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Old 10-06-08, 10:18 PM   #1
Unagidon
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Miyata vs Italian - ride quality?

I have a 1991 Miyata 914SE, and love it to death. But I just can't help thinking about what the ride of a Colnago would be like, or a Torelli...I think you get the picture. So the question is, for those that have ridden Japanese vs. Italian (or French or even Schwinn), how do the ride qualities compare? If I'm ever so fortunate to win the lottery, or somehow hit it big in Vegas, is it worth the $ to get a Colnago X-Light, a Pegoretti, or a Waterford? Or is the ride pretty much comparable?
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Old 10-06-08, 10:28 PM   #2
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Miyata = Lexus LS400
Colnago = Ferrari 550

(Sorry for the car reference to anyone offended.)
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Old 10-06-08, 10:45 PM   #3
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I can't speak for an actual Waterford, but I ride a Gunnar Roadie (pretty close to a Waterford besides the fact that it is an off the shelf frame and not custom made like the W's).

I own plenty of other bicycles, and one of them is a 1982 Univega Gran Premio. The Univega is made by Miyata, and is comparable to something from their "professional" line... something along the lines of a Pro Miyata and/or a Miyata 1200 from their 1983 model year offerings.

I can tell you this much: I am in the process of taking off the Dura Ace gruppo on my Gunnar. I will be mounting it onto my Univega.

Don't get me wrong, the Gunnar is a stunning machine, more comfortable, sturdy, and pleasureful than 99.9% of the bikes I have ridden, but the Univega is just better. Maybe it's "livelier"... I dunno. Best bike I've ever ridden so far.
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Old 10-06-08, 10:47 PM   #4
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for a touring frame, I'd take the miyata any day. Haven't ridden team, 7xx or 9xx miyata, but I'd probably take a Team miyata over Columbus SL (if my 615GT is any indication of quality from Miyata.

I still like the ride quality of my Columbus SL Rossin however.
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Old 10-06-08, 11:51 PM   #5
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As any framebuilder will tell you, it a combination of the tubing, geometry and the builder. Now camparing a high end splined triple butted miyata to a high end colnago that is made of SLX the differences in the ride will be based on the geometry and perhaps the build quality. The quality is comparable, so it's really going to boil down to geometry and material. What I'm getting at (and not doing a very good job of it) is that you can't ask if a colnago will feel different than a miyata based on the name. Personally, I like the ride of 531 bikes over columbus. I have ridden a few columbus SP and SPX bikes (I'm tall) and for me the 531 has felt more lively. Some 531 bike however haven't been that great (raleigh team pro for example), but I love my gazelle and have a new bike ready to go. My jeunet which is 531 but with a relaxed geometry doesn't feel as lively as my marinoni made of columbus SP... I have a newer oversided steel columbus Nemo bike, it is lighter and stiffer than all my other bike and accelerates faster and is super fun to ride. You see what I am getting at? I 1973 Ernesto built nago is likely to feel completely different than a 1985 contract built super (forgive me if I have said something that is not possible based on my limited colnago knowledge).
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Old 10-06-08, 11:54 PM   #6
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In my experience, 3/4x butted Japanese frames don't have nearly as plush of a ride as similar european and Italian frames.
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Old 10-07-08, 05:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclotoine View Post
As any framebuilder will tell you, it a combination of the tubing, geometry and the builder. Now camparing a high end splined triple butted miyata to a high end colnago that is made of SLX the differences in the ride will be based on the geometry and perhaps the build quality. The quality is comparable, so it's really going to boil down to geometry and material. What I'm getting at (and not doing a very good job of it) is that you can't ask if a colnago will feel different than a miyata based on the name. Personally, I like the ride of 531 bikes over columbus. I have ridden a few columbus SP and SPX bikes (I'm tall) and for me the 531 has felt more lively. Some 531 bike however haven't been that great (raleigh team pro for example), but I love my gazelle and have a new bike ready to go. My jeunet which is 531 but with a relaxed geometry doesn't feel as lively as my marinoni made of columbus SP... I have a newer oversided steel columbus Nemo bike, it is lighter and stiffer than all my other bike and accelerates faster and is super fun to ride. You see what I am getting at? I 1973 Ernesto built nago is likely to feel completely different than a 1985 contract built super (forgive me if I have said something that is not possible based on my limited colnago knowledge).
How about Corky? Is that ready to go yet?
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Old 10-07-08, 06:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
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As any framebuilder will tell you, it a combination of the tubing, geometry and the builder. Now camparing a high end splined triple butted miyata to a high end colnago that is made of SLX the differences in the ride will be based on the geometry and perhaps the build quality. The quality is comparable, so it's really going to boil down to geometry and material. What I'm getting at (and not doing a very good job of it) is that you can't ask if a colnago will feel different than a miyata based on the name. Personally, I like the ride of 531 bikes over columbus. I have ridden a few columbus SP and SPX bikes (I'm tall) and for me the 531 has felt more lively. Some 531 bike however haven't been that great (raleigh team pro for example), but I love my gazelle and have a new bike ready to go. My jeunet which is 531 but with a relaxed geometry doesn't feel as lively as my marinoni made of columbus SP... I have a newer oversided steel columbus Nemo bike, it is lighter and stiffer than all my other bike and accelerates faster and is super fun to ride. You see what I am getting at? I 1973 Ernesto built nago is likely to feel completely different than a 1985 contract built super (forgive me if I have said something that is not possible based on my limited colnago knowledge).
Thanks for the thorough attempt at explaining. So what type of tubing would the triple splined miyata best compare to? 853? 531? Columbus? Thanks again.
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Old 10-07-08, 07:16 AM   #9
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Miyata had their own tube mill and therefore could tailor tubing for specific models. The splined tubes in a Team Miyata are not necessarily the same as those in a 914. Consequently it's very hard to compare Miyata STB to anybody elses tubeset, though by virtue of the splines most people would say Columbus SLX/SPX/TSX.

