I just purchased this vintage Miyata, which was converted to a single speed. Has a bit of wear and tear, but I am just looking for a commuter/entry level bike, and I hope this fits the bill! Would like to make a few upgrades, i.e. new wheelset (700c), new saddle, and new grip tape. What do you guys think, is it worth it, based on the bike, for me to make these investments? Also, can you please make a recommendation of what parts I should order, keeping in mind I want to spend as little as possible? Any websites I can order them from? Sorry for asking these basic questions, I am a novice! Any help, would be very much appreciated!
While you can always move a new wheelset onto a new bike, I'd be tempted to keep this one simple and forgo the wheelset for now. Conversion from 27" wheels to 700c can be easy, but it can also mean the additional expense of brake calipers with longer reach (to accommodate the lower rim position). You don't want to add any more expense to this bike than whatever you paid originally...trust me.
It's not a bad first commuter, and not a bad bike to begin tinkering on. Just keep in mind that the more tinkering you do, the more likely it is that you'll want to trade up at some point...and that's the point when I'd start thinking about more expensive investments like wheels.
kbjack has evaluated the situation nicely in terms of not goin' crazy on "improving it " Yours is a beginners model. It's cool though, it's a Miyata. just to start ... don't repl. the wheels unless they're bad. Little will be gained in trying that or most other upgrades. Catalogue scans are on the net, a good one is www.miyata.com . The Miyata Co. is gone now. Parts are interchangeable with other bikes from Japan. Focus on bikes from the '80s in the cats. The higher the #, the better the model. Pay attention to the frame materials as well as the parts such as the cranks. You'll get a feel for bikes at large, not just yours. Search threads from these forums , using loose search perameters. Your bike is steel, not CHMLY steel, it's OK and a good place to start
Miyata is only gone from the US market (since the mid 90s) except for the very expensive Koga Miyatas done as a joint venture with a Dutch company. www.miyatabike.com. When the rising yen meant most Japanese production shifted to Taiwan Miyata seems to have stuck to their guns and their home market.
The US Miyata catalogs from the early 80s-mid 90s are at www.miyatacatalogs.com. Yours looks for lack of a better word cruder than the early 80s bikes in those catalogs, so likely it's from the 70s, so lacks the major improvements that came along in the 80s. (Probably compares very favorably to Euro or American bikes from the same time though.)
My '83 model 210 is also pretty much in that category, but like you I'm new to this vintage bike/ fixing up thing, so it's a great place to start. I am going to do a few things with mine but as cheaply as possible. So far $64 total. That's part of the fun!
The bicycle in question is a mid-1970s Miyata MX-E. It was the base lightweight at the time and, as suggested, is a hi-tensile steel frame.
Upgrading bicycles can be expensive. Personally, I would keep it as is, while keeping an eye peeled for bargains in components and/or a better bicycle.
As for the wheels, I suggest you borrow a set of 700C to see if you have adequate adjustment of the brake shoes with the current calipers, before you start buying things.
BTW, Miyata stayed involved in the US market long after most Japanese brands bailed out. The decision appears to hav been made by the US offices and not the head company, as Miyata continued to be imported into Canada long after its demise in the US.