failing like never before

9Sep/0922

Miyata Alumicross

I got a 1989 Miyata Alumicross earlier this summer and have managed to put a few hundred miles on it so far. We bought it from the previous owner for $200 who apparently had the bike sitting in storage for almost the past two decades, so its in surprisngly good condition despite its age. Almost all of the components on the bike are original, except for the saddle, bar tape, and toe clips (all of which I replaced myself).

Here's a description of the bike:

  • 58cm, weighing approx. 24 lbs.
  • Aluminum main tubes, APA-bonded 3-lug construction
  • Suntour XCD-6000 deraileurs
  • Suntour Accushift Bar Con shifters (front shifter is friction, rear is index/friction)
  • Suntour cantilever brakes
  • Suntour XCD-6000 CW-XD00 cycloid triple crankset (48, 38, 28)
  • CrMo fork
  • Wolber GTx 700C rims
  • IRC cross-country 35mm tires
  • Suntour 6-speed freewheel (13, 15, 17, 20, 24, 28)
  • Sansin sealed hub
  • air-bottle basement (braze-on for CO2 cartridge)
  • Interior back-brake cable thru top tube
  • Steel pedals with strapless toe clips
  • SR Sakae custom Modolo patent (Anatomic bend) handlebars

The Alumicross was apparently Miyata's top "cross" bike at the time of its production. I'm not quite sure if Miyata designed the Alumicross with cyclocross specifically in mind, or if its just a hybrid type bike. Nevertheless, its a good ride, and is light and speedy despite its thicker tires and heavier then normal frame, while still being well suited for cyclocross rides. Its also a good bike for riding around town and doing some recreational riding, and I suspect that it would do quite well at loaded touring since it seems to have all the threaded holes for attaching additional racks and panniers. The low gear gearing and wide gear ratios makes the Alumicross great for long, steep hill climbs while carrying lots of additional weight, but they also mean that the Alumicross is ill suited for high-speed road races.

I should also point out that the paint job on the Alumicross is quite impressive. At first glance, it appears to be a simple white paint, but a closer examination reveals that it has a sort of mother-of-pearl sheen that is really quite pretty. Of course, its a devil to keep clean, and dust can quickly cover up the paint's beauty.

I've heard that bar-end shifters can be a bit dangerous since they make it easy to accidentally shift gears, but so far I have yet to experience any problems. My only quibble with the bike are the huge jumps between sizes of the sprockets on the rear wheel. Some people on bike forums have reported that Miyata's APA bonding technique was not the best and that the bonding often seperated after some time, while other people have ridden their Miyatas for decades without any problems. So I suppose the longevity of Miyata's bonding techniques is up in the air and we'll just have to wait and see how mine holds up.

More pictures below. Click to enlarge.

Comments (22) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I just bought the same bike from a yard sale this weekend for $85 in perfect condition.
    a 1991 model with Shimano 105 and Deore, complete with Silca pump with Campy head. Sweet ride. 7 speed indexed barend shifters

  2. Nice man! Makes me start to think that I overpaid.

  3. I rode one as a daily commuter (via forest trail & farm roads) in Germany, and it is a truly lovely bike. Works equally well with flat bars and a road crank.

    Learn from my stupidity though and don’t overtighten the seat bolt, as the stanchion supporting the seatpost will crack :-(

  4. The Alumicross has been a great bike to me, but I’m actually looking at selling it right now. I just got a new bike, and can’t justify owning this many. (Dunno where to put all of them either.)

  5. this is dope man i just got one from my friend for 12 bucks just needs a new front rim.

  6. I ruined the fork on my ’89 and decided it was pretty worn & dinged, stripped it and buried it. Have a ’91 now, same bike but Shimano equipped, classic decals. These are great bikes, they climb like goats and are great cruisers. As hard as I was on the ’89 the bonding was airtight and components were easy to tweak/fix on the trail, and the paint & decals on the ’91 just scream old skool craftmanship. The ’89 is cool, the 91 may be +1, though I like Suntour stuff.

  7. Good to hear that you never had any problems with the bonding. I’ve heard a few horror stories about Miyata bonded aluminium frames separating.

    Unfortunately, I sold my alumicross to my roommate to make room for my ’90 Miyata 914.

  8. Owned an ’89, currently ride a ’91. If you have a choice, the components on the ’91 are the way to go, and the paint decal scheme is extremely cool. For one is great condition 200-300 is still a steal. As far as “problems with the bonding”, I think it’s urban myth…like carbon forks exploding. You can spend 5x as much and not get a better bike.

  9. “The Japanese company Miyata didn’t just design an early hybrid in building the Alumicross. The company was an early believer in the “insanity of cyclocross” and advertisements touted the Alumicross as the perfect vehicle to get from “Point A to Point B” over “hard surface, mud pits and fallen trees.”” Cyclocross mag

  10. Man, all these people telling me how great the Alumicross was, makes me sad that I sold it.

  11. In 1991 I bought a \’91 Miyata Alumicross and still have it! Will not give it up. Every thing still works to this day. At the time I paid $850 plus taxes, If you had to buy the same bike today ……….I would guess $2ooo- $35ooo easy. Deore equit, build like a tank, Wobler rims, come\’on, though on some road tire and fun or off-road tire and really bomb. Great ride, great bike!

  12. Still want to sell it? This was my favorite ride ever. I spent 30 months on the road with one and it was later stolen from me. I’ll give you what you paid plus shipping.

  13. I just acquired a Miyata Alumicross frame.. stripped down. I am very excited to build it up…

  14. I have a Quickcross Miyata circa 1989-1990 that I brought new. It still works perfectly, but the tires are now bald. Does anybody know how I can get replacements?

    • I think the quickcross used similar knobby 700×35 tires. I’m sure your local bike store would carry them. I’ve also found REI has decent prices on tires.

  15. I have had mine forever. Very comfortable ride. The gears on the crank are elliptical. I noticed it helping me on hills when riding with a “lighter” friend. I have no problem with long rides over 50, 60 75 miles and up. I just brought it out again to clean it up and add some accessories. This butter really feels good…to me.

  16. That was supposed to be bugger, not butter. Stupid auto correct.

  17. I collect Miyata Bikes and an AlumiCross has been on my list for quite some time now. Recently on a trip to San Francisco I found one laying at a bike shops that sells used and vintage bikes. I paid handsomely for it but have no regrets. Finding a clean all original and fitting AlumiCross is not common these days.


Leave a comment


Security Code:

Trackbacks are disabled.