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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 09-10-05, 09:12 PM   #1
corbey
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Help with fixed in Japan (Tokyo)

So here is my situation:

I've wanted a fixed gear for about 3 years and was about to try and build one in Austin at Yellow Bike Project (volunteer and then convert an old frame), but I took off to go teach English abroad, first in Korea for a year which is very UNfriendly to cyclist. But now I'm in Japan and I have the fever again.

I've read through the forums and have checked out some of the websites. My Japanese is only introductory level and I haven't had the chance to let my GF help me through the pages but will this week. Here is some of what I am considering but I'm posting up because cost is the most important thing and I would love to locate a used bike domestically that fits me.

1) I'm thinking of buying a brand new IRO Mark V and just having it shipped over, this would run me upwards of 700 probably (depending on options and shipping). Problem: it will take me a few months to save up the money (I'm a poor teacher in a rich city) and then I'll be in the dead of winter which would be a bit of a bummer.

2) Find a NEW or Used bike here IF it fits! But, I'm 6 ft tall (183cm) and have been told I need a 62 frame but I haven't been properly measured. Does that sound about right to all you experts? I don't want to be jumping up to reach the seat each time. PROBLEM: As all the gaijin know, bigger bikes are hard to find here... I'd be fine with a track bike if I can get a front brake on it but I know a lot of track bikes don't support brakes, would replacing the fork be a fix here?

3) BEST OPTION: Find a tallish someone with a used bike here who wants to sell! Condition isn't a big deal. It's my first fixed and I'm willing to put some effort into getting it up to polish on my own. I'd rather do this first to make sure it is truly what I want.

Anyone willing to help this recent transplant would be much loved. Be gentle as I'm a bit new to all this and have a lot to learn.
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Old 09-10-05, 09:22 PM   #2
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Well I can help you with item 2. I'm the exact same height as you (within 0.5 cm for sure), and the proper fit for me is usually a *56-58* cm frame (usually this means the seat tube, either center-center or center-top), depending on the bike. Since I have a shorter torso and longer legs, I look for frames with a top tube length of 56-57 cm (like my 56 cm Steamroller, which has a top tube of 56.8 cm). If you instead have a larger torso, perhaps you want to consider frames with top tubes in the 57-58 cm range (usually found on 58-59 cm frames). In any event, you definitely do not need (or want) a 62 cm bike - that'll be too big for sure.
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Old 09-10-05, 09:23 PM   #3
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Do some searching on here - you are in the land of used Keirin frames, which do run smaller but there may be some big ones around. Japan has a lot of bike options, from what I hear. There are a couple Japanese guys on this Forum, as well as a few people who regularly visit Japan - again, search is your friend.

Seems a shame to have an Iro come from Taiwan to Staten Island then back to Japan! Though Iro's are great...
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Old 09-10-05, 09:59 PM   #4
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psn, I just was looking at sizing info online and I think you're right. Thanks for the reply I just measured my inseam at about 85 cm with shoes and 83 w/o. I need a friend to help take a more accurate reading but it's probably in that range. I agree, 62 would be too big.

witz, thanks for your info, I am going to spend some real time trying to find stuff here.
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Old 09-13-05, 10:19 AM   #5
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Need an opinion on this bike: Price is right, he says the standover might be a tad above 84 cm. Not sure if it's fixed yet (awaiting reply) but should be easy to convert and the price is right.


http://www.craigslist.com/eby/bik/97088442.html
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Old 09-13-05, 10:29 AM   #6
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Looks decent, I'd wonder about the year and finding parts in Japan, but it should be fine. Just probably a lot for shipping...

If you can't find a Kierin frame in your size, just go looking for cheap ones and put them up on ebay/craigslist. You'll probably find that a small investment will have you living well beyond your means in no time...
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Old 09-13-05, 10:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corbey
I took off to go teach English abroad, first in Korea for a year which is very UNfriendly to cyclist.
ain't that about a btich. I had a blast surviving the automotive steel floes around Yongsan, Han-nam Dong, Hae Bong Chun, and Insa-dong on a loaner bike when I was there teaching. Nothing like a pale-assed white guy flying down Nam San Dae Ro on his way to buy chickens at Nam Dae Mun!
Na Ga Bo Rae Oh!
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Old 09-13-05, 10:35 AM   #8
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You're probably right &&& you're probably right. Thanks for the feedback. I am looking for other riders here in Japan!! I know they are out there, please PM me and see if you can help point me in the right direction locally.
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Old 09-13-05, 12:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corbey
You're probably right &&& you're probably right. Thanks for the feedback. I am looking for other riders here in Japan!! I know they are out there, please PM me and see if you can help point me in the right direction locally.
Maybe this place can help you:
http://www.e-framebank.com/
Your girl friend may have to help.
If you can locate an Iwai Cycles up there in Tokyo I believe they sell gan-well. Vigore may be able to supply one of theirs. But they mainly (only) speak Japanese sorry.
http://www.vigore.co.jp/
FYI many of the fixie guys and girls around here ride Vigore, gan-well and Surly.
Steve.
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Old 09-15-05, 06:20 AM   #10
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I checked out e-framebank.com and vigoire and surly. Not bad at all but the prices are still a bit much for me. Looking for used if possible and eframe doesn't have much in my size.

Opinion: 225 plus @ 100 for shipping? Worth it? My only concern is that it's a 56 frame and i'm 6ft tall, 183/4 standover. What do you all think? It seem like it's a good deal, but I'm not an expert.

http://www.craigslist.org/sby/bik/97491635.html
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Old 09-15-05, 08:44 AM   #11
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Competitive cyclist fit calculator has you take a series of measurements, and calculates your bike size. Search here in bike forums, it was accurate for some people, not so good for others. For me, it was slightly larger than the bike I have. Should give you a starting point anyway.
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