on CRC is now 100% negative: 3 orders and they screwed up each one. Huge monetary savings, but time wasted.

As I mentioned earlier I`ve had the best experience with the powersellers on Ebay: spinergy wheels, Easton bar, DA pedals, Zipp stem; they all arrived within a week, for cheap, no duty. I`ve just ordered DA cranks from Wiggle (and an HRM) and I`m returning the carbon ControlTechs to CRC for a refund.

Good luck all....
 

echothree

Speeding Up
Sep 8, 2008
168
1
38
Mitaka
#20
crc

Hmm, that is strange. I've done 9 orders from CRC, and had no problems whatsoever. On each order it has been free shipping and no import duties - if it's going to Australia, as long as you keep each order less than $1k it comes straight on in - not that that helps if you are in Japan. :)