Ys road question

MattRyuu

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Hi all,
I'm beginning to look at 2nd bike options but I'd like to discuss these in English with LBS staff. Does anyone know if there are any English speaking staff at Ys road shops in Tokyo?

Thanks in advance
 
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TokyoLiving

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If you are looking for a new bike get in touch with Tim Smith @ GS Astuto. Tell I sent ya. Lots of great options and he builds great wheels. Don't buy from Ys Road IMO.
 

stu_kawagoe

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Some of the staff at Blue Lug in Tokyo spoke English well enough to answer my questions over the phone. I think I spoke to someone at the Specialized Concept Store once in English and it was fine. To be honest, this forum was the most helpful for me when choosing my bike.

What kind of bike are you after?
 
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MattRyuu

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@TokyoLiving will definitely check with them and have heard good things. Thanks for the advice.

@stu_kawagoe , I realized after my last, and only, rindo with @luka and @thooms that I really hate braking on calipers going fast downhill, and its scary as well if the surface is slick. For this reason, and also because I've largely taken my training indoors, I want to get a second bike that is a decent quality frame and light enough for climbing, but with disc brakes. I have read on line that you can get decent deals on sites like competitive cyclist and wiggle, but the import and consumption taxes here in Japan are ridiculous. I'd be willing to wait until December when I am back stateside to buy such a rig, but if there are decent deals to be had in Japan, that's fine too as it saves me the trouble of packing/bike box and transport once I'm here. For group set, I'm pretty happy with my Shimano 105 and from what I've read there isn't a massive difference upgrading to Ultregra. Basically I'm looking for the best value in a disc bike with good frame materials with decent stock groupset and wheels. All carbon is out of my price range right now. Again, thanks in advance for any advice. I too, have learned so much from you veterans, in the 5 months I've been part of TCC. You guys are the best and why I come here first.
 
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luka

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So what's your price range? I think 105 is perfectly sufficient for your purpose indeed. Import fees and not that bad, only amount to about 5% of the whole shipment worth, plus insurance I think. For example, my lynskey frame set was about 15 hundred USD and they only charged me around 8 thousand yen on it
 
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OreoCookie

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Thirded: 105 is functionally identical to the mechanical incarnations of DuraAce and Ultegra, apart from perhaps adjustment options for the lever. Mainly, it is heavier. As someone who has had disc brakes on mountain bikes, I think in 2019 these are a must on a new bike: the whole road bike industry is switching away from rim brakes for good reason, since they offer much, much better modulation and consistency, especially in bad weather.

However, probably the most important aspect is sizing: if you are taller than most Japanese (and chances are that you are), and you need anything larger than 54 cm, your options on the second-hand market in Japan are very, very limited. Even at bike shows I have only once seen a 56 cm frame, they usually topped out at 54 cm (which is a size too small for me).

A good option for a decent road bike is Cannondale's CAAD13 (if you can stomach the color schemes, which IMHO are just hideous). The 105 disc variant should set you back 220,000–260,000 ¥. Another option my be the Specialized Allez Sprint disc, but according to one of my team mates who has one, the ride is very harsh. (He races, so he is ok with that.)
 
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MattRyuu

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@luka price range is $2,000 or below, hopefully a few hundred below. Ideally higher range would include better tires/lighter frame (more carbon?)

@OreoCookie I'm 175cm tall. My current bike says 52 cm on it as the BB to Seat Post height (this was given to me, but I've had a sizing done in the US when I took ownership) and a 53.7 cm top tube length. I have a Specialized Allez Elite already so I'd like to try something different. Some of the Felt sales look alright, both at Ys road and on Wiggle, but I don't see any right now.
 
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OreoCookie

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Then you are lucky. Judging by your height, 52 cm seems one size too small, but these things may vary depending on the length of your extremities (not just legs, but also arm length is important!). So you should find plenty in Japan. :)
 
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xDOMx

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@luka price range is $2,000 or below, hopefully a few hundred below. Ideally higher range would include better tires/lighter frame (more carbon?)

@OreoCookie I'm 175cm tall. My current bike says 52 cm on it as the BB to Seat Post height (this was given to me, but I've had a sizing done in the US when I took ownership) and a 53.7 cm top tube length. I have a Specialized Allez Elite already so I'd like to try something different. Some of the Felt sales look alright, both at Ys road and on Wiggle, but I don't see any right now.
You’re the same height as me, so 52cm through 53/54cm would probably be about right (you should check standover and reach for your current setup and, ideally, get a basic bike fit - forum bike fits from others are never advisable. Also, much depends on your preferences - I prefer the fit and feel of a smaller frame).

I hate to burst your bubble, but you’ll get sod all for $2,000 in Japan (certainly not a full build and nothing even approaching a ‘light’ bike). You won’t be able to transfer many parts either as you’re on rim brakes now. I’d also doubt carbon would fall within that price bracket, even at the top end, unless the components were also lower (you may not get into 105 territory). While components and technology are far better on the whole these days, bikes have gotten much more expensive.

I’d be looking at used bikes if I were you (probably back home as disc road is still yet to properly penetrate the Japan market, so it’ll be extremely slim pickings). You’ll get a lot more bang for your buck.

Separately, someone like Tim at GS Astuto may be worth getting in touch with on the off-chance he has something suitable. Also, brands like Planet X may offer better value for your needs than the more mainstream, high end brands.
 

Half-Fast Mike

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Wiggle has several carbon disk-brake road bikes that should still leave you some change from ¥200,000 after import duties.

