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Old 05-26-07, 06:38 PM   #1
Niles H.
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Miyata, splined tubing

Can anyone explain the splined tubing used by Miyata? What are the advantages?

Is it lighter? Stronger?

Were some models made with higher quality steels than others? Did any use exotic or hardened steels?

Do any other bikes have splined tubing?

If it has some advantages, why is it so seldom used by other manufacturers?

Last edited by Niles H.; 05-26-07 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 05-26-07, 07:18 PM   #2
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For those like me in the dark, are you refering to internal splined/ribbed tubing (ala Columbus SLX) or external shaped tubes (like I think Colnago has used)?
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Old 05-26-07, 07:28 PM   #3
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Internal splined, Miyata calls it "Triple Butted"
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MiyataSpiralSpline.jpg (97.9 KB, 300 views)

Last edited by ollo_ollo; 05-26-07 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 05-26-07, 08:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ollo_ollo
Internal splined, Miyata calls it "Triple Butted"
Not the same thing. Triple butted refers to the thickness of the tubing near the ends. It's thicker there for strength (butted) and thinner in the middle where the strength is not needed as much to keep the weight down.

Splines are ridges machined into the inside of the tube, similar to rifling in a gun barrel, except not in as tight a spiral. These give more lateral strength to the tubing. Think corrugated aluminum...

However, I can see where you would make that assumption since every Miyata I've seen that was triple butted was also splined.

Splining is very expensive and time consuming. Miyata is/was the only manufacturer to make thier own tubing and took great pride in making the best. I'm not sure why or if no one else did it.

Az

Last edited by Az B; 05-27-07 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 05-26-07, 08:08 PM   #5
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Well, if memory serves me correctly, the tubing that Miyata used was made by Ishiwata. I believe that the advantages touted by that tubing was two fold...one, that butted tubing is stronger at the brazed joints and two, the splines were supposed to and strength and torsional stiffness without adding a lot of weight. It was a sound principal in the hey-days of brazed steel bikes, but it's rather outdated technology in the current days of oversized and mult-shaped tubing, titanium and carbon fiber bikes. I mean, don't get me wrong here, Miyata built some very nice bikes and I looooooooooove the ride of a nice steel frame. I'm actually in the market for a nice "old" steel road racing frame to go with my two aluminum bikes... "wink, wink".
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Old 05-26-07, 08:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vpiuva
For those like me in the dark, are you refering to internal splined/ribbed tubing (ala Columbus SLX) or external shaped tubes (like I think Colnago has used)?
Gilco was the colmbus that had a shaped "pinched" outside tube , 89 and newer certain models Colnagos. Miyata made their internally splined tubing in thier own facilities,Miyata still makes tubing,it's a seperate Co.than Koga,has been for years. Miyata supplies some domestic custom frame builders still.
SL was used for almost 50 years before Columbus came out with slx,spx, tsx.. EL, the original Nivacrome rendered splined tubing less important, larger outside diameters proved stronger and lighter than a splined tubing,it's meaningless if not feasable to spline the likes of Nivacrome.It occured in the late '80s. Splined tubing IS stonger. SLX snd TSX frames also were built with stronger and/or "bridged" bottom bracket lug-sets. Splined tubing can be drawn thinner while maintaining strength,saving weight is a bennfit but the over-all characteristics of the splined tubes in combination with the other better appointments made them stiffer. This stuffs all over the place on the web, the OP should have run-into by now.
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Old 05-26-07, 08:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redtires
Well, if memory serves me correctly, the tubing that Miyata used was made by Ishiwata. I believe that the advantages touted by that tubing was two fold...one, that butted tubing is stronger at the brazed joints and two, the splines were supposed to and strength and torsional stiffness without adding a lot of weight. It was a sound principal in the hey-days of brazed steel bikes, but it's rather outdated technology in the current days of oversized and mult-shaped tubing, titanium and carbon fiber bikes. I mean, don't get me wrong here, Miyata built some very nice bikes and I looooooooooove the ride of a nice steel frame. I'm actually in the market for a nice "old" steel road racing frame to go with my two aluminum bikes... "wink, wink".
NO ,Ishiwata was a woderfull tubing Co.. All on thier own, they're gone for over 15 years. Ishiwata was no Lighter per inch so to speak than Tange or others but the resulting frames generally wre lighter than Tange,Tange Prestige being the exception,Ishi. provided more varied lengths and such to suit unique needs of various builders. It was used by independants, Fugi and Brigestone. When Taiwan became the major source of frame building, Ishiwata folded,Fuji was a big client. When the Co's stopped using/making frames from Japan, Ishiwata couldn't survive, they made and provided tubes for primarily bike Co's, Tange for ep. made tubing for many types of maufacturers. Like Columbus always did.
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Old 05-26-07, 09:39 PM   #8
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I added a pic of Miyata splined tubing to my 1st comment. You are right that triple butted isn't necessarily splined: Single butted is thicker at one end, Double butted is thicker at both ends. Santana explains triple & quad butted this way:
"While triple butted sounds like a 50% improvement, it's usually an easier-to-produce variation of a double butted tube where the two thick ends don't match (i.e. 10/7/8). Because the optimal .3mm differential only exists at one end of the tube, a triple butted tube is typically less expensive (removing the taper-producing mandrel is relatively simple when one end of the tube is only partially butted). While many tubing companies hyped triple-butted tubing in the early '80s, enlightened consumers have made these tubes rare.
How about a "quad butted" tube? While double-butted and triple-butted tubes both have two internally-tapered transitions (one at each end of the tube), a quad-butted tube has four internal tapers---one at each end plus a pair in the middle to create a mid-tube reinforcement (i.e. 8/5/8/5/8---read each slash mark as a transitioning taper). The thick center section exists where the front seat-tube passes through the one-piece top tube. Prior to this, tandems with a double-length top tube used a plain gauge tube---a popular time and money saving (easy-to-jig) compromise that LOOKS high-tech and adds a full half pound to the weight of a frame"
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Old 05-27-07, 01:55 PM   #9
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I just bought a miyata so of course I did some reserch on it.

