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Old 10-17-08, 07:53 AM   #1
treebound 
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Univega "Custom" stem and "Symetric" shifters

I know someone with a 1984 Univega Sportour and I noticed it had the word "custom" stamped into the stem. Is this really a custom stem, or just something that the Univega people spec'd out at the time?

It was dark out so these are just a couple of pics I managed to take, I can take more later.

I'm also curious about the shifters and where the "symmetric" fit into the heirarchy. They're friction only with no indexing clicks.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSC00495-stem.jpg (28.4 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg DSC00483-shifters.jpg (28.8 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg DSC00497-stem-bars.jpg (29.9 KB, 16 views)

Last edited by treebound; 10-17-08 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 10-17-08, 09:02 AM   #2
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Custom is the model name of the stem, which was manufactured by SR (Sakae Royal).

Symmetric was SunTour's attempt to manufacture a shifting system that automatically adjusted the trim of the front derailleur as the rear derailleur was shifted. I don't think it held any specific location in the SunTour hierachy. They do not appear to have been tied to any particular group. My impression was that they were much like a bar end or Power Shifter, a special design aimed at a niche market segment. It was left up to the bicycle manufacturer to spec them, if they thought it would appeal to their particular target audience.

Due to the interaction of the levers, it necessitated a connecting housing and top mounting. The levers were offered in both braze-on and band mount. This would seem to indicate that they were intended for a wide price range of bicycles and also aftermarket sales.
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Old 10-17-08, 09:32 AM   #3
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Custom is the model name of the stem, which was manufactured by SR (Sakae Royal).

Symmetric was SunTour's attempt to manufacture a shifting system that automatically adjusted the trim of the front derailleur as the rear derailleur was shifted. I don't think it held any specific location in the SunTour hierachy. They do not appear to have been tied to any particular group. My impression was that they were much like a bar end or Power Shifter, a special design aimed at a niche market segment. It was left up to the bicycle manufacturer to spec them, if they thought it would appeal to their particular target audience.

Due to the interaction of the levers, it necessitated a connecting housing and top mounting. The levers were offered in both braze-on and band mount. This would seem to indicate that they were intended for a wide price range of bicycles and also aftermarket sales.
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Old 10-17-08, 03:19 PM   #4
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A couple of things:

Sakae Ringyo. There are also "Custom" and "Super Custom" cranksets which seem to vary wildly, much more so than the custom stems. The symmetrics are a nifty little gadget, and while T-Mar is (as usual) 100% correct in saying that they didn't belong to any particular group, a great deal of Cyclone Mk-II bikes I've encountered were spec'ed with that shifter.
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Old 10-17-08, 03:22 PM   #5
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I'm glad I asked since I'm the one that'll be working on this thing. I'll have to be carefull if I take the shifters apart to clean and lube them.

Thank you.
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Old 10-17-08, 03:28 PM   #6
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I'm glad I asked since I'm the one that'll be working on this thing. I'll have to be carefull if I take the shifters apart to clean and lube them.

Thank you.
If you take them apart, I would recommend taking photos. I have several pairs that I've picked up cheaply used because they are so damned difficult to get back together correctly. In fact you might consider just letting them soak in pine-sol over night and then working some lubricant into the mechanism from the back side.
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Old 10-20-08, 07:51 AM   #7
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I'm glad I asked since I'm the one that'll be working on this thing. I'll have to be carefull if I take the shifters apart to clean and lube them.
I fully agree with pruvl's recommendations on photos or not taking them apart. I acquired a set on a 1984 Schwinn Le Tour I picked up last spring. I thought I was super careful in disassembling them but it took me several tries to get them back together correctly! I do like them a lot though. They really do prevent a lot of micro adjustments on the front chain rings. With a good shifting rear derailleur, they make going back to friction much more pleasant.

BTW: where in WI are you located treebound?
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Old 10-20-08, 08:20 AM   #8
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BTW: where in WI are you located treebound?
I'm about 20 miles north of downtown Milwaukee. We've talked a few times about moving to the Madison area, but finding jobs is the biggest factor in that idea.
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