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  1. #1
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    Buying bikes in Japan

    Hi all. Like many first time posters Im starting with a question.

    I'm currently living in Japan and want to buy my first touring bike. I've found several decent deals on Japanese websites but the sizes are all so small. I'm well aware that at 183cm im taller than the average Japanese but ALL the models i've found seem to only be available in 49cm and 53cm frames. Does anyone have any experience of buying touring bikes in Japan, particularly bikes around the 59cm mark.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Lived in Japan for two years. While I didn't buy a bike, I would always buy bike related items from the states and have them shipped. Get measured at a local store and have family/friends send via FedEX or other carrier.

  3. #3
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    I've always brought bikes in from the US since they tend to be much cheaper, *but* if you go to an actual store, they'll be far more likely to help you out. And if you're in Osaka, you've probably got more bike shops near you than someone who lives out in the countryside.

  4. #4
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    Bicycles are pretty expensive in Japan. Two of my friends just bought touring bikes and they ordered from Germany rather than buying local. If you go to a shop like was suggested above you can order your size but it will not be cheap and it might take a very long time. The locally built frames are nice if you want a souvenir.

    Do you have a bike now? If not I would buy a mama chari. You'll need one anyway if you want to do any local riding.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nihonric View Post
    Do you have a bike now? If not I would buy a mama chari. You'll need one anyway if you want to do any local riding.
    Why would he need one for anything local? I use my folder for *everything*, including weekend rides into the mountains.
    Last edited by manapua_man; 11-14-12 at 11:02 AM.

  6. #6
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    I found a late 70's (I think) 59-cm Motobecane Grand Touring for sale from an outfit called Cycly, which is a big player here in the used bike market. Cycly prices things high. They want about $500.00 for it. I think it will take a bit of work to get it touring worthy. Here it is:

    http://www.cycly.co.jp/buy/item_deta....asp?id=694971

    There are Surly dealers everywhere, if an LHT is one of your options.

    And as stated above, any decent LBS will be able to order anything from anywhere, but it's pricy. I bought a 2004 Trek XO 1 through an LBS. Cost me about $1500 for a bike that retailed for somewhere between $800 and 900 in the USA.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by manapua_man View Post
    Why would he need one for anything local? I use my folder for *everything*, including weekend rides into the mountains.
    I should have said for "daily use and errand running." Maybe that's a better way to put it? If you want to use your bike for going to the supermarket, post office, school, work or meeting up with friends for dinner you'll eventually get tired of worrying about the expensive touring bike you paid a premium for or had imported. Nobody cares if your bike cost $2000 or $100 here. It's just another bicycle and after the $100 clunker gets blown into it a few times or it gets tossed onto the impound truck because you left it in the wrong place too long you'll eventually want a cheap beater for everyday use. If you live in an apartment you'll get really tired of hauling that bike in and out of the elevator if you have to do that daily.

    So, that's what I meant. Of course, any bike will work for local rides but having a dedicated grocery getter that's parked outside is very handy for daily use. If you're only going to use the bike for touring it doesn't matter but most of the people I know have a mama chari for everyday use. The light, basket, chain guard, fenders, kick stand and bell are all needed things to have on the grocery getter and except for the light I don't want any of that stuff on my touring bike. And you can tour on the mama bike, lots of people do it.

    I asked the OP if he has a bike now because if he plans on using the touring bike for everyday use he might be disappointed. Got way off topic, sorry.

  8. #8
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nihonric View Post
    I should have said for "daily use and errand running." Maybe that's a better way to put it? If you want to use your bike for going to the supermarket, post office, school, work or meeting up with friends for dinner you'll eventually get tired of worrying about the expensive touring bike you paid a premium for or had imported. Nobody cares if your bike cost $2000 or $100 here. It's just another bicycle and after the $100 clunker gets blown into it a few times or it gets tossed onto the impound truck because you left it in the wrong place too long you'll eventually want a cheap beater for everyday use. If you live in an apartment you'll get really tired of hauling that bike in and out of the elevator if you have to do that daily.

    So, that's what I meant. Of course, any bike will work for local rides but having a dedicated grocery getter that's parked outside is very handy for daily use. If you're only going to use the bike for touring it doesn't matter but most of the people I know have a mama chari for everyday use. The light, basket, chain guard, fenders, kick stand and bell are all needed things to have on the grocery getter and except for the light I don't want any of that stuff on my touring bike. And you can tour on the mama bike, lots of people do it.

    I asked the OP if he has a bike now because if he plans on using the touring bike for everyday use he might be disappointed. Got way off topic, sorry.
    Sounds like a European city bike, which is quite practical to leave chained up outside the apartment building.
    Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S)
    Rohloffs seen on the commute: 3

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Japanese builders have long admired French Touring Bikes, Cyclo-Campeur,
    as the Nitto Racks made there will attest.

    Low rider front and rear.

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