Okay, so I bought another bike. And before you say anything— yes I have a problem.
But it’s sooooo pretty!
It’s a vintage (1981) Miyata SixTen. The guy converted it to a single gear, but it has the original chain ring and crank set. Original frame in pristine condition. Original headset. Original seat post.
He replaced the bottom bracket with Shimano componentS. New shimano brake levers. New Tektro calipers. New Nitto (fucking sweet Japanese component manufacturer) stem and handlebars. And almost best of all- new Honjo hammered aluminum fenders- the front one to which he added a custom leather “mud flap”.
This bike was lovingly and thoughtfully customized and crafted. The attention to detail, the precision, and the deliberate selection of componentry makes this bike special. And It’s fucking gorgeous. And I am seriously in love.
The guy selling it was cool (and also a fucking hot daddy). He has a love affair with vintage bikes (like me) and he loves fixing them up. So does his college age son, who works as a bike tech. His son is home right now and helping fix up and sell off many of their basement full of bikes.
It’s like the guy and I were twins. We were both about the same age. Beards and salt n pepper. Both wearing Patagonia jackets and Blundstone boots. He talked about his obsession with custom bags and accessories to fit the racks on his bikes. And he likes bikes with stories (just as I do): this particular bike he got from an older woman out in Staten Island! He was amazed at the condition- definitely a unicorn.
One of my goals is to custom build my own single gear bike. And I still plan to do this at some point. Honestly, I had started to research what all I needed to do to strip down my Holdsworth so I could turn it into a single gear. But I was talked out of it by a new biker friend.
This guy (Reece) is a hard core biker and fellow bike nerd with way more knowledge than I have. He knows components and vintage bikes. And also has a good handle on true hipster cool vs poseur cool. We got to taking and sharing bike pictures and he talked me out of stripping the Holdsworth because it’s in good shape as it is- and very original.
He’s also the one that found the Miyata.
After changing my mind on the Holdsworth, he said “You know you can buy a new single gear for the same amount that you’ll put into your own build.” Then I explained how I like old repurposed steel frame bikes. And the idea of customization. And the fact that I want bikes that are unique and head turners (at least to bike jocks who know). And while we were chatting about all this he jumped on Craigslist for MInneapolis. You know, just to look.
“Dude! Check out this Miyata! It’s fucking SICK!!” And he sent me the link.
And the rest is history.