Miyata six-ten

I am doing a little research on Miyata bikes, for one, because little is available on the web, and another reason is that Wendy is looking for a used touring frame and one came available at a LBS.

Apparently, Miyata is a Japanese bike company that produced lugged steel frame bikes with Shimano or Suntour parts and were sold in the US from the 70s – early 90s, after which point the company couldn’t afford to export to the US. Before the mid-80s their bikes were given numbers (e.g. 710) and after the mid-80s the company switched to letters (e.g. seven-ten), so this is one way to date your Miyata! The number in the tens and ones digits refers to the number of gears (e.g. 710 was a 10 speed).


A fellow cyclist and blogger notes:

“[Miyatas] don’t have the racing heritage of De Rosa or Bianchi, or the rumpled style of Raleigh, or the eccentricity of Bridgestone. They’re simply very unpretentious, well-built and well-equipped bikes” (blog).

Wikipedia tells us that early Miyata frames were not that different from rifle barrels:

“The steel tubes used for the new Miyata bicycle were manufactured with the same technique as the piping used for guns. It was bored out lengthwise using a round steel rod. The entire bicycle, except the tires, was built from scratch at the gun factory” (wiki)

They also pioneered triple butted tubing, says Sheldon Brown’s website.

Of interest for touring, Miyata 610 and 1000 were better and best, respectively.

“Mid 1980’s 610’s have triple-butted splined Chromoly frame tubing, very unusual quality tubing and construction for this price level. This bike is slightly lighter in weight than Trek 520/720 touring bikes, but of similar quality.

Miyata 1000 was considered the finest, lightest off-the-peg touring bike of its time, with splined, triple-butted Chromo tubing. Some report the 610 to be stiffer than the 1000–probably a bit better for loaded touring. 1997 model had a mix of Shimano 600 and Deore XT parts (600 DT shifters, XT derailleurs). Miyata 1000 is still considered one of the finest stock touring frames ever” (wiki).

I am looking forward to taking the LBS Miyata six-ten for a spin this weekend and will post a review of sorts.


33 responses to “Miyata six-ten

  1. Hi Dave,

    Greetings from Durham, I hope this note finds you well. I was googling the Miyata 610 because one came up on craigslist and found your site. Did you end up buying the frame? And, what do you think of it?

    Take care,

  2. I have one of the lower-line Miyatas, the 210. I bought it at a local bike shop, and have been taking it on long-distance rides for a few years now. I can’t recommend it enough.

  3. I think I know why this is such a great bike. It is a solid steel frame bike with canti breaks. That is it. Just a beautiful combination of utility and speed.

    I didn’t buy it. The recyclery that carried it was showing just the frame, but later wanted to sell it built out for +$400 with all campy stuff. Too rich for my blood, plus building it out is the fun part. I recently saw another Miyata 610 on craigslist for $750. They are great bikes, and you should scoop it up for the right price.

    Actually, the bike I bought with Wendy is really similar to the 610. She has a Soma Doublecross and can handle up to 700 x 38c http://www.somafab.com/doublecross_one.html

    btw, this post is my most popular… over 600 views since March 08!

    • Dave, what can you tell me about the Miyata leaning frame bike? I need to raise the handle bars and I am not sure just what to do.
      This probably isn’t the right place to post this but I am stumped.

  4. I bought and still ride my 610 purchased in 1981, I think. It was a fantastic deal at the time. A year old model still on the floor when the newer 12 speeds had come out. The dollar was strong relative to the yen. It wasn’t much over $200! I was also lucky that they had a 27″ frame. Nothing less will fit me.

    I’m getting ready to replace the crank and brakes. I expect it will last me the rest of my life.

    Best Wishes

  5. John, I thought my 70s Peugot PX-10 had another couple of decades left in it, but the frame failed at 3 welds last month– all around the rear brake stays and seat tube. I was both sad to see it go, and happy to hunt for another used commuter bike. I wonder if anybody has done a survey on longevity of bikes? Mine was around 30 when it failed.

  6. Good question. I had to unbend my right seat stay. The result of an accident. Every time you have to do something like that the bike is diminished. It was a slight adjustment not visible when I was done. Who is to say what a previous owner has done to a bike.

    The picture of the 610 in the 1981 Miyata catalog is a smaller version of the bike I purchased. Had I designed this bike, it would have a longer top tube and chain stays.

    Take a look at http://miyatabicyclecatalogs.blogspot.com/

  7. John, those are great images. I’ll have to update this post with them!

  8. I was actually thinking of donating my two ten to a local bike charity. Now after some research, and thanks to Davelove and others, I am keeping this bike. By the looks of the Miyata catalogs linked above, I have an ’83 model. BTW this is a 15 speed in the catalog even though it is a two ten model. I guess they dumped some suffixes?

