Showing posts with label Miyata. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Miyata. Show all posts

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Here's the RUB...

1982 Miyata Street Runner FS on ebay. Courtesy: Value Express/ebay
There is a seller on ebay, with whom I have no affiliation, who sells vintage bikes such as the one pictured above and refers to them as RUBs.  Here's how the seller describes a RUB:

"RUB".....stands for Retro Urban Bike or Retro Utility Bike.  
Our Recipe starts with the frameset - old school Rigid Fork Chromoly Steel Lugged Japan Tubing from early 1980's.  This frame has straight gauge (not butted tubing).  Upside is that it will resist those annoying handlebar dings better than the thinner walled.  Downside is that it is a bit heavier and not as sexy to ride.

Downsize the front chainring from Triple to Single.  Swap the alloy chainring for a stainless steel full profile - improve the performance (less skipping) and durability (steel outlasts aluminum).
remove the front derailleur and shift lever.  Use friction shifting only.  Btw if you can text on you cell phone,  you can friction shift. No Worries.  Add the stem / handlebar of your choice since a 1" steer tube accept just about anything except old bmx or frenchie.  Keep the classic "non cartridge bottom bracket" because is can last for decades with minimal service and is super easy to clean / lube.  And will never "SEIZE UP" and ruin your day / week like badly neglected cartridge BB.  if you have had to "arm wrestle" and possibly strip the splined cups, you feel my pain.

we like old school cantilevers versus the liner pull / V Brakes because they are virtually maintenance free, easy to adjust & center clearance and will never seize up or pull through the cable guide and completely ruin your day - aka fail to stop you!
the whole idea is that you can tear apart this bike and complete overhaul it in a single day - no digital assistance from your I-Phone or I-Pad needed.  No Apps to check.....unless Sheldon Brown Bicycle ???

I approve of this message.  What they call a RUB is what I call a vintage Bike For The Rest Of Us (although "BFROU" is, admittedly, a less workable acronym than RUB).  I believe in this concept so much that I own my own RUB, a Miyata Ridge Runner.

Ridge Runner outside Swings Coffee in D.C. Courtesy: Flickr.
If you like old, lugged steel bikes, if you want to save money, if you don't mind a heavier frame, if you want something indestructible, if you want something versatile, then this is the way to go.  Find yourself a lugged steel bike from the 80's or 90's and go to town! You can easily build it up yourself or with a little assistance from your local bike shop. 

Do you own a RUB?  Please show and tell!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Case For Owning Multiple Bikes

Ah, the search for "The One."

1892 wedding picture. Courtesy Pikes Peak library.

The One who will make your heart flutter, your insides tingle.  The One who will have you walking around in a dreamy daze. 

The One you will travel the world with, over smooth roads and rough terrain. The One who will be with you when you take in amazingly beautiful vistas. The One who will be with you during your most mundane moments, such as grocery-shopping, hardware store runs, and commuting to work. 

The One, for better and for worse.

Have you found The One?

I thought I had 10 years ago.  She was an Italian-made steel road bike, versatile enough to be my commuter, my century ride, my light tourer, my grocery-hauling do-it-all multipurpose bike (you knew this was about bikes, right?). 

The One.

But time and experience will change a man.

I still believe that steel road bikes make the best all-rounders.  But what if you want to do some fully-loaded touring or bike camping?  Then maybe the Surly Long-Haul Trucker is The One, or if you love vintage bikes maybe a 1980's Miyata 1000.

The 1983 Miyati 1000.  Credit:

What if you want to take in some dirt?  Then you may want wider tire clearance to allow for fatter tires, if not knobbies.  Of course, this point is arguable.  In a 1993 article in Bicycling magazine, Chris Kostman wrote: "I routinely dust every mountain biker I encounter on the trail. And I ride a road bike."  Of course, he is a cocky S-O-B: "More bluntly, a road bike is equal to or better than a mountain bike if ridden with skill like I have."

Grant Petersen pursued the dream of The One during his tenure with Bridgestone.  The result was the XO-1, which he touted as "the most versatile, the most exciting bike we've ever made; and under the legs of a strong, skilled rider, it can do almost anything."

An ad for the XO-1.  Credit:

The XO-1 became the Atlantis when Petersen started Rivendell, but the XO-1 has plenty of other progeny as well, including recent entrants such as the Rawland Sogn and perhaps Surly's soon-to-be released Troll.

The Troll (note to Surly -- please rename). Credit: Surly Blog.

Surly says "the idea behind this sucker is a commuter, tractor, off-roader, tourer, dethmachine."  By the way, Surly is quite serious about the "tractor" part - they're coming out with a trailer for 2011 that they claim can haul 300 pounds of cargo. 

There's nothing wrong with pursuing The One.  But I've found a special joy in owning a bunch of bikes and riding them all frequently.  I currently have five very different bikes: the aforementioned road bike, an XO-2, a mountain bike, a fixie, and a 60-year-old English 3-speed.  I find that I am riding more than ever. 

The 1994 Bridgestone catalog included an article titled "How To Ride A Bike Forever," which recommended owning multiple bikes:

Make your bicycles so different that your experience on one is unlike the other -- a mountain bike and a road bike, a multispeed and a single speed, or a clunker, or a recumbent.  For some people, even different handlebars are enough of a change.  It's worth a try.

How To Ride A Bike Forever - click for big if you want to read the whole thing. Credit:

So there you have it.  It's okay to be with multiple bikes.  And don't worry: they never get jealous.