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Yet another new cyclist in Tokyo

Nuff

Speeding Up
Jul 28, 2020
63
63
Hi everyone here, good to find a forum dedicated to Tokyo/Japan.

A bit about me, I'm in mid 40s, I didn't ride since I was a kid due to number of knee surgeries in my teens that I got from MTBs.
Since then I couldn't run and since I've only tried training bikes at gym, I thought I can't ride bikes either, although I could do weights/powerlifting.

Fast forward to couple months ago, I jumped on my mates bike and to my surprise my knee was fine riding his bike, next day I got myself a bike.
Since then I've realised I've no stamina (no surprises really) and with the rain, I got myself an indoor trainer and zwift to work on it (the costs keep adding up).
Currently my FTP is 151W and I can put some high watts for fraction of a second (my powerlifting days are long gone), but then I'm spent. I've started a training program 2 weeks ago on zwift and I hope that brings it up to some more respectable numbers in the not too distant future.

At 184cm my biggest issue right now is fit, finding shoes that fit me is a big challenge due to size and weird shape of my feet it seems. I've ordered fizik shoes from O/S after trying to find some in Japan, the shape fits me ok, but I can't slide cleats back far enough so balls of my feet align with pedal spindle. I'm already aware that I need a bike fit and possibly new saddle badly.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
1,626
1,440
Regarding shoes, unless you know what brand fits your feet and you know your exact size, I would advise against ordering shoes online. Personally, I need wide shoes, which significantly limits my options and makes purchases more expensive. None of the shops will carry them, but in my experience you ask the clerks to measure your feet and you let them recommend a size. If the ordered shoe does not fit, it is on them. (That's what brick-and-mortar stores are for IMHO, and is the reason I am willing to support them.) In addition to a shoe, you may also want to consider an insole. Again, your bike shop is your friend.

Perhaps the only other sensible option is an Australian brand called Velo Kicks, which was founded by a podiatrist. You can reach him by email and he is super friendly. Their shoes are quite cheap for what they are — mid-range shoes with a carbon sole. I recommend you take a piece of paper, trace the outline of your feet and measure width and length. You send that to him and he'll make a recommendation.

Good bike shops will also lend you test saddles. My previous LBS loaned me three different saddles for a week each before I placed my order. I went for the saddle that was — according to the website — the worst fit. So saddles are like shoes, you need to try them to know whether they fit you.
 

Nuff

Speeding Up
Jul 28, 2020
63
63
Thanks! This is the kind of advice I've been looking for, unfortunately since my shoe size is 46 and in Japan they seem to only go up to 45 in most brands, I'm pretty much limited to the most expensive shimano and I wanted to avoid that route. Also thanks for letting me know about Velo Kicks, it's a good option once the borders open up, since I'm due for a visit to Australia.

Thanks for the tips about saddle, I wasn't aware of the 1 week trial which is more than enough time. Now I've to find a good LSB, if anyone has good recommendations around chuo/minato/taito-ku I'm all ears.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
1,626
1,440
Thanks! This is the kind of advice I've been looking for, unfortunately since my shoe size is 46 and in Japan they seem to only go up to 45 in most brands, I'm pretty much limited to the most expensive shimano and I wanted to avoid that route.
Plenty of brands offer wide shoes and/or larger sizes. I bought a pair of wide Sidis and in January got a pair of Specialized road bike shoes in wide. You just have to have your shop order them. And rather than you telling the shop which size you need, have them “take responsibility” for getting the shoe size right. (I found this quite important, Japanese notoriously want to avoid unnecessary responsibility.) If you say you want size 46, then you might have to pay for the shoe even if it doesn't fit.
Also thanks for letting me know about Velo Kicks, it's a good option once the borders open up, since I'm due for a visit to Australia.
You can order them online as well. I don't know the owner personally, but he was very patient over email, explaining things that were clearly written on the homepage (my bad …). :)
Thanks for the tips about saddle, I wasn't aware of the 1 week trial which is more than enough time. Now I've to find a good LSB, if anyone has good recommendations around chuo/minato/taito-ku I'm all ears.
Not all are as kind, but you should at least have one long ride on them. You should not base your decision on a short 10-minute ride. As for LBSs, I don't live in the area, so I can't help here.
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
1,116
599
I just wear running shoes. I never run (hard work, boring), and perhaps this is why I'm surprised by their comfort and durability. The soles are easily stiff enough. I take the size that Adidas calls 46, and once every three years or so I go to some branch of "Sports Depo" and look for possible replacements. I'm feeble and slow but what I've skimread about the benefits of clipping in has suggested that these benefits would be negligible. (I did try SPD for a few months but it merely annoyed me.)
 

Nuff

Speeding Up
Jul 28, 2020
63
63
I just wear running shoes. I never run (hard work, boring), and perhaps this is why I'm surprised by their comfort and durability. The soles are easily stiff enough. I take the size that Adidas calls 46, and once every three years or so I go to some branch of "Sports Depo" and look for possible replacements. I'm feeble and slow but what I've skimread about the benefits of clipping in has suggested that these benefits would be negligible. (I did try SPD for a few months but it merely annoyed me.)

I'm in a unique situation here due to the damage to front of my knee, using my hamstrings to assist my weaker leg means that my knee stays pain free for longer. I've read a lot of controversy about cycling not using hamstrings a lot, but I bet the same people didn't deadlift a lot in their past either.

Also seems like I did zero in on a saddle, no more pain after 1 hour on turbo trainer and I can actually get of the bike and walk after normally.
 
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