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  1. #1
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    Univega Supra Sport, need some opinions.

    Hi all,

    So, my friend is going to give me this Univega Supra Sport frame, and I have always wanted to do a build, but have never actually gotten around to it, and I am new to bike mechanics, only car mechanic experience . Anyway, so I have a few questions. I am very, very much a newbie. But, very excited to learn.

    I have heard these frames are actually fairly good, seem somewhat nimble, which I don't need anything really quick. But, parts? Compatibility?

    I really need recommendations on what to put onto it, which I know is very broad, but, I have to start somewhere. I don't want to skimp on quality. I found a few threads about restoring Univegas, etc, but none were pertaining to the supra sport, and I would like some more info. I would just be using it for road use, I am doing the STP this year, and if it was finished by then I would love to take it to that, but no big deal if not.

    Thanks in advance, I hope this isn't too much of a newbie post.

    12325875725_06131f6aea_b.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Senior Member gaucho777's Avatar
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    Well, I think the first thing you should decide is what type of shifters you would like. I'm kind of a traditional drop bar, dowtube shifter kind of guy, but you should decide what would work best for you. Gears are good. There are no DT shifter braze-ons on the frame, so you will need a clamp-on mount for the shifters. But you can also go with bar-end shifters, STI/brifters, stem shifters (I wouldn't), etc. I'm certain this frame has standard threading, most parts will be compatible. You should measure the space between the rear dropouts. 126mm=up to 7 speeds. 130mm=8-9-10 speeds. Unless the frame has been spread, it's probably 126mm.

    Do you want index, or friction shifting? If you go indexed, you need to be sure all your drivetrain parts are compatible. Most newbies like the indexing, but there are lots of great friction options, too.

    Once you make these decisions, my two best words of advice: DONOR BIKE! By this I mean, try to find a bike with the component group you want and purchase a complete bike regardless of the size and condition of the frame in order to swap the parts out. Make sure the wheels are in condition, ideally with alloy rims. Then rebuild/regrease. You'll save a lot of money with a donor bike versus building piece by piece.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DIMcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
    Once you make these decisions, my two best words of advice: DONOR BIKE! By this I mean, try to find a bike with the component group you want and purchase a complete bike regardless of the size and condition of the frame in order to swap the parts out. Make sure the wheels are in condition, ideally with alloy rims. Then rebuild/regrease. You'll save a lot of money with a donor bike versus building piece by piece.
    +1! This is usually the cheapest way to get a full set of vintage components in good condition.

    Btw, good score- Univegas tend to be very good bikes and very well made.
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  4. #4
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    First Question...

    Is how tall are you? Is your torso longish, or your legs more so?

    The frame is for someone who stands in te 5'5 to 5'9 range, roughly. Where does that put you?

    What is your budget? How do you intend to ride the bike?

    These all should be answered before you decide on anything.

    ^The "donor bike" suggestion is a very good one. What's the serial number beneath the bottom bracket shell? Going to the Univega thread, you can determine the year of manufacture and find something of that era as a donor. Likely some huge 25" thing that otherwise won't sell

    Good luck.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
    Well, I think the first thing you should decide is what type of shifters you would like. I'm kind of a traditional drop bar, dowtube shifter kind of guy, but you should decide what would work best for you. Gears are good. There are no DT shifter braze-ons on the frame, so you will need a clamp-on mount for the shifters. But you can also go with bar-end shifters, STI/brifters, stem shifters (I wouldn't), etc. I'm certain this frame has standard threading, most parts will be compatible. You should measure the space between the rear dropouts. 126mm=up to 7 speeds. 130mm=8-9-10 speeds. Unless the frame has been spread, it's probably 126mm.

    Do you want index, or friction shifting? If you go indexed, you need to be sure all your drivetrain parts are compatible. Most newbies like the indexing, but there are lots of great friction options, too.

    Once you make these decisions, my two best words of advice: DONOR BIKE! By this I mean, try to find a bike with the component group you want and purchase a complete bike regardless of the size and condition of the frame in order to swap the parts out. Make sure the wheels are in condition, ideally with alloy rims. Then rebuild/regrease. You'll save a lot of money with a donor bike versus building piece by piece.
    I was thinking that the shifting options were where I would start, I am glad you brought it up. I was thinking about either STI/Brifters, or bar end shifters. However, I have seen a lot of cheap STI/brifters that look terrible, so I would want to go something that isn't completely made of plastic. Also, I think that I would want to go with an index setup, mostly because I have read that index shifting helps allow the rider to shift quickly, where as friction shifting takes more time. I have used friction shifting on an older Panasonic, but, I just ride that bike to get groceries, etc. Input would be great!

    Quote Originally Posted by DIMcyclist View Post
    +1! This is usually the cheapest way to get a full set of vintage components in good condition.

    Btw, good score- Univegas tend to be very good bikes and very well made.
    Thanks, he bought it for me as a gift, got it for very cheap.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
    Is how tall are you? Is your torso longish, or your legs more so?

    The frame is for someone who stands in te 5'5 to 5'9 range, roughly. Where does that put you?

