Miyata Bike

Miyata Bike Restoration Project

1988 Miyata 512 Road Bike

The Beginning…

As I have mentioned  I am an advocate for used road bikes especially for the beginner cyclist but even for the more advanced and experienced rider too.  Luckily for me, I inherited my Miyata bike from a neighbor whose eyes were greater than his will. Basically he purchased this bike brand new and road only a few times. He finally tired of dragging this bike from place to place when moving and offered this bike to me. I hesitated at first because I knew that the bike had been sitting around for several years and when he offered it to me, I hadn’t seen it as of yet. The best feature about this bike by far is how much it cost me…it was FREE!

Stock Components on the Miyata 512

The drive train as you would imagine on a bike of this vintage is a bit antiquated but I think it is worthy knowing what it is and it’s reputation in its heyday.

  • Chainwheels: Shimano Biopace #52 and #42
  • Cranks: Shimano via Japan FC-B126  170
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano via Japan Light Action LD-525
  • Brake Levers: Shimano SLR
  • Brake Calipers: Shimano SLR

(I will update with further information as it becomes available.)

Some History of the Miyata Bike

(You can fast-forward to 4:20 on the timeline to the specifications on the 1989 Miyata 512 specifically.)

[box style=”info”]The Miyata bike has a bit of history behind it as it turns out. Beginning in 1890, the bike was manufactured by a gun maker in the same factory. Over a few decades it developed relationships with local as well as international industry leaders and investors of the day. For a more interesting and in-depth background on the Miyata bike history read on here.[/box]

The Miyata Bike Transformation

When I first set my eyes on the 512 Miyata bike I was pleasantly surprised. It was in good condition considering that it had been left out in the weather over the years in backyards, balconies, etc. The only major attention needed was to replace the original tires (they were very brittle!). I have owned this bike for over 20 years and have pretty much done the same thing with it as its former owner…left it on a balcony (but at least covered) and only road a few times over the years until recently after getting serious about cycling. When I finally decided to get serious about cycling, I did have a bit of a mess to clean up to get the bike in a respectable state to ride. I took my road bike into my local neighborhood bike shop and had a “tune up” performed on it. Heres what he did for me:

  • Replaced and installed new handle bar tape.
  • Replaced the brake pads.
  • Replaced all the cables and sleeves.
  • Adjusted the drive train for ease of operation (front and rear derailleurs).

My Miyata bike came back from the shop in excellent operating condition but still needed some further TLC from me. What the following series of photos illustrate are some before and after shots of my handy work trying to beautify my beloved road bike. Take a look at my handy work:

The Effort With Payoff

With some very basic materials used you can breathe some new life back into a forsaken road bike too. Basically, I used the following items to help restore my Miyata bike:

  • Metal Sanding Cloth Assorted (by Finish 1st Automotive System No. 8260)
  • Autobody Wet & Dry Sanding System Assorted (by Finish 1st Automotive System No.8313)
  • Never Dull Original Wadding Polish (by Eagle One)

With these items and  a little (ok maybe more than a little) elbow grease, you can bring the life back into your road bike’s parts and components as well. Just remember that the more effort you put into the restoration the better the outcome will be.

Additional Miyata Bike Projects

(Video:  This is of a vintage 1977 Miyata bike that turned out excellent with the drive train and related components cleaned up quite well.)

I came across a very thorough restoration on another Miyata bike that you will find interesting as well as inspiring. It is of a 1988 512 model like mine but for a very tall individual as you will notice when observing the frame. This the type of over all restoration I plan to do with my own bike in the near future. Click here for the details on this well planned project.

How about you…do you have a road bike restoration project similar to my Miyata bike restoration project? Have you completed or are looking to start a project to have a respectable looking machine?

Let me know in the comments.