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1984 Miyata Terra Runner - Should I use it for touring, or commuting?

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1984 Miyata Terra Runner - Should I use it for touring, or commuting?

Old 07-20-20, 07:21 PM
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user2
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1984 Miyata Terra Runner - Should I use it for touring, or commuting?

I picked up this bike today for $180 Canadian ($133 USD). It doesn’t appear to have many miles on it and it seems to still have the original tires. I purchased it from the original owner’s son in-law.

Would this be a good candidate for a touring rig on paved and gravel roads and rail trails? It doesn’t have front braze-ons, but other than that seems like a solid frame and I like that it has plenty of tire clearance. I'm basically looking for a used/lower cost alternative to a Surly LHT. I very rarely see used touring bikes within 100 miles of me here in Ottawa, Canada.

If this isn't a good candidate for a touring rig, I still want to use this for commuting, grocery getting and joy rides. It would replace my low-end GT Vantura hybrid that I keep getting broken spokes on because I'm a 215lb clyde.

I have never owned a vintage bike, but I have a decent amount of experience working on 21st century bikes. I took it for a spin tonight and it feels super sturby and fun. I was surprised how smoothly it shifted and also how high the gearing is for an ATB. I guess people had stronger legs in the 80’s










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Old 07-20-20, 07:30 PM
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As long as you use it, I don't particularly care whether you're commuting or touring!

My suggestion would be to start commuting on it right away, and gradually tweak the build to make it better for touring (you'll have to figure this out for yourself) and plan a tour. If that's what you want, I mean. You'll need a front rack and the appropriate luggage (
panniers or whatever). If this bike doesn't work for touring, the gear will transfer to another bike easily enough.
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Old 07-20-20, 07:52 PM
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The rear rim has a significant ding in the sidewall and will likely need to be replaced. I guess this means I need to either find a wheel with a 120mm hub, or cold set the frame to accept 130 or 135mm.
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Old 07-20-20, 07:53 PM
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Should I be concerned about this rust?


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Old 07-20-20, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
As long as you use it, I don't particularly care whether you're commuting or touring!

My suggestion would be to start commuting on it right away, and gradually tweak the build to make it better for touring (you'll have to figure this out for yourself) and plan a tour. If that's what you want, I mean. You'll need a front rack and the appropriate luggage (
panniers or whatever). If this bike doesn't work for touring, the gear will transfer to another bike easily enough.
That's a good point, I'll make it my daily driver for awhile to test it out and make sure I enjoy it.
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Old 07-20-20, 08:56 PM
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I'd leave that bike stock and ride it for now. See if it really meets your expectations. Some early long wheelbase ATB's really weren't great rides for loaded touring or much of anything. Commute with it and if you need to dial it in with new componentry, keep all the original bits.
Some mild acid cleaning and waxing will keep rust in check. I think widening the spacing is a rabbit hole. There's lots of these wheels about, for awhile. Ultra 6 freewheels will fit.
And everything rhm already said
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Old 07-20-20, 09:42 PM
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I agree, no need to go stretchiní the frame. 😉 I have a 6-speed freewheel on my Miyata six ten, which is alright, for now, but Iím planning to just upgrade to a 7-speed freewheel pretty soon, with bigger cogs, for hill-climbing. There are still lots of good shifters out there, for indexed 7-speed. 👍

My biggest concern, would be the wheels themselves, as far as strength. You said youíre a bigger guy, so you want good strong wheels just for normal unloaded riding. When you add in the weight of panniers & racks & what goes in them, you know youíre gonna want good strong wheels.

Look for at least 36-spoke hubs & rims, and more is definitely better. 🙂
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Old 07-21-20, 03:47 AM
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Iíve had a Terra Runner and a Ridge Runner. Both awesome bulletproof construction and nice paint. Your bike can certainly do double duty for commuting and touring.

The rim might be tweakable for now with channel lock or vise grip pliers. When you pull the filthy crankset for cleaning and bb lube, tackle the rust with some WD40 and a brass brush,




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Old 07-21-20, 05:16 AM
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Hello, fellow Ottawan!
Nice score! My Ridge Runner is a similar bike, and is a very nice ride. I'd try tweaking that wheel, and just keep an eye out on Kijiji for a replacement. In normal times something would show up pretty quickly.
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Old 07-21-20, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
I agree, no need to go stretchin’ the frame. 😉 I have a 6-speed freewheel on my Miyata six ten, which is alright, for now, but I’m planning to just upgrade to a 7-speed freewheel pretty soon, with bigger cogs, for hill-climbing. There are still lots of good shifters out there, for indexed 7-speed. 👍

My biggest concern, would be the wheels themselves, as far as strength. You said you’re a bigger guy, so you want good strong wheels just for normal unloaded riding. When you add in the weight of panniers & racks & what goes in them, you know you’re gonna want good strong wheels.

