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Old 10-23-09, 02:42 PM   #1
TeeSquare
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Which would you choose Miyata 1000 or LHT?

Forgive my newbie question, but assuming the cost was going to be maybe $700-800 for a near mint condition Miyata 1000 or $200-300 more for a brand new Surly LHT; which would you choose? Both bikes are my size. I got back into biking over the summer and have been riding 35-45 miles/week near home, but I have dreams of someday taking off on a road trip. My other reason for the touring bike is that being on the Clydish side I appeciate the added durability and stability.

Thanks in advance for your opinions.
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Old 10-23-09, 03:03 PM   #2
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LHT has more robust frame, ability to wear bigger tires, 1 1/8" ahead stem is a lot more convenient and lower cost for stem changes without having to unwrap/rewrap bar tape and remove brake hoods compared to older 1" quill stem. The 40spoke rear wheel is attractive and strong but if it goes you're looking at a new wheel or rebuild with retail cost 40spoke rim and I"m guessing the rear dropout width is 126mm where most of your replacement wheels will be 135mm for the LHT.

The Miyata and other bikes like it of that era are good but you're paying a 2009 wholesale price for a twenty year old bike(you don't mention it's age). The $700-$800 price for the Miyata is based on someone willing to pay for it, not a relative value to present bikes. I'd consider it if it was $500 but the LHT is an improvement over regular diameter road tubing used in 80's production touring bikes, especially for heavy people and heavy loads.
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Old 10-23-09, 03:17 PM   #3
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As mentioned, the LHT has better options and all the bells and whistles one might need for touring including great components for the dollar. That said I would LOVE a Miyata 1000, however, I really love my LHT and would take it over the Miyata any day.
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Old 10-23-09, 03:26 PM   #4
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I've got a Kona Ute and the LHT is a better hauler. Theoretically I could put more total weight on the Ute but the LHT is a better ride and has much better control for carrying four heavily loaded panniers. It kind of gets me every time I take the Ute out that it's handling is that bad for all loads.
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Old 10-23-09, 03:28 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice, I can definitely see the advantages of a new bike over one that's 25 years old, I just wasn't sure about the quality of the new vs. older frames. Sounds like the newer is also better.
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Old 10-23-09, 03:32 PM   #6
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It's like the hardest choice in the universe. I'm very fond of the Miyata brand.
Surleys have a great rep. and like the 1000s are favored by many tourers. Two very different bikes. Your weight doesn't weigh in. A choice between Old and New.
From a collectors standpoint the 1000 carries alot of weight but I'm hard-pressed to state that it's "better". I suppose that the Surley has more modern parts, the wheels on the 1000s are tough and tough to beat. Something to be said for style.

7 to 8 is a full price for the 1000 ; the price you've indicated on the Surley is a solid deal as far as quality, no frills tourers go. If the 1000 is, in fact very clean and truly has "few" miles the choice would be more clear. Some are of the mind that a non-abused, well used bike in good shape with 40,000 miles is near mint, I'd disagree. I would need to be convinced that less than 10,000 are on it.

Perhaps the "extra" for the Miyata is worth it, they don't jump-up every day.
A friend of mine doesn't care about anything other than his bike being a tool.
I take a more esthetic approach. He's the better cyclist by far.
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Old 10-23-09, 03:39 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice, I can definitely see the advantages of a new bike over one that's 25 years old, I just wasn't sure about the quality of the new vs. older frames. Sounds like the newer is also better.
Despite my Tastes.... YES they are
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Old 10-23-09, 03:50 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice, I can definitely see the advantages of a new bike over one that's 25 years old, I just wasn't sure about the quality of the new vs. older frames. Sounds like the newer is also better.
The newer is better for heavier person, the quality is the same, who knows the quality of the Miyata frame may be better but there's enough changes since then that I'd rather have the more solid LHT if I was bombing down a mtn at 30mph with a loaded bike. If you were a collector it's pricey, if you wanted the best bike for heavy use the LHT is a better package with a warranty.
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Old 10-23-09, 04:04 PM   #9
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the LHT is an improvement over regular diameter road tubing used in 80's production touring bikes, especially for heavy people and heavy loads.
That statement may be true - but not in the context of the OP's question because the 1000 was no ordinary production tourer. The double butted triangle and straight gauge fork and stays of the LHT are no where near the sophistication of the late 80's/early 90's splined, triple butted frameset.

