The Simplicity of Vintage Cycles

Vintage Bicycles Done Proper :: Corvallis, Oregon

1986 Miyata 710

Miyata. A name once commanding indisputable respect within cycling. This Ferrari red, 1986 710 shows why the brand was the powerhouse it once was.

When bicycles come my way, on most occasions it is necessary to upgrade components because of various reasons (low quality, damaged, abused, etc.). So far, in my experience, Miyata has been the exception. Parts sourced when the frame was created are typically of excellent quality budgeting for functionality, style and longevity. Despite this bicycle coming to me as filthy, worn-out mess, the final product shows that the initial time and component investment by Miyata are some of the reasons why it looks as good today, as it did off the showroom floor.

1986 Miyata 710

1986 Miyata 710

Other than typical consumable items such as cables, tires, brakes and the like, this 710 is bone stock and proud of it. Tire replacement was necessary as the 30-year old originals were not even considered as part of the new build. All cables needed freshening up along with the brake hoods. However, finding period appropriate hoods for a set of Dia-Compe Gran Compe Aero levers was not quite so simple. I utilized all my known sources and eventually came to a pair of supple, black Dia-Compe hoods… That didn’t fit. A month later, the right size emerged as new old stock with a premium price to match. Begrudgingly purchased, the cockpit build could then continue.

Buying an off brand, such as Cane Creek, works to get a job done but a “good enough” attitude is a hard pill for me to swallow. Dia-Compe Aero hoods may be superannuated parts, lost with the passing of time, but they are still available and seeking them out is part of the excitement and satisfaction I get when finally putting down the wrench and saying, “now you are complete.”

Moving down the frame, all signs point to the budding importance of aerodynamics. This was part of the 1980’s major discoveries. How aerodynamics could gain advantages in the racing circuit.

Not only did the brake levers have an aero treatment but the tucked cables, also helped cheat the wind. Also, gorgeously shaped Suntour shifters were positioned on top of the down tube as opposed to on the sides. This was also in response to reducing wind resistance.

When using the shifters with the components intended, the marriage was harmonious. If one wanted cable stops instead, the conversion required creativity, to say the least. Rumor has it, Suntour made cable stops to fit the top mount boss but light research in finding them seems to come to hazy semi-dead ends. Other than bypassing the boss and using a clamp-on attachment, the other documented method is to locate flat back Shimano cable stops and modify the castings that protruded from the shifter base to receive the cable stops. A highly permanent but effective solution. Luckily, the shifters on this 710 polished up to an elegant luster and functioned flawlessly. No tricky cable stop conversion necessary for this steed!

Built and sold with a “triathlon design” this Miyata was a fantastic model for anyone who desired well-built, medium-end frame. With eyelets on both on the front and rear dropouts, commuters could attach fenders. And with triple-butted tubing mated with a strong component group set, even the weekend warrior could feel confident competing.

1986 Miyata 710

1986 Miyata Catalog: 710

Color: Pepper red with silver head tube
Frame Size: 59cm (C-T) seat post & 57cm (C-C) top tube
Frame/Drop-outs: Triple-butted Chromoly steel
Fork: Chromoly steel with semi-sloping crown
Bars: Sakae CT Signature
Bar Wrap: Fizik Superlight silver with black tape
Stem: SR Custom
Headset: Tange MES
Saddle: Contour Royal; Black
Seat Post: SR Laprade; Fluted
Crankset: Sugino GS-LP; 52/42; 170mm
Front Derailleur: Sutour Cyclone
Rear Derailleur: Sutour Cyclone
Shifting: Suntour Aero downtube shifters
Brake Levers: Dia-Compe Gran Compe Aero
Brake Calipers: Dia-Compe 500 GX; Dia-Compe pads
Cable Housing: Clarks silver; Steel braided
Freewheel: 6-Speed Suntour Winner (26/24/20/18/16/14)
Sansin Gyro-Master
Wheels: Ukai Model 20-A; 700 x 25c; 36h; Sansin skewers
Tires: Vitoria Rubino; 700 x 25c
Pedals: MKS ES Quartz-102
Special Features: Scalloped seat stays; Double bottle mount; Single eyelets front/rear; Chain rest; Pump peg

© Josh Capps and The Simplicity of Vintage Cycles. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Josh Capps and The Simplicity of Vintage Cycles with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

25 comments on “1986 Miyata 710

  1. Mark
    January 17, 2016

    Lovely. Obviously many hours of your time. Curious to know if you have any idea what the bicycle weighs in at?

    • Josh C.
      January 17, 2016

      Thanks for the kind words, Mark!
      Before the Miyata and I parted ways, I failed to give it a proper weigh-in. However, the official 1986 Miyata catalog lists is at 23.5lbs. Being that I didn’t swap out many of the original components, I’m guessing that is not too far off from what the final figure would currently be.

