Are these bicycles compact or traditional geometry? If they are the former, how are the sizes measured? Different companies use different methods of measuring frame size for compact-geometry road bikes.
I'm buying a bike in Japan, and this is a country without much in the way of biking.
Huh? Everyone in Japan rides a bike! If you mean specifically "touring" you'll have to look a little bit to find info, but there are many tourers and organized rides in Japan.If you don't speak/read Japanese, find someone who can and then you will have access to the biking magazines and websites and can talk to all the bike shop guys. Here's a page I found for you in English with some resources: http://www.fitnessjp.com/044_cycling+and+bike+touring
As for bike sizing, don't worry so much about the frame size if it's the seat tube size they are using. As long as it's not so large you can't stand over it, you can always raise your seat a bit to make up for different seat tube sizes of mountain bike type frames or compact road frame geometry. It's more important to get a top tube legnth that is right for you so you can comfortably reach the handlebars with a stem length that doesn't put you too far over the front wheel or too far behind it (stem length should stay between 90mm and 130mm or so).
Well, I'm unsure about compact or traditional geometry.
Here's a picture:
There's a picture later in the book that shows that the measurements are taken from the crank to the top of the seatpost tube.
Since the previous post I've had a go on a friend's bike which has similar dimensions.... to get a full length of leg, I have to have the saddle about three or four cms above the level of the bars..... not sure if that's good or not.....
Hey, sorry, you're completely correct, everyone does ride a bike here... I did mean touring specific. Most people ride "Mamachari" bikes.... old granny's bikes
I do speak some Japanese, but I live in the countryside, and even a few trips to the bigger shops in Kyoto and Osaka haven't really helped. There are lots of racing bikes and endurance, but nothing much in the way of tourers so far.
I must admit that I had a "mamachari" as well. That frame looks to be like a compact geometry, meaning that the top tube slopes downward a bit instead of the traditional top tube's that were perfectly horizontal between head tube and seat tube. The stem looks really short on the bike pictured above! As for seat to bar drop, you can also get a stem that angles up a bit to reduce the drop from the saddle, so there is some adjustment available there.
Not that I've managed to find.....even going to some of the bigger city bike shops. When confronted with the question of "Tu-ri-n-gu Ba-i-ku" the shop guys tend to make that quintessentially Japanese noise of sucking breath sharply through their teeth, and shaking their heads...... "No, no, perhaps you can order it from abroad?" I live in the countryside, so it's a little difficult. I'm sure you can buy them somewhere....But I've now bought the bike on the picture above - which was fairly cheap.