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Miyata 610 Touring bike $135

Old 01-09-11, 10:17 AM
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Chris Pringle
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Miyata 610 Touring bike $135

I visited my LBS earlier this week. The shop owner was eager to show me this Miyata 610 he was working on. The previous owner decided to abandon the bike after being hit by a p/u truck on a personal tour to South America. The guy luckily didnt suffer any injuries but decided not to continue his journey. The rear seat stay and wheel were both bent, not in a major way but quite noticeable nevertheless. I stopped by last evening to fix a flat. While he did that, he urged me to try the 610. He had amazingly straightened both the frame and the rear wheel was completely true. The bike rode amazingly well and smooth. The bike had CR18 wheels, front/rear rack, bar-cons shifters, shimano deore R/R. The frame (looks like an 84 based on the dark blue color) had a bunch of stickers I personally didn't like but can be cleaned up. He wants the equivalent of USD $123 and as I was leaving he said he was even negotiable. I'm on the fence but have read all the nice things about the 610s in the forums. BTW, it is my size: a 58 cm (I'm 5'11). What do you guys think... Should I get it?
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Old 01-09-11, 10:32 AM
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I'd be very leery of the damage. If it weren't crashed(hit), I would say it is easily worth it if there were no dents or similar damage(major rust, etc). Front rack = +1, barcons = +1

Without pictures, I would not tell you to buy it or not buy it.

I would probably walk away, for safety reasons.

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Old 01-09-11, 11:14 AM
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Any undamaged 610 would be double or triple that, outfitted right.
Any evaluation on a damaged and repaired frame would be nearly impossible without seeing and riding it.
The shop has been taken, I guess, by a customer who turned it in and abandoned it.

It may be fine, as good as new.
It may be horrible.

It's likely somewhere in between.
If you need a bike and rode this, inspect and ride it again, with a wary eye this time.
If you are still impressed, it's worth $123 USD.
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Old 01-09-11, 11:31 AM
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What are some of the bullet points I should pay attention when test riding a bike with a frame (right rear seat stay) that has been straightened back? Is steel prone to failure after such type of accident? I know if it were aluminum, this frame would be considered pretty much trash. The shop owner assures me lots of satisfaction with it, but the reality is that this is Mexico and there's no liability here. I can take pics within the next couple of hours. The ride felt amazing last evening (even when braking) but I'm sure there may be hard-to-see issues that I should watch for. My safety on the bike is my #1 concern. Thank you guys for your inputs.... I really really appreciate it.

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Old 01-09-11, 11:49 AM
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Will it fit? Maybe, maybe not. I am 5-11, it is too big for me. But I know others at 5-11 where that bike would be too small.

Safety your number 1 concern? Then I would not consider a wrecked frame. PASS.

Buying a bike like this, saving $$ would have to be high on the list to take the risk.
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Old 01-09-11, 12:09 PM
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As long as you are willing to assume the risk, and it's a neighborhood commuter, I see no biggie.
If you're going to be doing stretches of road riding at 15mph or more, in traffic, or descents, I'd probably trust an undamaged bike more.

The steel is sometimes known as HSLA (high strength, low alloy).
It is commonly "cold set," which means you straighten it without heating it, like the unibody frame of a modern car.
It can also be welded and be fine, if not cosmetically perfect.

There is simply no way to safely judge the bike's roadworthiness or safety without being there. Simply no way.
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Old 01-09-11, 12:37 PM
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if there is no visible damage on the seat stays it's probably fine. If there is a crease left over, skip it
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Old 01-09-11, 02:36 PM
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even if there are no indications of wear or damage the steel has been fatigued and you cannot really judge how sound the tube is. Unless it 's a once in a lifetime bike; I'd pass............
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Old 01-09-11, 05:02 PM
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Points well taken, everyone! I didn't even bother making another trip to the bike shop. Even though the bike felt perfectly ok, I also had my reservations. Had I bought it, I wanted to use it for its intended use in the future: touring and randonneuring. I understand now why this was most likely one of the main reasons the unfortunate previous owner decided to abandon it and quit his tour - his safety on the bike was now compromised and it wasn't worth it. Wise decision!

I had heard all the stories about how well Miyata touring bikes ride. I am now a believer!
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Old 01-10-11, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
if there is no visible damage on the seat stays it's probably fine. If there is a crease left over, skip it
+1. Provided there is no wrinkle, crease or similar distortion in the metal itself, it should be perfectly fine. Steel does not fatigue or fail unless it has been stressed past it's plastic limit, in which case the metal itself will show deformation. If it rides fine with light pressure on the bars and there are no visible distortions in the stay, then I would seriously consider this bicycle at that price. The Miyata 610 is a great, mid-range, grand touring model. If you decide to pick it up, we can determine the exact year via the serial number.
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Old 01-10-11, 03:47 PM
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Alright... I stopped by the bike shop and picked up the bike to take pics. I also took the bike to the "boutique" bike shop in town. The owner is an U.S. trained mechanic and has been around bikes for at least 30 years. He looked at it and said this was still a solid bike in spite of the rear seat stay still being slightly outta shape. He said the mechanic who straightened it out did a nice job with it and added that a little more could still be done to make it even truer (obviously, not like brand new!) Looks like most of the impact was taken by the guy's loaded gear and the rear rack. When I asked his appraisal he came up with the equivalent of USD $250 in this condition. So, I went ahead and contacted the guy who's selling me the bike (another bike mechanic). He dropped the price to $105.00 plus he'll work a a little more in rectifying the rear seat stays and the rear rack. I thought it was a deal even for just the parts.

Here are the pics as of this morning:












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Old 01-11-11, 08:30 AM
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It's definitely not pretty. The inside of the right stay seems have been flattened, on the other side of where the paint has flaked. This would be my big aera of concern for wrinkles/creases in the tubing. There also appears to be a very slight crease in the upper stay, on the outside, but it's between the bridge and lug, so there should not be an issue. However, it's really hard to judge these sort of things via photos. You did the right thing by taking it to an experienced mechanic. He's able to look at much more closely and make a more informed decision. If he says it's sound, it almost certainly is, as the vast majority of LBS owners do not appreciate vintage bicycles and would not pass up a chance to sell you a new bicycle.

Grand Touring bicycles comamnd a high resale value. At the price you got it for, it may even justify a stay replacement and repaint, if the cosmetic condition really bothers you.
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Old 01-11-11, 11:24 AM
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My rule of thumb on bikes with damaged frames is that I make an offer based on what some of the major components are worth (wheelset, crankset, derailleurs). That way, if I have to toss the frame, I am still OK. I see more than $105 in parts value, so I would be feeling good!

That stay would bother me. Personally, I would look for a frame builder and have it replaced, or look for a good touring frame and move the parts. The choice is yours.
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Old 01-11-11, 12:08 PM
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Thank you T-mar and Wrk101 for your honest opinions. My thoughts were the same... enjoy it "as is" for now and move all the parts to a better (undamaged) frame later.

T-mar: Funny that you mentioned those words about most LBS owners. His words yesterday were "Listen, if you won't buy this bike, I'll be glad to sell you a new one for around USD $1,500." Obviously, he was half joking, but his main point was that this was a very good bike to have at that price.
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