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Old 08-31-11, 01:37 PM   #1
jril
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Strange wheel size on a Univega

Hi all,

I recently bought a Univega Nuovo Sport road bike which I believe to be from the 1970s. The lettering in "Univega" has the big V, as opposed to the Bauhaus style lettering.

The wheels are the 597 mm Schwinn 26x 1 3/8 size, which I thought was odd. From eyeballing it, it appears that a 700c wheel would be to big. Anyone know why this bike would have been made to use the Schwinn size wheels?
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Old 08-31-11, 01:48 PM   #2
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Juvenile bike.
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Old 08-31-11, 06:53 PM   #3
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I don't think the Univega brand was usd in the '70s they would have been Italavega, so the bike would be a '80s. that being said I agree with Wrk101 and it is likely a juvenile bike that came with 26" wheels. do you have any pics of the bike?
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Old 08-31-11, 07:24 PM   #4
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This pic is from when I bought it. The seller was going to convert it to fixed gear so most of the components had been taken off, and I'm working on putting them back on, new bar tape, etc. It has Suntour stem shifters and derailleurs, Dia-compe centerpull brakes, SR stem, Univega /Silstar crankset, and the seat post says Strong Japan. There is a sticker on the seat tube that says Light High Tension Steel Tubing. The frame size is about 46 - 48 cm.
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Old 08-31-11, 07:41 PM   #5
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It's a juvenile bike as others had thought.
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Old 08-31-11, 08:40 PM   #6
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I'm thinkin' this bike came with 590s, 26x1 3/8 english. The 597s are replacements from a parts Schwinn. See how the pads are all the way up on the brake caliper arms?
Are they both 597s?
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Old 08-31-11, 09:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by sailorbenjamin View Post
I'm thinkin' this bike came with 590s, 26x1 3/8 english. The 597s are replacements from a parts Schwinn. See how the pads are all the way up on the brake caliper arms?
Are they both 597s?
Since the front and rear wheels aren't matched, I bet the rear is an original 590 while the front is from a Schwinn. No way of telling without closer examination.
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Old 08-31-11, 09:02 PM   #8
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They are both 597s. I put the (590) front wheel from my Raleigh USA Sports on it to see how it fit with the brakes and it would be fine. I think I may end up replacing these wheels with 590's so I can put cream tires on the bike. Ah, old bikes...who knows why they are the way they are and why previous owners did the things they did.
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Old 09-14-11, 08:34 PM   #9
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Thanks to everyone for your advice. I got some 590 mm wheels (cheap ones, but still lighter than the originals) and I have cream Schwalbe Delta Cruisers coming soon. I will post a pic when I have it all put together, and we'll see how this short bike rides .
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Old 09-15-11, 06:27 AM   #10
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So, these 597 rims, what are they? If they are nice rims, I'm sure someone will want them.
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Old 09-15-11, 07:39 PM   #11
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RHM, the old 597's are steel or steel alloy I'm guessing. A magnet sticks to them but they feel a little bit lighter than the rims on my Raleigh USA grocery beater. They say Araya 26 x 1 1/4 w/o HP. They are shiny and nice looking, no rust, scratches, or mineral deposits. However, there's something wrong with the axle threads on the front wheel. I don't know if the threads could be re-cut or if the axle needs to be replaced. If I can fix that issue, I'd like to be able to sell or give them away to someone who could use them.
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