Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

road biking in Japan

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

road biking in Japan

Old 04-12-10, 11:27 PM
  #1  
baribari
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 714
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
road biking in Japan

Found out last week that I'm going to be working in Japan for a year (or more). I'll actually have money to buy a nice road bike when I start my job there, but I wonder if I should pay the $600 extra (ie, $1900 vs. $1200 for a 105-level bike) and buy it in Japan and have it fitted there, or order it from my LBS (or from a shop on the west coats) with approximate sizes based on body measurements (ie, 32.5" inseam, 5'10.5" height, etc) and have it shipped to Japan, and do the fine tuning there...

Any ideas how much would shipping run? And would I have to buy a bike case to ship it, or could it be safely shipped in the manufacturer's box?


Also, has or does anyone here ride in Japan?
baribari is offline  
Old 04-13-10, 12:33 AM
  #2  
recon455
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Boulder
Posts: 658
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The box the bike comes in should be fine, but you would need a shop to ship it. Shops around here charge around $100 for domestic box+shipping(although they won't have to pack it if you never have it assembled, so that lowers the price). I checked UPS using estimated dimensions and weight. With customs charges you could be looking at over $250 to ship it. That's the price of a good fit.

IMO, get it in Japan, and then get a nice fit, and you will be happy.
recon455 is offline  
Old 04-13-10, 12:49 AM
  #3  
rollin
Sua Ku
 
rollin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Hot as hell, Singapore
Posts: 5,705

Bikes: Trek 5200, BMC SLC01, BMC SSX, Specialized FSR, Holdsworth Criterium

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I came to Asia for "6 months", that was 10 years ago!

Bikes are very expensive in Japan, would be worth buying in the states and talking it with yo as part of your goods shipping.

Your bike will survive being shipped in a box if well packed and the journey is non-stop (any connection means more baggage handlers touching your bike). Problem is how do you get your bike into town from the airport? The Narita airport buses are tight for space and the train isn't much better. A taxi into town, if you can get one that can carry a bike, will cost over $100.

There are riders here from Japan who I'm sure will chime in. Keep bumping this thread and cross post in the Asia sub forum.

I have ridden a little in Japan and I loved it, the courtesy shown to cyclists was fantastic.

Oh and when you're there so watch the Keirin races.

Enjoy the experience!
rollin is offline  
Old 04-13-10, 03:10 AM
  #4  
speedfiend
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I just purchased a new frame from Competitive Cyclists last Month and had it shipped to Taiwan. The packaged was shipped via UPS and everything arrived in perfect condition in a Competitive Cyclists shipping box. The transit time from placing the order to receiving the frame in Taiwan took about a week. The charge for the shipping was about $170 USD, plus what ever the import tax they throw at you.

I've also ordered full component groups from CRC before and them shipped to Taiwan. The goods arrived in perfect condition as well.

I believe most of the online bike retailers does a very good job at packaging their goods and partner with a solid shipping company for the shipment. You shouldn't have any problem with any of the online retailers.
speedfiend is offline  
Old 04-13-10, 03:21 AM
  #5  
makeitso5005
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 186
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Also, especially if you buy the bike in it's shipping box you may be able to just take it along on the flight over to Japan as well. Depending on the airlines it may be cheaper to just bring it with you even with the oversize box charges.
makeitso5005 is offline  
Old 04-13-10, 05:16 AM
  #6  
ETC12
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 29
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Riding in Japan is absolutely epic. I live in the western suburbs of Tokyo, and I can get out of the "city"and into the mountains in just 10 miles or so. Bikes here really aren't THAT expensive, but you may find a better deal in the states. As far as getting fitted, good shops, etc - they're a dime a dozen in the Tokyo area....everybody rides here. The best thing about riding here is the courtesy of the drivers as mentioned above. The primary reason, is that if you hit a cyclist here, you are pretty much finished. The motor vehicle operator is ALWAYS at fault, and will end up having to pay you out the nose. Plus, there are just so many cyclists here that drivers have no choice but to be on the lookout at all times. Let us know what city you'll be in/near and maybe myself or others can provide some more details.
ETC12 is offline  
Old 04-13-10, 07:00 AM
  #7  
AEO
Senior Member
 
