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Old 11-19-07, 12:58 PM   #1
Niles H.
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Univega Viva Sport? SunTour Le Pree?

I am a novice with vintage bikes, and do not know how to evaluate this bike very well.

Can anyone tell me the quality level of the frame and components?

Where did this bike stand in the Univega line (low, mid-range, higher end...)?

SunTour Le Pree? The Dura Ace of its day? A step or two down?

Hubs are "sealed bearing".

Pedals look as if they were designed for cornering....

Brakes and levers are Dia-Compe.

SunTour shifters are on the down tube.

Tubing is lugged chromoly triple butted, and it sounds like it might be a good frame(?).

Is the tubing splined? Miyata?

Weight -- does anyone know approximately what the weight of these bikes was/is?

If I am patient, can I find substantially better frames from that era?, or is this about as good as they got?

Are there substantially better components?

Substantially better overall bikes? Substantially lighter weight?

Wheels have 27x1 Araya rims, 36H. So-so? Good? Very good? Good for their day, but not in comparison with more recent higher-end wheels?

****
Also, are good 27" tires still widely available (in the US)? And are good 27" rims still fairly available?

(Please feel free to post answers to any of the questions, or anything else in relation to this bike -- I'm very interested in learning more about it.)

Last edited by Niles H.; 11-19-07 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 11-19-07, 01:17 PM   #2
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Where did this bike stand in the Univega line (low, mid-range, higher end...)? Judging from the components, probably entry level to lower-mid level

SunTour Le Pree? The Dura Ace of its day? A step or two down? Not quite. Quite a few steps down, but not bottom of the barrel. Lower mid-level.

Hubs are "sealed bearing". Just marketing hype. Hubs were improved with better seals against road dirt. But even entry level hubs were designed this way.

Pedals look as if they were designed for cornering.... Quill pedals? They can be found on entry level road bikes.

Brakes and levers are Dia-Compe. Entry level, unless they are Gran Compe. GC stamped on them.

SunTour shifters are on the down tube. Again, most likely entry level stuff

Tubing is lugged chromoly triple butted, and it sounds like it might be a good frame(?). It won't make you rich if you are planning on selling it, but I'm sure it a good, solid frame.

Is the tubing splined? Miyata? Is there a decal indicating splined tubing? And is there a decal on the fork? Chromoly is better than high-tensile

Weight -- does anyone know approximately what the weight of these bikes was/is? No

If I am patient, can I find substantially better frames from that era?, or is this about as good as they got? Many 'better' frames, though it's all subjective. Univega and Miyata produced quality frameset, so it would make a solid bike.

Are there substantially better components? Yes

Substantially better overall bikes? Substantially lighter weight? Yes

Wheels have 27" Araya rims, 36H. So-so? Good? Very good? Good for their day, but not in comparison with more recent high-end wheels?Again, probably entry level.

If this is a bike in your possession, posting detailed photos here, and perhaps the serial number would help with identification. There is at least one forum member who has access to many original catalogues for Japanese manufactured bikes. Also, searching the forum (through Google for better results) might give you a general idea of others' impressions of the bike.

Last edited by JunkYardBike; 11-19-07 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 11-19-07, 01:24 PM   #3
Niles H.
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Thanks for the great response.

No, haven't bought it (yet).

Regarding the forks: they are something like "magnesialite" (I'm not quite sure what that word was, but magnesium or magnesium alloy was the idea).

Last edited by Niles H.; 11-19-07 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 11-19-07, 01:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
Thanks for the great response.

No, haven't bought it (yet).

Regarding the forks: they are something like "magnesialite" (I'm not quite sure what that word was, but magnesium or magnesium alloy was the idea).
A bit lighter than high tensile. Another thing to look at are the front and rear dropouts. I'll bet they are probably forged, which are more durable than stamped. Explanation here: http://sheldonbrown.com/gloss_dr-z.html#dropout
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