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  1. #1
    Senior Member PandaExpress's Avatar
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    1983 Univega Gran Turismo

    Hi guys,

    I've been looking for an older steel touring bike to use as a commuter/utility bike for a while now, and I found someone with a near mint condition Univega Gran Turismo in my size. I can't find too much information other than it was a lower/mid level touring bike from '83. The guy wants $300, which I feel is too much for it but I could be wrong as these bikes are rare and in high demand in my area.

    I guess my questions are:

    1. Is this a fair price for the bike?

    2. What are some opinions about this bike in general and for the purpose I have for it?

  2. #2
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Any pictures of the bike? That would help determine the value.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  3. #3
    Senior Member PandaExpress's Avatar
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    100_0014.jpg100_0015.jpg100_0017.jpg100_0016.jpg

    Here are pics of the bike I got the offer for. I think it looks like its in pretty good condition, depending on the saddle and how it rides. And of course, I got more questions. Any idea how heavy this thing is? Horizontal or vertical dropouts? I think they're horizontal but I'm not sure. What kind of material? Really can't find any info about this bike
    Last edited by PandaExpress; 10-21-11 at 02:21 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member PandaExpress's Avatar
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    And just for a price comparison for the area, here's a bike I can get from an independent/mom and pop style bike shop around here, Panasonic DX-3000 for $275:2011-10-18143252.jpg

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    Too much. I tried selling bikes, after putting in the work and overhauling the whole thing, but no biters. I ended up selling it really cheap. $300 for that is Bay Area pricing and the OC isn't on that level of bike crazy in my opinion.

    For commuting, hybrids and old mountain bikes are comfortable, practical, and more importantly, cheap. Look into those.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mparker326's Avatar
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    The Univega would be perfect for commuting/utility work. $300 is a touch too much especially since there is no seat or seatpost. See if he will take $250.

    Touring bikes command a premium.
    Last edited by mparker326; 10-21-11 at 06:34 AM.

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    Senior Member TugaDude's Avatar
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    I guess prices out that way are just way higher than the midwest. Without seatpost and saddle, I couldn't get $125.00 for that around here. Decent bike, but certainly nothing special.

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    Near mint condition? Is that the sellers opinion? I see that a lot on CL ads. It's near mint condition except it has rust. geez.

    You are correct that a vintage steel lugged touring bike would be in high demand in your area with the canti brakes but this one does not have the bar end shifters. "IF" the bike was in great shape with a seat post and saddle it "might" be worth $300 IMO.

    I sold a 1983 Univega Specialissima touring bike last month here in SoCal and it was in excellent condition and went for more than $300 but took a couple of weeks to sell. It also had bar ends and new everything that is a consumable.

    If you just want a commuter look at older rigid frame mountain bikes as mentioned. You can get a really nice one for cheap. If you really want this bike try and get it for less.

  9. #9
    Senior Member PandaExpress's Avatar
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    Any info on this bike in particular? Price quotes are great, but if possible I'd like my questions answered so I can decide for myself.

    Apparently this guy took off the original saddle to try it on another bike. Not in the pictures, but he still has it supposedly, asked for him to send me pictures of that as well. I figure that I'll offer $250 once he responds to my questions.

  10. #10
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PandaExpress View Post
    Here are pics of the bike I got the offer for. I think it looks like its in pretty good condition, depending on the saddle and how it rides. And of course, I got more questions. Any idea how heavy this thing is? Horizontal or vertical dropouts? I think they're horizontal but I'm not sure. What kind of material? Really can't find any info about this bike
    Best thing to do would be to ask the seller these questions. Unfortunately in my experience most sellers have no idea what they have and cannot answer even simple questions. I can tell you from the photos that it has horizontal dropouts.

    +1 that touring bikes command a premium. But that bike would definitely not sell for $300 here, maybe $200 if it had a saddle and post.

    +1 on getting an old rigid MTB for commuting/utility. Except for the super rare ones like the original Stumpjumpers, they have almost no resale value. You should have no trouble picking up a nice one comparable to the Univega for $100. With slick tires, fenders, and a rack they can be all the utility bike you'd ever need.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PandaExpress View Post
    Any info on this bike in particular? Price quotes are great, but if possible I'd like my questions answered so I can decide for myself.
    There is a good deal of info out there on this bike. Did you google it? With this after the bike name> site:bikeforums.net

  12. #12
    Keener splendor TimmyT's Avatar
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    This is an early 80's Univega when they started using the metallic gray color. However, it does not have the triple water bottle mounts or the lowrider braze-ons on the front fork. It's probably an '82-'83 or so.

