Thursday, June 15, 2017

N+1? 1986 Miyata Trail Runner Lugged Steel Mountain Bike


As I have mentioned a time or two one of the things on my bike "bucket list" is finding a lugged steel Mountain bike.  Nearly a year ago I came close but ultimately missed out on a Peugeot Montreal Express.  Last week I took a trip down to the Oregon Coast and swung back through Portland and I did a lot of looking on CL since I was going to be in places I don't often get to.  While I was at the coast I spotted an ad in Portland CL for a no name lugged steel bike for $45, and noticed it had a bunch of Shimano Arabesque 600 bits on it! Of course by the time I was in Portland it was gone, I spotted a few other things but nothing really intriguing.


I recently learned some tricks for searching on CL and filtering out things, so I created a search for bikes under $50 that doesn't have every kids bike, bike rack and exercise bike in tarnation turning up. I searched today and up pops a couple likely suspects including a Miyata Mountain bike for $40.  Make no mistake you still have to wade through alot of junk but sometimes a diamond pops up.  I contact the guy and get an address, as it turns out he is a college student desperately trying to get his apartment cleared out because school is done.   Now in this situation I could have low-balled, but he's a college kid, with a wife, and this appears to be the bike I have been looking for and its only two Jackson's.  He throws in a lock and helmet and tries to throw in other stuff but I just pay and wheel away my prize and think "I need to mark this down on the calendar for future bike hunting" the U-District in mid June.


I had some time before the person was ready to show the bike so I did some sleuthing and figured out the year and model and that this was the middle of the ATB range for Miyata.  Yes its so old that they referred to it as an ATB -All Terrain Bicycle before the more popular term of Mountain bike caught on.  The top of the ATB line, Ridge Runner, had nicer tubing and Shimano 600 bits but the Trail Runner has a solid spec.


As you can see from the Pictures above it has alot of accessories hung off it that while practical I think detract from its look, but that should be pretty easy to remedy.


One non-stock item is the ratty comfort saddle which is going to get the heave.but besides that and the add-ons it seems to be very stock.


 The chunky black stem which I like.


Metal Shimano thumb shifters with the original covers.




As well as Shimano light action derailleurs and bio-pace triple crank set.  If you look closely even the tires appear to be stock, they are showing a bit thread bare on the side wall.


The Dia-Compe Canti's I am familiar with from the Passage.  Did I mention that this bike is lugged?


Seat tube cluster


Head tube, note the sloping fork crown, 1986 is year 4 of ATB's at Miyata and the first year for the Trail Runner model, in 1983-85 the ATB's had lugged fork crowns.


Bottom Bracket cluster with cable guides.




Double eyelets fore and aft as well as nice forged drop outs including adjustable rears.  Notice that front hub is quick release while the rear is bolt on.


I have read in more than one place that the early lugged Mountain bikes had more in common with the road touring bikes of the day than later MTB's, the main difference being the 26" wheels.  I believe that the mid 1980's was a golden age of lugged steel bike building in Japan and have certainly enjoyed riding the made by Panasonic Schwinn Passage so we'll see if that theory holds true for the trail runner.  Hard though it may be to believe I haven't touched this bike yet, in part because I got it late in the day today, and in part because I promised myself I would finish the Ritchey Road bike before I do anything else.  So this may be an impetus to get the Ritchey done.

non-drive side
On the drive home I was thinking of things to replace and change and soon after settling in I had a full cart on Amazon, but I took a deep breath and decided to wait.  In addition to the Ritchey Project I am still job hunting and I might need this bike as more of an asset than a new addition to fold.



For now at least I am going to try and get it up and running on the cheap.   I think it may be possible to make it presentable and ride-able and double my investment if I am careful with my expenses and make liberal use of the parts bin. Whereas if I let my fingers do the shopping I might just barely break even if I need to sell it on.  We'll see what happens, until next time. Ride.Smile, Repeat.

The 1986 Trail Runner in Royal Platinum (Grey)

18 comments:

  1. Beautiful, beautiful! It looks to be in great shape. And you forgot to mention the geometry, which makes these bikes a comfort to ride.

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    1. I agree Annie it is a beautiful bike or will be after I get all the extra "stuff" off. I suspect that like me you have a bias towards the old Miyatas ;-)

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    2. 1.75" gumwall Panaracer Paselas would look pretty sweet on this bike. When you're done sprucing it up you're not going to want to let it go!

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    3. Agreed Annie I am definitely leaning towards gumwalls and no I probably won't want to let it go but sometimes circumstances dictate otherwise but for now I am going with keeper. There is also a small part of me that wants to go for Max rubber as I did on the HD, I found a guy on the web who had mounted 26 x 2.55" rubber to his Ridge Runner of the same vintage....hmmm

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    4. UPDATE I found a decent deal on the 1.75 gumwalls, surprisingly hard to find, and pulled the trigger.

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    5. I guess there are quite a few of us boomers who are nostalgic for the 1980's mountain bikes. Though, I don't know exactly what that means, ha ha.

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    6. I'd say its because we recognize quality but the nostalgia part probably doesn't hurt ;-)

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  2. That looks like it should clean up quite well. Great score!

    With some fat rubber, it should ride like you're on a cloud. Can't wait to see this one finished.

