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Old 11-10-04, 06:36 AM   #1
charlesw
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I couldn'tfind a numbering scheme for Univega (please msg me or email me- charles [then use the sign above the two on your keyboard] loveofcolor.org .

At http://www.vinetage-trek.com/component_dates.htm, they list Dia-Compe brakes as having a numbering sequence for dates. They reccomend looking on the backs of the brake levers for numbers such as "1085", which would indicate the brakes were manufactured in the 10th month- october, in 1985.

My brakes show "5583", which I would assume might be June- but I am not sure. June should be 05. Perhaps one of the Dia Compe brake stampers decided to get exact in his/her punching skills?

I'm going with the year- 83 seems about right. Unfortunatly, I heard Japanese frames that Univega used (Miyata?) were very well made around 86.

By the way, My Univega Sportour serial number that was stamped on the bottom of the crankcase is J624679 . Perhaps the frame may have been made in '79 - but I doubt a Bike Manuf. would keep a bike frame around for four years, then assemble it and ship it out.

Perhaps the Frame is a 79, was shipped and sold in 79/80 and the first owner replaced the brakes after a terrible sliding spagetti accident involving a certain metal-digesting acid broke from a container and destroyed the standard brake levers.

All is speculation, as I only have 5583 as the numbers.


Regards,
Charles

Last edited by charlesw; 12-13-04 at 06:14 PM. Reason: The serial number is J624679, not 1624679. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-10-04, 07:33 AM   #2
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The Vintage-Trek site is an excellent resource for component date codes. A 1983 Univega Sportour should have SunTour ARx derailleurs and freewheel, and SR cranks stem and seat post, which should have date codes that you use to corroborate what you found on the levers.

While frame serial numbers are the preferrred method of dating bicycles, the decryption keys are known only for a small percentage of the manufacturers.

Consequently we are stuck with component date codes as the next best method. However, there are pitfalls with component date codes.

1) Unless you bought the bicycle new, it is possible that the previous owner replaced parts.

2) It is possible that the components were sitting around on the frame manufacturers shelf for a long time, possibly years. Often, when new stock comes in, the old stock is pushed to the back of the shelves, instead of being used up first. Thiis practice is more likely on older bikes, when components had long manufacturing life spans and in cases of smaller companies. Larger companies, tend to rotate the stock to use up the old parts on the shelf before opening new shipments, a practice called FIFO (first in, first out).

3) Component manufacturers start to build the components for a particular model year in the fall of the previous year. This allows them to build up the inventory to meet the contracts for the fnext model year. So, it's also important to look for the month or week coding on components. If all the codes are for the last few moths of a particular year, it is likely that the bicycle was actually built in the following year.

4) On some 1970s and earlier bicycles there may be no component date codes. Many smaller manufacturers did not date code their parts and even some large large companies, such as Shimano, did not start date coding until the mid-1970s.

The best way to minimize incorrect deduction of the year due to the above reasons is to date code as many parts as possible. The more you get that agree with other, the more confident you will be that you have the correct model year. It is not uncommon to find date codes spanning a period of up to six months.

Many of the Univega frames were manufactured by Miyata, however, your serial number does not match the Miyata format. If we could get a get a dozen or more people to submit component date codes and serial numbers for their Univega, the code could probably be broken. It is relatively simple to do, and I have done this for Miyata and am currently working on some others.

By the way, the Univega Sportour was a legitimate 1983 model. I have specs for that year, if you need them.
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Old 09-13-10, 03:25 PM   #3
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Univega custom Maxima, Help me figure it out Please

Hello to the forum. I just found a Univega custom maxima with shimano brakes and stem shift in my parent's back yard. It is in good shape and I was wondering if it was a Miyata frame. I put about 100.00 into a tune up and tubes and tires. Rides great. Serial Number is M502624. It has a made in Japan sticker on the botom of the seat tube. Has a Mangalight sticker that says frame tubes, high tension forks and rear stays. anyone have any information on this bike?
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Old 09-13-10, 03:33 PM   #4
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The J in the OP's serial number seems to indicate a frame made in 1981 if it were made by Miyata- which wouldn't be too far out to have 1983 components on it, if it were kept around for a year plus...

The M in the other poster's serial number indicates a 1984 bike.
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Old 09-13-10, 08:30 PM   #5
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I believe this thread was started in 1984.
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Old 09-30-10, 04:25 PM   #6
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Univega Serial Number

Hi everyone, this is my first post here. I'm so thankful to have found others who are interested in decoding the Univega bike. I just acquired a men's Univega road bike with the serial# [OG76434]. The front brakes are Shimano [DR-Z57] and the rear brakes are Arai 27 Drop Forged. The crank is Univega Cotterless Custom.

I am looking to find out more information on when this bike was possibly manufactured. Thank you in advance!
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Old 09-30-10, 07:41 PM   #7
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Not sure where I found it originally, but as alluded above the serial number decoding scheme is simple assuming Miyata built or at least the same encoding. Initial letter denotes the year, I is 1980, J is 1981, etc. O would be 1986, if I can still count this late in the evening.
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Old 10-04-10, 02:44 AM   #8
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Not sure where I found it originally, but as alluded above the serial number decoding scheme is simple assuming Miyata built or at least the same encoding. Initial letter denotes the year, I is 1980, J is 1981, etc. O would be 1986, if I can still count this late in the evening.
I think you might a better late night counter than I am a daytime reader hehe thank you for the clarification! Looks like I have a 1986!
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Old 12-30-10, 03:17 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone! This thread has really helped me figure out the date of my Univega Sportour bicycle.

It has the serial number H381533. According to the system that has already been mentioned, this dates my frame to 1979.

