Gallery: Bongobike’s Koga-Miyata Road Gentleman

This has always been my commuter ever since I got the bare frameset and built it as a touring bike, with Nitto randonneur bars, Brooks Champion Flyer saddle and front and rear Jandd Expedition racks. Now I have turned it into a city bike with the Nitto Albatross bars, new Nitto and Velo Orange racks, an old Sugino AT crankset and a Brooks B-72 saddle. I have enjoyed it tremendously in both configurations. The frame is very comfortable and stable with its long wheelbase; very easy to ride no-hands. I hope it will continue to take me to work and back for many years. —bongobike

18 Responses to “Gallery: Bongobike’s Koga-Miyata Road Gentleman”

  • doug says:

    Beautiful! That is, more or less, identical my ideal city bike. May I suggest you continue to use it for overnight camping trips? Porteur racks are practically made to carry firewood!

  • bongobike says:

    Thanks, Doug. Unfortunately, I’m not into overnight camping trips anymore due to the fact that I suffer from severe sleep apnea and must use a CPAP machine to breathe at night. The day they come up with a compact, energy-efficient machine that can be used in a tent in the boonies, I will get back into it. :) For now the porteur rack will be used to carry a crate with groceries or whatever I feel like strapping down on it (maybe even firewood).

  • Doug R. says:

    Great bike Bongo! Urban assualt! needs machine guns for cars!

  • Ben says:

    whats with the shifter on the seat tube? Great looking ride. Quite jealous!

  • Lovely Bicycle! says:

    “Road Gentleman”! – I like it : )

  • bongobike says:

    Doug R., Yeah, sometimes I feel like machine guns or rocket launchers would come in handy. :)

    Ben, thanks. The shifter operates the bottom bracket generator. Like many practical European city bikes, it has braze-ons for that and other things that may puzzle Americans who are not used to having those features. I finally figured out what the “weird” threaded mounting holes on the front of the seatstays are for: one of those ring locks for the rear wheel. It also has a strange small metal tab that sticks out of the bottom headset race–still trying to figure that one out.

    Lovely, I like the name too. I think I’ve given it a more sober and “stately” look with this conversion, more in tune with its name.

  • s0fa says:

    How tall are you? That frame looks awfully big for a presumably not custom build. Are those 700C wheels?

  • bongobike says:

    s0fa, I am 6’4″, the wheels are 700C and the frame is 66cm. I straddle it just fine with room to spare.

  • Alastair says:

    Really nice bicycle. I have a similar set up on my Surly LHT. Who makes the tail light mounted to the rear rack? Thanks.

  • bongobike says:


    It’s a Cat Eye TL-LD500.

  • Pamela says:


    “It also has a strange small metal tab that sticks out of the bottom headset race–still trying to figure that one out.”

    That’s probably for mounting a headlight. I’ve read elsewhere that these are pretty common on european bikes – I have one on my HP Velotechnik Grasshopper recumbent, which has a hub dynamo powered Lumotech headlight.

  • bongobike says:


    I thought that too, but the tab is very small (maybe 1/8″ wide and 1/2″ long), angled back, and it’s on the right side of the headtube. I don’t know, I still think it’s strange for a headlight mount.

  • bongobike says:

    I forgot to mention that, in fact, if you look at pictures one and two closely, you can see the little metal tab, with the rear shifter cable housing lying next to it. Does this look like the tab you were thinking about?

  • Jack says:

    I like to see someone commuting with full gears. I did have trouble with my gears not shifting this morning in the cold. I think my drive train needs a good cleaning and a little lube. I suspect I picked up enough moisture that some things froze. I had to stand up and actually climb a couple of times when I couldn’t shift into a lower gear. I finished the morning like a single speed. This afternoon should be above freezing. I will have to make some time tonight for a little maintenance.

  • Andy says:

    Could the little tab be a mounting point for a steering damper?

  • Scott says:

    Hi there,

    On a recent trip to Holland, I bought a Road Lady for my better half. It looks like it’s from the same year, but with a dropped cross-bar. A very nice bike it is too.

    Just to solve the mystery – the tabs coming up from the bottom of the headset at one time had a plastic attachment for routing the cables onto the down tube.

  • bongobike says:


    Which cables are you referring to?

  • Scott says:

    The tabs took the gear cables onto the down tube. Unfortunately, as they were so close to the head tube, they caused the cable outers to kink and eventually open up when the handlebars were moved to the extremes. This is probably why they were taken off your bike, like I did with my Road Lady.

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