    My two ten only needs a new chain and a seat to be complete. I can’t believe an old Navy buddy gave me this bike 10 years ago. What a gem that I had just sitting around!

  9. re: 210 miyata
    Can I also recommend changing the brake pads… as the rubber gets hard over time. They are easy to replace for ~$10 and will greatly improve safety. There have also been big improvements in brake levers that makes them more comfortable and easier to use than 1980s brake levers. I like the Shimano BR400 for cheap ($35) and functional road levers (http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=6373&category=1597). good luck!

  10. Came across your site after searching Miyata 610. I have one for sale in N. Utah. Clean as the proverbial pin…I doubt that it has 100 miles on it. Nubbies on original tires, seriously looks new. Probably a 56cm c-c. If anyone is interested please let me know or if you know of a place for me to post. Thanks!

  11. Hi Jim,
    Too bad bike sounds a little big for me, I am a 52 or 53 cm. I’d try craigslist or ebay, with preference for the former.

  12. i just picked up a 1985 1000 in great shape for $100

  13. A friend has asked me to sell her bicycle. Currently is resides in my garage.

    Miyata Six Ten: Vintage 1984. Like new. Paint (burgandty) perfect-not nicked. Few miles on the machine. Stored inside, unridden for perhaps 20 years. $100

    Diamond Frame. 46 cm or 18 inches. Smallest diamond frame I have ever seen on a road bike.
    28/44/50 triple Shimano chainwheel. 170 mm cranks (vs the more common 175 mm) 14-34 freewheel Gear ratios from 22 to 96 gear inches. Great range.
    Rear Rack
    2 water bottle cages on frame mounted screws
    700 x 32 mm Miyata whitewall tires, Shraeder valves, alloy wheels.
    Shimano light action gruppo shifters. Down tube controls. Shifts like a dream.
    Shimano centerpull/cantilver brakes. Very effective.
    Sakae dropped handlebars. Foam padded.
    Tourist and regular drop handlebar brake handles. Both sets work well.
    Low rider front rack mounts. (ready for low rider racks).
    Quick Release hubs front and rear. Rat trap pedals. Reflectors front and back. Reflectors on both wheels.
    Handle bar mounted rear view mirror.
    Aluminum light weight fenders.
    Alloy seat post, comfortable seat.
    Brazed on bridge for brake cable stops, several points for brake cable adjustment. Brazed on chain protection for lower rear stay.
    Good “rake” on front fork (vs a more straight fork geometry). Makes for a pleasant ride. Climbs well.

    All this (fenders, mirrors, reflectors, water bottle cages, great rear rack) and still weighs just 27 pounds.

    Want to look at it?? Perhaps take it home and ride it. later, augie mueller

    August Mueller
    4009 Drexel Drive
    Vestal, NY 13850

  14. I had a 610 exactly like the one in the photo. Bought it used and had a crash that caused me to replace the front forks with green ones. I put about 10,000 kms on it before it was stolen. I miss that bike more than any I’ve had – truly a great machine.

  15. I have a 25″ Miyata 610 which I bought new from the Bike Pedlar in Nashville, Tenn., in April 1980, for $289. I need to get the wheels trued but otherwise this bike is still in great shape.

    It’s black, and over the years I upgraded some components: Dia-compe side-pull brakes, SR 42-52 crank, Avocet saddle, and the necessary tire and chain replacements. I’m getting ready to change out the 5-speed 14-32 freewheel for a Suntour New Winner 6-speed 13-24. I’ve rarely used the 32-tooth gear.

    One of my daughters wrecked the bike several years ago, tearing up the Suntour V-GT derailleur and twisting the dropout. I was able to straighten the dropout and rethread a replacement derailleur. The bike feels good and rides well.

    John Black
    Franklin, Tenn.

  16. Tom Hutchinson

    I have come across a Miyata Seven Ten,how do I determine what size I have so I can list the bike for sale, was told so far it is an early 80’s but don’t much more or where to find info on it’s worth. Any info would be a big help.

  17. Tom,

    Measure from the center of the bottom bracket to the top tube, along the seat tube. That should give you the right number. At that line my 25″ frame measures slightly over that but close enough.

  18. I have a Miyata 610 that I bought new in 1982 (and I still ride it). It came as a 15-speed. Great bike for touring, especially if one has put on a few pounds since 1982.

    I put on aero-bars and to me it makes long rides easier.