    What is your budget? How do you intend to ride the bike?

    These all should be answered before you decide on anything.

    ^The "donor bike" suggestion is a very good one. What's the serial number beneath the bottom bracket shell? Going to the Univega thread, you can determine the year of manufacture and find something of that era as a donor. Likely some huge 25" thing that otherwise won't sell

    Good luck.
    I am 5'8". I am a heavier guy, not from being overweight, I am just a bit on the shorter side, and I am larger built. I will measure my leg length today and get back to you. I am currently ride 52cm bikes, but I assume these older bikes are a little different?

    My budget is about $500, but would like to take my time buying quality parts, and I am not opposed to used parts to help reduce cost. I intend to ride it for training, and use it in group rides. A little higher paced, non leisurely. I know the bike may not be the fastest bike on earth, but I have to start somewhere. This would be my first geared road bike, I have only had geared tourist bikes.

    I still do not own the bike, once I do (End of next week) I will report back with more info, etc. I will definitely explore the donor bike idea.

    Thanks very much guys!

  6. #6
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    Also, what is the compatibility with newer parts and systems? For instance, I have a set of 105 brakes from another bike that I would love to put on here if they would be compatible. This may be a dumb question.

    Thanks for your help.

  7. #7
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    Wow

    Huge budget. Why not just buy a terrific bike?

    Custom Steel Road Bike

  8. #8
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    I would start with the wheels, that'll determine the tire choice/brake caliper/freewheel or cassette. I'm pretty sure that it'll take 27" and 126mm rear axle spacing (measure between the rear dropouts for axle spacing). You could also run 700C wheels, which would give you more tire choices (27" tire selection is adequate IMO), and clearance for slightly wider tires. Once you decide on the wheels, measure the distance between the middle of the brake mounting hole and the middle of the wheel's braking surface. This will tell you how much reach your brake calipers will need to be. The stem is going to be 1" quill, bottom bracket will be standard (ISO/English)threaded and 68mm width, seatpost is most likely 26.8mm. If you want downtube shifters, you'll need a 1 1/8" clamp-ons (sunrace makes decent 6/7 speed DT shifters). If you want stem shifters/bar ends, you'll need a clamp-on cable stop for the downtube (1 1/8" clamp). You'll likely need a 1 1/8" clamp-on bottom bracket cable guide also. Derailleurs are easy, 1 1/8" clamp-on front, direct mount rear. The cranks will determine the bottom bracket spindle(axle) length. I'm sure there's more, but I'm too lazy to keep typing. Good luck, and post some pictures when you're done.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
    Huge budget. Why not just buy a terrific bike?

    Custom Steel Road Bike
    How would that be as much fun? But, jokes aside, the bikes here are expensive.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lascauxcaveman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
    Huge budget. Why not just buy a terrific bike?

    Custom Steel Road Bike
    ^ This is basically a sound idea. Although the one in the ad above is in the wrong Washington

    The Supra Sport is not junk, but for $500 and a little patience on Craigslist, you can find a complete bike with all the parts that is at least a rank or two above it.

    But for someone who is inspired to do their first build, rather than the quicker, easier (and usually cheaper) way of just shopping the right complete bike, I like to turn their attention to my favorite bike build story, blogged at length as "The Phoenix Project" by BF member Robatsu. Here is the initial post, then follow that thread as far as you dare.
    Last edited by Lascauxcaveman; 03-14-14 at 10:29 AM.
    ● 1971 Grandis SL ● 1972 Lambert Grand Prix ● 1972 Raleigh Super Course ● 1972 Peugeot UE-18 Mixte ● 1980 Apollo Prestige fixie ● 1982 Motobecane Jubile Sport ● 1983 Nishiki Landau ● 1984 Peugeot PH10LE ● 1984 Bianchi Limited ● 1985 Peugeot Vagabond ● 1985 Trek 600 ● 1985 Shogun Prairie Breaker ● 1985 Raleigh Elkhorn ● 1986 Univega Nuovo Sport ● 1987 Schwinn Tempo ● 1996 Kona Lava Dome ● And a Bike to Be Named Later ●

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
    ^ This is basically a sound idea. Although the one in the ad above is in the wrong Washington

    The Supra Sport is not junk, but for $500 and a little patience on Craigslist, you can find a complete bike with all the parts that is at least a rank or two above it.

    But for someone who is inspired to do their first build, rather than the quicker, easier (and usually cheaper) way of just shopping the right complete bike, I like to turn their attention to my favorite bike build story, blogged at length as "The Phoenix Project" by BF member Robatsu. Here is the initial post, then follow that thread as far as you dare.
    Are you from WA too?

    I will have to keep looking on Craigslist also, a little un easy as I don't know too much as far as what to look for.

    That is a great thread. Thanks!

  12. #12
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  13. #13
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    What can you do for top tube dings?

    2004 Specialized Roubaix 52cm

  14. #14
    Senior Member DIMcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RamAlaRag View Post
    Are you from WA too?

    I will have to keep looking on Craigslist also, a little un easy as I don't know too much as far as what to look for.

