10 April 2013

Miyata 912

Today I saw one of my bikes parked on the street.  Well, sort of.

As I was on my bike, and in a hurry, I didn’t get a chance to take a photo.  However, I did find an old photo of a bike just like it. 

I rode this Miyata 912 for a couple of years.  At the time, it was Miyata’s second- or third-line racing bike.  It came with Shimano 600 components, or as a frame—which is how I got mine.

As you can see from the photo, I set it up as a sort of daytripping/light touring bike, with wide-range gearing, a rack and wider tires than would normally be ridden on such a bike.

The lugged frame was constructed from chrome-moly steel tubing which Miyata claimed was “triple butted”.  I wasn’t quite sure of what that meant.  All I knew that the bike gave a pretty stiff and stable ride.   I took it on a few overnight and weekend trips, with a light load in the rear and a handlebar bag on the front.  The bike handled smoothly, but I’m not sure I would have wanted to load it for a long tour, or with camping equipment.

I knew a few racers and other cyclists who rode the Miyata “Team Pro,” which was the company’s top-of-the-line racing bike.  At least two claimed it was the stiffest and quickest road bike they ever mounted.  Mind you, they were riding Italian bikes before they got hold of their Team Pros.

While the 912 was not quite in the same class, more than a few were raced.  I had the feeling that the differences between it and the Team Pro had more to do with geometry than materials or workmanship: The Team Pro didn’t even pretend to versatility, while the 912 had slightly longer clearances that probably could have taken fenders (albeit narrow ones) if I’d wanted them. 

The 912, as you can see, was also very striking, visually—especially, if I do say so myself, with the yellow cable housings I installed on it.

For me, there was just one problem:  The top tube was a bit long for me.  As a result, I rode it with a stem that had a rather short extension, which blunted some of its handling qualities, at least somewhat.

I finally sold the 912 to someone whose torso was longer than mine.  He was grateful.


  1. All I have to say is you have had some of the nicest vintage bikes and when they were not considered vintage! I am currently up to 5 bikes myself and building one for my wife so as to alleviate some of her concerns about my bike hoard. Unlike you, I don't seem to be able to part with mine!

  2. Actually, "triple butted" can mean a number of different things. At its simplest, it means the ends are not the same thickness as each other. It might also mean http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/bike-frame-materials.html

    1. Steve--Thanks for the clarification. Whatever the tubing, it was a good bike!

      Anon: It's funny to think that the bikes I've owned are now considered "vintage". Had I known that they would attain such status, I wouldn't have parted with them. Then again, I'd need a warehouse (or, at least, a much bigger living space) for all of them!

  3. i have an 81 912 and i love it. nice to read about yours.

  4. Hi Russell--Thanks for stopping by and sharing your 912 experience. It's a great bike. Do you have any photos?