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Explain to me the mystique of Miyata please

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Explain to me the mystique of Miyata please

Old 09-03-22, 04:31 PM
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Smokinapankake
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Explain to me the mystique of Miyata please

Going in the morning to look at a '90 Miyata Triple Cross hybrid. Looks to be all original with components that are nothing too special, but what has me intrigued is the Splined Triple Butted frame. I've looked around here and there and found a catalog scan or two, but I'm having trouble visualizing what a splined tubeset might look like on the inside. I know Miyata's are highly regarded round these parts, but how would this particular model compare to, say, a Trek Multitrack 750? Or maybe a Univega Via Carisma? Or even another Miyata, perhaps a 600 or even 1000? Does the Miyata offer greater value over the other makes due to the nicer frameset? Any and all chime in please!
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Old 09-03-22, 04:46 PM
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Miyata was arguaby the best of the production Japanese bikes sold in the US. They had a fine and well deserved reputation among people who worked in the business BITD. They continue to have a fine reputation. I worked in a bike shop and bought a Team Miyata as my road bike. It was one of the finest road bikes I have ever ridden.
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Old 09-03-22, 05:13 PM
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Triplecross is a solid hybrid that can make a decent gravel bike in a pinch. Comparable to the bikes you mention as well as Specialized Crossroads, they aren't as refined (read light) as the Miyata road bikes but the build quality and paint seems up to snuff. I have a '91 in the project queue. That's a 47 mm front tire, the rear takes a 40.
Personally, I wanted an Alumicross just to save some weight.

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Old 09-03-22, 05:25 PM
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I worked in a shop from 1983 till 2021 and we carried Miyata from 1981 up to the day they stopped us distribution around 1994. No question about the quality of their lugged frames. Very well made all around. There are plenty of first rate frame makers in Japan and Miyata was one of them that did it well with large scale production. Without a doubt Miyata was the best at marketing their expertise to the bike shop employees who then passed that knowledge to the consumer.
Our Miyata sales rep had experience in frame building and he was able to explain rose buds, tube butting, and materials. Of all the sales reps he was exceptionally knowledgeable in frame construction and related advantages/disadvantages of tubing, etc. He is the guy that got me interested in building frames. I only recall his first name, Dave.
To this day I still ride a 1984 Ridge Runner, and my wife rides a Sky Runner (Koga-Miyata). Just 3 years ago I built my first touring frame and it replaced a 1985 Miyata 1000 which I retired to display status.
Mr. Miyata was a gem of a man. Very kind and polite. He was loyal to his US dealers, perhaps to a fault, but he was old school Japanese and very honorable. You can tell I had a large amount of respect for him. His son who took over for him in the 80's was the same way and he stayed true as possible to his father's vision of keeping Miyata a Japanese centered bicycle manufacturer. Eventually they had to go to Taiwan for frames to keep pricing in line with the market, and many of those frame seriously sucked in the quality of build. Frames sourced from Southern Cross were awful and eventually became a source of consternation for us dealers.
If I recall correctly the lugged frames were of Japan origin, tigged frames were non-Japanese origin. All the screwed and glued aluminum and carbon frames were Japanese.

I raced a 1986 Team Miyata. Interestingly that frame was very comfortable on and all-day ride and was very competent as a crit machine as well. It was not extra lightweight, and perhaps a bit overbuilt, but it was a great ride. About 10 years ago I fancied ordering a new Team Miyata from Miyata Japan, but it didn't happen. Not sure you can still get the custom Team bike from Miyata anymore, but if so, it will be a well built frame and fork made to stand the test of time.
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Old 09-03-22, 07:45 PM
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I've owned five. I still have my first two, a 1981 710 and a 1990 600gt. The 710 was bought new and is still close to stock. The 600gt was bought as a frameset and I hung my choice of parts on it for the 1991 PBP. The 600gt is the most comfortable frame I've ever done a century on. The 710 covered a lot of ground in 24 hr TTs. IIRC, we called Miyatas stiff but compliant. They are just well made frames. The others were a Country Runner, a Carbon Tech 3000, and a Ridge Runner. Traded the Country Runner for a Paramount track bike. The CarbonTech got sold because a guy waved a bunch of bills in my face. The Ridge Runner lost a fight with a tree.
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Old 09-03-22, 07:58 PM
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Old 09-03-22, 08:27 PM
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Iíve owned many, and thought they were all wonderful.

