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June 27, 2010

Team Miyata Track

June 26, 2010

My new toy arrived from Christchurch yesterday. A very rare – the only one imported new into New Zealand – pro-model Team Miyata track bike.

I won it for a good price, although it was ramped up a bit during the auction with another keen bloke in the bidding to the end.

I’ve taken it for a spin and it rides amazingly, and that’s with the stale tyres, too-long stem and rock-hard seat!

This frame is exactly what I’ve wanted for while – a proper NJS-style steel steed with aggressive track geometry, and not drilled for brakes. I love the lugwork and the contrasting yellow lug cutouts lugs and stamped rear stays.  The colour scheme is great, and far too good to even consider repainting it.

So a little about Miyata. From what I’ve read Miyata were special in that they made their own tubing, they were also the first to use triple-butted tubing, although my Team Miyata uses double-butted tubes. Sheldon Brown has high praise for Miyata, although he’s referring to their top-shelf touring model during the 80s. Miyata was founded by a  Japanese gunsmith – Eisuke Miyata – and produced the first conventional Japanese bicycle in 1892. There’s a bit of history about Miyata here and catalogues to be found here.

The good/interesting bits that came with bike include:

  • Cinelli stem and handlebars – the stem is too long for me so will be replaced with a shorter Nitto stem
  • Suntour Superbe Pro crank on the right, and a Dura-Ace arm on the left
  • 50t French chainring and 14t Dura-Ace cog
  • Campagnolo bottom bracket and headset, both feel silky smooth
  • Shiny 36-hole high-flange Suzue hubs

The rims are nothing-fancy Alex, the seat is a rock-hard throwaway, and the seatpost, a plain Ritchey.

The pics show MKS pedals and Brooks straps, these were robbed from the Claud Butler build. The photos were taken in the Auckland Domain, though I’m not super happy with how they turned out. The light was crap but never mind, there’ll be more pics no doubt once I get what I want sorted on the bike.

Taken with a 450D and Canon’s f1.4 50mm USM.

Here’s the frame’s history – from the seller – which is worth a read, too.

It’s a particularly special bike David and has a very fine pedigree indeed. Here’s a brief history.

1. It’s the only one of its type brought new into NZ – ever.

2. It was my first brand new bike and was originally a gift to me from Miyata Inc. Japan after my Dad secured the agency for the distribution of the brand in NZ following a visit to them in Japan in late 1989. At the time he was the CEO for CMC (Cycle Manufacturing Co) who made Tarini bikes & Pantha BMXs.

3. The first time I raced it I crashed and scored the minor dings in the top tube as mementos. I was severley annoyed about it but they proved to be a constant reminder to be careful.

4. I raced it at the Nat Track Champs in Auckland that year and took it to the Junior World Champs in the UK as a backup just in case it was needed.

5. My Dad also raced it and won a number of National medals in the Veterans’ category.

6. I last raced it in 1994 but it went on to be raced by a number of really good riders who scored national medals at Under-17 and 19 level, helping 3 of them get selected to race at the Junior Worlds.

7. It most famously went to Italy where it was ridden on the track in the Junior World Championships Points Race by Auckland’s Rawea Greenwood (1993 or 1994?) who won bronze in the pursuit (on my old pursuit bike).

8. It is very well travelled in NZ and has been ridden on most of the velodromes including Levin, Palmerston North, the old and new tracks in Wanganui, Taupo, Manukau & New Lynn in Auckland, Trafalger Park in Nelson, Denton and English Parks in Christchurch, Dunedin & Mosgiel, along with the old outdoor and new indoor tracks at Invercargill.

So there you go. It’s been in our family for 20 years but now the next chapter in its amazing life is up to you.

Enjoy!

Cheers, Brendon

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