    Univegas of this generation were made by Miyata, but they had moderately different selection of parts. Gran Turismo's are often a mix of 610 and 1000 features ((610+1000)/2 = 805 ? so an 805 ). The rack looks original to me.

    At a minimum, you should be sure to get the original seatpost from the owner, should s/he want to keep the seat.

    The Miyata catalogs are online. Scroll down and take a look at the 310, 1000, and 610. You will see that the paint is very similar and the features are similar to the Univega you have posted. The frames are roughly the same as the 610.

    $300 is a bit high for this bike given that it doesn't have all the touring features. It has a great frame though.

    If you are a high mileage commuter who carries loads, then a 10-speed style frame is worthwhile, especially a touring frame. If you are low mileage (< 5 miles or so), then I might second the idea of getting a mountain bike. A lot of people are putting drops on MTB frames these days (a la Rivendell and others).

    Personally, for the use you are suggesting, I like the idea of mid-80s Japanese steel bikes (Miyata, Univega, Centurion, Fuji, etc). You can put mileage on these on longer rides in the hills where you live, too.

    It's up to you....... good luck!
    Quote Originally Posted by Craigslist View Post
    Note to you BLOWHARD MORONS out there: The fork is not bent. Most PEUGEOTS of the '70s forks DID NOT line up with the head tube angle. This is normal. The last pic is from the 1972 Dutch catalog showing this EXACT MODEL in diagram. Keep your comments to yourself......

  13. #13
    Keener splendor TimmyT's Avatar
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    The Panasonic is also a good choice, but about a 1/2 step down from the Univega in terms of quality. That model is a few years older than the Univega, but it would be about equivalent in its ride characteristics.

    $25 isn't a big difference in these bikes. What would be more important is FIT. How does it ride and does it fit your inseam/seat/arms?
    Quote Originally Posted by Craigslist View Post
    Note to you BLOWHARD MORONS out there: The fork is not bent. Most PEUGEOTS of the '70s forks DID NOT line up with the head tube angle. This is normal. The last pic is from the 1972 Dutch catalog showing this EXACT MODEL in diagram. Keep your comments to yourself......

  14. #14
    Senior Member PandaExpress's Avatar
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    The reason why I'm so set on a touring/road bike over a mountain bike conversion is that I already went that route. Got heavy hi-ten Schwinn Mirada, and for going to the grocery store or work its absolutely awesome. However now that I've fallen in love with cycling, I want to take longer and hillier rides. Sometime soon I want attempt a tour, maybe Irvine to San Diego. I'm betting many of you are gonna tell me to get rid of the Mirada and put that money towards my next bike, and its definitely for sale. Yes, I know if I had converted a Cro-Mo frame it would be lighter and perform better. However, I'm really in no real hurry to sell it as I'm perfectly happy with its performance. In any case, there have only been a few inquirers who ended up bailing. It's probably going to take a while to sell, and in the meantime I definitely want to start the type of riding that it just can't handle. And besides, I'm not the type of rider who needs top of the line equipment. I'm definitely more into practical, dependable, well functioning equipment over flash, dash and showing off.

    So the way I look at it, this next bike I buy is going to be used for two types of rides:

    1. Long workout rides and eventual short tours
    2. Utility bike for groceries and commuting

    I'm afraid I may have given off the impression that utility was way more important to me than road riding, and its not. I'm more looking for a short tour/long workout bike that can double for a utility bike if the need arises. Thanks for all the responses so far though!
    I'm going to send in a counter offer soon, thinking $225-250. If he accepts, I'll stop by and see how it rides.
    Last edited by PandaExpress; 10-22-11 at 12:43 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member PandaExpress's Avatar
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    Oh, and I'm still interested in opinions on how it rides. Heard a lot of comparison about price, but as a bike as a whole by itself, how is it? Comfortable? Speedy? Any parts I should replace ASAP?

  16. #16
    Senior Member PandaExpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyT View Post
    This is an early 80's Univega when they started using the metallic gray color. However, it does not have the triple water bottle mounts or the lowrider braze-ons on the front fork. It's probably an '82-'83 or so.

    Univegas of this generation were made by Miyata, but they had moderately different selection of parts. Gran Turismo's are often a mix of 610 and 1000 features ((610+1000)/2 = 805 ? so an 805 ). The rack looks original to me.

