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  1. #1
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    Bike shops in Japan

    Friend of mine just moved to Japan and is looking for decent bike shops to get a comuter bike. Anybody know of any?

  2. #2
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    Which part of Japan?

    I lived in Gunma (northern Kanto) for many years, so if your friend is near there I can vouch for shops in that area. If your friend is near Tokyo, the shops I frequented most were:

    (All pages in are in Japanese)

    Friend Shokai in Asagaya, west Tokyo - has every every brand you can think of. You generally can receive ten percent of the price of your bike in free goods. The will also give you a membership card for 10% of all cash purchases for the next two years.
    http://www.friendsyokai.co.jp/

    Joker in Shinjuku, out the Central East exit and behind the old Kinokuniya - good range of bikes and easy access. They are part of the Y International group of shops, and there are more stores in other locations. They have a shop in west Tokyo specifically for test rides (on a limited range of brands I think, but I haven't been there).
    http://www.jitensya.co.jp/index.php?menu=shop
    http://www.jitensya.co.jp/index.php?menu=shop02&sid=13

    Narushima, in Sendagaya, two stops on the Chuo Sobu line from Shinjuku. A bit of a walk from the station and a small shop, but good range of bikes including a decent house brand. Sorry, I will try to find their homepage later.

    If your friend is just outside of Tokyo, Seo cycle has shops all over the Kanto region. The owner of the shop in Ageo will generally give you 10-20% off the list price of any bicycle.
    http://www.seocycle.co.jp/

    If your friend is looking for something in particular, I know lots of other semi-obscure shops.

  3. #3
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    Location?

    Quote Originally Posted by lindykid
    Friend of mine just moved to Japan and is looking for decent bike shops to get a comuter bike. Anybody know of any?
    If you give us more specific location in Japan, then we could help you better. Japan is about the size of California, so your question can be translated into as "Tell me whereabouts of good bikeshops in California." What tomato mentioned above are all good bikeshops.

  4. #4
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    Let me know if he is near Yokosuka

    Quote Originally Posted by lindykid
    Friend of mine just moved to Japan and is looking for decent bike shops to get a comuter bike. Anybody know of any?
    If near the navy base, I can give directions to a good shop
    Fred

    At least the martians are happy in one respect; they have no lawyers. Edgar Rice Burroughs

  5. #5
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    Do they have experience with bikes?

    If your mate can do their own mechanics and knows what size they're after I'd recommend the internet, lots cheaper!

    www.cb-asahi.co.jp
    http://www.takizawa-web.com *my favorite. They have some good value stuff. click on 'Harp' for bikes

  6. #6
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    Ah, good old Takizawa

    I've never ordered anything from Takizawa, but having lived, for many years, only 10 minutes away from their shop in Maebashi, I can vouch for them. Good people to work with and yes, Harp is a good house brand.

  7. #7
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    If you want to go cheap...

    I live in Japan (Nagoya now but used to live in Maebashi as well)

    So long as your friend knows his size and has a Japanes friend then surf the Yahoo Japan auctions -its like the Japanese ebay. You will find a good deal there if you need a commutter bike or whatever you need to frankenstien a bike.

    Be warned that if you need a 56 or larger you will be out of luck. You will see lots of hose brand and no name frames and panasonics are commonly up for auction.

    Ganbatte!

  8. #8
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    Anybody know of good bike shops in the Yokohama/Tokyo area? I'll try to check out the ones mentioned earlier in Tokyo. I'm interested in shops that have Colnagos and Pinarellos in the store, so I can check sizing.

    Anybody heard of Riogrande.co.jp? I found their web site but don't know where their retail store (or an outlet) is located.

    I had thought that Ochanomizu in Tokyo would have some bike shops since they sell a lot of sports equipment but I went there and no way . . .

  9. #9
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    Sagami Cycle Center

    Quote Originally Posted by Clevor
    Anybody know of good bike shops in the Yokohama/Tokyo area? I'll try to check out the ones mentioned earlier in Tokyo. I'm interested in shops that have Colnagos and Pinarellos in the store, so I can check sizing.

    Anybody heard of Riogrande.co.jp? I found their web site but don't know where their retail store (or an outlet) is located.

    I had thought that Ochanomizu in Tokyo would have some bike shops since they sell a lot of sports equipment but I went there and no way . . .
    I've found this bike shop in a Japanese bicycle magazine that is called Sagami Cycle Center. I do not live in Yokohama and have not visited the shop myself, but judging from their ad, they seem to be a fairly comprehensive operation. Take the Sotestu Line and get off at Mituzakai Station. The shop is two minutes walk away from there and is located near Risona Bank. Unfortunately, they do not have their Internet site. Call 045-364-3733 for more details.

