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Let's rebuild a sports touring

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Let's rebuild a sports touring

Old 01-13-17, 12:20 AM
  #1  
page21
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Let's rebuild a sports touring

The request:
Build my bike by suggestion!

The subject:
Complete 1981 Miyata 610 in sound shape, and condition. Frameset is single tube Cr-Mo, 1024 hi-tens fork, and Ishiwata 525 crown. One notable quirk is the 26.7mm inner diameter seat tube. Also noteworthy, eyelets at all dropouts exist, but there is one set of braze-ons at the downtube only.

Purchased for $150, prior to dropping another $45 on a set of Cascadia fenders. Modern rechargeable lightning was already in possession (Blackburn, and Hotshot).

Not a museum piece, but retains mostly period correct components, some of which appear to be original to the bike, and all seem in good service.

Discrepancies:
The following components are installed on this bike, and do not coincide with the 1981 Miyata catalog. *suntour power shifters
*suntour perfect 5-speed freewheel (14, 18, 22, 26, 30)
*suntour spirt derailleur (high normal)
*sugino non-drive crank arm
*cst tires 27"x1.25"
*vp-468 pedals
*velo saddle

Everything else jives with the catalog!

The goal:
Shed a bit of weight while building a bike true to its original intent (a sports tourer). For the purpose of preserving a finer, and racier second bike, this old 610 should be built as the all around town go-to, to be used during the off season, Otherwise, it should primarily serve the purpose of comfortably introducing its novice rider (loaded with minimal ultralight camping gear and flyrod) to the exciting world of road touring along scenic river highways.

The budget:
Can reasonably invest up to $250, sourcing parts mainly from eBay I suppose, building the bike at home, in order to reach this goal.

Questions:
Given this information, and staying with vintage equipment (other than saddle, and tires) how would you build this bike? What parts would you keep? What would you replace, and what with? Why those decisions?

Basic planning:
I intend to consider, and research each of your responses. I want to engage in dialogue to better understand your knowledge, and experience, while updating you with the progress (and hang-ups) of the project. I'll process the information/ideas and base every next move off of those results. Photos will definitely be included along the way, and I'd be happy to submit any photo requests or answer consulting questions prior to rebuilding if that would help with planning stages.

My next post will include a couple of photos of the actual bike, as well as a couple of excerpts from the '81 Miyata catalog (dimensions, build specs, and one promo shot).

This should be a very fun project for me if not frustrating at times. It'll certainly be a valuable learning experience. I do hope that at least a few of you will help build this bike through this thread. And I give my many thanks in advance to those who will.
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Old 01-13-17, 12:23 AM
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1981 Miyata 610 description, and dimensions.
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Old 01-13-17, 12:25 AM
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1981 specs.
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Old 01-13-17, 12:27 AM
  #4  
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The subject as pictured in its Craig's List ad.
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Old 01-13-17, 12:30 AM
  #5  
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A few weeks after purchase.
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Old 01-13-17, 12:46 AM
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It's not clear what you want to do with the bike. It looks good in the pictures. I wouldn't touch it component wise. I would completely overhaul the bike (new ball bearings and grease) and replace all the consumables (tires if needed, cables, chain, etc.)

I'd ride the bike first for a while before sinking any money into it to see what you like and what you don't.

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Old 01-13-17, 01:12 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I wouldn't touch it component wise. I would completely overhaul the bike (new ball bearings and grease) and replace all the consumables (tires if needed, cables, chain, etc.)

I'd ride the bike first for a while before sinking any money into it to see what you like and what you don't.
I had a Miyata Seven Ten and did just that. Only needed to add a set of Stainless Steel Fenders and a Brooks saddle to have a classy and classic ride. Don
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Old 01-13-17, 01:14 AM
  #8  
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The Seven Ten did have SunTour Cyclone derailleurs, so you might want to consider that as an upgrade. Don
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Old 01-13-17, 01:39 AM
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I'm not sure how much weight you can drop within your budget and desire to keep things vintage. Apart from the frame and fork, most of the weight is in the wheels, tires and crankset. I'd probably replace the tires right away (though I can't see what they are). Light wheels and cranks aren't cheap.

It isn't clear to me how long you've had the bike and how much you've ridden it. You obviously have a definite general vision for what you want to do with the bike, but particulars and priorities are likely to become clear to you through riding. That is, if you get it in good working order as bikemig suggests and ride it a while anything you don't like about it will become obvious. If there's nothing you don't like about it then you could just keep riding it as is.

If it were me, I'd start with new tires (probably Panaracer Paselas since you need 27"), cables and brake pads. Those are reasonable to do immediately, I think.

After that, now drifting into my personal biases, I would want to replace the crankset with something with matching arms. I'm not sure how heavy yours is, but you might be able to save a bit of weight with a modern vintage replica (usually cheaper than really good authentic vintage cranks). I may also switch to a cartridge bottom bracket so I can completely neglect it and throw it in the trash when it wears out (blasphemy on many levels, I know, but I'm being honest here).