The missing factor in this discussion is your personal preference in ride characteristics, something we cannot know. It's time for you to start test riding as much vintage steel as you can. It's a voyage of exploration and self-discovery. In the end, you may decide the 914SE is your perfect bicycle or you may find that it is something Italian, but I suspect that you will become like myself and many other members, owning several road bicycles, each one suited to a particular mood or ride (crit, road race, fast century, liesurely ride, multi-day tour, etc).

However, if you can afford only one bicycle, I'd say you have very good choice in the 914SE. In general, it is a better choice for a multi-purpose bicycle than the more upscale models, which tend to be more specialized.
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Old 10-07-08, 10:22 AM   #10
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Miyata had their own tube mill and therefore could tailor tubing for specific models. The splined tubes in a Team Miyata are not necessarily the same as those in a 914. Consequently it's very hard to compare Miyata STB to anybody elses tubeset, though by virtue of the splines most people would say Columbus SLX/SPX/TSX.

The missing factor in this discussion is your personal preference in ride characteristics, something we cannot know. It's time for you to start test riding as much vintage steel as you can. It's a voyage of exploration and self-discovery. In the end, you may decide the 914SE is your perfect bicycle or you may find that it is something Italian, but I suspect that you will become like myself and many other members, owning several road bicycles, each one suited to a particular mood or ride (crit, road race, fast century, liesurely ride, multi-day tour, etc).

However, if you can afford only one bicycle, I'd say you have very good choice in the 914SE. In general, it is a better choice for a multi-purpose bicycle than the more upscale models, which tend to be more specialized.

Thanks T-Mar. My problems are:
1) I don't ride a common size (49 - 51cm frames) so it's difficult to test ride many different bikes.
2) I love bikes...ALOT...but lack $ and space for any more bikes.
3) If I buy any more bikes, I'm sure my wife will divorce me...

But you're correct - I do ride my different bikes for different purposes. If I go on rides > 50 miles, I'll stick with my modern carbon bike. But I do love the ride of my Miyata, and most recently, added the cro-mo Surly Crosscheck to my collection for winter riding, really bad chip and seal rodes, and just a tougher bike without having to worry about road conditions.

I think I'll probably continue to lust after those high-end steel bikes, vintage and new....sigh......need to win the lottery!
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Old 10-07-08, 12:32 PM   #11
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More bikes are much less expensive than a wife.
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Old 10-07-08, 01:10 PM   #12
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I have owned a Team Miyata for over 25 years and it was the last bike that I raced on. It does everything well but nothing exceptionally. I have other bikes that descend better, are better for sprinting, are better for climbing... The Miyata is always better than average in virtually ever performance category that you could come up with. It gets everything done but rarely if ever will bring a smile to my face while riding. It is basically uninspiring or boring.

