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  1. #1
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    Considering Buying C&V; Would This Be a Good First Bike?

    I posted this in inquiries, but I think this gets more traffic and is technically the correct place to put it.

    Well, first bike since I was eight anyways. I've been scouring Craigslist in desperation for transportation, and all I was finding was BSOs for twenty dollars. They'll get the job done, but for fifty a member here (jril) offered me a Univega Nuovo Sport, and it's awful tempting.

    From what I've heard, she got it used with most of the parts taken off to make it a fixie. She put the parts back on, so now it's a 12 speed, and replaced the drops(which I dislike anyways) with moustache handlebars. New saddle I know as well.

    My biggest concern is fixing things when they inevitably need fixing. I don't know how much the parts of an 80s bike differ from a bike now. I can do repairs at home if I must; I'd rather actually, so I'll know if something ever breaks while I'm out. (Got that from my mom; she learns to work on any car she has herself just in case.) I just want to be sure I can find parts I'd need. If it's a nice ride, I've no qualms with replacing whole components in the future if I have to. I've heard on other threads I looked up like this that the wheels are a funny size; I don't know if it has the originals or not, if it doesn't, should I replace them when I have the money to? What size would/could I replace them with?

    Sorry for my newbie questions, I've never had a vintage bike before, and I'm only starting to learn the names of different parts and components. Though my budget is miniscule(microscopic really), and even this price is at the top of my budget, I'd like to get a nice bike I enjoy.

    Tomorrow I'm going to go check out the probably BSO, but I can't get my mind off the Univega. The BSO comes with a rack, a basket like pannier, and a bottle cage, which is very tempting, but I've read good things around the forum about the Univega bikes.

  2. #2
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    Yeah, 50 dollars is a good price. That's a good price even if it wasn't ready to ride. I'd forget the BSO and nab the univega. These old bikes are easy to fix and you can learn as you go. The forums are always a helpful place when you need a hand.
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  3. #3
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    Oh, I have no doubt at all that it's a great deal, and a very generous one(I will give her my store discount for anything animal related she ever needs if she feels like coming all the way to plano for anything, lol), I just want to be sure it's something I could fix if it ever decided to 'break down' on me. My family is known for being fairly handy(mother once held a car together with bungee cords) so my only concern is buying parts for something as old as a Nuovo Sport. From what I've heard bike stuff doesn't improve by leaps and bounds, so I suppose even if I couldn't replace a part I could upgrade it with little difficulty. The tires worry me, but she said she put new tires on it so perhaps the last owner put wheels that don't have a funky size on it, lol.

    I saw one in the Univega Appreciation Thread that looked just like it, red and white, or at least from what I could see from her picture(low res attachment). She said she's also replacing the brake cables and getting new bar tape for it. I most certainly recognize the kind of deal she's offering me.

    My only concern is that the standover for the top tube is the same measurement of my inseam, though I suppose things like shoes and the fact that I was guestimating using a wire and the sides of my fish tank could alter how accurate that is.

  4. #4
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    A Mechanic's and Rider's take............

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetNightmare View Post
    I just want to be sure it's something I could fix if it ever decided to 'break down' on me. My family is known for being fairly handy(mother once held a car together with bungee cords) so my only concern is buying parts for something as old as a Nuovo Sport. From what I've heard bike stuff doesn't improve by leaps and bounds, so I suppose even if I couldn't replace a part I could upgrade it with little difficulty. The tires worry me, but she said she put new tires on it so perhaps the last owner put wheels that don't have a funky size on it, lol.
    Univega's from that time period are very serviceable, durable machines that
    will probably last forever with some care and attention. Parts are readily
    available to me, here in California. I can't imagine that an urban area the
    size of yours would have a much different situation. 80's bikes are good ones
    to learn repair on, because most of the Japanese ones have pretty standard
    threading, as well as simple, straightforward mechanisms that are easily understood.

    ..............................UNIVEGA


    My only concern is that the standover for the top tube is the same measurement of my inseam, though I suppose things like shoes and the fact that I was guestimating using a wire and the sides of my fish tank could alter how accurate that is.
    You can either make the standover or you can't. If you can't, get a bike that's
    the right size so that you can. If it is too big for you, it's the wrong bike for you.

    Prop a broomstick or your old field hockey stick or some kind of stick at a height
    where you can comfortably straddle it. It can be at crotch height with your riding
    shoes on, if that's what it takes. Measure the height at top of stick and get her to
    measure the bike's TT height at top of tube with bike standing upright, compare and
    decide.
    Quote Originally Posted by Al Dvorin
    Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building. Thank you and goodnight

  5. #5
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    Lolz, the reason I don't have my exact measurement is I don't have a measuring tape. ^^; I know it seems like an easy fix, but getting someone to drive me anywhere is like pulling teeth. Anyways, she told me the bike's standover is 29 1/2 inches, while my inseam is roughly 29 inches when barefoot. Luckily I'm a girl so if I end up 'sitting' on the bar it's not a huge deal. I'm not expecting a perfect size on a fifty-dollar-or-less budget.

