Miyata uni

I’ve been considering getting a new Miyata uni and have a few questions.

  1. is the current miyata standard uni still of good quality? Or have other components suffered the same fate as the seats. (ie. made in Tawain)
  2. From what I gather, the rim is steel. How well does it hold up? I don’t weigh much and will use the uni just for freestyle/learning skills.
  3. How well does the paint job on the crown hold up to resting your foot on it during on foot skills and gliding/coasting?

Re: Miyata uni

1, Most of the miyata is still pretty good quality, and the seats are still decent durability for learning.

2, If you dont weigh a ton, or your not going to do drops and jumps, the steel rim should hold up fine.

3, the paint wont be too bad, just a sninny spot on the rounded corner.

I got a miyata at the unicon, it’s holding up well. I do some curbs and tricks, and havn’t had much damage. The only problem I had was with a bolt on the side fork, snaped while in the fork. It was a pain getting it out, i had to talk to my mechanics teacher and eventually drill it out. Since the other 3 came out easyer, i’m guessing that that was a fluke, but replacing it was a pain. Other then that it was good.

I snapped one of these bolts too but was able to screw it by hand through to the other side. I’m glad i lubed them up before I put them in!

What were you doing to cause the bolt to snap?

Re: Miyata uni

Still better than most of what’s out there. To my knowledge, only the Miyata seats have been moved over to China so far, but other parts may follow. We will have to watch and see what they send us.

The rim is of “normal” quality. Nothing spectacular there. The Miyata wheels with alloy rims are exceptionally well made and strong, and I recommend getting the deluxe if you can afford it. Though the standard rim will hold up fine for “normal” use, I did bend one in a show once, doing a jump from a crouching position on the wheel with the cycle on its side, up to riding position.

I’m not a big fan of paint on unicycle frames. It looks great when it’s new, but it always gets scratched and scuffed up. If you ride one-foot, the spot under your non-pedaling foot is the first spot to go, but if you’re like me and put multiple unicycles in your car, this is where you will eventually lose the most paint. Or when people try and do you a favor by leaning your unicycle against a concrete stage, instead of on the ground, leaving a trail of scratches for their trouble.

So again, if you want your cycle looking nice for the long haul, go for the chrome plated deluxe if you can.

One person mentioned breaking off a bolt. This most likely happened from overtightening. You have to be careful with the bearing bolts, as on most unicycles. Too loose and they’ll come out, but too tight and they’ll break, on a Miyata, or bind your bearings, on many other unicycles.

Stay on top,
John Foss
(Riding Miyatas since 1981)

Re: Miyata uni

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I too snapped off one of those Miyata bearing-holder bolts by
overtightening. I drilled and used an easy-out to get the broken-off piece
out. A stressful procedure since in my experience easy-outs tend to break
off, leaving you much worse off than before (since they are too hardened to

I couldn’t find the exact replacement bolts so mine are now a little long –
very close to touching the spokes – but this hasn’t been a problem.

Other than that, the Miyata Deluxe 24" has taken an amazing amount of abuse
in the form of getting slammed on the ground about 2000 times. The wheel is
still “true”. The seat bumpers are still solid after all those slams. (The
seat predates the current (year 2002) low-quality batch.) The seatpost has a
very slight curvature forward.

Speaking of snapping off bolts, most of the people I know who have
Torker-style main cap bearing holders have snapped off one of those bolts by


Mark Newbold
Montpelier, Vermont USA

Alternate email: manx@sover.net

Re: Re: Miyata uni

That is the disadvantage of the main cap style bearing holders. It is very easy to overtighten them and cause the bearings to bind. If they are managing to break the bolt it is WAY too tight, the nut has been put on crossthreaded, or they are doing something else strange.

Yes that one I snapped by “over-tightening”. I use the quotes because there is no way to tell whether I torqued it too much (and there is no torque number for one to use with a torque wrench) or whether that particular bolt was ill-made. The nice thing about the documentation for my Magura brake is that each bolt in the exploded diagram has a torque number associated with it; one uses that number to tighten the bolt just right. (Have I actually used them? not yet!)

One thing about the Miyata Deluxe frame - the crown is quite narrow, and partly sloped, and I found it an inadequate resting place for my size 12s - even with the generous addition of skateboard grippy tape. I am much happier with the Sem XL freestyle frame. I imagine the normal Miyata frame would be just as good as the Sem XL but haven’t tried it.

Yes, this is the one weakness of the Miyata Deluxe over the Standard model. The fork crown on the Standard is very similar to the one on the Sem XL, and both provide more foot support. I can’t really comment further, because I’ve always used a Miyata Deluxe. It’s worked fine for me, but I’m sure the difference is that much greater once you start getting into stand-up skills…