I had a low end 210 mixte and was very impressed with the overall quality and level of equipment it came with.

The miyata 912 that I own is triple butted and splined. I think itís very stiff, but in a good way. It doesnít feel noodly to me. Very nice all around.

The ridge runner that I have is a great early mountain bike. I put wide slicks on it and itís a great bike to commute on.
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Old 09-03-22, 08:36 PM
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I guess I've wanted one since the early 80s. I had a Takara 960 and in my little town, everyone thought it was some exotic bicycle and I rode it all over creation from dawn to past dusk. Then one evening I saw a guy riding a bike the opposite way down the main drag and I could tell it was a way nicer bike than what I had. A few evenings later I had a chance to chat with him and his bike was a Miyata. I don't know what model and it doesn't matter. Psychologically I don't know what is behind me wanting one even after all these years. But some day the right one will come along in survivor condition.
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Old 09-03-22, 10:19 PM
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Ben Lawee liked 'em.
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Old 09-04-22, 04:53 AM
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I guess to answer the question, Miyata just made a good solid bike for the money. I have only owned one Miyata, but I've had it for 38 years. I had it for 27 years before I bought a newer bike because I never saw it as an old bike, it was just my bike. I never felt like it was the bike holding me back. It still gets ridden regularly. I have made some concessions to accommodate my aging body, like the stem and saddle, but it is mainly the same as when I bought it in 1984.


1984 Miyata 310
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Old 09-04-22, 07:01 AM
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I forgot about the 24" wheeled 110 I bought for my youngest daughter. Great little bike. When she outgrew it, I had a line of parents from the bike club wanting to buy it.
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Old 09-04-22, 07:17 AM
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I have never owned a Miyata , but I have owned a few Kabuki’s , and back when I was in my twenties I had a friend who raced and built racing frames. He recommended a Kabuki Diamond Formula for my first light weight bike. It wasn’t that cheap but it was cheaper than a lot of the European bikes that some of my friends were riding. I bought one (it had to be ordered because I ride a 25” frame). That bike came with SunTour and Diacompe equipment so nothing flashy but it was very light for a tall bike and rode exceptionally well. I still have it and ride it occasionally. In the seventies , the Japanese bikes and components were giving the rest of the bike manufacturers a run for the money and produced some good products.
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Old 09-04-22, 08:25 AM
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I need to learn about Miyata. They built frames with other labels, correct? (Iím really ignorant about this stuff.)
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Old 09-04-22, 09:21 AM
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I thought about selling my '80 Professional. Then with the add set I had a reply that told me I was way underpriced, but my bike was to big. He advised me to keep the pro even though it's just undersized. I haven't rode the Pro for a few years now. The ride feel is stellar.

I have a very similar bike in the 1980 Univega Gran Premio that's a French fit. I built this up for my aging need of gearing in hilly Seattle.

The Univega was bought, sold, and bought back. Yes I bought the same bike twice

The other Miyata in my position is the '88 615. I bought this as a bare frame and built up with Campy 3x10 and a tall Technomic stem. The 615 is what I call a mullet bike, with hair short up front and party in back. The 615 has Sport geometry up front, and long chainstay son the rear. I've been putting a lot of miles on this.



I'll search for a picture of the pro, those are deep in the archive of photos.

Heres a few from the day bought, and how it was set for the test ride.