    Wolf.

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    1. Thanks I think it will clean up nicely too and was please to finally find an Lugged Mt bike in my size at a good price. While researching the bike I came across someone who rebuilt theirs with super fat tires and it looked pretty cool http://bigdummydaddy.blogspot.com/2013/09/1984-miyata-ridge-runner-revamp.html

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  3. Hey Ryan, looks like you found a good one. I'm glad that you found my '84 Ridge Runner, but I don't know if you saw my post about my '86 Trail Runner (http://bigdummydaddy.blogspot.com/2013/01/back-to-future-on-two-wheels.html) which is nearly identical to yours, the main difference being that mine was a colossal 23" frame. There was even one size larger, which would have required a basketball center's inseam height to ride. I can confirm that much of your bike is original, as even though it's been about 28 years since I sold mine, I remember working on it like it was yesterday.

    The parts that are not original to your bike are the saddle, the seatpost quick release lever, the fenders of course, and the tires. The original tires were Miyata branded (a bright yellow rectangle on the sidewall with the Miyata name printed inside) 1.75" skinwalls that had a mild knobby tread; a bit milquetoast in size and aggressiveness which was not uncommon to less than top level "ATBs" of the time. The tires currently on your bike look anemic to my mind's eye remembrance of my old Trail Runner. The original seat quick release was a curvy Shimano unit, with small bumpy outlining similar to Shimano Arabesque parts of the time. The "Shimano Light Action" derailleurs were a step down from the more sought after "Deer Head" derailleurs, but just as precise and functional for the time. The wheels are also original, with the fancy black painted rims with twin silver stripes to set them off. They are decently wide, so would be good to receive fatter tires, should you go that route, but should nicely flesh out the 1.75" tires you've ordered. The handlebar, stem and grips are also original. I don't know what sort of "better living through chemistry" they used in grips back then, but even the foam versions seem to last forever. The stem was similar to many on BMX bikes of the time, and the bar could be removed without taking off the shifters, brake levers or grips. I remember buying and installing a hollow rear axle and quick release on my bike's rear hub, back in the days when those sort of things could be readily bought at a local bike shop. All this reminiscing makes me feel like I should be yelling at someone to get off my lawn.

    Whatever you end up doing with the bike, I appreciate seeing a mostly intact sibling of my old friend. Have fun with your project, and I look forward to seeing how it emerges.

    Andy, AKA Big Dummy Daddy

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    1. Hey Andy, thanks for stopping by, I did in fact see your post your your Trail Runner so I am glad this post took you down memory lane. Good eye btw I wasn't sure so I got the tape out and yes its a 21" frame, not a 23". That would be too small on a road frame for me but I think it will be fine for this bike and the type of riding I intend to do on it. Good to get the input from a former owner and it nice to know that the bits that count are original, we'll see how they all work after a good clean and lube. I think the 1.75 Pasela's will look good on the bike but I admit to wanting to go really big as you did on your Ridge runner, and I did with 700x47c on my Handsome Devil, but my first goal is just to get it back up and running and then we'll see. I was admiring your fleet of cargo bikes, when I was carless for a time in 2012 I pondered getting a Yuba Mundo, very cool that your daughter rides a cargo bike, mine rides a Peugeot split tube Mixte I rebuilt for her. Hope to work on the Trail runner soon and in the meantime I will stay off your lawn lol.

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    2. For completeness, I should also mention that the shifters, brake levers and cantilevers, pedals, and funky Biopace rings and crankset, including the Miyata cotterless crank bolt dust caps are also original. The seatpost doesn't look like it is, though, as it originally had an SR LaPrade fluted seatpost. The one on your bike looks like it has an inexpensive clamp mount for the saddle, so it may have been that the saddle and post are replacements for the lost or stolen originals. I remember with the advent of quick release seatpost bolts, a big (often justifiable) concern was that someone would steal your seatpost and seat.

      The sizing process was funny in retrospect when I bought my Trail Runner. The little old German guy had me straddle the bike, pointed to the top tube, and said something like, "one inch clearance for road bike, two inch for this bike." That was it.

      Cargo bikes are a lot of fun, especially for kids who are free to imagine things to carry. They certainly allow for exploration of car-free or car-light living. That Peugeot mixte sounds like a great utilitarian bike ready for about anything.

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    3. Thanks Andy I thought the seat post looked a bit down market and I really like that era of LaPrade post especially the fluting and the one bolt adjust so I will seek one out at my local bike co-op and use it with whatever Saddle I come up with. I may also swap out the biopace rings but I won't be doing any epic rides on it so that is a lower priority. For $11 I picked up a Nishiki Cascade just for the bullmoose bar and suntour thumbies so I may swap over its rings.

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  5. I have nothing to contribute except that I sure like reading these posts. It is nice that you have Andy to contribute some knowledge

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    1. thanks for stopping by as always Jim this seems to be a popular post. BDD is in Denver so he's in your neighborhood at least from a Seattle perspective.

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    2. I appreciate my esoteric fixation being referred to as knowledge, but it's really just the outcome of a lifetime of bike nerdery with a mechanical focus. Glad to be entertaining in any case.

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    3. Bike Nerdery is what we do

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