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  1. #1
    Senior Member AGuinness's Avatar
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    Univega Gran Premio frameset—year of manufacture?

    Hi everyone,

    FedEx just delivered an old Univega Gran Premio frameset, which I recently won on eBay. It appears to be from the early- to mid-eighties, but I'm not sure...

    Here is some of the info:

    · Serial # I773968
    · Tange Falcon Headset
    · Tange Champion Double Butted Tubing
    · Chrome Fork Crown (and blades, underneath paint)
    · Suntour dropouts (R is stamped GS)
    · BB-Mounted Cable Guides
    · DT Shifter Bosses

    I'm thinking of transferring all of my Centurion Ironman's 105 components over to this frameset—it's a bit smaller and should prove a much better fit. Also, it's not quite as flashy so I'll feel more comfortable riding it around town and locking it up.

    In addition to the year of manufacture, can anyone tell me what components this was originally built up with? I want to buy another group and gradually replace the 105, which will go back on the Centurion before I sell it...

    Thanks!
    Last edited by AGuinness; 12-09-06 at 02:12 AM.
    "We never had to take any of it seriously, did we?"
    "No, we never had to."

  2. #2
    Senior Member AGuinness's Avatar
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    Almost forgot—the frame takes a 26.8 seat post. I just bought a Sugino binder-bolt for it, but the inside diameter of the bolt is too big, and can't be inserted...

    What sort of bolt should I be looking for?
    Last edited by AGuinness; 12-09-06 at 12:49 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member russdog63's Avatar
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    I am really not familiar with that bike. I do remember seeing it on ebay and was very interested. I have been looking for a japanese bike to build up with Suntour Superbe components and that would have fit the bill just perfect. It is amazing how the price of quality used steel bikes keeps going up on ebay. The upper end prices people pay not so much but the good deals seem to be going away. I think more people are recognizing the value. I think you got very nice frame for what you paid. Tange Champion is on par with Reynolds 531 and the Suntour dropouts are very high quality.

    A year and a half ago I bought a Univega Ultraleggera on ebay for $75 (that includes my shipping cost). The Dura Ace headset it came with was almost worth that. Awesome frame Tange Prestige with Shimano dropouts. Equipping it with Dura Ace was a no brainer. I have it equipped with 9 speed Dura Ace derailleurs and wheelset. It has older Dura Ace brakes, Crankset, seatpost etc.... It is a very fast, very good climbing racing bike.

    One thing I have found out is that old Univegas aren't really collectible right now. Also, detailed info on them is hard to find. However, they can be very nice and one of the best values out there. I really wouldn't be too concerned with making it original. Instead just make it nice racing bike equipped with components on par with the frame quality and from the general period the frame was built. Top end Japanese components like Dura Ace or Suntour Superbe would go well with that bike. The no brainer to me would be Suntour Superbe to match the Suntour Dropouts. Suntour Cyclone would be also be a good match.

    Another thing to consider is making a Cyclocross bike out of it. The seller said it requires long reach brakes for a 700c wheelset. Your frame was probably built for 27" wheelsets. I have an old Holdsworth professional that was built for 27" wheelsets and it requires long reach brakes for 700c wheels. I have ridden the fatter Cyclocross tires on that bike and they have enough clearance to ride fine. I have plans to turn the Holdsworth into a cyclocross bike.
    If 80's steel was good enough for Hinault, Moser, Kelly, Roche, Lemond and Anderson then I need to prove my worthiness of it on a daily basis.
    Holdsworth Professional (Reynolds 531 early 80's)
    Special Build Team Raleigh (Reynolds 753 1987?)
    Medici Pro Strada (early 80's Tange Prestige)
    Univega Ultraleggera (Tange Prestige oversized .8/.5/.8 late 80's or early 90's)