Some of them have alarmingly (to me) skinny seat stays that I wouldn't take on a rindō adventure.

On the other hand, I have three bikes from GS Astuto, and it's very reassuring to have local support when there's a problem I can't fix by myself. You might pay a little more than the big overseas dealers, but you can choose your color, size, components, and get something unique and perfect for you. There's a TCC/HFC discount, of course...

Snap001.png
 

leicaman

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I second what @xDOMx said. 2000 USD won’t really get you even an entry level bike in Japan. Your best bet in japan would be to save up for something like a CAAD disc. It’ll be pretty heavy though compared to your rim brake bike.
I’m not sure where you are getting the idea that import tax is ridiculous here in Japan. I’ve always thought it was far better than most countries. I’ve heard people paying crazy amounts in other countries. Like @luka said, you’ll probably pay around 5% of the total in import duty which I think is very fair (remember that if you buy from an online shop in the EU, you won’t be charged the 20% VAT).

@stu_kawagoe has a good cannondale dealer near him. Not sure if they speak English though.
 
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MattRyuu

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Think I'm going to contact GS Astuto. And look into comparisons in USA deals.
 

Winston Leg-Thigh

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@TokyoLiving will definitely check with them and have heard good things. Thanks for the advice.

@stu_kawagoe , I realized after my last, and only, rindo with @luka and @thooms that I really hate braking on calipers going fast downhill, and its scary as well if the surface is slick. For this reason, and also because I've largely taken my training indoors, I want to get a second bike that is a decent quality frame and light enough for climbing, but with disc brakes. I have read on line that you can get decent deals on sites like competitive cyclist and wiggle, but the import and consumption taxes here in Japan are ridiculous. I'd be willing to wait until December when I am back stateside to buy such a rig, but if there are decent deals to be had in Japan, that's fine too as it saves me the trouble of packing/bike box and transport once I'm here. For group set, I'm pretty happy with my Shimano 105 and from what I've read there isn't a massive difference upgrading to Ultregra. Basically I'm looking for the best value in a disc bike with good frame materials with decent stock groupset and wheels. All carbon is out of my price range right now. Again, thanks in advance for any advice. I too, have learned so much from you veterans, in the 5 months I've been part of TCC. You guys are the best and why I come here first.
I bought a bike off Wiggle last month and the import fees were only 6,000 yen (the bike was only 130,000 in the sale) and the delivery was only 4,000 yen. The only hassle was having to send a scan of the invoice to the customs office for them to assess the bike because Wiggle ship it with the list price (for insurance purposes I presume). As long as the price you pay is less than 200,000 yen I don't think you'll get hit for much.
 

OreoCookie

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I hate to burst your bubble, but you’ll get sod all for $2,000 in Japan (certainly not a full build and nothing even approaching a ‘light’ bike). You won’t be able to transfer many parts either as you’re on rim brakes now. I’d also doubt carbon would fall within that price bracket, even at the top end, unless the components were also lower (you may not get into 105 territory). While components and technology are far better on the whole these days, bikes have gotten much more expensive.
Agreed. In enthusiasts's circles this is a cheap road bike. Mine (which I bought used on this forum for half price) originally cost around ¥300,000 new (about 2,000–2,200 € new), and I initially got some side eye for daring to ride on this 9 kg boat anchor.

My advice is to stick to aluminum until 105-level equipment, and only then upgrade to carbon with 105-level equipment if you swing the extra money. Pairing a carbon frame with e. g. Tiagra components is IMHO definitely the wrong choice. None of this will be light-light, getting a light bike will easily triple the price. The latest generation of aluminum road bikes is really great: they have aerodynamically shaped tubes, usually taken directly from the corresponding top-level carbon frame. They usually borrow the fork from the lower-grade carbon model, i. e. that is a good piece of kit. And in many cases they come with the same carbon seat tubes.
I’d be looking at used bikes if I were you (probably back home as disc road is still yet to properly penetrate the Japan market, so it’ll be extremely slim pickings). You’ll get a lot more bang for your buck.
Yup, Japanese roadies seem to be extremely conservative. Some of the locals here still don't trust disc brakes, and when I last raced the guy next to me ran on 22 mm tires (pumped up to God-know-what pressure) — in heavy rain on a very hilly course.
 

MattRyuu

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Thanks again, this is consistent with the admittedly little research I've done elsewhere. I have an aluminum now with carbon front fork and carbon seat post and that weight is just fine. I know I'll go up when getting disc, but getting disc is more important to my long term goal of doing more rindo rinding, and my ultimate goal of always being safe. I have loved my new Carbon wheels and will eventually want to have light bicycle convert those to disc if they can, which they said they would, or simply get a new pair for the 2nd bike. Now for the comparison shopping...
 

Christianism

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Carbon frame, lightweight, disc brakes, below $2000... I f you can't find anything locally, you might consider this Canyon: 8.5kg, full 105. Incl. shipping you are looking at 213,000yen (plus import duties?). The Alu version is 600g heavier and 40,000yen cheaper. I bought the "Ultimate 7.0" (rim brake) 7 month ago and am very happy with it.
 

GrantT

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Were you missing some stopping power on the downhill? There's a big difference in braking power between different models of caliper brakes. If you front brake caliper is 105 or cheaper, switching it to a new dura ace caliper should make a noticeable difference (probably no real need to change the rear). Might be worth considering before braking open the piggy bank for a whole enw bike.
Also, brake tracks and pads sometimes need a good clean, and not all brake pads are equal.