AEO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: A Coffin Called Earth. or Toronto, ON
Posts: 12,258

Bikes: Bianchi, Miyata, Dahon, Rossin

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
cheaper to just have it on the same flight as you than to buy one in japan.

you can actually take it back with you, and it'll still be cheaper.
__________________
Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
https://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm
AEO is offline  
Old 04-13-10, 07:47 AM
  #8  
baribari
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 714
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
yes, but I won't have money to buy iit until I've been in Japan for a fewmonths.
baribari is offline  
Old 04-13-10, 08:04 AM
  #9  
AEO
Senior Member
 
AEO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: A Coffin Called Earth. or Toronto, ON
Posts: 12,258

Bikes: Bianchi, Miyata, Dahon, Rossin

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
then the answer is simple. Buy your bike in Japan, even if it's overpriced.
Unless you want to take out a loan.
__________________
Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
https://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm
AEO is offline  
Old 04-13-10, 03:05 PM
  #10  
baribari
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 714
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I kind of figured I'd end up doing this.

Unless my LBS would do a fitting (or at least let me test ride and choose a frame size) for me before I committed to purchase the bike... but I'm not sure how much time and labor is involved.
baribari is offline  
Old 04-13-10, 03:48 PM
  #11  
makeitso5005
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 186
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
There's really no point in paying for a fit then taking the bike apart to put in a shipping box again. Seems like your best option is to get the bike in Japan and in your few months in waiting make a few contacts.
makeitso5005 is offline  
Old 04-13-10, 06:14 PM
  #12  
kaNUK
Senior Member
 
kaNUK's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 159
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by makeitso5005 View Post
There's really no point in paying for a fit then taking the bike apart to put in a shipping box again.
say wut?

If you mark your seat post and stem before boxing the bike you can reassemble with the same geometry as you had after the fit. You can use tape or a marker. Or you might want to score a deep groove into the carbon seat post or stem to mark the position

(yes that smiley means it's sarcasm ...opposite world! Don't scratch carbon!)

Seriously: After getting a professional fit and living with it for a while I'd recommend marking all parts that were adjusted, as well as keeping a log of the important measurements. Some fitters will provide these measurements as part of the service.

kaNUK
kaNUK is offline  
Old 04-13-10, 07:19 PM
  #13  
JC 911
Senior Member
 
JC 911's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Edmonds, WA
Posts: 370

Bikes: 2010 Felt F1 SL, 2007 Trek Madone, 2007 Klein Q Elite XV, 2006 Lemond Tete de Course, 20099 Salsa Chili Con Cross Team Clif,

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've been to Japan a few times and saw that it is a bit more expensive there, given the exchange and all too.
Lots of cyclists - saw a ton by the Emperor's Palace on Sunday. I think they may close off some of those roads around there that day so cyclists take advantage of it.
Check out Y's Road bike shop. Great selection of bikes and accessories.
JC 911 is offline  
Old 04-13-10, 07:27 PM
  #14  
rollin
Sua Ku
 
rollin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Hot as hell, Singapore
Posts: 5,705

Bikes: Trek 5200, BMC SLC01, BMC SSX, Specialized FSR, Holdsworth Criterium

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by makeitso5005 View Post
There's really no point in paying for a fit then taking the bike apart to put in a shipping box again. *snip*
I don't think you've thought this statement through.