    That is a great thread. Thanks!
    I'm actually from Portland, your neighbor to the south, and just wanted to encourage you to keep an eye on your local CL; Seattle & Portland CL are an excellent market for parts, esp. for Japanese bikes.

    Also, the advice about sizing is fairly important- how a bike fits you is integral to both serious training and a basically comfortable ride.

    With regard to top-tube dings, the best thing to do is just ignore them, unless they're severe enough to actually impede your ability to safely ride the bike. Otherwise (barring a museum-grade restoration) it's usually more trouble & expense than it's worth to fix them.

    Edit, Re: TT dings: I guess I should mention that if at some point you decide to repaint the frame, after it's stripped of original paint, any visible dings can be filled, sanded, & fixed with Bondo (or a similar auto body filler putty).
    Last edited by DIMcyclist; 03-14-14 at 04:25 PM. Reason: An additional tip.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIMcyclist View Post
    I'm actually from Portland, your neighbor to the south, and just wanted to encourage you to keep an eye on your local CL; Seattle & Portland CL are an excellent market for parts, esp. for Japanese bikes.

    Also, the advice about sizing is fairly important- how a bike fits you is integral to both serious training and a basically comfortable ride.

    With regard to top-tube dings, the best thing to do is just ignore them, unless they're severe enough to actually impede your ability to safely ride the bike. Otherwise (barring a museum-grade restoration) it's usually more trouble & expense than it's worth to fix them.
    Will do. Thanks.

    That is what I understand, I will keep that in mind.

    Alright, that bike seems like a good deal. Not really sure.

  16. #16
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RamAlaRag View Post
    Will do. Thanks.

    That is what I understand, I will keep that in mind.

    Alright, that bike seems like a good deal. Not really sure.
    Not so fast, RamAlaRag. What wheel size have you decided on? That Specialized has a wider hub and 700c diameter. Also, it has a threadless steerer tube, so you won't be able to use the stem. You want a quill stem, as was posted earlier.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
    Not so fast, RamAlaRag. What wheel size have you decided on? That Specialized has a wider hub and 700c diameter. Also, it has a threadless steerer tube, so you won't be able to use the stem. You want a quill stem, as was posted earlier.
    I was thinking as it instead of the restoration, and restoring the bike slowly, for a more gentle use.


    Okay. So. I have been thinking, I really want to do the restoration. But, will I regret sinking money into it? I like building my own things, and it will be used heavily as it will be my dedicated road bike.

    This is the first big ride I would use it in. Downtown Hotel Metric Century: 100km Scenic Loop in the Port Angeles area

  18. #18
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    I love my little supra.... it's my back-up bike. I like the idea of a donor bike as well (a great use for those pristine "girls" bikes).


    86 univega.jpg

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RamAlaRag View Post
    Are you from WA too?
    Yep, Port Angeles. And since you are not too far away, I should invite you to this. I run the little hotel where it starts and ends, you can contact me there if you think it sounds like something you'd like to do. Contact info is on the blog. I'm usually the guy answering the phone during daytime business hours. Ask for Tim.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
    Yep, Port Angeles. And since you are not too far away, I should invite you to this. I run the little hotel where it starts and ends, you can contact me there if you think it sounds like something you'd like to do. Contact info is on the blog. I'm usually the guy answering the phone during daytime business hours. Ask for Tim.
    Hey! Look above, I linked that ride!
    I believe we spoke about the ride already over PM, after realizing it was not best suited for an SS, I started planning to get my first geared bike soon.

    I am hoping to make it, would be an absolute blast.

    Thanks Tim.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Lascauxcaveman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RamAlaRag View Post
    Hey! Look above, I linked that ride!
    I believe we spoke about the ride already over PM.
    Ok, I do remember you. Get yourself a geared bike and come joins us. Or if you don't have one by then you can borrow my wife's Peugeot mixte. It's not that great, but it'd survive the trip.

    (I know my wife wouldn't )
    ● 1971 Grandis SL ● 1972 Lambert Grand Prix ● 1972 Raleigh Super Course ● 1972 Peugeot UE-18 Mixte ● 1980 Apollo Prestige fixie ● 1982 Motobecane Jubile Sport ● 1983 Nishiki Landau ● 1984 Peugeot PH10LE ● 1984 Bianchi Limited ● 1985 Peugeot Vagabond ● 1985 Trek 600 ● 1985 Shogun Prairie Breaker ● 1985 Raleigh Elkhorn ● 1986 Univega Nuovo Sport ● 1987 Schwinn Tempo ● 1996 Kona Lava Dome ● And a Bike to Be Named Later ●

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
    Ok, I do remember you. Get yourself a geared bike and come joins us. Or if you don't have one by then you can borrow my wife's Peugeot mixte. It's not that great, but it'd survive the trip.

    (I know my wife wouldn't )
    Will definitely try!

    That is very kind of you, I will let you know as it gets closer, thanks very much.

  23. #23
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    LeMond Zurich '98 53cm

    What about something like this? Not for donor purposes. It seems like it has good components, etc.

    Just thinking. I didn't want to start a different thread.

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