    Thanks for the info, definitely helping me out a lot. From the photos, does it look like anything is mechanically wrong with the bike? Besides the seatpost...XD

    At a minimum, you should be sure to get the original seatpost from the owner, should s/he want to keep the seat.

    The Miyata catalogs are online. Scroll down and take a look at the 310, 1000, and 610. You will see that the paint is very similar and the features are similar to the Univega you have posted. The frames are roughly the same as the 610.

    $300 is a bit high for this bike given that it doesn't have all the touring features. It has a great frame though.

    If you are a high mileage commuter who carries loads, then a 10-speed style frame is worthwhile, especially a touring frame. If you are low mileage (< 5 miles or so), then I might second the idea of getting a mountain bike. A lot of people are putting drops on MTB frames these days (a la Rivendell and others).

    Personally, for the use you are suggesting, I like the idea of mid-80s Japanese steel bikes (Miyata, Univega, Centurion, Fuji, etc). You can put mileage on these on longer rides in the hills where you live, too.

    It's up to you....... good luck!
    Thanks for the info, you're definitely helping me out with my decision. From the photos, can you tell if anything is obviously set up wrong/broken with the bike? Well...besides the missing seat that is

  17. #17
    Senior Member BRAZUCA's Avatar
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    Just my 2 cents, I used to have a 2006 Trek Hybrid and just got a 86 Centurion Tange 2 Elite RS, it's much lighter, stable and to my surprise (since I never had a road bike before), very confortable. I'm a fan of mid-80's japanese steel bikes and I think it is the best bang for your money to what you want to do with it. Why don't you keep both bikes? I'm looking now for a vintage english 3 speed bicycle to ride around the neighborhood with my boys or around town and use the Centurion for workout rides.
    Last edited by BRAZUCA; 10-22-11 at 06:07 AM.
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  18. #18
    Keener splendor TimmyT's Avatar
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    It looks pretty stock to me. The tires look like they have dry rot (and would need to be replaced), but you can really judge that on site. I would certainly move the tube on the front wheel to get the valve to come out straight. Loaded riding (or maybe just riding) will cause this area to develop a leak---and this tube has been replaced (not a big deal) because it's missing its front reflector. (Personally, I'm one of the one of ten riders who likes having reflectors because I want cars to see me).

    Check the stem. This looks out too far to my eye. It might be above the safety level line.

    I would also check the quick release levers on the front and back brakes. These often bend because a previous owner sets up the brakes wrong.

    Pull off both wheels and make sure that the skewers are straight. If it has the Sansin hubs, those are a plus --- great hubs.

    Frankly, and I have nothing to gain, you might contact jshudson in his post in this forum on his Panasonic. The size looks about the same to my eye. His bike is good value for the money. Shipping will run you $60, but in your market, his bike would likely be more than he has it listed for. You'll be more on the speed end of things rather than the touring end, but that wont matter. The 700c wheels are a plus---more tires and parts available, in general.
    Quote Originally Posted by Craigslist View Post
    Note to you BLOWHARD MORONS out there: The fork is not bent. Most PEUGEOTS of the '70s forks DID NOT line up with the head tube angle. This is normal. The last pic is from the 1972 Dutch catalog showing this EXACT MODEL in diagram. Keep your comments to yourself......

  19. #19
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PandaExpress View Post

    Here are pics of the bike I got the offer for. I think it looks like its in pretty good condition, depending on the saddle and how it rides. And of course, I got more questions. Any idea how heavy this thing is? Horizontal or vertical dropouts? I think they're horizontal but I'm not sure. What kind of material? Really can't find any info about this bike
    Very popular model. I really can't fathom that you are unable to find information on this bike. I got 577 google hits for Univega Gran Turismo, for bike forums alone.

    As far as the 1983 Gran Turismo, it would be worth $300 in pristine, ready to ride condition, maybe as high as $350. Around here, touring bikes get a hefty premium, something like 50% more than a comparable racing bike. Although it is missing some features of touring bikes, it does have canti brakes, and a triple crankset. Unfortunately, this bike is not in pristine, ready to ride condition. Tires look old, ditto cables, so I aould assume all bearings and grease need to be changed out. Not big jobs, but those are details where I look for (and get) a nice discount. I have had several Univegas, I have several now in fact, and I had a 1983 Gran Turismo, nice bike.

    Typical touring bike, on the heavier side compared to racing bikes. If you want light, forget touring bikes. Its not what they are designed to meet. It certainly will be lighter than your MTB.

    +1 Stem is over extended.
    Last edited by wrk101; 10-22-11 at 08:42 PM.

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