The ride is just freaky magic, for bike that weighs, I don't know, 25lbs.
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Old 09-04-22, 09:25 AM
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I shared a while back about a 1982 Pro-Miyata that was gifted to me by the original owner. It had been in storage for some time but he rode the hell out of it back in the day, so between those two things it took a lot of effort to strip it down and locate some replacement components... The frame is off at the powder coater's now and I have new decals and all of the parts assembled... Looking forward to seeing how it turns out, especially after reading all of the rave reviews above!

-Gregory
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Old 09-04-22, 10:18 AM
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I recently picked up a Pro Miyata frame from a BFer. I'm thinking this was a SunTour Superbe build. I went Cyclone derailleurs and brakes, Campy Chorus triple so not all that far out of line (with some concession to 69 years on the planet and what I had on hand). Frame and fork are stickered with Miyata Cro-Mo tubing.

Impression? Best race frame I've ever ridden, easily. Fully race stiff for someone much stronger than me, rides easily over poor pavement and feels rock solid secure on turns. Like a bike I could trust at speeds I will never do again. (I used to race. There's a descent I've done twice that is fast. Out lead car, a local cop, had to do 60 between turns to stay ahead of us. I absolutely trusted that Fuji Pro but this bike is better in every respect.)

The frame has ovalized seat stays and fork blades. Shades of the aero tubes that came later. They look like they should make the bike flexy side to side but I cannot find a trace of compromise. I still don't know the frame's year. It has the same paint and nearly all of the details of Mr. 66's sky blue race bike above but not the seatstay bridge diamond reinforcement and mine has the braze-on for the top-mounted SunTour Symmetric shifters (which I love and wanted on my Fuji Pro in 1977 so I wouldn't slam the bike into the 42-13 with my knee climbing walls!) My Pro shares braze-ons with Pompiere's Miyata above which is an '84 (using his stated age and math). My DT shifter is similar but not model. Our fork crowns are different (mine's fully sloping) and my chainstays and dropouts are chromed under the pain like Mr. 66's.

Mr. 66, do you know what year your bike is? I'm guessing mine is a year earlier with the differences I noted above.
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Old 09-04-22, 10:56 AM
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I have to make a correction on the tigged frames being Taiwanese. In 1983 they produced the Ridge Runner as a tig welded frame, and it was produced in Japan. It is the only tigged frame they made themselves at that tiem as far as I know.
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Old 09-04-22, 11:11 AM
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My recollection was the period that Miyata pulled out of the U.S. market was when much manufacturing was moving to Taiwan. I think mostly a Yen vs. Dollar issue with the Japanese unable to profit. They were maybe the last of the Japanese frames made with lugs, with the steel frame market moving to welded.
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Old 09-04-22, 11:27 AM
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My only Miyata experience is with my 1990 1000LT. Part of what makes it interesting to me is that it is A: Miyata's flagship level tourer and B: 5+ years newer than my Trek and Schwinn flagship level tourers- so not only do you see a different approach, but you also see the technology leap as well as the evolution of what makes a good tourer along with the decline of prestige of "touring" from 1984-1990.

Miyata made their own tubing- which allowed them to not only have the Splined Triple Butted tubing- but produce it in the gauges they wanted it in for the specific purpose it was being used. My M1000LT is my stiffest, most stable bike, but it's also the heaviest frame- I think Miyata, at that time, didn't have to compete with the prestige of 531 or SL/SP with buyers of high end touring bikes- they just designed the bike around tubing that best matched it's purpose- and for a tourer- its primary function was to be stable under load- irrespective of the competition for the weight of the tube set.

Miyata seat stay cap by Dave The Golden Boy, on Flickr

Miyata 1000LT "Spline Triple Butted CrMo" seat tube decal by Dave The Golden Boy, on Flickr

Miyata 1000LT "spline Triple butted" decal by Dave The Golden Boy, on Flickr

No Bikes Allowed by Dave The Golden Boy, on Flickr
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Old 09-04-22, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I recently picked up a Pro Miyata frame from a BFer. I'm thinking this was a SunTour Superbe build. I went Cyclone derailleurs and brakes, Campy Chorus triple so not all that far out of line (with some concession to 69 years on the planet and what I had on hand). Frame and fork are stickered with Miyata Cro-Mo tubing.

