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1989? Univega Via Activa 300 question

Old 11-03-15, 11:58 AM
  #1  
Juanquixote
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1989? Univega Via Activa 300 question

Hello everyone.....first time here. Can anyone tell me a little more about this bike? it is green, Printed chromolly on the frame in a few spots, also says Lawee design ? Made in Tiawian. The serial number is NFKH54011. I've ridden it for over 20 years. Great bike! Just put new wheels, head set, bottom bracket, etc. Complete overhaul. Recently rode from Ashland, OR to Kent, WA.....great ride through Williamette Valley......seems to be an excellent bike for touring. Hope someone can tell me a little more about this one. Thanks again.
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Old 11-03-15, 05:48 PM
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Does the frame look like the below one?
It's a '92.

I've been able to find some about the bike/model. Toss up some pics of yours(frame, decals, components) for some better details.


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Old 11-03-15, 10:00 PM
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Univega Via Activa 300

That's the bike! Thanks much. I have just recently rode from Ashland, OR to Seattle, WA on this machine. I bought it new (just didn't remember the year!). It has been very good to me. Attached is a picture from Champoeg Park near Portland, OR. It seems like a well built bike......just wanted to know more of the history behind it. Thanks again. ....additional detail......handlebars are original.....just turned upside down.
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Last edited by Juanquixote; 11-03-15 at 10:05 PM. Reason: additional details
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Old 11-04-15, 09:29 AM
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Based on the original component date codes on mine, its a '92.

Mine has been changed a good bit to fit what I wanted to do with it(gravel bike), so the crank, handlebars, stem, and brake levers are all changed.

The frame was made in Taiwan using Tange butted chromoly tubing. The fork is also chromoly tubing. An odd design touch is the downtube is oval. Its called Univega's 'Power Oval' and is actually biaxial(oval in 2 different directions), but I only notice it being oval in 1 direction. Maybe it changes shape internally at the bottom bracket or something.
The original components are 7 speed Shimano Exage 300. I would guess that is where the '300' comes from in the bike's name. I know for sure that the Exage is original as I bought it from the original owner and he told me what changes he had made(handlebar and shifters).

I love the bike- its great for what I want to use it for. The frame size is too small for me, but finding something in my size that is also older chromoly steel and in good cosmetic shape and in good mechanical shape and for the price I want is very rare. So I will continue to rock this thing in the meantime. I really love the paint splatter look- it just fits the time period it was made so well.
Based on what you said- its a great 'do everything' bike.



There is a serious lack of catalog info on Univegas, so specifics are really tough to come by. What I have learned is that Univega, especially in the early 90s, put out a ton of different hybrid/cross/lifestyle models. Its amazing they managed to keep finding new words to add to 'Via' and 'Activa' for model names. Based on post 3 in this thread, Univega made two separate lines of hybrid bikes. One was called Via and the other was Activa. Apparently the Via line was nicer. This info may or may not be accurate as right below post 3, another poster cites how their Activa has specs that post 3 claims aren't on Activa bikes.
What really muddies the water is that your bike is a Via Activa! So it uses the names of both lines of bikes!
Basically, there is no clear answer on where the Via Activa 300 falls within the Univega hierarchy. My best guess is middle of the pack based on the components and frame specs. Exage 300 is nice and around the middle of Shimano's lineup back then. The frame and more importantly, the fork, are both chromoly. More entry level bikes typically had hiten forks.


Does yours still have the full Exage group? If you check on the back of the front and rear derailleurs, there should be a 2 letter code stamped into the metal. The FD code is usally on the back of the cage. That 2 letter code will tell you when the components were made. the first letter is the year and the second letter is the month. O= 1990 P=1991 Q=1992. A= Jan B=Feb and so on. Components made in Q4 of a year are often times found on the next year's model, fyi. And sometimes components were made a full year or more ahead of being used, but not often.
The codes on both derailleurs for me show 92, so the bike couldn't have been older than that. Very well could be a '93 model though, I suppose.


Hope this cleared some things up, but it probably just furthered the mystery!
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Old 11-20-15, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Juanquixote View Post
. . . . The serial number is NFKH54011. . . .
Hi Juanquixote,

thanks for posting the information about your Univega. That is great that you kept riding this bike for 20+ years.

About the serial number. Other Univega serial numbers that I have seen from this era start with "WEKH" and is stamped around the BB shell. I am wondering if your serial number "NF" may be "WE".

I have not seen a lot of these serial numbers, but I think that the first digit may be the year of manufacture. I have not seen a serial number with a "5" as the first digit, which would indicate 1995. It is not likely to be 1985 as most Univaga frames were still being made in Japan.
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Old 11-21-15, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Most of the Univega MTBs were made in Taiwan by 1985. I had a 1984 Alpina Uno made in Taiwan. The made in Japan link for Univega seemed to be road bike centric.
Ooops.

You are correct. The first Univega MTBs have Miyata serial numbers. But not long after that some MTB models, if not all models, the frames are from Taiwan.

Thanks for the correction.
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Old 11-21-15, 02:03 PM
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FWIW, here's my Via Carisma mixte. Bought it originally for the bar-end shifters, which I typically strip, sell at a swap, replace the original shifters with something else and then sell the bike that way.

But when I got it rideable, the combo of rando bars and barcons was really nice. Don't think I want to split it up. So the barcons stayed and I refurb'd it that way.

Still have it. One of the nicest mixtes I've ridden. Very smooth ride, 3x7 drivetrain. Sleeper in my book.
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Old 11-21-15, 07:34 PM
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Fantastic paint job on that mixte!
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Old 11-24-15, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Hummer View Post
Hi Juanquixote,

thanks for posting the information about your Univega. That is great that you kept riding this bike for 20+ years.

About the serial number. Other Univega serial numbers that I have seen from this era start with "WEKH" and is stamped around the BB shell. I am wondering if your serial number "NF" may be "WE".

I have not seen a lot of these serial numbers, but I think that the first digit may be the year of manufacture. I have not seen a serial number with a "5" as the first digit, which would indicate 1995. It is not likely to be 1985 as most Univaga frames were still being made in Japan.
Totally correct. On closer inspection....it is WEKH54011. Pretty sure I bought it in 92' Thanks again!
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Old 03-16-16, 04:21 PM
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Same here. New to site. I have a Univega Super Sport from 1984. Was my bike on campus in college. It is in great shape and I am looking to get an idea on value. Also have a Yamaha Moto Bike form the early 70's. Any idea on value for this one.
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Old 03-16-16, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mgatto View Post
Same here. New to site. I have a Univega Super Sport from 1984. Was my bike on campus in college. It is in great shape and I am looking to get an idea on value. Also have a Yamaha Moto Bike form the early 70's. Any idea on value for this one.
Better to start a new thread, provide a link to photos. Impossible to guess FMV without seeing condition. Also location of bike affects value.
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