    There aren't many Japanese bicycle shops that have Pinarellos and Colnagos ready for a test ride. (I wish I knew one.) If you are willing to take a trip, however, to Ooimachi in Kanagawa Prefecture on 11/26 or 27, you can test ride the latest 06 models during Toure de Ashigara.(http://www.bikenavi.net/gp_ashigara/index.html)

    Riogrande is a trading company that imports bicycle frames and parts, and they do not sell them directly as far as I know of.

    I hope this helps you.

  10. #10
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    Colnago and Pinarello

    Quote Originally Posted by Clevor
    Anybody know of good bike shops in the Yokohama/Tokyo area? I'll try to check out the ones mentioned earlier in Tokyo. I'm interested in shops that have Colnagos and Pinarellos in the store, so I can check sizing.

    Anybody heard of Riogrande.co.jp? I found their web site but don't know where their retail store (or an outlet) is located.

    I had thought that Ochanomizu in Tokyo would have some bike shops since they sell a lot of sports equipment but I went there and no way . . .
    Don't worry, it took me awhile to track down good bike shops in Tokyo, but at least they exist! As far as I know riogrande is just an importer/distributer of bicycles; they don't have any shops. All of the shops I listed above will either stock or order Colnago and Pinarello (Friend Shokai has A LOT of frames on display). Sagami is another good place to consider if you are near them. I always thought that Fitte, near Kita-senju, offered the best prices on these brands though: http://www.fitte.co.jp/.

  11. #11
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    Gunma is the place to ride

    Quote Originally Posted by takmanjapan
    I live in Japan (Nagoya now but used to live in Maebashi as well)
    I really miss Maebashi, especially as there are two great climbs nearby: Mt. Akagi and Mt. Haruna. I once went up the Akagi-sen, down the backside of Akagi, and climbed back out of a valley to Numata (and almost bonked). I came back home along the river: about 95 tough kilometers in total.

    Maebashi to Karuizawa (on back roads) remains my favorite Gunma ride.

    Any good roads in Nagoya?

  12. #12
    GeoCyclist
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    Panasonic production frame size stops at 60 cm

    Quote Originally Posted by takmanjapan
    I live in Japan (Nagoya now but used to live in Maebashi as well)

    So long as your friend knows his size and has a Japanes friend then surf the Yahoo Japan auctions -its like the Japanese ebay. You will find a good deal there if you need a commutter bike or whatever you need to frankenstien a bike.

    Be warned that if you need a 56 or larger you will be out of luck. You will see lots of hose brand and no name frames and panasonics are commonly up for auction.

    Ganbatte!
    My buddy bought a new 60 cm Panasonic frame from a LBS in Otaka (near Hiroshima). The LBS owners said this was the largest production frame that Panasonic made.

  13. #13
    GeoCyclist
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    Find a dealer and go to the shows!

    Quote Originally Posted by rengaracchi
    I've found this bike shop in a Japanese bicycle magazine that is called Sagami Cycle Center. I do not live in Yokohama and have not visited the shop myself, but judging from their ad, they seem to be a fairly comprehensive operation. Take the Sotestu Line and get off at Mituzakai Station. The shop is two minutes walk away from there and is located near Risona Bank. Unfortunately, they do not have their Internet site. Call 045-364-3733 for more details.

    There aren't many Japanese bicycle shops that have Pinarellos and Colnagos ready for a test ride. (I wish I knew one.) If you are willing to take a trip, however, to Ooimachi in Kanagawa Prefecture on 11/26 or 27, you can test ride the latest 06 models during Toure de Ashigara.(http://www.bikenavi.net/gp_ashigara/index.html)

    Riogrande is a trading company that imports bicycle frames and parts, and they do not sell them directly as far as I know of.

    I hope this helps you.
    Get in good with your LBS owner and have him take you to the bike shows. There was a huge show last weekend in Tokyo. All the 06 bikes were available for test rides. There is another show this coming weekend in Osaka. My LBS owner took a few customers to the Tokyo show last weekend and they test rode numerous bikes. You can find about any frame you want in Japan, all it takes is money! The best thing about the Japanses shops is not being brand specific. My little LBS will sell just about any frame you can think of. He even has Pinarellos and Colnagos for test rides.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rengaracchi
    I've found this bike shop in a Japanese bicycle magazine that is called Sagami Cycle Center. I do not live in Yokohama and have not visited the shop myself, but judging from their ad, they seem to be a fairly comprehensive operation. Take the Sotestu Line and get off at Mituzakai Station. The shop is two minutes walk away from there and is located near Risona Bank. Unfortunately, they do not have their Internet site. Call 045-364-3733 for more details.