  2. Ryan Surface
    July 27, 2016

    that beautiful red paint job does look like it just came off the showroom floor, I would be interested to see what it was like in the “as-found” condition, I am betting you spent a fair amount of time; cleaning, waxing and buffing that paint to the gorgeous shine it has now.

    • Josh C.
      July 27, 2016

      You know, Ryan, I keep fairly meticulous records. I have a spreadsheet that shows how much I put into a bike in painstaking detail. How much it was purchased for, how much it was sold for and when. Itemized part lists with costs. How much profit made and how much, since I began this journey, I have spent since the beginning. It’s not that I’m that concerned with turning a profit (I often take a loss), rather, the numbers are just details to me. And maybe you couldn’t tell but I like the details. 😉

      I also always keep PDF’s of the ads from the bike purchases I make. I like to see what the previous seller said, months or years later, plus see what transformation I made to the bike.

      This purchase was made from Craigslist and when I got home, I realized I hadn’t saved the ad (which I usually do before I visit, just in case). Going back online, the seller had already taken the ad down. The previous shots lost forever.

      I was going to post seller photos of the bike but they are now long gone. What I do know is that the frame wasn’t in that bad of shape before I received it. It took a full tear down, cleaning, polishing, waxing and buffing but that is the treatment each bicycle receives. To what degree I take it is the question. Either way, I am sorry to say I have no previous pictures but I am, however, quite pleased with the results.

      • DRD
        July 30, 2016

        Josh C, good for you man! What a splendid job you did restoring that bike. I stumbled upon this forum because I was seeking info about gearing ratios on all my old bikes to compare to my new one. What a surprise to see photos of a pristine machine. What memories! I have the same bike in my storage room. A ferrari red Myata 710 that I bought in March 1985 and rode for just over 1.9 billion kilometers. But I never ride it anymore – I keep it for reasons of sentimentality. What should I do with it?

      • Josh C.
        July 30, 2016

        Thanks for the kind remarks!
        In regards to your fine Miyata, I fully understand keeping it around for sentimentality. But a light tune-up up which includes a oiling of the chain, some new cables/housing along with close look at the brake pads, and maybe a new set of tires, will cost you $100-$125. That small investment will yield a machine comparable to just about anything your local bike shop is selling these days for $1,500. Dust it off and stretch its legs! I bet those memories and old, familiar feel of a sturdy, well-built machine comes back to you in a powerful wave.

  3. Billy Meinke
    July 29, 2016

    Thanks for documenting your bike! I believe I’ve found a Japanese market model very similar to your 710. Info in this thread:

    • Josh C.
      July 29, 2016

      I am happy to see the post helped for identification, Billy.
      I do see some overlap between the Miyata Team 2000 Triathlon and the Miyata 710 but there seem to be subtle differences. For instance, I don’t see any front or rear eyelets on the Team and the semi-sloping crown on the 710 is a touch different. But, most of the bones used to build the bike are there including the Triple Butted steel tubing and scalloped seat stays, for example. As T-Mar from the C&V thread you linked mentions (T-Mar has a good reputation for being extremely knowledgeable in the C&V community, by the way), “this model is a cross between the 710 and 912. It has the 912 components but the 710 frame, as the 912 used the splined version of the triple butted tubing.”

      No matter how much crossover between the two models there is, I do hope you enjoy your Miyata, Billy. They are fine machines!

  4. Connie
    May 15, 2017

    This is my bike! My beloved red Myiata 710 – I rode it to work today. I am the original owner, have raced it, rode it, loved it, abused it, and it has always been my trusty steed! Over 30 years old, and still my only bike.

    • Josh C.
      May 15, 2017

      There is nothing I love hearing more than a note from a long-time owner of a frame that’s seen it all from their saddle. The memories you have from your Miyata must be spectacular!
      In a time where the bicycle marketing industry isn’t just knocking, but busting the door down to get riders’ attention, it can be difficult to stay true to a vintage frame with all that “old technology”. But, for many reasons, many of us hold tight to our steel framed beauties. So long as you keep up your maintenance, I’m sure you’ll get another 30 years out of your 710 with no problem, Connie.

      Thank you again for the comment. Enjoy the ride!

  5. Dana L Pierson
    May 29, 2017

    I have this bike also!! Bought at a thrift store for $40 about 15 years ago after the $400 bike I bought was taken off of my car. I like this bike way better! I haven’t ridden it much in years. It’s too nice to ever get rid of!

    • Josh C.
      May 29, 2017

      Another gem still going strong! Wonderful find, Dana. Enjoy it!