As a comparison, consider that in 1991, the retail value of a new Miyata 1000 was ~$950. That was with bar end shifters, 700C wheels, 7sp and Shimano 600 and Deore DX components.
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Old 10-23-09, 04:19 PM   #10
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but does that sophistication result in a better handling load carrier for a heavy person? I really haven't A/B ridden a Miyata and an LHT so I'm doing a lot of guessing and defer to those with direct experience of that bike. I'd be curious to A/B test a LHT and a Cannondale touring bike.
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Old 10-23-09, 08:47 PM   #11
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No contest,1000 wins hands down.That frame would cost more than 2 complete LHT to build these days.

We can hash this over in 30 years and well see how many LHT's are left in service.By then the 1000 will be 60 years old and still going strong.

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Old 10-23-09, 09:32 PM   #12
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Definitely the Miyata is the better choice. Besides that the 1000 is a much better looking bike, it's geometry is much better for touring in my size. It's also hard to beat the ride quality of a Miyata, even my low end 90 is a smooth ride.
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Old 10-24-09, 07:24 AM   #13
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touring frame

Depends on the condition of the Miyata and its components. If I were just buying a frame, I would choose the Miyata hands down over the Surly if the price was right and paint in good condition. I still might choose the Miyata even if it needed repainting, if the price was low enough.

However, if I was buying a complete bike and the Miyata had 27-inch wheels, 6 or 7-speed derailleurs, and other out-dated equipment, I would have to think twice unless the price was right and I could sell the components.

BTW, if you are not in a big hurry, you can buy a Bob Jackson World Tour frame for about $700 ordering direct from England. The BJs are lugged frames designed for touring, and available in just about any color/decal combination. I got mine last winter for about $600 when the exchange rate was better.
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Old 10-24-09, 08:02 AM   #14
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come on guys, sure the Miyata is prettier and has more labor in its construction and probably rides better unladen but are the 25yr old wheels really better than Surlys stock wheels? Are the Ukai/Araya rims better than the Alex Adventurers or at least can you be assured they're as good as new? If you were on the "Clydish side" would you go for warranty and new or best of 20yrs ago for your only bike?
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Old 10-24-09, 09:11 AM   #15
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However, if I was buying a complete bike and the Miyata had 27-inch wheels, 6 or 7-speed derailleurs, and other out-dated equipment, I would have to think twice unless the price was right and I could sell the components.
+1

I love old bikes. I own a Univega Gran Turismo (made by Miyata) now, for commuting; and back in the day I owned a Univega Specialissima (also made by Miyata, practically the same frame as the Miyata 1000). I have not owned a Surly LHT but have test ridden one a couple of times.

Two things:
1. I do not think you will find the Miyata frame to be as stiff as the Surly LHT. My Specialissima was pretty noodly when fully loaded, and was a handful on fast mountain descents. I still loved the bike, but riding it fully loaded in the mountains was not for the faint of heart.

2. You really need to take into account the cost of getting the Miyata into tour-ready condition. It can be fine for riding around town, but if you are taking it on tour you would really want to make sure that all of the equipment on the bike was fresh and maintained. And you would really want to make sure that you were comfortable deal with possibly outmoded equpiment.

I've bought a number of used bikes, and I also make sure that I figure the cost of the bike PLUS all required updating/maintenance should still be considerably less than the price of a new bike. The problem with the Miyata 1000 is that it's so highly regarded that by time you buy one plus do the required updating for a tour you likely have spent as much as the price of a Surly LHT. If you're comfortable that the Miyata, with all tour-ready equipment, might cost you eventually as much or more than a Surly LHT, then go ahead. It's fun having the satisfaction of bringing an old bike back to fighting shape.

As a collector's item, the Miyata is great; just make sure you know the complete cost of getting it ready to tour.