Impression? Best race frame I've ever ridden, easily. Fully race stiff for someone much stronger than me, rides easily over poor pavement and feels rock solid secure on turns. Like a bike I could trust at speeds I will never do again. (I used to race. There's a descent I've done twice that is fast. Out lead car, a local cop, had to do 60 between turns to stay ahead of us. I absolutely trusted that Fuji Pro but this bike is better in every respect.)

The frame has ovalized seat stays and fork blades. Shades of the aero tubes that came later. They look like they should make the bike flexy side to side but I cannot find a trace of compromise. I still don't know the frame's year. It has the same paint and nearly all of the details of Mr. 66's sky blue race bike above but not the seatstay bridge diamond reinforcement and mine has the braze-on for the top-mounted SunTour Symmetric shifters (which I love and wanted on my Fuji Pro in 1977 so I wouldn't slam the bike into the 42-13 with my knee climbing walls!) My Pro shares braze-ons with Pompiere's Miyata above which is an '84 (using his stated age and math). My DT shifter is similar but not model. Our fork crowns are different (mine's fully sloping) and my chainstays and dropouts are chromed under the pain like Mr. 66's.

Mr. 66, do you know what year your bike is? I'm guessing mine is a year earlier with the differences I noted above.
If I recall Tmar called mine as a 1980.

Yours if it has piggyback shift mount would be 1982 or 83.
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Old 09-04-22, 11:57 AM
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I've only owned one Miyata so far, and it was much too small. 😟 But it gave me a good idea about the quality of the frame, which was top-notch. 👍 Still looking for a good deal on one that fits.

And of course, Miyatas seem to be one of the main sources, for Sansin/Sunshine hubs. 😍😁
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Old 09-04-22, 12:56 PM
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Part of my Miyata stable…



‘92 Team Miyata, ‘83 Team Miyata, ‘83 Pro Miyata (F-B)
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Old 09-04-22, 01:02 PM
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Miyata bikes are awesome. Here is my Triplecross

Triplecross

1000


916
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Old 09-04-22, 06:37 PM
  #24  
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Basically super well built frames that ride really well

here is a link to catalogs https://www.ragandbone.ca/Miyata/miyata_selector.html

the 1000 is considered by many the best touring bike of it's time or ever

I have have 2 and had a third

I had an 89 1400 which was positioned as a tri-bike before aero ruled. Last bike I bought new. loved it, but is may be the only bike where Miyata had and engineering fail, in that the internally routed top tube brake cable holes did not have proper reinforcement and many of these frames cracked ad did mine

I was given an 84 team by a neighbor, it had been "upgraded" but I ended up putting it back to close to period parts. this bike with a light wheelset (mavic gell 330, sanshin hub and just oke challenge elite tubulars 25 mm at 130psi) is so far the absolute best get in it and the bike asks you to fide harder faster bike I have ridden (it was a dog with heavy bontrager clinchers and even heavier tubes)
I rode this bike with ma40 wheels and 28 mm gravel kings in the 2021 Cino with no issues other than my lack of fitness. I was 240-245 at the time

I love the ride so much I looked for another to put modern gear on, found an 85 is super shape and put 105 5800 11 speed on it, my daily rider and it is super

Interestingly the 84 is double butted tubing, the 85 is triple butted, but not splined. the 1400 was spline triple butted

85


84 with 52/39 dura ace replaced with 105 triple....in a hope for survival

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Old 09-04-22, 07:28 PM
  #25  
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So I ended up joining the Miyata club today; the bike was in "well-used" condition and a size too large for me. But the price was unbeatable and my brother in law who needs a bike will be gifted this one for his birthday. The photos are, of course, after I had cleaned it up and replaced virtually every part on it except wheels, headset, and seatpost:




Its a good 15 footer.
More to come....
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