I guess the splined tubing idea came from the fact that Miyata was a gun manufacturer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miyata
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Old 05-27-07, 08:02 PM   #10
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The idea of spline tubing was originally introduced by Columbus with their steering tube. It pre-dated Miyata's splined tubing by decades. Columbus' SLX and SPX splined tubesets were introduced a couple of year's prior to Miyata, so it would appear that Miyata was copying Columbis, though they did introduce a couple of improvements on Columbus.

The splines in bicycle tubing are raised, helical ribs that increase strength and rigidity. Rifle barrels use helical grooves that are cut into the tubing, just the opposite of raised ribs. My understanding is the helical grooves in a rifle barrel impart a spin on the bullet, that increases range and accuracy.

Miyata was not the only gun manufacturer to get into the bicycle business. It seems to have been a fairly common product change.
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Old 05-28-07, 12:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckk
Ishiwata is back producing bike tube again under a new name.
REALLY? That's great to hear: we applaud anybody who's still pulling quality steel-alloy tubing...do you know what the new name is?
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Old 05-28-07, 12:50 PM   #12
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I'm responding to the question posed by unworthy1. I understand that Ishiwata closed its tubing operation in 1993. Thereupon many of its craftsmen found employment with Kaisei. Kaisei is apparently still making tubing and holds a controlling share of the track bike market in Japan. I have no direct knowledge of all this, but recommend the site "bicycleretailer.com/headlines". Another site of interest is "desperadocycles.com" for its comparison of the internal diameters of tubing, including Ishiwata. Also, I propose that you type "Ishiwata tubing" into a search engine and do some browsing. Good luck.
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Old 05-28-07, 02:22 PM   #13
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Yamamori, thanks for that info...I found this about Kasei and the exclusive distributor (UBI)
http://www.bikeschool.com/store/index.cgi?sp=kaisei
good to see that real steel is not dead...yet.
keep the faith!
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Old 05-28-07, 08:26 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=Mariner Fan]I just bought a miyata so of course I did some reserch on it.

Did you snag the Miyata 1000 off ebay? Great deal for whoever got it!
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