Classic and Vintage Bicycles: What's it Worth? Appraisals and Inquiries - univega maxima sport mixte value?
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02-17-12, 01:19 AM
I'm new to the bicycling world and am looking to buy a used bike for commuting 6 miles to work as well as leisure riding in the Seattle area. I saw this bike (below) for sale on CL and am wondering if it is worth the price. I'm really drawn to it, but don't want to buy something that's not sturdy or reliable. I've browsed through a bunch of the threads and didn't see an answer to this question so I really hope it's not redundant! Thanks for your help!
Here are the specs listed in the ad:
It has been completely gone over, cleaned, adjusted AND disassembled and regreased and works like new.
The frame is about 20in or 50.5cm and will fit someone around 5'-4" to 5'-7"
Frame material is mangalight triple butted with mangalight fork
Frame and fork are straight with no dents, kinks, or bends. Paint is in nice condition too.
Araya Aluminum Wheelset - 27" straight and true
Newer Aluminum riser bars with New grips
Aluminum stem - SR Custom
Shimano derailleurs and shift levers have been adjusted and work great. Cables run smoothly.
Shimano brakeset is clean and stops very well, and smoothly
Bottom bracket has been cleaned and polished inside and out with new grease
Headset has been cleaned and polished inside and out with new grease
Cables have been adjusted and everything shifts and brakes perfectly
The mangalight frame with aluminum bars, stem and aluminum wheelset, (and if you remove the rack) makes this bike very lightweight.
02-17-12, 05:24 AM
Hello Tiffany Welcome to the forums! that is a great looking bike. Univegas were some great and decent priced bikes back in the '70s '80s and early '90s but sadly went the way of the DoDo. is your proposed commute route hilly?
It looks prety clean and ready to roll what is the asking price? I am not familiar with the Seattle market but I understand it can be crazy and nice Mixte bikes always bring a premium.
Your also in luck as I think we have a few good members in the Seattle area who I am sure would eb willing to help you out.
The subject bicyclke is a circa 1985 Maxima Sport. The Mangalight tubing indicates this bicycle was manufactured by Miyata, who were arguably the best of the mass volume Japanese manufacturers. The bicycle is clean and appears to be in good mechanical condition, so should make an excellent (and sturdy) commuter, provided it fits you properly. FYI, orignal retail pricing on this model in 1985 was $185 US.
I see rusty cables on this bike. So despite his claims of doing a thorough job on the rebuild, using old cables is a sign of sloppiness/cutting corners. An active rehabber can get new stainless cables for around $1 each, so its not a big expense for them.
I also notice no mention of new bearings. So it appears this rehabber went to the trouble of disassembling the bb and headset, and then saving about 50 cents by reusing old bearings (loose ball bearings in bulk cost about 2 cents each). Also no mention of servicing the grease and bearings on the wheel hubs, a very important task.
Steel seat post, stem shifters, steel chain rings, claw derailleur hanger = entry level bike. Now most mixtes are entry level. You really need to decide. Mixtes are a niche bike, and they enjoy a hefty premium over a comparable traditional diamond frame bike (somewhere around 50% more). Higher end mixtes are very rare, and enjoy an even larger premium.
Will a steel frame Japanese bike from the 1980s be sturdy and reliable? Absolutely, its pretty much all I have (and I have a lot of bikes). But this one needs some careful additional service before it is ready for duty. Call a shop and ask them how much to replace all cables and housings, and service wheel hubs. I would also assume you are going to need new brake pads.
02-17-12, 07:31 AM
Looks like a nice bike. Univega is one of my favorite vintage brands. This bike appears to be in relatively good condition, despite the rusty cables and some rust under the saddle (which looks nice btw). All that being said this was a lower level of the Univega line back in the day. I'd try to scoop it up for $100, don't go over $200, though. If you can get it for under $150 you will be lightyears ahead of anything else you could get for that price at a department store, just maybe replace the cables and get it looked over by a friend who knows bikes.
02-17-12, 09:28 AM
Hi all, thanks for the replies! I will makes sure to call a shop about the cables and all that fun stuff. The price is $175, and the guy is pretty firm about that. I'm not in a hurry to buy a bike, but I do love the look of this one and don't want to pass it up if it's a good deal. I did have a question about what I think are called stem shifters--I don't have any experience with them, and I'm nervous about using them as from what I read they are based on user intuition and aren't like the bikes that I've used that just click into place. My route isn't particularly hilly (I have one steep LONG hill to ride up on the way back), but after that it's pretty moderate. I just don't want to be veering into traffic while trying to find the shifters and getting into gear. I guess it's about trying the bike myself, but does anyone have any advice on that? Thanks again!
02-17-12, 09:42 AM
I just rehabbed a diamond frame Maxima Sport for my sister in November. I found it with rusted components in a pile of curbside trash. The bike wound up being relatively heavy for a road bike, but a solid campus commuter.
That bike would sell quickly at $150. If you love it, $175 for a sturdy and reliable and not insanely heavy bike is worth it. Sure, the seller might be getting a good price for his bike, but if you're not looking to make a profit on it, there's noting wrong with spending ten or twenty bucks more than you would on a "good deal."
And don't worry about the stem shifters-- basically you just pull them back and forth and get "easy/slow" and "fast/hard" gears. You'll learn as you go, and stem shifters were made to be easier to shift than downtube shifters. You'll be OK after a mile or two of practice.
... I did have a question about what I think are called stem shifters--I don't have any experience with them, and I'm nervous about using them as from what I read they are based on user intuition and aren't like the bikes that I've used that just click into place...
Stem shifters refer to the location of the shift levers on the stem, not how they function. The levers that click into gear are generically referred to as indexed shifters and the brand specific names for indexed road shift levers are SIS (Shimano), AccuShift (Suntour), Command (Sachs-Huret) and Syncro (Camapgnolo). Levers which do not click into place and have infinitely variable positions are called friction levers.
Alternate positions for shift levers on vintage bicycles are the down tube, on the handlebar near the stem (generic term, thumb shifters) and handlebar ends (genric term, bar-cons). Modern road bicycles typically use indexed shifters that are built into the brake levers and are generically called brifters (brake + shifter).
Friction shifting can be intimidating if you have only used indexed shifting, however, all it generally takes is some practice on a quiet section of road. Remember not to shift under heavy load (i.e. ease off of the pedal pressure but don't stop pedalling) and shift just before you hit the hill. Friction shifting has the advantage that it is far less prone to going out of adjustment. With indexed shifting cable tension is critical to shifting performance and sometimes requires a minor adjustment to obtain optimum performance. Most friction systems can be upgraded to indexing, but you will require new shifters and often a new rear derailleur, freewheel and chain.
02-17-12, 10:23 AM
Left one forward, right one pulled back = easy. --_
Left one pulled back, right one forward = hard. _--
Vary the right one a bit to determine how hard or easy.
02-17-12, 10:28 AM
$175 for a lower end OEM Miyata in good shape is not a steal nor is it over priced.
Ask the seller about the crank BCD and current front gearing. When I pulled my friends 20+ year fermenting univega out of the basement I knew a non bike fit 5'6 210 women is not going to make it up Seattle hills with a 53-42 on the front and a 14-28 on the back. Heck I don't like riding a 39x25 on many of these hills.
I let her know it would be $100 for some sexy new period appropriate ones or ~$40 for cheepies. No luck at the swap last weekend so it's time to order.
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