    Good to hear pretty much everything's pretty serviceable. I don't have a whole lot of bike shops near me, surprisingly, and only one I can get anyone to take me to, a Performance Bike, but I'm sure I could dig up something, lol. And it has eyelets for a rack and fenders, that's always good!

  6. #6
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    When you check out the bike, with the bike completely vertical, stand over the top tube. If you can stand flat footed in shoes with at least an inch of daylight between you personals and the top tube, the standover is good for a road bike. If it was a MTB you would want at least 2+ inches of clearance.

    Luckily I'm a girl so if I end up 'sitting' on the bar it's not a huge deal
    I'm a guy but I ride with quite a few members of the opposite gender and I wouldn't bet on that. Bike shorts offer just so much protection, even for a female.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  7. #7
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    I really don't think you'd find anything any better or more easily serviceable. As for the can you fix it, it depends on what goes wrong and how skilled you are mechanically. If you have a bike commune near you, they can likely help.

    $50 for that bike is a gift.

  8. #8
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    Every Univega I've ever worked on has been a fine bike. Components well chosen for their price point, finish nice. They all became nice riders with a little TLC. For $50, if it fit me, I'd be all over it. PG

  9. #9
    Senior Member cooperryder's Avatar
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    Also have had a handful of Univegas & they have all been very decent bikes.

    My wife's early 80's Univega Sportour Mixte is a great bike & I just fit 700c x 38 wheels/tires under it 2 days ago.

    Hope she likes the cush of those fat tires.

  10. #10
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    There are a few of us C&V'ers in north Texas, I'm in Frisco, Cuda2k is just up the road too.
    If you get into a bind I'd be willing to help you wrench the bike if needed. I also highly
    recommend a class, either the REI class (intro repair is free!) or the classes at RBM
    either the Richardson shop or the Frisco one.
    As for standover either male or female ending up on top tube
    is not fun...

    Marty
    Sono pił lento di quel che sembra.
    Odio la gente, tutti.

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  11. #11
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    Glad to hear RBM's a good place to go! I saw it online and was curious, but not enough to try to convince someone to take me all the way to richardson. Glad to hear some of y'all are in the neighborhood too! Makes me feel a little less weird amongst all the giant trucks.

    Glad to hear it would be a good starter! Very glad. I'm considering getting the BSO still, but for parts. (Like the rack, bottle cage, basket pannier...) Plus good for tiding me over until she gets everything ready and I get paid again. (And the person's selling a helmet too.)

    I know it's not comfortable, but I've always been short; I'm used to accomodating. If I can stand flat footed touching the bar, I can make up that inch by tip toeing. I know, not the best, but still better than a BSO, right?

  12. #12
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    It's more than just comfort, a quick stop can cause some serious
    pain...and suffering (please don't ask how I know this).
    so what pet store you work at? I have a weimaraner that barks at me
    when I go out to ride, I'd take him along but have visions of me being dragged
    across yards as he goes after small birds and bunnies...
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  13. #13
    Senior Member due ruote's Avatar
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    I'd jump on the Univega for sure.

    I think the size will be fine. Personally, I wouldn't make too big a deal of standover height. I've had a bike for 40 yrs that I can barely stand over flat footed, yet it's extremely comfortable to ride, and I have never come close to hurting myself on it (I'm male btw).

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the concern guys, but I think it'll be okay. But that's also why I'm going to go ahead and get the BSO. Good backup if it falls through, and can't complain about $35. At least worth the stuff I can strip from it. No one will get why I need two bikes, but hey, what can you do? A birthday present to myself.

    As a side note, I've been picking through pics of other CV bikes here and I love what y'all have done with them. Both restorations and upgrades.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Pars's Avatar
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    ^ same. Standover height is kinda meaningless. I've ridden a Raleigh for 39 years that grazes me, and it has never been an issue. Top tube length/reach is a much more important measurement.

    EDIT: not sure you'll get much worth stripping from the BSO. Get the Univega. Also, for wheels, I would go for 700c over 27" as tires are more available and a much wider selection. If it is 27", you can get Panaracer Paselas in 27x1, 27x1 1/8, and 27 x 1 1/4 which are highly recommended around here and cheap, so I wouldn't immediately replace the wheels.

  16. #16
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    I meant in accessories. From what I can see it has several things on it that would cost me much more at the LBS, so if my suspicions are correct, it'd be good for getting those accessories on the Univega. Plus, if the univega IS too big, then I'll need a backup, and you don't find much around here for less than 100.

  17. #17
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    Alright, just got back. Definitely getting the Univega. It looked decent at first, but then I squeezed the breaks. The front was the only one that worked! The back wouldn't go back to the normal position. So I passed. Got a good helmet though; the only problem was the dust, and I can clean that off.

    So, I'm getting an Univega Nuovo Sport at the end of the week! Excitement.

  18. #18
    Gearhead old's'cool's Avatar
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    Keep us posted; pics will be mandatory!
    Geoff
    "I think that I think, therefore I think that I am"

  19. #19
    Senior Member Novakane's Avatar
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    Univega, AFAIK, was made by Miyata with quite a lot of the skilled workmanship that went into their bikes. (My Miyata is a super nice ride, and has an excellent build) so I'd say at that price you'll have a very nice C&V bike at a steal.
    Also, pics are a definite must

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