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  1. #1
    Gearhead old's'cool's Avatar
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    Univega Viva Touring build

    Geoff
    "I think that I think, therefore I think that I am"

  2. #2
    Senior Member sonatageek's Avatar
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    Looks very good -- too bad we don't get the story too.

  3. #3
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    +1 Yeah - Tell us about it.

    Then tell us about how much fun these Viva Tourings are to ride !

  4. #4
    Gearhead old's'cool's Avatar
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    I'll tell the story again, after I regain my composure. I'm too frustrated tonight after typing for close to an hour and having it get dumped into the bit basket twice. Next time I'l type it out in notepad, then copy to the web...
    thanks for the interest!
    Geoff
    "I think that I think, therefore I think that I am"

  5. #5
    Gearhead old's'cool's Avatar
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    FrankenVega Story

    So, here's the story on my FrankenVega build.
    No big deal actually, so any buildup due to my mishaps trying to post yesterday is completely unintentional.
    This is my first year of regular commuting, and as winter settled in, I realized I wanted a beater bike to take the brunt of the bad weather, i.e. moisture & dirt spraying up from the tires on wet dirty roads, and not subject my relatively intact original vintage bikes to this treatment.
    Therefore I wanted something far from show quality and with little or no sentimental value. I decided this would also be my shopping and locking-up-in-town bike; so I wanted it to be relatively unnattractive for theft.
    Although I didn't rule out buying a complete bike, the many things i wanted to customize and the fact that I had several components on hand already made it more probable that I would get a frame or partial bike and build a "frankenbike".
    The first step was I found a partial bike on CL, that I bought for the components, since the frame was too large for me; it was a 63cm Univega Sporttour, with fork, headset. BB, FD, stem, handlebar, brakeset, crankset and shifters. For the price and expediency of getting so many compenents at once, it was a good buy. Also, I was able to trade the frame for a very nice handlebar bag (not the one in the photos) and a set of PB blade fenders as seen in the photos. After searching a few more weeks, while not looking for any brand in particular, I found a cosmetically banged up yet straight Univega Viva Touring frame in my size, which was almost perfect for my goals. It was a similar vintage to the Sporttour donor bike so all the donor components matched nicely. The Viva Touring was bare except for fork and headset. Since the Viva Touring features canti brake mounts, I couldn't resist upgrading to cantilever brakes so the Dia Compe sidepulls are still in my parts bin awaiting a new purpose in life.
    Other than that, here are some items from the build that are notable, to me, at least:
    - the crankset from the donor bike was a dated SR on a 118 BCD; the large 52T chain ring was worn beyond redemption and as I'm particular about gearing, the 118 crankset had no value to me anyway since the 40T small chainring is not a size I find useful; and toothcounts other than 40 and 52T on the 118 BCD seem to be non-existent. Therefore I upgraded to a 130BCD Sakae SX triple crankset off Ebay, and added a 52T chainring from Ebay, a 36T chainring from XXcycle in Europe, as well as a 46T chainring from parts on hand.
    - Having measured the seat tube with a micrometer at 26.8mm dia, I concluded this was the size of seatpost I needed; so I went ahead and purchased a late-model seatpost of that size off Ebay. Once I gotit in my hands, it was immediately clear there was no way it was going into the seat tube more than a couple of mm. The seatpost miked right at 26.8mm; so being a novice in these matters, I concluded that a 0.2mm margin was required for proper fit, so I proceeded to turn the setpost down to 26.6mm on a lathe. That turned out to be impossibly loose; so becoming more creative, I knurled the diameter back up to 26.7mm which turned out to fit very nicely (you can clearly see the vertical knurling marks in one of the detail photos). In the meantime, I found from research that the proper size is probabaly 26.8mm, so it is likely that there is something wrong with my frame to explain why 26.8mm won't fit. Anyway, all's well that ends well. The main point is, I was determined to buy only one seatpost and make it fit, dammit.
    - Initially I tried to find a matched wheelset at a decent price but this was taking too long so I ended up buying a rear wheel complete, a front hub, and a bare rim all in separate Ebay transactions. Fortunately the two rims match and the Suzue front hub and Shimano rear hub are styled identically. As a bonus, I got to build up a wheel from scratch for the first time, and it turned out to be much easier than I expected.
    - Although I've been riding the bike for several weeks now, I didn't post the build until now as I was waiting for parts and time to complete the front wheel build. Anyway, the ride is even better than I expected, very smooth and solid, decently fast also considering that this is the utility bike in my stable.
    - Here is the build list:
    Frame, fork, headset - 1982 Univega Viva Touring 58cm
    Parts from 1980 Univega Sporttour donor bike:
    Sakae drop handlebar
    SR stem 100mm reach
    Dia Compe brake levers
    Shimano Altus FD & shifters
    SR bottom bracket
    RD - Shimano Crane - parts on hand
    Cantibrakes - Shimano - Ebay
    Crankset - Sakae SX 130BCD triple, Shimano 52t & 46T, TA 36T (74BCD) - Ebay & xxcycle
    Freewheel - Suntour 13-15-17-19-21 - Ebay
    rear wheelset - Shimano hub, Araya 27x1-1/4" alloy rim
    front wheelset - Suzue hub, Araya 27x1-1/4 alloy rim

