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  1. #1
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    Univega Single Speed--Value?

    Hey everyone, this is actually my first time posting but I was wondering if anyone could give me an idea on the value of this bike. I'm mainly looking for a bike to ride around campus since my old one got wrecked, a fuji s12-s. Does this look like a good replacement?

    http://houston.craigslist.org/bik/2748925431.html

  2. #2
    Senior Member FastRod's Avatar
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    Here's some of the history of the bike http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Univega. Honestly, I think 200 bucks is a grab. You could always look into upgrades in the future for this kind of bike like gears maybe if that's your thing? get proper drob bars, flat bars or just leave it. I'd grab it if I were you.

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  3. #3
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    For $200 that bike should have gears. At least they kept the brakes. I'd pay about $100, maybe $150 if I really wanted it and get rid of that stupid handlebar/brake lever setup. It either needs drop bars for those brake levers or cross levers for those bars.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

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    yeah the bars definitely worry me a bit. looks like it could be a bit awkward to ride. I mainly only ride on the highest gear anyway so the single speed isn't too much an issue.

  5. #5
    Senior Member FastRod's Avatar
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    The bars are called bullhorns and their meant to make you feel like your riding on the hoods just a piece of info. So if you like riding in the hoods ( brake lever part ) u might like it. It's been more of a fixie fashion thing these days.
    Two wheels carry the soul...
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  6. #6
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    interesting turn of phrase. I guess I do most of my riding on the hoods but I do like moving to the drops occasionally. Now "in the hoods" might be a new experience altogether. I think I'll definitely have to try it out to know for sure but its possible I might like it better, though doubtful. looks like i'll need to start training my pinkies now.

  7. #7
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    If it has a Tange Champion frame that fit I'd pay $200 as is. Unnamed or house brand CrMo then I'd try to get it for a little less. CrMo main triangle or less than I'd go even lower.

    Lugged CrMo is valued pretty highly around here, though, so adjust for your local market.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  8. #8
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    If I was going for a single speed, I would look for a nutted rear axle, not a quick release.

    Secondly, for close to the price of this bike, you can buy a myriad of single speed bikes on line, in whatever size you want, any color, any style handlebar (want drops? you can have them), modern 700c wheels, new tires, and on and on. Go to the single speed forum, they discuss choices all the time.

    Sport Tour is lower end, I do not believe it will have Tange Champion frame tubing.

  9. #9
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacksta723 View Post
    yeah the bars definitely worry me a bit. looks like it could be a bit awkward to ride. I mainly only ride on the highest gear anyway so the single speed isn't too much an issue.
    Missed this post earlier. This bike looks to be about a 42x17 which will be undergeared for you if you ride top gear all the time on any average MTB or road bike. Ask seller if he still has the big chainring, along with any other assorted bits that got picked off the bike.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  10. #10
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    Poorly set up done single speed conversion of mid range Japnese bike I wouldn't go over $75 the market for half ass conversions is in the toilet right now. This is just a don't don't buy it case. You can do a 4x better for $200 in the current bike market will done conversions are listed regularly on most CLs for $150 and you can buy great new singles for $200 or get a fairly nice proper C&V bike with good gears and brakes for that price.
    Last edited by zukahn1; 12-28-11 at 09:20 PM.

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    Thanks for all the feedback guys i more than appreciate it, never realized how much I didn't know. The gearing will definitely be a breakpoint so i'll be sure to inquire but its looking like going down in price will be a good idea even so.

    If online is a good option is an SE draft single the best for about $200 or is there somewhere I can get better? and if possible can you say where? Also what would be the measurement for a top gear in case other parts aren't included?

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    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Stock high gear on your old Fuji was probably a 52x14, probably the same for the Univega. That's a pretty high gear, though. If you're asking about gearing for new rides, you're not likely to find a road-oriented single-speed with that gearing because very few people like riding the streets with that high of a gear.

    If you can get the old derailers and shifters with the Univega and they're Shimano 600 in good shape you might be able to make $50-75 by selling those off. That'll help fund proper bars and/or brake levers.
    Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 12-28-11 at 11:52 PM.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  13. #13
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacksta723 View Post
    Thanks for all the feedback guys i more than appreciate it, never realized how much I didn't know. The gearing will definitely be a breakpoint so i'll be sure to inquire but its looking like going down in price will be a good idea even so.