Look for at least 36-spoke hubs & rims, and more is definitely better. 🙂
Yep, few things are more disappointing than heading out for a ride on a nice day and hearing the "ping" of a broken spoke...


Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
I’ve had a Terra Runner and a Ridge Runner. Both awesome bulletproof construction and nice paint. Your bike can certainly do double duty for commuting and touring.

The rim might be tweakable for now with channel lock or vise grip pliers. When you pull the filthy crankset for cleaning and bb lube, tackle the rust with some WD40 and a brass brush,
Good to know, thanks. I'll try tweaking the wheel for now.

Now I need to find myself a pin spanner and lockring spanner so I can service the the BB.

Originally Posted by John Nolan View Post
Hello, fellow Ottawan!
Nice score! My Ridge Runner is a similar bike, and is a very nice ride. I'd try tweaking that wheel, and just keep an eye out on Kijiji for a replacement. In normal times something would show up pretty quickly.
Thanks! I was surprised to get a bike at a reasonable price during the current boom.

To keep an eye out for suitable wheels on Kijiji I should search for 5 and 6 speed mountain bike wheels right? Just trying to figure out how to sift through results to find one with a 120mm hub since very few sellers specify the hub spacing in their ad.
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Old 07-21-20, 04:36 PM
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IMHO that rim is toast and should be replaced. How do you feel about trying a wheel build? In the old days we would have just laced a new rim on there. Cost of new rim/spokes/labor in 1984 would have been about the same as a new generic replacement wheel. Nowadays, I'm sure it'd be way more, unless you do it yourself.

If you prefer, I don't see any reason not to respace the frame, as long as it is done correctly. This gives you more wheel options, but you may end up spending more money, possibly much more, on drivetrain components.
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Old 07-21-20, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
IMHO that rim is toast and should be replaced. How do you feel about trying a wheel build? In the old days we would have just laced a new rim on there. Cost of new rim/spokes/labor in 1984 would have been about the same as a new generic replacement wheel. Nowadays, I'm sure it'd be way more, unless you do it yourself.

If you prefer, I don't see any reason not to respace the frame, as long as it is done correctly. This gives you more wheel options, but you may end up spending more money, possibly much more, on drivetrain components.
I'm not completely opposed to the idea of a wheel build if I decide to build this up for touring. I re-tensioned a wheel on one of my bikes once and it stayed true at least. If I were going to fork out the cash for a wheel build I think I would want to get a tension meter as well though to increase my chances of success, and so I can check the tension on wheels on my other bikes. I don't have a good ability to hear/judge/feel tension so I guess you could say would be more of a scientific wheel builder than an artistic wheel builder.
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Old 07-21-20, 09:51 PM
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She'll tour or bike commute just fine. Solid advice above. Ride it and then decide how you want to ride the bike. You'll also learn if you can live with the vintage components or if you want to go with a more modern build. I've built up a couple vintage rigid mountain bikes with indexed components and they did great as commuters and tourers. I am of the opinion that you can get used to most any geometry if a bike fits you and you spend enough time on it.
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Old 07-21-20, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by user2 View Post
I'm not completely opposed to the idea of a wheel build if I decide to build this up for touring. I re-tensioned a wheel on one of my bikes once and it stayed true at least. If I were going to fork out the cash for a wheel build I think I would want to get a tension meter as well though to increase my chances of success, and so I can check the tension on wheels on my other bikes. I don't have a good ability to hear/judge/feel tension so I guess you could say would be more of a scientific wheel builder than an artistic wheel builder.
It's kind of a fun skill to have. I'm sure you'll get lots of help here. Tension meter isn't strictly necessary, especially with 36h MTB wheels. I have one now because I'm a geek. Built many many without one.

Before anything like that, I'd give the whole bike an overhaul and cleaning first. By that I mean clean and repack hubs, HS, BB, etc. Take a look at the hub bearings. If the races are shot, there's no point in reusing the hubs for a new wheel. People weren't always good about maintenance.

For sure ride it around for a while as is to see how you like it before throwing time and money at it. That rim doesn't look so bad that it can't be ridden. As long as it holds onto the tire bead it's ok for now. Might womp womp a little. I think it could be a great rugged touring bike. No reason you couldn't commute on it too. I love the original generation mountain bikes.
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