    There aren't many Japanese bicycle shops that have Pinarellos and Colnagos ready for a test ride. (I wish I knew one.) If you are willing to take a trip, however, to Ooimachi in Kanagawa Prefecture on 11/26 or 27, you can test ride the latest 06 models during Toure de Ashigara.(http://www.bikenavi.net/gp_ashigara/index.html)

    Riogrande is a trading company that imports bicycle frames and parts, and they do not sell them directly as far as I know of.

    I hope this helps you.
    I'm in the Yokosuka area and that's pretty close to the Sagami Depot. I checked the Sotetsu line and closest station I can figure to what you mentioned is Mitsukyo. Is that it?

    I guess Ashigara is near Gotemba, right? Pretty close by.

    I used to mountain bike but am a newbie to road biking. Actually I don't need to ride the bike but see if the frame is the right size. There is a LBS near me and he can order Pinarello and I think Colnago, but he only has Look in his shop (or maybe they are sitting there for pickup). He told me I ride a 52-53 cm conventional frame. I have a 52 cm 2006 Galileo on order from the States and I'm paying $165 to ship it here by UPS International, so it better be the right size.

    The price from the LBS is about $400-600 more, though I can ride it home. 'Course depends on the yen rate, which is quite good right now.

    Funny how the 2006 CF4 Colnago (heaven knows how much that full CF frame costs), looks a lot like the Giant TCR Comp 1 . I mean all they did was bow the seatstay to make it look a bit different. I have that bike in the States.

  15. #15
    Geppetto
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomato
    Don't worry, it took me awhile to track down good bike shops in Tokyo, but at least they exist! As far as I know riogrande is just an importer/distributer of bicycles; they don't have any shops. All of the shops I listed above will either stock or order Colnago and Pinarello (Friend Shokai has A LOT of frames on display). Sagami is another good place to consider if you are near them. I always thought that Fitte, near Kita-senju, offered the best prices on these brands though: http://www.fitte.co.jp/.
    Hello tomato,
    I am also trying to locate a supplier of older Colnagos in Japan. I visited the web page for fitte and found exactly what I was looking for. Is there any way to contact this comapny or similar companies if you do not speak english? Does anyone have any suggestions?
    Regards,
    Geppetto

  16. #16
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    Fitte

    Quote Originally Posted by Geppetto
    Hello tomato,
    I am also trying to locate a supplier of older Colnagos in Japan. I visited the web page for fitte and found exactly what I was looking for. Is there any way to contact this comapny or similar companies if you do not speak english? Does anyone have any suggestions?
    Regards,
    Geppetto
    Are you in Japan?

    I don't think anyone at Fitte speaks English although they have always been very friendly when I've gone in, even if it is a tiny shop. You might also try Joker in Shinjuku, which has now moved to a new location farther from the station (there are two Joker shops in the same area, close to each other -- one deals with higher end stuff). Narushima also has a great new shop not too far from where I work in Sendagaya although I can't remember seeing any older Colnago frames.

    If you're stumped I can always act as translator/interpreter. You might also check these guys for answers if you haven't already:

    http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/tokyofreewheel/

  17. #17
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    Geppetto, I don't speak Japanese either but last time I went to Fitte (around eight months ago), they did have a guy there that spoke a little English (I've forgotten his name). What do you mean by 'older' Colnago frames? If you mean 2004 or so (when they had hand-painted frames), I used to see some at Narushima but they are long gone now (2004 C50s and Mixes).

    Every time I've been to Sagami Cycle Center, I've seen older Colnagos being worked on. I was there two weeks ago and saw a steel frame with the Mapei paint scheme. They might know who sells older Colnagos in Japan, but no one there speaks English.

    I finally decided on a C50 for my high-end build but I had to go to England to get one with the World Champ paint job. I tried Japan via a friend but none of the shops seemed interested in doing a special order so I gave up. The prices in Japan on a C50 are about as outrageous as the U.S. (433,000 yen versus $4000-$4400 in the US), but with the yen rate, one can be gotten for $200 cheaper in Japan, and no sales tax.

    About the main thing I accomplished by trying via Japan or US to get that paint job is that I guess Colnago in Italy took the hint. They painted up a bunch of C50s in a World Champ scheme (one where they still had the stencils) but sent them to a vendor in England for people to sniff out. Normally this paint job was discontinued in 2004.

    Hey Tomato, where did Joker move in Shinjuku, particularly the high end shop? They usually have a couple of Colnagos but mainly recent stock. I saw a lot of Actives, no C50s.

  18. #18
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    While we're on the Japan subject, does anyone here live in Osaka?

  19. #19
    Geppetto
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clevor
    Geppetto, I don't speak Japanese either but last time I went to Fitte (around eight months ago), they did have a guy there that spoke a little English (I've forgotten his name). What do you mean by 'older' Colnago frames? If you mean 2004 or so (when they had hand-painted frames), I used to see some at Narushima but they are long gone now (2004 C50s and Mixes).

