Classic & Vintage - Miyata 615GT
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Well, I just got this new (to me!) Miyata 615GT ladies bike (I'm fixing it up for my girlfriend). At first I didn't realise the tire size difference! I'm assuming it's to get closer to the ground? WEll, does anyone have any info about this bike? The value (is it a good qualit bike?) or even any info about this style of bike with a smaller front tire? Thanks alot!
p.s. I hope the pictures are good enough.
The smaller front wheel allows a shorter head tube and therefore a a lower standover height (ie. smaller frame). It allowed manufacturers to use standard lugs rather than develop special lugs for odd angles. Of course, this was prior to the widespread adoption of TIG welding, which eliminates lugs and would have allowed a sloping top tube frame. Using the same size wheel on the rear has the advantage of only having to carry a single size of spare tube and tire but means the manufacturer has to spec standard gearing to achieve the desired gear ratios.
Also, many smaller adults have a stigma about riding a bicycle with two, smaller than standard wheels. They perceive it as being a child's bicycle and not an adult model. At least with one standard wheel, it is clearly an adult bicycle designed for a shorter person.
At the time, the concept was a popular solution for very short riders and was used by numerous manufacturers. However, very short riders are usually female and they make up a relatively small proportion of the cycling public, so most manufactuers only offered one model in these very small sizes and they were generally not a top end model. The concept also got quickly replaced by 650C wheels (which are bigger than 24" but smaller than 700C) and TIG welded frames with sloping top tubes. Consequently, you do not see them too often.
This particular model was offered in 1987 is a mid-range grand touring bicycle. For curious readers, the frame size is 46 cm (CTT). Miyata was arguably the best of the Japanese mass volume manufacturers. Their bicycles are consistently well designed and built, and they ofer excellent value at their respective price points. Provided it has not been abused or worn out, and it fits her well, your girlfried should be very happy with it.
Thanks for the info. I forgot to ask, what exactly is this little loop thing (sorry, I don't know what it's called) just under the chain here? It seems to take the chain up under it when in the smaller gears. Thanks!
Well, asking around I've gathered it's called a 'Terry bike' (after Georgena Terry). Other than that I can hardly find any info at all, most internet searches for the name and model don't come up with the 'Terry bike' style. Quite interesting.
08-23-08, 04:01 PM
I just ran upon this thread about the Miyata and Terry bikes. I know this is an old message so you already may know this. I originally had a Miyata female bike with the smaller front wheel. Yes, I bought it because it fit my 5 foot height well for riding. I have since bought a Terry bike, which also has a small front wheel. The Miyata and Terry are two different manufacturers. The Terry company historically designed only women's bikes. I haven't checked into the company recently to see if they have ever expanded past female bikes.
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