  19. I was able to get my hands on a miyata 700GT. I believe it to be manufactured in 1993. It appears that Miyata had previously offered three grades of touring bikes the 210 the 610 and the 1000. Then after the market glut in the mid eighties the offering was reduced to just the 610 and the 1000. the 1000 was the most expensive. Lately some people claim the 610 to be a bit stronger, and a bit stiffer, and perhaps better for fully loaded touring. Then the year my 700Gt was offered it was the only touring bike in the Miyata lineup. The following year only the 1000 was offered.

    I also own the famous Trek 720, and also the Trek 520. Both have lugged frames are made from 531 steel, and were designed and sold for touring. Except the 520 was leaning toward also being a sport bike that year, and it does not have the bottle attachments under the down tube. I also own the Soma double cross with the air hardened steel, and also a Jamis Nova which is a notch above the aurora, and the only year the nova was set up for touring and cyclecross. Has a lug in the middle of the front fork for low rider bags, and plenty of other lugs for racks, and somewhat longer chain stays.

    I guess all of this information is just to give a basis for my opinion. I was on a several year persuit of a great touring bike. One that could take slightly larger tires, and would ride more like a road bike, but allow for lots of cargo, and be stong. As many readers may know; most bicycles are designed for 150lb riders. Especially all of the high end tubing models. Those of us who weigh well over 150lbs and who also want to carry a 65lb load with us want both a good bike and a strong bike, but we also want some of the same high quality built into the best bikes, and not the clunker toy bikes that are only good for a few trips around the block.

    So here is the deal. The Miyata 700GT is much better than either of the Treks, or the Soma. They are all great bikes, and will do the job, and the Miyata 700GT (which I believe to be very similar to the 610) is a bit heavier. However, when I first start peddling it I can feel a better smoother more powerful ride. I have to admit that the 23lb wieght of the Jamis Nova is nice, but still the Miyata is the best. It has oversized, splined, tripple butted tubes, is made well, and handles great! Also I paid the least for it.

    The Trek 720 cost me somewhere over $400, the Trek 520 was $300 and both of them came with 27″ wheels that can be changed to 700c with only a minor brake adjustment, but still there is a big expense for new wheels. They also came with downtube shifters. The Jamis was all set up with the latest, and greatest including real good 700c 36 spoke wheels, and new brake lever nine speed shifters, and it cost about $400. The Miyata came with excellent bar end shifters, 700c 36 spoke wheels, the perfect crank for touring i.e. 50/40/30 and an expanded rear cluster also, and lugs everywhere even under the back brake mounts, under the downtube, and inside the middle of the front fork as well and on the outside, and it cost $140, buy needed cleaning greasing, surface rust beat back, and new rubber.

    All of this to say if you have a chance to grab a Miyata do it! I h

  20. I have a circa 1990 1000 LT that I stripped down today to be repainted, for the second time — the last paint job was 11 years ago.

    This is a bike I bought new. I have ridden it various amounts at different points over the last 20 years. It was my only transportation for several years, then I used it less after I got a car and started to run for exercise, and now I am back to riding about 150-200 miles a week after my knees let me know that they do not like running.

    Almost every moving part on this bike has worn out and been replaced a time or two or three. Still, I suppose its essence is the same. The biggest operational difference from original stock is that I switched a to 9-speed rear gear cluster from the original 7. I still have 2 biopace chainrings.

    Observations: I ride this bike, in its battered glory, in “club rides,” which are pretty fast. The long wheel base makes me quite a bit less manueverable through sharp turns. The bike is of course also heavier than the carbon wonderbikes that show up for group rides (it weighs about 28-29 lbs with a rear rack, bottle cages, and a seat bag with a multitool, patch kit, and a spare tube). I don’t get the sense that I am slower than the wonderbikes, except for fast starts off the line and tight turns.

    It is very comfortable, unloaded or loaded.

    Loaded: handles fine under load. My only frame of reference is a Cannondale 90’s MTB that I attached racks to and toured on the C&O Canal trail. The Miyata is much stiffer.

    Weak points: Despite the accolades, there are some which you should be aware of if you are considering buying a used bike.

    Not sure about the later bikes in the line, but my bike and all made prior to mine ran the rear brake cable in a housing along the top tube which is held in place with three braze-ons. The middle braze-on is perfectly located to catch sweat dripping from me. It always rusted badly. I was concerned the rust would eat into the tube. I finally had a frame-builder remove the braze-ons and install two cable stops at the ends of the top tube for an exposed-cable brake line set-up.

    Earlier 1000LTs had three bottle mounts. My bike omits the mount under the down tube. Instead, it has a braze-on for a Flick-stand. Not a great design decision. When I had the cable stops installed, I investigated adding a 3rd bottle mount. The clearances would not work, so evidently Miyata tinkered with the frame geometry over the 1000LT’s production run.

