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  1. #1
    Senior Member robo's Avatar
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    Can anyone tell me about this old Univega?

    I just won this auction... it seems like a good price, at least for eBay. I bid on the assumption that the frame is actually a good bit bigger than the claimed 54-56cm, but we'll see when it arrives.

    http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...m=250110910160

    I was just wondering if some of the experts here can tell me more about it. From the double butted frame and Shimano 600 parts, i'm guess it's a pretty good quality bike from the mid-'80s, but any better info would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Here's one of the pictures from the auction, BTW:


  2. #2
    * vpiuva's Avatar
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    Looks like you stole that one. The arabesque 600 group puts it '84 or earlier I think, but others will know dates for sure. Enjoy the ride.

  3. #3
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    The bar tape hurts my eyes........
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

  4. #4
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    That's one of those cases that if the bike had been listed on Boston's Craig's List, it would have fetched at least double the final bid if not nearly triple. Nice catch!

    Neal

  5. #5
    Prodigal road guy MajorA's Avatar
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    Decent price, depending on shipping .. when you get the bike, the derailleurs should have two-letter codes that will tell you the year based on the chart here:

    http://www.vintage-trek.com/component_dates.htm#shimano

    Don't be faked out by the "FD" and "RD" ... those stand for front derailleur and ... well, you get it.

    And that's looking like a 54 or a 56 to me, pardner.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by robo
    I bid on the assumption that the frame is actually a good bit bigger than the claimed 54-56cm, but we'll see when it arrives.
    Frame size might be stamped into the bottom bracket, like this:

    5
    4

    or

    5
    6

  7. #7
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Looks more like 56-58cm to me (might as well ease your mind a bit as you wait ). Nice looking bike.

  8. #8
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    It's a 23" frame(=58 1/2 aprox.) a nominal size.27' wheels those bikes in 82-84 measured fractionally.Nice bike,seems like a good deal.I don't see the 600 Shimano,perhaps the rear DER. The SR cranks were ussually grouped with Suntour,Sugino with 600,oh well,Univegas had different set-ups.Could be later,it doesn't matter,bikes lived for years in warehouses back then.It's a Miyata.The clincher is the strange saddle attachment,other aspects as well.A GOOD bike if the pic's true.Looks like a 710ish frame.

  9. #9
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    I believe that is a "Sportour" like mine (except for that splash tape). Mine's an "M" frame from Miyata, and I think it's a 1982. It had a Los Angeles license sticker on it that expired Dec. '82, anyway. My research (shaky, admittedly) suggests that was the last year for the Arabesque FD, RD and shifters with the Diacompe "G" brakes. I've seen three or four of them, all with that mix, so I don't think the Diacompes were actually an "upgrade." The crankset was SR "custom," 130 BCD, with 52/40 rings. Wanting to go "compact" for commuting purposes, I've swapped that for a Sugino with 110 BCD, but I'm thinking of reversing that. The rear cluster will be 14-28.

    I'm not so confident that the frame is any larger than a 56. These frames have slightly short toptubes, which makes the headtube deceptively long. Mine, anyway, measures exactly 56cm c-c. Here is a photo, taken while waiting for a wider set of drop bars:


  10. #10
    Senior Member robo's Avatar
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    Heh.. thanks for the comments and info. I'm 5'11" with a 56cm PBH and 32" inseam, so depending on which school of frame sizing you subscribe to, the frame might not be too small even if it's a 56. If it's a 54 then maybe not.

    However, I actually bought it because i've been trying to help a friend get a bike to replace his old one, which was stolen at Chrismas. He's pretty broke so i've been on the lookout for a good older bike like this. Unfortunately, he's about 6'2", so i'm thinking this will be too small for him... meaning that I should probably keep it!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Old School's Avatar
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    I would say you got a good deal! I have an '84 Viva Sport that has the same (Diacompe 500) brakes and (Araya 27 x1) wheels. I would have expected Suntour derailleurs so it may be a bit earlier vintage. I think you will find the frame is indeed about 58cm, although it was probably marketed as a 23". At 5'11" it should be fine for you. If it was only ridden "200 miles" before it was stored, the components are barely broken in.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW! WHAT A RIDE!"

  12. #12
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    Shimano 600EX (Arabesque) made its debut in 1978. Depending on the source, it may have been available as late as 1984, though New 600EX was out in 1984. The bicycle is definitely not a 1983 model, so it would appear to be somewhere from 1978-1982. Several other posters have reported partial and/or full Arabesque groups on Sportours circa 1982, so that would seem to be the most likely choice.

