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StolenBMX 04-06-13 02:48 AM

Buying an old bike in Japan
Hi All. I'm new here. I live in Japan and I'm looking to buy a commuter bike. I need some help. Here's where I'm at:

* I want a road bike I can beat on--it will be a commuter bike (about 5 miles to work lots of hills).
* Since I'm in Japan, I want to buy an old Japanese bike fro the 80s. (I've heard good things, but please correct me if I'm mistaken.)
* I don't want to pay over US$500.
* I'm 6 ft 1 or 2 or so and I weigh about 185.
* I'm planning on mounting saddle bags on whatever I get.

The problem is, I have no idea what I should be looking for or how much I should be paying. Could anyone point me in the right direction. Here are some bikes I've found used online here (Univega, Fuji, Panasonic, etc.), but I'm just not sure if there worth spending my cash on:

catonec 04-06-13 03:15 AM

so, not knowing how to read japanese makes it pretty tough to see what your looking at. heres a few pointers to think about.

* Frames come in different sizes, having the correct one will help with comfort and efficiency. Being over 6 feet tall you are going to want a larger bike. the frame should be about a 58. (measured in cm from center of bottom bracket to middle of top tube).

* Thoroughly inspect the frame and forks for cracks/breaks, heavy rust, sever dents.... dont buy one if you think its questionable.

* The fist two listed have the shifters on the stem as opposed to on the down tube. They also have the dual brake levers. these are signs of a low end mass produced bike not a professional level machine.

* A bicycle without pedals is a loose indication that the previous owner was a "serious" rider who had a preference or favorite pedal system setup, however factor in the cost of buying new ones.

* If you are not versed in bicycle repair then make sure it is fully rideable when you buy it. all cables connected and functioning. the chain is well lubed and moves freely, the wheels are straight (spin the wheel and watch the space between the rim and brake pad).

* Check the tires for signs of dry rot or cracking. easily replaced but at a cost.

* Bring a few allen wrenches so you can adjust the seat post to a comfortable position. Also you can make sure the post is not stuck in the bike (very common on a mistreated bike).

* if you have a friend who is into bikes bring them with you when you go look at them.

* If a seller wont let you take it for a good 10 minute ride, walk away. (offer to leave your ID with them)

These few "rules" should give you a decent start as to what your looking at. Many sellers will take considerably less than what they are asking so start low on your initial offer and go up as needed.

StolenBMX 04-06-13 03:39 AM

Thanks. This is a great help. I noticed at I posted this in the wrong forum so I've reported it in classic and vintage. Thanks, again.

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