Friday, January 11, 2013
1979 Miyata 912 (May 2011) the one that started it all
Obtained: April 2011
Found: Garage Sale
If there is a bike I can point to as the start of my old 10 speed obsession it would be the Miyata 912. I had spent the winter and spring pouring over Randy's excellent Mytenspeeds site and I think by that time I had discovered OTSG and Hugh's bicycle blog as well. Yes I had come down with the old steel 10 speed bug big time. In April there was a local garage sale where a block had got together to raise money for the Japanese Tsunami disaster relief. I thought it might be a chance to try to find a bike and practice my garage sale skills. I arrive and find myself in a big backyard with wall to wall "stuff" none of which is a bike, so I wander into the garage where there is even more stuff but again no bicycle...until I look up. Hanging from the rafters is what appears to be an old 10 speed! I was so excited I didn't really even inspect it (Dumb) but found the lady who appeared to be in charge and asked "So is that bike in the garage, the one in the rafters, for sale?" she says "its my husbands but he told me I could sell it, how much?" I answer with the first number that comes into my head "how about $25?" she gets a great big grin on her face and says "That's great!". As I am handing over my $$ she explains her husband used to commute on it a "few" years ago. After paying the nice lady I go claim my prize and based on the dust on the frame and the cobwebs in the wheels I realize a "few" years ago might have been 20. Once I am in the light I start seeing things that make my 10 speed nerd heart race; forged not stamped drop outs, gold lug lining, aluminum wheels, and -be still my heart- Shimano 600 Arabesque down tube shifters - YAHOO!
In addition to the normal dusty-musty-needs-alot-of-TLC factor this bike does have a few issues.
I spent the next few weeks very carefully disassembling the bike while referencing Zinn and the Art of road bike maintenance (my shop manual), Sheldon Brown and Mytenspeeds websites for instruction and inspiration. carefully sanding the rusty blistered spot on the top tube and painting it -thank god for black! I finally had it taken apart cleaned up and ready for being built back up.
Velo Orange (the original rear came with an odd freewheel/cassette hybrid that started to fail), a nice brooks saddle and some spiffy whitewall red tread Panaracer tires. Its probably a bit over the top but the least I could do for the bike that got me hooked on old steel.