The comparison to the Ferrari and Lexus is quite apt in my eyes. I would take one of my De Rosa bikes any day over my Miyata.
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Old 10-07-08, 01:23 PM   #13
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I have owned a Team Miyata for over 25 years and it was the last bike that I raced on. It does everything well but nothing exceptionally. I have other bikes that descend better, are better for sprinting, are better for climbing... The Miyata is always better than average in virtually ever performance category that you could come up with. It gets everything done but rarely if ever will bring a smile to my face while riding. It is basically uninspiring or boring.
Wow, that's exactly how I feel about my team fuji...
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Old 10-07-08, 01:46 PM   #14
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I commute on an '81 Miyata 912, which is an awesome bike but the frame flexes a lot more than I'd like when I really put my legs into it. (It's also a 25" frame and I'm not small.) Its ride doesn't really compare to my Columbus-framed '83 Paramount (Waterford), which is solid as a rock. I love 'em both though.
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Old 10-07-08, 02:59 PM   #15
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Well I dont have a Miyata 914 but I do have a mid 80's Centurian 'Elite' with 'Tange #2' cro-moly lugged frame and it has a very sweet ride. For me, its great, and I would even say its a bit more plush on lazy relaxed rides than my '91 Tommasini.

The Tommasini has a Columbus SL frame and that is the bike I do most of my training on. Its slightly less plush than my Centurian, but it handles better, is more livelier, and dives into corners fast almost like its on rails. The Centurian, as far as the fitting of the tubes and overall aesthetics of the lugs looks much more generic than the Tommasini, which is a rolling masterpiece.

I really love both my bikes, but the nod goes to the Italians in performance, and maybe to the japanese in comfort. Its interesting too that both bikes weigh about the same and have about the same wheelbase, but the geometry between the two are different, with the seattube and headtube of the Centurian a bit more relaxed.
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Old 10-08-08, 08:08 AM   #16
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So what would be your dream steel ride - Japanese, American, Italian, French, or otherwise...
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Old 10-08-08, 08:19 AM   #17
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My dream ride would be some type of non-air hardened steel. It would have to be lugged and probably made out of 4130 or similar material. Stiff in the BB area while retaining a springy feel everywhere else, especially the chain stays. I couldn't really care where it was made.

The only downside to such a setup is that it would be a "heavy" bike. I also realize that I am describing the vast majority of mid-range vintage Japanese steel, except for the fact that few of them are stiff in the BB area.
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Old 04-25-14, 08:26 PM   #18
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Never rode a Miyata, the closest I rode to that would be a 1984 Raleigh Vector, while all my buddies rode Bianchis, Colnagos, Ciocc, and Pinarello. Now I own all of those 80's Italian classics. I also own a Cervelo RS like you...and to tell you the truth, if I close my eyes I can't tell if I am riding that carbon RS or my 1986 Olmo, its that smooth. I ride tubulars exclusively which makes the ride that much sweeter, and I haven't had a flat in 20 yrs... My Basso is a '92 and it is Columbus SLX and is in a league all to its own. It is absolutely immaculate and was ridden twice from the previous owner before a car crash left him paralized. The bike hung in the rafters of his garage until I bought it last year. I have put about 500km on the sweetest champagne asphalt in my area. If you have a friend or know someone with an Italian steed that will let you ride it, I am sure you will be hooked. Personally I would rather give up a kidney than let someone ride one of my bikes...it took me way too long to find them!
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Old 04-25-14, 09:12 PM   #19
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When I ride my Trek I think it rides so much better than my Prelude. When I ride my Prelude I think it rides so much better than my Trek. I have yet to ride an Italian bike. I am sure it will be fun when I do. I think there is also the effect of pride in ownership and the beautiful looks of the bike that play a roll in how much you enjoy a bike. In stereo equipment, a McIntosh amp sounds no different than an Adcom amp but try telling that to the owner of that big beautiful McIntosh amp. (the sound comes from the speakers)
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Old 04-25-14, 09:48 PM   #20
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