If you do replace the crank, you could play around with the gearing, which might help save some weight. Switching to 48/38/26 chainrings would save a bit of weight in front and let you keep the same gearing (minus a bit of top end speed) with a smaller (and therefore lighter) big cog in the back (something like 14-25). Using a smaller big cog would also open up your rear derailleur choices. The one on there now was probably installed to accommodate the 30T cog and get lower gears with that crank.
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Old 01-13-17, 04:22 AM
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Sweet!

Man you sure got a good deal. Very nice bike you have there.
You kinda' took some things off the table when you said you want to keep the vintage components. That said, why not replace the downtube shifters to bar end shifters? Another thing I'd do is put some 700c wheels and tires on it. No good reason, I just think that's better than the 27 inch stuff - there are places you might go that you will have some trouble finding a tire. Good luck and post photos - keep us up to date on your nice project!
If you've never ridden a Miyata you might notice it handles well. I have a Univega Gran turismo the frame of which was built by Miyata - and I really like it.

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Old 01-13-17, 07:32 AM
  #11  
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Remove the "safety" brake levers?
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Old 01-13-17, 07:43 AM
  #12  
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The goal = shed weight. Tubulars.
Best ride improvement = tubulars.
Vintage tubular wheelsets are $100, locally.
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Old 01-13-17, 08:01 AM
  #13  
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I have a 1000 of the same vintage. I have to say it's the most comfortable ride I have ever owned. Mine is a little larger and is full chromoly. I think you have a great bike there. Touring should be doable with a rear rack. Older Blackburns would work well.

Enjoy!
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Old 01-13-17, 08:24 AM
  #14  
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Nice bike for a great price. In addition to the maintenance issues addressed by others, I would replace the brake levers and pads. Black bikes looks great with tan or brown accents, so I would install some new tires with tan sidewalls (eg, Panaracer Pasela PTs), natural tan cork bar tape and perhaps a honey-brown Brooks saddle.
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Old 01-13-17, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by sharpywarpy View Post
Man you sure got a good deal. Very nice bike you have there.
You kinda' took some things off the table when you said you want to keep the vintage components. That said, why not replace the downtube shifters to bar end shifters? snip . . .
Those suntour ratcheting down tube shifters are some of the very best shifters ever made. In fact the entire derailleur package (with a suntour vgt on the rear) is about as good as it gets if you're staying with friction. I wouldn't touch this.
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Old 01-13-17, 09:03 AM
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Yeaaaa, given your budget there's not a lot of ways to save big weight, nor IMHO will you need to it. If you want the bike lighter in order to feel faster, I suggest, as others have, doing a complete tear down with new grease and bearings and possibly housing, cables, and brake pads. Getting new, supple, tires will go a long way to making the bike feel faster too.

To your to two intentions beyond weight: year around commuter and light touring introducer, a rear rack with functional panniers and maybe a handlebar bag would be helpful. Bar end shifters *might* be nice too for commuting and touring since you can avoid taking your hands off the bars, which is convenient in traffic or while carrying extra weight.

There's a few other things I might change stylistically but to each their one. One thing for certain, you will love this bike, Miyatas are first rate bikes. Down the road, when you're completely enamored by it, perhaps building a set of wheels with a cassette hub will be in order, but for now, enjoy your bike.
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Old 01-13-17, 09:38 AM
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The Spirt is indeed a low-end front derailleur, but mine always worked well on a double or a triple, despite the high-normal spring action. If you do not need the current 36/30 low gear, changing to 36/28 or 36/26 would indeed give you more rear derailleur options.
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Old 01-13-17, 10:28 AM
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Some inspiration from what I did to my 1982:


Keep the Suntour drivetrain, unless worn, mine is smoooooth (albeit with a VGT-Luxe RD). Mine had the Suntour barcons already installed, I really like them. Toss on a back rack (I wouldn't use an adjustable rack again, I'd get a solid one). Pasela tires run nice. Avocet Touring seat that was on it is both vintage and comfy (IMO). Front wheel is off an old Trek touring bike, it was a bit nicer and lighter than the stock wheel, which I rounded out a couple nipples on trying to true and still have yet to fix. Fenders are cheap plastic SKS, but they work well. You've got nicer brakes than mine, which are the only original part I really can't stand bike. You can skip the cross levers as non-vintage, but I found utility in them. I'd have kept the non-aero brakes, but they don't work with the cross levers. Kool-stop brake pads are nice if you are in wet weather, those are the Continential version at about $8/pair.
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Old 01-13-17, 11:00 AM
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for the money you have to spend i'd say rack & 700c wheels (+tires). why? because you can find used cheap and light 700c wheels easier than 27 AND you will have room for a fatter tire if you wish.

