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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 08-11-08, 03:54 PM   #1
!jayho!
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Univega or Centurion question

Hey folks. So I've got a question (or two) about a couple of low-end options that I have for a singlespeed, and I want to see if you all have any input. This would be a singlespeed commuter that would get me to and from school and around the city. I'm not trying to get too hip with it.

The two frames (both hi-tensile) in question: mid-80's Centurion Cavaletto (made in Japan)... or a Univega Arrow Star (made in Taiwan, and I'm guessing mid-80's also). They're both in good shape, with the Univega being slightly cleaner, but just by a little.

Does it matter at this level of bike whether it was made in Japan or Taiwan? Should that be a deciding factor if they both feel fine riding... or should I just choose one out of a hat?

Thanks all!
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Old 08-11-08, 04:55 PM   #2
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if the size/fit is different at all, i'd go with the more comfortable one. i agree with you that their build quality is probably comparable.
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Old 08-11-08, 07:16 PM   #3
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i converted my old 80s Univega Arrow Speed to single speed a long time ago and this last year i rode it fixed and its been working out great... its definately a different geometry ("sport") than my other bikes, so its relgated to rain days and easy rides
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Old 08-12-08, 10:53 AM   #4
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Don't do either, hi-tensile steel bikes are boat anchors. Keep looking and you'll find a cro-moly version.
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Old 08-12-08, 11:22 AM   #5
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op wanted it to be a commuter, so weight would be an issue if he just wants a beater. but it really depends on how much you are getting these frames for.
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Old 08-12-08, 04:21 PM   #6
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the univega arrow star is $75, complete bike, hardly used (garage resident primarily).
the centurion cavaletto is around $60, also complete bike.
keep in mind, i'm in the bay area.

regarding a cro-moly popping up, do you think $120 for a Univega/Miyata Suprasport in the Bay Area, CA is a decent price? Complete bike, but I'm looking for something to strip down to singlespeed. It rides well, just a little beat up with some surface nicks, dings and rust in some places. I'm not sure at where the price threshold should be; at what price point I continue looking for my future cro-moly singlespeed bike/frame. Being a student I guess does that.

thanks all.

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Old 08-12-08, 04:54 PM   #7
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those are pretty good prices for bay area bikes
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Old 08-12-08, 05:26 PM   #8
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Seriously how much more do you think a hi-ten frame weighs than a straight gauge 4130? 12 pounds? 18?
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Old 08-12-08, 05:51 PM   #9
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so you're saying save my cash and don't let weight be a deciding factor.

the two hi-tensile's have stamped dropouts, while the pricer univega has forged. are forged dropouts better for someone who's 215 pounds?
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Old 08-12-08, 06:02 PM   #10
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If you can afford the nicer one, get it. Forged dropouts are stronger and nicer. Fit should be MOST important tho.

I was just saying that a hi-ten Univega is not THAT much heavier. It's not like a Schwinn Varsity or anything.
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Old 08-12-08, 06:19 PM   #11
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I just built this up for my buddy. It's hi-ten, stamped dropouts.
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Old 08-12-08, 06:53 PM   #12
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i rode the slightly more expensive univega (with forged dropouts) today and i did indeed feel more comfortable on it, fit-wise, than the hi-ten bikes. the top tube is a little longer which i like, being tall and having long arms. that's what got me thinking seriously about it, rather than saving some cash with the less $ ones. the frame is a little more banged up (no dents or bad connections, though) with scratches and some rust, but it did indeed feel more effortless riding it.

hmm, maybe that's a good sign...
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Old 08-13-08, 04:44 PM   #13
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Here's what I ended up getting, if anyone out there even gives a unicorn's mullet... From a gentleman in a fancy home, I bought two cro-moly Miyata-built Univegas. A nice Tange Champion double-butted "Sportour" and a slightly more dinged-up (surface nicks) "Supra Sport." Quite the step up for me from the hi-ten bikes I mentioned earlier! I'm happy. Got em together for $220, which I know is a lot in some parts of the country, but a decent deal here in the Bay Area. They both ride great and fit really comfortably, which is nice because I'm 6'6". The Supra Sport is the first singlespeed project. I might keep the Sportour as-is.

Thanks for your input.
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