    Every time I've been to Sagami Cycle Center, I've seen older Colnagos being worked on. I was there two weeks ago and saw a steel frame with the Mapei paint scheme. They might know who sells older Colnagos in Japan, but no one there speaks English.

    I finally decided on a C50 for my high-end build but I had to go to England to get one with the World Champ paint job. I tried Japan via a friend but none of the shops seemed interested in doing a special order so I gave up. The prices in Japan on a C50 are about as outrageous as the U.S. (433,000 yen versus $4000-$4400 in the US), but with the yen rate, one can be gotten for $200 cheaper in Japan, and no sales tax.

    About the main thing I accomplished by trying via Japan or US to get that paint job is that I guess Colnago in Italy took the hint. They painted up a bunch of C50s in a World Champ scheme (one where they still had the stencils) but sent them to a vendor in England for people to sniff out. Normally this paint job was discontinued in 2004.

    Hey Tomato, where did Joker move in Shinjuku, particularly the high end shop? They usually have a couple of Colnagos but mainly recent stock. I saw a lot of Actives, no C50s.
    Hi Clevor, Hi Tomato,
    Just so that you both know a bit about me. I am NOT located in Japan. I run a small shop out of my home here in Calgary Alberta Canada. I also work as a fulltime Firefighter when I am not at home. The name of my shop is "Geppettos Velo Italia". I specialize building up and selling older Italian steel bikes, and Colnago has always done a sweet job of there steel bikes. The Carbon bikes etc. are nice but there is so much small detail in some of the steel frames that it is rarely duplicated with other materials. I am now looking to build up a bike for myself.

    As for the older Colnagos I am refering to, there is a list of new older bikes they have in stock. I've attached a link to this portion of there site. The bikes I'm interested in are the 1997 Master-X-Light frames c/w AD colors listed there. If you were to go direct to the site you would find an icon on the right hand side of the page that looks like a folder (Right above the "NEW" icon in red) the link is http://www.fitte.co.jp/stock_list/road.html
    I had almost given up comletely when I ran across the FITTE site. I just don't have a clue on how to comunicate with FITTE to get a delivered price or to determine if these frames are even available. Hopefully this will shed a bit of light on my search. And I will try the link that Tomato sent my way.

    Ciao,
    David "Geppetto"

  20. #20
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    If you are in Cowtown, try this...

    If you think langauge is a barrier try a couple of things

    1. Send an email or fax to them in English. Most Japanese can read English quite well and tend to be shy when speaking. Set up some definite questions you want answered. You may be surprised with the answer you get. Many of the bigger Japanese shops may send representatives to Vegas or other NA trade shows so they may be able to communicate with you.

    2. Write up your letter/questions and go off to U of C and see if you can find a Japanese international student or Japanese language student who can translate your letter. Many Japanese people live or spend time in Calagry as its close to Banff and Lake Louise.
    Fax it off and you are set. Might cost you luch or something. Who knows maybe they can tarnslate for you during a phone call. Internationl telephone is not as expensive as everyone thinks.

    Be prepared that they may not get you an answer right away or may try to stall in making a decision if you call them. The employee may have to ask the manager or the owner and that will take time. If you want their stock, be patiend and persistent -and be reasonable.

    TakmanJapan
    (BC Expat in Japan)

  21. #21
    Geppetto
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    Many Thanks TakmanJapan,

    I'm stationed at the Fire Hall right across the street from the UofC. I'll look for a student to translate a letter for me. The fax might work as well.

    Thanks again,
    David "Geppettos"

  22. #22
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    Near Tokyo

    I am near Tokyo and know of a few shops.

  23. #23
    Geppetto
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    Hi Kawboy8,

    Would you know of any shops with older Colnago's in stock? I'm looking for a completely steel Master-X-Light approx. 1997 to 2001 c/w the Art-Decor paint scheme. I just fell in love with that era of there paint jobs. I've got a 2000 Colnago Technos with an AD-4 paint scheme and want to get a Master-X-Light for myself. I'm to heavy for it so my wife will be getting the Technos. Any info that would help me locate one about 51cm or 52cm size would be much appreciated. Have you been into Fitte?? I do not speak Japanese so that is another problem for me.

    Kind regards,
    David "Geppetto" Burrell

  24. #24
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    I just moved back to Canada from Osaka Japan.
    I recommend this shop.
    http://www.ne.jp/asahi/silbest/umeda/top.htm
    I used this shop extensively while living in Osaka for over 2 years. Great prices. They deal high end road bikes. Just about every make. The manager speaks English pretty well. His name is Yamazaki.

  25. #25
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    Cycle shop maps can be found here:

    http://www.cycleiwakuni.com

    Select shops in the navigation pane on the left hand side, and select your region. The info will be in Japanese, but if you're in Japan - you should know how to use a translator by now!

    VW

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