  4. #4
    Senior Member russdog63's Avatar
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    With the 120mm rear triangle spread and appearing to be built for 27" wheels I would be inclined to believe the bike was from the early 80's.
    If 80's steel was good enough for Hinault, Moser, Kelly, Roche, Lemond and Anderson then I need to prove my worthiness of it on a daily basis.
    Holdsworth Professional (Reynolds 531 early 80's)
    Special Build Team Raleigh (Reynolds 753 1987?)
    Medici Pro Strada (early 80's Tange Prestige)
    Univega Ultraleggera (Tange Prestige oversized .8/.5/.8 late 80's or early 90's)

  5. #5
    Senior Member AGuinness's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I just fitted a 700c wheel and a Shimano 105 short reach brake to it, and it seems fine. I asked the seller what size wheels it used, and he said it had come with 700c. When he mentioned long-reach brakes, I think he was referring to a 650b conversion. That's what confuses me about this frame, because of the 120 spacing in the rear...

    I had wanted to transfer a 105 group to it, but it looks like that might be difficult. The brakes shoes are about a centimeter above where they should be on the rim, they just barely make contact with the inflated tire. Not to mention the 120 spacing...

    I don't think I could go all out and use Superbe... Maybe Sprint.

    Thanks for your response.

  6. #6
    Senior Member AGuinness's Avatar
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    I just adjusted the brake shoes, and they fit fine! It was just a matter of lowering them a little. Now I've got to start looking for a 26.8 post...

  7. #7
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    I was bidding on that on the last day, $120 was my limit, congratulations!. I recently bought on CR a rattle can painted univega frame with a chrome fork. I have been looking for a proper frame for the Dura Ace group and wanted that Gran Premio. Besides the poor paint job my top tube has a ding in it. My only claim to Univega is the diamond cut outs in the frame lugs. It has Shimano rear dropouts and Tange front drop outs. Single bottle braze ons, the Dura Ace brakes date it to Feb 81. I have seen a Super Strada model that looks most like my bike but russDog's sounds similar to mine but his is from later years. Anyway just want to second the great ride they have. This is my first venture into road bikes and so far I am hooked on vintage steel.
    T Mar is the guy who can tell you what the Gran Premio came with from your serial number info. Some of the top Univegas had Dura Ace but mostly I think they had Suntour components. Good Luck and have fun.

  8. #8
    Senior Member AGuinness's Avatar
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    Hi Vegaman,

    Thanks! So you were bidding on that? I usually bid in the last 30-45 seconds—if I were to bid any later I'm afraid I'd come back only to find the auction had already ended. Has eBay ever asked you to re-enter your password in the last 30 seconds of an auction, right as you bid? Arg! I lost a nice pair of Wolber rims that way a few weeks ago...

    The pictures in the description were pretty bad, I was expecting the frame to be in better shape. It's not in bad shape, actually pretty good for its age, but there are quite a few scratches and the chrome on the fork crown is a bit pitted. I'll put some pictures up as soon as I'm done building it up, which should be in about three weeks or so.

    If you're still looking for a Univega, you should go to the College Park & Mt. Airy Bicycles' used bike page. The site is run by a nice guy named Larry, e-mail him and he'll get right back to you with whatever you need to know. You should go to this page first.

    Sebastián
    Last edited by AGuinness; 12-10-06 at 06:10 AM.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, the serious bidding takes place in the last 30 seconds. I was travelling on that day so I wasn't available for "sniping" on that day but $120 was my limit so I might have let it go. I missed an opportunity once by not being signed in, very frustrating.
    I have been in touch with Larry about a 58cm Super Strada that the website says he has in the warehouse but he never seems to come through with the actual frame?
    Good luck on the build and I look forward to your pictures.
    In addition to the unknown pedigree Univega, I bought a Raleigh Racing USA 531 Taiwan frame from CR for $70 recently. He threw in cranks, derailer and wheels for that price. I am building that up as well so I guess I have the bug for bicycles.

  10. #10
    Senior Member AGuinness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vegaman
    Good luck on the build and I look forward to your pictures.
    Thanks, same here if you get the Super Strada. I found this picture online—it looks great!


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