    My bike came with 28-44-50 chain rings. The latter two are way too high for loaded touring, which I learned the hard way.

    My bike, although a 56 cm frame size, came with really narrow 38 cm Nitto handlebars. My aching neck lead me to try wider bars. It made a big improvement.

  21. In 1980 when I bought my 610 new, the line included the 310, the 610, the 710, and the 1000.

    Since my last post I’ve upgraded the rims I said I was going to true. I tried that at home and didn’t get what I wanted so I took the bad rear wheel to a local bike shop, Gran Fondo, where they pronounced the wheel DOA. They gave me a good price on a 700x20mm Weinmann rear wheel, and I replaced the front wheel with an 18mm Weinmann, both now using Presta tubes. I also mounted a set of Panaracer Pasela TG tires, which are great over the rough backroads of Middle Tennessee. What an improvement!

    I also added a Brooks saddle and a 13×28 6-speed rear cluster, giving me 12 speeds and a little tighter range.

    A riding friend who has to buy the latest a greatest in bikes every so often can’t understand how I can enjoy a 31-year-old bike. The stiff tall frame, the graceful handlebar stem, the randonneur handebars, the excellent Dia-Compe brakes, shifters, levers, and rear cluster, all keep me content with this great bike.

  22. does anyone know what a 710 in really good shape iw worth today???
    reply to Mugsiekay@charter.net
    picked one up at a garage sale and it is in very good shape, was wondering if I got a deal or not.

  23. I was wondering the same thing. I just picked up a miyata 610 in good shape, not great, for $200 on craigs list. Not sure what year, it is 10 speed. reply to cocofunoco@aol.com

  24. I have a Miyata six-ten and ninety and I have had nothing but a good time with both. Both are in great shape. I don’t have a frame of reference for riding newer or higher ended bikes, but that doesn’t matter when I am riding along ocean drive. One of the delights of my life.

  25. hi, great thread for Miyata info.
    I have a triple cross, which is supposed to be a “touring” frame blended with trail bike components. Recently took a long trip initially lugging a Yakima/ bob hybrid trailor…but jettisoned trailor and much of excess load and finished trip with old Kirtland panniers. No complaints-bike handled well with my rear heavy load. Question: since the triple cross allegedly has a touring frame….how closely does it compare to the 610 or the 1000 specswise? Anyone know? Any suggestions on modifying it for touring? I replaced original tires. Thanks!

  26. Looking for a new front fork for Miyata 210 – 27″ frame — I have a Miyata 210 with a 27″ frame I bought in the summer of 1981. It probably has between 30 – 40,000 miles on it, and the tip of the front fork just broke off where the front wheel clips in. I must admit I’m a bit miserable and in mourning since it is the only road bike I have ridden in all that time. The piece that broke off is about the size of a quarter, and I’m afraid that I won’t be able to get a new replacement front fork, especially with the 27″ frame. Does anyone have any advice about where to get a replacement?

  27. Anyone have the dimensions for a 50cm 1986 Miyata 610 frame? ie top tube, stand over, chain-stay length, etc?

  28. I bought my 1981 Miyata 610 last weekend from http://www.oldbikesbelong.com at Louisville, Kentucky, as a quality, low-cost alternative to a Bruce Gordon BLT or one of Carl Strong’s “Personal Blend” bikes. I’ll have to get some better tires for these Southern Middle Tennessee roads, and a better saddle than the Selle Italia that’s on the bike, now. It’s a hoss.

  29. I picked up a 610 yesterday from a local bike shop. Got new tires to put on it tomorrow but it rides really nice as of right now and I really enjoy it. I was wondering if there was any way I could figure out what year it is?

    • Pockettrikeed

      Google Miyata catalogues. The colors give them away. Congrats! You will love it. Recently, I bought a 1986 (red and silver) on Craigslist. I have geared it for the HILLY Blue Ridge Mountains and put a Brooks saddle on and it rides like a dream. I have vintage Blackburn racks and panniers front and back. A test run of 60 lbs was a tremendous surprise. You have a thrill ahead. Let’s go touring!!!!

    • Josh Riedmiller

      Hi Alex, the first letter of the serial number (stamped on the bottom bracket shell) will reveal the model year. Use this blog as a reference for decoding that letter to the year. http://vintagemiyatabicycles.blogspot.com/2010/07/miyata-bicycles-serial-numbers.html

  30. Just curious if anyone knows what sort of bottom bracket comes on an ’86 210. Mine has started making a periodic clicking that may be due to some bearing pitting/spindle wear. though it’s been ridden hard, i can’t say enough positive things about the bike. What a workhorse!

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