Personally I forgoed the rack and just got a bag support off the seatpost.. and stuck a $14 tool bag from the local hardware3 store on it vs the $100+ they want for actual bicycle bags. It works for a little sport touring! just leave a little plastic bag in it for waterproofing!

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Old 01-13-17, 11:04 AM
  #20  
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I'm not sure why people think they must replace components on these old bikes. If you want to spend money to keep yourself occupied, fine, but it's kind of like buying a 1991 Camry, and then deciding you want to change the engine to a 2001 Lexus engine, 'cause it's better.

Anyhow, a bike of this age will benefit from a complete overhaul and tune up, and having all the consumables replaced. Do replace: tires, tubes, brake pads, cables and housing, handlebar tape. At that point, consider what you might like to be different, if anything.

These were a nice bike for the price at the time, and worth some TLC.
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Old 01-13-17, 11:07 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
The goal = shed weight. Tubulars.
Best ride improvement = tubulars.
Vintage tubular wheelsets are $100, locally.
Sure I love tubulars too, but on a 610??? This was like a $350 (IIRC) consumer level touring bike BITD, not a Cinelli.

That said, if you really wanted to hot rod the bike, the first thing would be to go with better wheels. Frankly Japanese clincher rims from this period were mediocre at best. I'd respace and realign the frame to 126 (6-7spd) or 130 (8-11sp) and go with a more modern set. At that point you'd need to replace your derailleurs and shifters, and purchase a freehub and chain. All in all it would cost more to have done than the bike is worth unless you do it yourself. 126 and 6-7 speed friction would not require new derailleurs.

Last edited by Salamandrine; 01-13-17 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 01-13-17, 12:07 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
Black bikes looks great with tan or brown accents, so I would install some new tires with tan sidewalls (eg, Panaracer Pasela PTs), natural tan cork bar tape and perhaps a honey-brown Brooks saddle.
Yep, I remember a thread somewhere talking about tan sidewalls and paint color. The poster indicated that bikes painted black looked better with tan sidewalls, whereas other colors, such as dark blue, looked better with all black tires (black shoes with a blue suit...). Of course there are no rules.
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Old 01-13-17, 12:11 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
That said, if you really wanted to hot rod the bike, the first thing would be to go with better wheels. Frankly Japanese clincher rims from this period were mediocre at best. I'd respace and realign the frame to 126 (6-7spd) or 130 (8-11sp) and go with a more modern set. At that point you'd need to replace your derailleurs and shifters, and purchase a freehub and chain. All in all it would cost more to have done than the bike is worth unless you do it yourself. 126 and 6-7 speed friction would not require new derailleurs.
I was thinking along this line for you, too. I am building an '85 Schwinn Tempo from frame up. My debate was whether to keep the hub spacing at 126mm for 6/7 speed or increase the spacing to 130mm. I found that there are a lot more modern wheels available than 6/7 speed wheels. I just picked up a set of Mavic Open Sport wheels with Shimano 105 (8/9/10 speed) for well under $100. There were many similar options, as well. Plus you will have many more tire size options with 700c rims.

This will probably break your $250 budget, however a 3x9 drive train could give you plenty of gearing options.

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Old 01-13-17, 12:39 PM
  #24  
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I think that if all the work is done at home, a set of velomine or wheelmaster (etc) 126 wheels might just squeek in at somewhere near $250, mostly cuz the friction shift and derailleurs can stay. Decent tires and consumables alone are going to cost like $125. Replacing the drivetrain with 3x9 shifters or something is going to be way over budget.

The big question is whether the OP can spread the frame and realign the dropouts and derailleur hanger without screwing it up. Most home mechanics make a mess of things IME. A fastidious person can do it by making (or buying) their own alignment tools and following Sheldon Brown's directions.

Tires are really the most important thing. Better tires are worth a little splurge.
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Old 01-13-17, 01:33 PM
  #25  
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The only things that I would do to that bike would be (in this order):

1. Replace consumables (tires, brake pads, cables, bearings, grease, chain [if stretched]).

2. Replace crankset with something like a Sugino or Holdsworth triple with smaller bolt circle if you want lower gears.

3. Since you have a triple I wouldn't bother spreading the rear. You have plenty of gears and spreading gets you into dicey axle breakage land if you stay with the wheelset and a freewheel (especially if you want to do loaded touring). Play around with a gear calculator to figure out what rear cluster will work best with your triple and then either buy a 5-speed IRD freewheel to suit or source a used Ultra-6 which will work with your 120 mm rear spacing.

I would most definitely NOT spread all the way out to 130 mm because you would have a high risk of breaking the frame. 126 mm would be the max, and you still might break something.

I agree with Salmandrine...tires will make a bigger difference to performance than anything. Buy the fattest, most supple tires that you can find that will clear the brake bridges and stays (e.g. Compass or Soma). Spending money trying to reduce weight is wasteful folly since you are not going to race that bike. You'll never notice a performance difference in real life.

Last edited by davester; 01-13-17 at 01:39 PM.
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