    As for it's being a Miyata frame, the odds are in your favour given the apparent era, but Miyata was not the only manufacturer of Univega. The only way to tell for sure, is via the serial number. And once you have that, we can determine the year.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuckk
    Who else built Univega?
    We've had a number of posts regarding Univega that have had serial numbers that did not match the Miyata format. Unfortunately, I couldn't identify the manufacturer via the serial number. While the majority of posts concerning Univega do pertain to Miyata built models, there are enough non-Miyata cases to warrant caution in assuming it is automatically a Miyata.

  14. #14
    * vpiuva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuckk
    Who else built Univega?
    I read somewhere that the production was moved from Japan (Miyata) to Taiwan, and even had the manufacturer's name in said blurb, but I can't seem to locate this source right now.

  15. #15
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    To throw in another confusing Univega data point, I bought this one as a frameset and built it up as a fixed gear and sold it on CL. By far the nicest Univega I've seen with a chromed sloping fork crown, very nice lugwork, Tange dropouts, very light weight (no tubing stickers but it did have a Superbe Pro sticker).

    Neal
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  16. #16
    Senior Member raverson's Avatar
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    I was watching that auction and was interested, but it sounded like the seller really didn't want to ship so I passed. If it turns out to be as described, IMHO, you made a great deal.

    I bought a '82 64cm Sportour on CL a few months ago and it did have an unusually short top tube of 56cm. It rode very smooth and I would have kept it had it fit. I switched out the Shimano 600 group for Suntour ARX and sold it to my nephews friend who is a 6'3" college student. He rides it daily and loves it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17
    Senior Member robo's Avatar
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    Yeah - i contacted the seller and he was actually willing to ship. Interesting thing is it apparently failed to sell locally, either on eBay or through whatever local means he was using to advertise (he said it was listed off eBay also).. hope that's not a bad sign.

    Also, would it be completely blasphemous to chuck that saddle?

  18. #18
    Senior Member fender1's Avatar
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    Does the fork look a bit tweaked or is it the picture?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by robo
    Also, would it be completely blasphemous to chuck that saddle?
    These are relics without the religious overtones. I'd toss that saddle in a heartbeat. And I'd give serious thought to chucking the seatpost with it. If it's like mine, it's an SR LaParade that uses four vertical plates to grab the saddle rails, contains about three times the amount of aluminum needed, and is notorious for the tales of heroic extraction efforts it generates on BF. Unfortunately, it's a 26.6, so you're less likely to have a replacement lying around than if it were 26.8 or 27.2.

  20. #20
    Senior Member robo's Avatar
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    Well, the eBay seller has been extremely friendly and communicative, and only charged me about $25 for shipping! It should arrive today too, which is virtally overnight..

    Hmm... maybe it's my lucky eBay find, but we'll see soon enough.

  21. #21
    Senior Member robo's Avatar
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    WOW!

    I just got it about 30 minutes ago. This thing pretty much qualifies as NOS. The rim sidewalls are still pristine, as if it has never been ridden at all. It's beautiful.

    The serial number is JB19197, and it says 'Made in Japan' on the seat tube. Can anyone translate that number into more info?

    Thanks,

    robin

  22. #22
    Senior Member robo's Avatar
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    BTW - what is the correct method of measuring frame size? Just from straddling the frame, it doesn't feel that much different from my 59cm touring bike, but that bike has 650b wheels so not sure how they compare...

  23. #23
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    You sure those are 650B wheels (or 584mm ERD)? The auction showed 27x1 (630mm ERD) Araya rims. Quite a bit of difference!

    Neal

  24. #24
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    It's a 1981, Miyata manufactured frame. Assuming equivalency to the midrange Miyata models, the forks and stays are hi-tensile steel.

    I can't imagine 650B wheels either. Could be either 700C or 27" given the era and level.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by robo
    BTW - what is the correct method of measuring frame size? Just from straddling the frame, it doesn't feel that much different from my 59cm touring bike, but that bike has 650b wheels so not sure how they compare...
    You use a tape measure. The traditional "size" is the metric measurement of the seat tube, stated in centimeters, from the center of the bottom bracket to the center of the top tube.

    I assume you're saying your touring bike has 650's, right? That seems odd, but no nearly so odd as having them on a 1981 Univega. That would give new meaning to "long reach brakes." The Univega probably has 27X 1 Araya rims, given the photo of the rim sticker in the ebay listing.

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