Plays in traffic
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
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If I were in the same situation, I'd rely on local knowledge.
I've never been to Japan, but cycling videos I've seen all show similar bikes. There must be a reason why they're all so similar, especially given the innovation the Japanese are famous for.
I know one person here who liked their Japanese shopping bike so much, they brought it back to the States with them--cost more for the shipping than it did for the bike. That bike is completely unlike anything you can get in the stores here.
Look around and pay attention to the bikes you see people using. Ask their owners instead of the shops. Maybe someone will want to practice their English with you.
Edit: The distances you're quoting don't require anything special. If it fits and moves when you pedal, it should be fine, no matter what else it has or doesn't have.
Last edited by tsl; 11-11-08 at 10:27 AM.