On the other hand, you can purchase old Univega, Fuji Touring, or other vintage Japanese touring bikes for $100 to $300 all the time if you're careful. Get a $100 vintage bike, spend $300 to $600 on upgrades, and you've got a pretty great touring bike, still with a savings over new.

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Old 10-24-09, 12:48 PM   #16
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I have a 1985 Miyata 1000, which I bought new. It's a great bike. But after 24 years, it's a bit temperamental, and replacing parts is expensive. This year I spent $400 replacing worn out components. I did this last in 2001, and before that, in 1998.

If I had to choose between buying a 25 year old Miyata 1000 and a modern bicycle, I would probably opt for the newer bicycle. Several years ago I bought a new touring bike. Most days, I choose to ride my new bike because it fits me better, and has components I like that my old bicycle cannot accommodate.
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Old 10-24-09, 03:40 PM   #17
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No contest,1000 wins hands down.That frame would cost more than 2 complete LHT to build these days.

We can hash this over in 30 years and well see how many LHT's are left in service.By then the 1000 will be 60 years old and still going strong.
+1, Having ridden an LHT and comparing it to my Miyata 1000 there is just no contest. The Miyata 1000 was, is, and will continue to be twice the bike regardless of age. The LHT is a bargain in todays market but buying a bike equal to the 1000 these days would cost 3 times as much.
I don't buy into the new is better theory and have yet to ride a new touring bike that compares to the 1000, Expedition or Trek 720. Your mileage will vary.
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Old 10-24-09, 09:34 PM   #18
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if what you want is how the miyata is configured today, take it hands down over the surly. better craftsmanship and frame materials (lugs!)

but, you said you are on the clyde side. do you want larger tires (32+) and fenders? if so, you may be pushing the limits of the miyata 1000.

i have a 63cm 1982 1000 that originally had 27" wheels. i converted to 700c, but the rear triangle has very little clearance for 32mm tires and fenders. it works, but getting the wheels on and off is slightly tricky. also, your choices for front derailleur are limited to road and not mountain because there isn't enough clearance (at least for me) without cutting the fender.
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Old 10-25-09, 11:04 AM   #19
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but, you said you are on the clyde side. do you want larger tires (32+) and fenders? if so, you may be pushing the limits of the miyata 1000.
Well, I do like wider tires, but I am running 27" x 1 1/4" Schwalbe Marathons on my current bike and the seem fine. I don't ride much in wet weather so far, but room for fenders would be good for the future.
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Old 10-25-09, 02:30 PM   #20
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It's like the hardest choice in the universe.
Perhaps the "extra" for the Miyata is worth it, they don't jump-up every day.
A friend of mine doesn't care about anything other than his bike being a tool.
I take a more esthetic approach. He's the better cyclist by far.
If you fall into the category of the bike is just a tool, I would go with the LHT. If on the other hand you enjoy the art and aesthetic of bicycles, the Miyata would be a great purchase. I fall into the art and aesthetic category when it comes to bikes, and went with an old Specialized Expedition over the LHT. Over time, the Miyata will probably become the more expensive, but cooler of the two bikes.
In the end, either one will get you out on the road and enjoying the miles. Buy the bike that best matches your wallet and personality.
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Old 10-26-09, 06:42 AM   #21
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larger tires (32+) and fenders? if so, you may be pushing the limits of the miyata 1000.
That's not a problem with later frames that used 700C wheels. Mine (1991) easily holds 32mm tires and 60mm fenders. There is still plenty of room.
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Old 11-01-09, 11:57 AM   #22
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Well, I decided to go the "expensive" route and picked up the Miyata 1000. I'll let you know how it works out.
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Old 11-01-09, 12:59 PM   #23
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congrats!
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Old 11-01-09, 01:39 PM   #24
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Well, I decided to go the "expensive" route and picked up the Miyata 1000. I'll let you know how it works out.
Speaking for myself and others, THANKS for stopping by ! Looking forward to reading about it.
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Old 11-01-09, 02:00 PM   #25
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Well, I decided to go the "expensive" route and picked up the Miyata 1000. I'll let you know how it works out.
Congrats - please show photos before/after. We all learn a lot from these restoration stories.
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