    Parts on hand not listed above:
    saddle - Forte Softsaddle
    pedals - Wellgo MTB

    New non-vintage items:
    derailler & brake cables
    tires & tubes
    handle bar tape
    brake lever hoods
    spokes for front wheel

    I'll be happy to answer questions about anything I left out, e.g. accessories that are not part of the bike proper & further details of listed items.

    P.S. for contrast, see High Fist Shin's gorgeous Viva Touring build thread. I will post a link when I find it.
    Last edited by old's'cool; 03-23-10 at 11:21 PM. Reason: added non-vintage items etc
    Geoff
    "I think that I think, therefore I think that I am"

  6. #6
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    I enjoyed hearing about the time and effort you expended in building this bike - You will fall in love with it and though it was intended as your non-sentimental utility machine, you'll find yourself strangely attracted to it in a short time.

    - I was wondering how the Triple worked out with the other BB - from a double, wasn't it? ( I had an issue with one I had to address with a new BB since it required a longer spindle. )

    High Fists thread is here - a really inspiring build

    My own Viva Touring was an el-cheapo build: $35 for the frame and wheels, and the rest from a Miyata 710 someone trashed. A dollar for the rack at a garage sale, and some new bar tape. It is a double, but it suits me since I never use a granny gear anyway.


  7. #7
    Gearhead old's'cool's Avatar
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    auchencrow, you're right, I'm more fond of and attached to my frankenbike than I anticipated. It is really very nice to ride and yet the guilt-free part remains. Since it is a frankenbike, any part that wears or corrodes to the point of needing replacement can be replaced with whatever equivalent item, with no qualms, unlike my original bikes, where I want to maintain some fidelity to the original specs; I'm naturally much more cautious about exposing them to avoidable abuse.

    I posted some info about my triple conversion in a couple of triple conversion threads over the past few months. When I have time I'll find them and link them in here. In a nutshell, there was no issue. I found that Sakae BB from the donor bike was assymetrical by about 4mm, but after some experimentation I actually determined that clearance to the chainstay was ample and the chainline was better if I put the shorter side of the spindle on the chainring side of the BB, so that's how I'm running it. If there's interest I will post photos of the chainstay clearance. Needless to say, the Altus FD is handling the shifting no problem and the Crane RD has no issues with wrap, given that I only use the "granny" chainring with the larger two sprockets, and I only use the large chainring with smaller two sprockets.

    BTW, thanks for sharing your Viva Touring pic. Can you tell me what year and what are the original components?
    Geoff
    "I think that I think, therefore I think that I am"

  8. #8
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    High Oldscool -
    Your Frankenbike will become one you reach for often. (I have a couple of favored riders myself, that do far more service than my "better" bikes.)

    I think you lucked out with your spindle. In building up a Trek 400 triple for a flip, I took the precaution of having the LBS measure the bike with the crank and specify a new cartridge BB for it. Though the chain line looked OK, the range on the Front DR was not, and the bike INTERMITENTLY would not drop into low gear. Initially, it did not dawn on me what the problem was - then it realized that the spindle was a few microns too short, and I scrounged another BB from my parts bin . - it shifts perfectly now. (It works well enough in fact to cross-chain if I was so inclined which of course, I am not).

    If I do any such work on a triple in the future I'll err on the LONG side when choosing a BB.

    I am not sure what year my Viva Touring is - I'd guess about an '85. Other than the wheels and frame, NOTHING is original, but it has very good quality components and the small size makes for a good nimble climber.

    Regards,
    - A

  9. #9
    Gearhead old's'cool's Avatar
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    auchencrow,
    yes, when in doubt about the weather, or going somewhere I have to lock my bike for a while, I always reach for the frankenbike.
    The first letter in your serial number should denote the year. Mine is 'K' for 1982. 'L' would be 1983, etc.
    Geoff
    "I think that I think, therefore I think that I am"

  10. #10
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old's'cool View Post
    auchencrow,
    ... The first letter in your serial number should denote the year. Mine is 'K' for 1982. 'L' would be 1983, etc.
    Thanks old's'cool - that would make mine an '83.

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