  6. SilverFox
    July 11, 2017

    If I could only find one of these I would be a happy man

  7. Micah
    October 19, 2017

    Beautiful bike! I actually just got a seven ten myself on cl. And it also is missing brake hoods – which ones did you use?

    • Josh C.
      October 19, 2017

      Thanks for the compliment, Micah.
      Regarding the hoods, I keep every item I purchased documented but it doesn’t look like I put down the details for this one other than, “Dia-Compe aero brake hoods” with an astronomical cost of $31! With a price that high, I’m guessing I couldn’t find them anywhere and had to pick up a set on eBay. Sadly, that’s my best guess!

  8. John R DiBona
    March 4, 2018

    I purchased my 1986 Miyata 710 56 cm in the spring of 1987. It is gunmetal blue and yellow. Over the years I have put on over 75k miles on it. I have upgraded from Suntour 12 speed to Ultegra 24 speed using Sora in the front for best fit. Ukraine wheels wore out so I went to Campy up front and Mavic SUP in rear with DT Swiss spokes. I ride this when the weather breaks in Finger Lakes, NY and love every second on this classic. I am 69 y/o and will pass this along to my grandson while I hop on my Scott CR 1. We want to ride the Bitterroot Highway in Idaho–a bucket list thing.

    • Josh C.
      March 4, 2018

      Nothing makes me happier than reading a story like yours. Not surprisingly, your legendary frame continues to do what it was built for. A little upkeep and it should outlast thousands of miles your grandson will hopefully also put on it.

      Good luck on accomplishing your Bitterroot bucket list ride!

  9. Bo Montgomery
    March 9, 2019

    Bo Montgomery here out of Illinois. Late to the race but just had to compliment you on your 710 post. Your dedication to detail has not gone unnoticed.

    Owner of a 710(G). One (1) owner, one (1) happy 30 year rider. All original groupa sans cranky and , of course, the rubber has been replaced a few times?

    Believe me this bike was not my first or last to take to the dance. But like you said,
    it’ s all in the details. Have a good ride and thanks again for the post.

    • Josh C.
      March 10, 2019

      Much obliged on the kind remarks, Bo!
      This beauty isn’t in my hands any longer but, I am happy to say, it is owned and ridden by my father in law so thankfully, it is still very much still in the family.

      You really can’t go wrong with this model of Miyata. So much value for the money. Then again, it doesn’t sound like that is something I need to tell you.

      Thanks for your comments and enjoy the ride, Bo!

  10. Lorrin
    April 21, 2022

    Awesome restoration and build!!! Totally agree with your vintage steel bicycle philosophy. I own the same Miyata 710 in 46cm which I outfitted with Dura Ace 7401 components.

    • Josh Capps
      April 21, 2022

      Thank you for the kind words, Lorrin.
      Funny you should mention the Dura-Ace 7400 group. I’m just finishing up a restoration that will soon hit the pages that has the same. There was a reason why some say that this particular group galvanized Shimano as the leader for pro-level road racing components from the mid 80s through the early 90s.

      Enjoy your incredibly fine build!

  11. Konrad
    June 22, 2022

    I am in the process of restoring one of these with some dings and scratches. Does anyone have a good color match code/RAL code for touch-up paint?

    • Josh Capps
      June 22, 2022

      Color matching can be a tricky business, Konrad. What I typically do is bring the fork, frame or entire bike to a hobby store we have in town. They have numerous brush on paint types of varying levels of quality. Testers is the standard but I like Model Master Acryl. I typically find a color that’s pretty close then use a paint palette to mix up different trials using other colors to dial it in. I then use denatured alcohol or acetone to wipe it off when it’s not right. It’s a little challenging though because even though it might be a perfect match going on the metal, there is the issue of dry back which typically change the color after dried. Sometimes significantly.
      I’ve found this is much more of a subtle, patient art than a science. That is, unless you have a match code! And hopefully someone here has that for you so you don’t have to go through the hoops listed above.

  12. Don Steele
    February 27, 2023

    I have a 1985 Miyata 710 with Suntour parts. The frame is the same red as yours and is in very good shape. It needs new tyres and brake pads. A restoration like you’ve done would not be difficult.

    • Josh Capps
      February 27, 2023

      Don’t forget to take every single part off the bike, clean the frame with soap and water (blow it out with air so nothing rusts internally), ultrasonically clean most of the components, scrub the rest with degreaser by hand, do paint touch up’s on the frame, replace all consumables (brake pads, tires, tubes, cables/housing, bar tape) because they are 40 years old, oil/grease the components, hang them back on the frame and finally dial in all the adjustments and tuning.
      Then you’ll have a restoration like mine. 😉

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