    If online is a good option is an SE draft single the best for about $200 or is there somewhere I can get better? and if possible can you say where? Also what would be the measurement for a top gear in case other parts aren't included?
    New single speed options are best discussed over in the SS forum. The advantages of flip flop hubs, which new one is the best deal, etc.

    As far as your top gearing, just count the teeth on your current bike of the gear you like, and run it through a gear calculator (Sheldon Brown site and elsewhere). Then whatever you buy, match that gearing.


    That Univega is a really sloppy conversion.

  14. #14
    Senior Member FastRod's Avatar
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    Anyway good luck to whatever bike your getting, always test it out before buying. I'm looking for an old bike myself around your range, but with gears.
    Two wheels carry the soul...
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  15. #15
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    From what I have seen only 1 out of 10 fixed/single speed conversions are done really well. Even the cheapest of new single speed fixed gear bikes will likely work ride better than most conversions.

  16. #16
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I'd have to get a closeup of the chainline and the drive side of the rear hub to even start thinking about calling this SS a poor performer. I do hate the flop and chop bars w/ road levers cockpit, but anything other than that would be pure conjecture.

    And this would be a poor choice if you want to go fixed at some point.

    Your earlier $75 quote is pretty low for my neighborhood. I could probably sell frame/fork/headset for that around here.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  17. #17
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    +1 frame set around here if cromo would bring $75 or more. Complete with gears, $200 would be hard to get.

  18. #18
    Just keep pedalling! big_heineken's Avatar
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    There are a few decent deals in Houston right now.

    This one isn't bad and you could probably pick it up for around $150:
    http://houston.craigslist.org/bik/2739573760.html

    I like this one, but I don't know how tall you are:
    http://houston.craigslist.org/bik/2755704032.html

    This one is ok:
    http://houston.craigslist.org/bik/2691396173.html

    Here are a few more:
    http://houston.craigslist.org/bik/2758581098.html

    http://houston.craigslist.org/bik/2772431688.html

    http://houston.craigslist.org/bik/2753443025.html
    Hook 'em Horns!

  19. #19
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    I feel like I might be able to talk in the gears but I can only imagine what that'll do to the price since it already comes as a single. The houston market has some pretty decent finds but the prices are definitely right up around this so I have a hard time finding a size, type, color match. I'm definitely glad to know the right questions to ask the seller.

    The conversion value worries me and now i'm fighting the urge to jump over to bikeisland if it wasn't for my hankering for a vintage. I'm good enough with my hands to do some research into conversions and maybe fix up anything that could use it while the break is still going. Also I'm a 59cm maybe 58 with a 34' standover. In the end I guess it all comes down to the test ride and inclusions. I also found this but there'd be no way to test it http://houston.craigslist.org/bik/2764972615.html

  20. #20
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    That Raleigh in your post and a handful of bikes in heinekin's post are aluminum if that matters to you.

    The Schwinn and Peugeot are a step down from the Univega. That Alpine is unknown to me but it almost looks good in the crappy pics. Needs new saddle of course, but... wonder if it really does have 27" wheels. Shifters almost look like 6-speed indexed Shimano which is often kinda post-27" era. Once again, hard telling from crappy pics.

    So far if you're after lugged steel, the Univega seems best to me, if you can get that for $150-ish. Alpine might be good but it's more of a mystery at this point.

    That Vitus is awfully tempting, even with the rumors that they're whippy (dunno if that exact model), it sure looks good and has nice parts on it.

    I should add that the Peugeot might present some parts swap hurdles due to its Frenchness. Some of the bikes in heineken's post have vertical dropouts which would present some single speeding hurdles.
    Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 12-29-11 at 04:43 PM.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  21. #21
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    I should have said this earlier but thanks big_heineken for all the work into the finds. That alpine looks like the best catch if I drop the univega. I'm putting bikeisland ideas down for now and sticking with the vintage unless an amazing find comes by. The vitus looks amazing really but I think i might be too big for it and i want whatever I get to be a keeper. I don't really even prefer the idea of single speed, the univega just happened to already be converted.

    I've gotten lucky once in austin with my fuji and just missed it a while ago in houston with a gt and now I think I may have to settle for the univega if it can go down to 150 or come with parts. I don't know practically anything about the quality of these things but i hope to learn more as i go on. Just want a good starting point. I love "learning how to fish" so i'll definitely be nurturing this bike obsession at least to the point of learning a conversion. As everyone is saying this is a bad conversion, would it be simple to correct the problems by myself?

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