All you need is a sharpie and measuring tape. I fly with my bike at least 10 times a year
rollin is offline  
Old 04-13-10, 07:32 PM
  #15  
Terex
Senior Member
 
Terex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: 7600' Northern New Mexico
Posts: 3,625

Bikes: Specialized 6Fattie, Parlee Z5, Scott Addict

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 5 Posts
1. Buy a Cinelli Mash frame, 2. take it to Japan, 3. sell it for $1M, 4. get a Kalavinka made to order. (https://www.kalavinka-bikes.com/)
Terex is offline  
Old 04-14-10, 03:04 PM
  #16  
makeitso5005
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 186
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by rollin View Post
I don't think you've thought this statement through.

All you need is a sharpie and measuring tape. I fly with my bike at least 10 times a year
I did. OP basically wants to come back to the states, buy a bike, get a pro fit, take it apart, get the bike to Japan with very few miles. Sure you can mark off everything and get all the parts back on within a few mm or degrees but without any feel on the fit and no way to go back to the fitter it's really not worth it. Pay the Japan price for a fit, talk to the fitter if you have problems with the fit, adjust and get comfortable and ride. There's just no point in paying for a professional fit only to take the bike apart without putting some decent miles on the fitment unless somehow the fitter nails the fitment on the first go round.
makeitso5005 is offline  
Old 04-14-10, 03:43 PM
  #17  
baribari
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 714
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think you've confused the initial frame, bar, crank, and stem fitting that you get for free when you buy a bike with the 'fitting' you pay for after you've bought a bike to solve comfort/performance problems.

I'm not in Japan yet. I will be going in three months. My dilemma was whether I should pay $600 more for the convenience of not having to order and ship a bike from overseas.
baribari is offline  
Old 04-14-10, 04:40 PM
  #18  
makeitso5005
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 186
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Nope, didn't miss that. Basically imo if you're not able to put some good miles on a fitment before you leave then you'll more than likely end up having to pay for another fitment later unless you're really adaptable since while most initial fitments are alright off the bat. To fully customize it for you, often you need to go back and make some tweaks (usually for free and they're quick) to the initial fitment after speaking to the fitter. I'm not talking about changing stems, bar width, seat post, etc. I'm talking about the moving seat 1mm back/forward, .5 degrees up/down, moving the hoods 5mm down, etc. But it's your choice, and it seems like I'm in the minority. My opinion is if you can't put some good long miles to give you a true feel of your fitment it's really not worth the time to do it here, just get it done in Japan.
makeitso5005 is offline  
Old 04-14-10, 04:50 PM
  #19  
madmike2010
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Maryland
Posts: 41

Bikes: Trek 1200

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by makeitso5005 View Post
Nope, didn't miss that. Basically imo if you're not able to put some good miles on a fitment before you leave then you'll more than likely end up having to pay for another fitment later unless you're really adaptable since while most initial fitments are alright off the bat. To fully customize it for you, often you need to go back and make some tweaks (usually for free and they're quick) to the initial fitment after speaking to the fitter. I'm not talking about changing stems, bar width, seat post, etc. I'm talking about the moving seat 1mm back/forward, .5 degrees up/down, moving the hoods 5mm down, etc. But it's your choice, and it seems like I'm in the minority. My opinion is if you can't put some good long miles to give you a true feel of your fitment it's really not worth the time to do it here, just get it done in Japan.
Fitting
madmike2010 is offline  
Old 04-14-10, 05:49 PM
  #20  
Born
Senior Member
 
Born's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 64
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rapha did one of their "epic" continental rides in Mizugaki, Japan. I am not endorsing Rapha in any way, but their ride looked like a lot of fun and the route could maybe be used for reference. https://www.rapha.cc/mizugaki--slideshow-and-film and map: https://www.rapha.cc/mizugaki--map-and-cue-sheet
Born is offline  
Old 04-14-10, 10:35 PM
  #21  
Gilla Gorilla
先輩
 
Gilla Gorilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: In a desert somewhere
Posts: 71

Bikes: A black P0S (piece of steel) =P

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Great thread! I may be going to Japan as well to work in a couple years so this thread gets bookmarked.
Gilla Gorilla is offline  
Old 04-15-10, 05:10 AM
  #22  
Kuma
hamster with funny pants
 
Kuma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Bethesda, MD
Posts: 608
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Couple things:

First, as others have mentioned, buying in Japan is probably more expensive, but depending on your timing, you may very well have the ability to adjust your purchase better there with the guy who did the fit before leaving on your trip.