Then I looked on the Vintage Trek site to figure out some component codes. (http://www.vintage-trek.com/component_dates.htm) Most of the components on my bicycle appear to be original, although I have replaced some of them.

-My Dia-Compe brakes (model 5583) have a “0679” stamp. This translates to June of ’79.
-My rear derailleur (Shimano Altus) has a “DH” stamp. This translates to August of ’79.
-My cranks (SR Silstar) have a stamp of an 80 over a 1. I think this is January of ’80.
-My SR seatpost has an “H 79” stamp below. This translates to August of ’79.

Based on this information, it seems pretty clear that my bicycle was sold in 1979 or 1980.

There are a couple of weird things I was curious about, however:

The rear wheel has a six-speed cassette in which the smallest cog is threaded and holds on the rest of the cassette. Also, the rear hub spacing is 120mm. And yes, I am sure it’s a cassette. That would make this wheel a replacement (not original), right?

Also, the BCD (bolt circle diameter) on the chainrings is 118mm. I just checked Sheldon Brown, this is an obsolete SR size. (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_bo-z.html#bcd)

Thanks again for the wealth of knowledge presented in this thread!
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Old 08-08-12, 09:44 AM   #10
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I have a recently acquired univega sportour in good condition and i got the serial number "M562163" and was wondering if there's a database to reference this to or if anyone could tell me anything about the bike based on the serial code.
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Old 01-13-17, 05:59 PM   #11
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Hi everyone. Just found this site. I've got a uni-vega gran rally that Ibought new but can't remember the year. serial number is E910895. Anyone know the year it was made?
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Old 01-14-17, 10:00 AM   #12
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Welcome. Try out the site vintage-trek.com and see upper left side under "component date codes" or similar. It will tell you common brands and their dating system. Then, you find the date codes on your components, and match it up. This works if your components are original to the bike.
My Univega Gran Rally was unique in that it does not have the typical "Piccadilly" style Univega font. Instead it has the pre-Univega font of Ital-Vega. Ital-vegas, made in Italy, changed name as well as font as well as place of manufacture from Italy to Japan in 1977-ish. I confirmed the date by the all original components & their date codes as well as finding a 1978 Univega catalog with specs & images matching my bike.
Hope this helps.
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Old 01-14-17, 01:02 PM   #13
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Hi everyone. Just found this site. I've got a uni-vega gran rally that Ibought new but can't remember the year. serial number is E910895. Anyone know the year it was made?
It was manufactured in very late 1976 and therefore is almost certainly a 1977 model.
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Old 05-07-17, 11:12 AM   #14
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My Univega Safari has a serial number that looks like this: C1CƆ9397

I was told that it was from the late 70s when I bought it, but the guy wasn't absolutely sure. Any suggestions based on the serial number? The backward C is really throwing me too.


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Old 05-07-17, 02:01 PM   #15
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My Univega Safari has a serial number that looks like this: C1CƆ9397

I was told that it was from the late 70s when I bought it, but the guy wasn't absolutely sure. Any suggestions based on the serial number? The backward C is really throwing me too.


I assume the backwards 'C' is actually an incomplete zero, as another Safari ten had a S/N format with a letter only for the 3rd character. So maybe the 1st character is incomplete too? Regardless, neither match the Miyata format, so it's obviously another manufacturer, possibly Taiwanese. It's tempting to to say that C is the 3rd year of the decade (i.e. 1983), as this was fairly common among Asian manufacturers. However, this was not always the case, so you are best using the component date codes, per the components page of the Vintage-Trek website. Component date codes are typically within a year of the bicycle model year.
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Old 05-07-17, 03:49 PM   #16
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I assume the backwards 'C' is actually an incomplete zero, as another Safari ten had a S/N format with a letter only for the 3rd character. So maybe the 1st character is incomplete too? Regardless, neither match the Miyata format, so it's obviously another manufacturer, possibly Taiwanese. It's tempting to to say that C is the 3rd year of the decade (i.e. 1983), as this was fairly common among Asian manufacturers. However, this was not always the case, so you are best using the component date codes, per the components page of the Vintage-Trek website. Component date codes are typically within a year of the bicycle model year.
Cool. Thanks.

On my front derailleur, the letters FE appear, but they look less like a date code and more like a logo. If it is a date code, it's May of 1981.

You can see the FE on the outer facing surface of the derailleur. Is this the date code? It doesn't look like one to me, but it's the only thing I see that's even close to the format.


Last edited by Roadwanderer; 05-07-17 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 05-07-17, 05:37 PM   #17
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I'm starting to think it's highly unlikely that's the date code, but I don't see any other etchings besides the circumference and the company name...
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Old 05-07-17, 05:53 PM   #18
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Cool. Thanks.

On my front derailleur, the letters FE appear, but they look less like a date code and more like a logo. If it is a date code, it's May of 1981.

You can see the FE on the outer facing surface of the derailleur. Is this the date code? It doesn't look like one to me, but it's the only thing I see that's even close to the format.

That's the model series, not the date code, which will be on the back of the inner cage plate. It will consist of two letters, about 3mm tall. However, this derailleur came out for the 1979 model year, so it's still looking like early 1980s. If it backs into the 1970s, it's not by very much. I believe the actual part number is FD-FE12, which should also be stamped on the back of the inner cage plate.
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Old 05-11-17, 07:05 PM   #19
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Either it's been scored off or the three letter VIA somehow represent the date.
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Old 05-12-17, 09:36 AM   #20
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Either it's been scored off or the three letter VIA somehow represent the date.
VIA is the acronym for Vehicle Inspection Agency. It is a Japanese regulatory body that certifies parts used in motor vehicles and bicycles, to ensure that they comply with quality and safety standards.
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