Second, Japan is in the middle of a cycling boom right now, so there are lots of good cycling-related resources to take advantage of. One good shop (there are plenty of others) is Sports Bikes Hi-Road, in Western Tokyo. It is owned and run by a guy named Hirotaka Aoyama, who used to work in the road bike department at Ys Bike Academy, a big Tokyo-based chain. He's a great guy and speaks good English, in case you're not a Japanese speaker. He also organizes weekly rides around the Imperial Palace on Sundays. (These are probably the people JC 911 saw.) His website is here: https://www.geocities.jp/bikehiroad/english/index.html.

Finally, here's a link to a set of Japan-specific cycling forums, where you can find lots of helpful information about riding in the Tokyo area: https://www.tokyocycle.com/bbs/index.php

Good luck, and enjoy!
Kuma is offline  
Old 04-15-10, 10:08 AM
  #23  
irablumberg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 156
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you have the budget, I suggest you consider a bike frame with S&S couplers or a Ritchey Breakaway. Either of these will allow a full size road bike to pack in an airline acceptable suitcase. It also allows you to take the bike on trains, buses and taxis without much hassle. I have the Ritchey Breakaway Ti/Carbon bike and it rides just like any high end bike. You can get a good price on this frame and/or the whole bike from https://www.gvhbikes.com/ (I got mine there and the price and service were great).

Just to give you an idea of how convenient this bike is, I have taken it on business trips and ridden it in Munich, Germany as well as Tokyo and Osaka, Japan. I have also taken it on vacations to Hawaii and Florida. Never has an airline given me any hassle nor have I ever been charged extra for checking the bike as luggage.

As for riding in Japan, others have already suggested stores and websites where you can hook up with local riders. When I rode in Tokyo and Osaka, I just wanted to get out on the streets and ride hard and fast for 60 to 90 minutes before my business meetings started. Thus, I wasn't looking for a group ride. Tokyo and Osaka don't wake up early. If you are out riding by 5:30 AM, you will have even the busiest streets almost completely to yourself which is quite fun. However, by 8 the traffic really picks up. At that time, it feels like riding in most big US cities. In particular, Tokyo felt a lot like riding in New York City (except on the other side of the road ;-). I grew up riding in NYC, so this didn't bother me, but I have heard lots of riders who are used to suburban / bike trail riding complain about their discomfort at riding in an urban environment. I actually had more difficulty in Osaka as I wandered onto a very busy street after 7:30 AM and was not quite sure of my directions. This caused several cars to honk at me (which I believe is much more serious in Japan than in the US). I don't think I was in any real danger, but it did feel a bit uncomfortable. With a bit more experience and better familiarity with directions, I'm sure it would not have been a long term problem.

Good luck and enjoy Japan,
Ira
irablumberg is offline  
Old 04-15-10, 03:23 PM
  #24  
baribari
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 714
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The interesting thing about Japan is that the sun comes up by 4:30 AM, so it's great if you're an early-morning riser/rider.

Problem is that I only ride in the late afternoon, and the sun goes down before 6:00 PM in Japan...
baribari is offline  
Old 04-15-10, 10:31 PM
  #25  
irablumberg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 156
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by baribari View Post
The interesting thing about Japan is that the sun comes up by 4:30 AM, so it's great if you're an early-morning riser/rider.

Problem is that I only ride in the late afternoon, and the sun goes down before 6:00 PM in Japan...
Depends when. I was riding in Tokyo in early January and aside from being really cold, it was dark until about 6 or 6:15 AM.

It is true that Japan is "the land of the rising sun" and there is no daylight savings time in Japan.

Ira
irablumberg is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.