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Univega Gran Turismo

Old 11-06-15, 07:34 PM
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mororian
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Univega Gran Turismo



Went to look at this and another 80s bike that a local was selling on CL- the other one was a piece of crap, but this one looked okay. Some surface rust and it needs new tires, but nothing else jumped out at me. His posted asking price was $250, which seemed high- vintage road bikes tend to be going for around $100-150in the area, and the LBS has them in $200 range. I mentioned that it was pretty steep, and he said he could do $200, so I probably could have gotten down to $175. I didn't get a great vibe from him, though- he kept saying he could "get 4 bills for it down in New York" and he seemed like he just wanted to flip it, so I figured he was trying to screw me and said no.

Did some more research later and now I'm thinking maybe that wasn't such a bad deal. Also, it's a 24" frame- I'm 6'2" and it felt nice, and that's not the easiest to find. I'm also looking for something that could multitask - commuting, fun, possibly touring - and this fit the bill. Any opinions on whether I should give it a second chance?

P.S. Whatever I end up buying, I'm planning on repairing/restoring(ish) it so I can get some more mechanical knowledge- any guides that you'd recommend for a first-time vintage owner?
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Old 11-06-15, 07:46 PM
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juvela
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Hello and welcome to the forum!

these are honest well made bicycles of good quality. frame much larger than the stated 24". if it fits you well then nominal size is moot. looks like a good, if not outstanding, value for the price.

tip for something to check -

brake arrangement is a bit odd. front is caliper and rear is cantilever. machines are not usually made this way. since fork is all chrome and not a match for the balance of the bicycle it is highly likely a replacement. this may mean bicycle has experienced collision damage. check carefully the frame's top and down tubes just behind the head lugs for any deformation. if any detected keep looking.

Last edited by juvela; 11-06-15 at 07:54 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 11-06-15, 08:23 PM
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mororian
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Hello, and thank you! I also have a couple follow-up questions, if you don't mind:

I'm really only familiar with v-brakes, and everything I can find about calipers vs. cantis is just people nitpicking, so what's the difference in terms I'd care about (how well they function + maintenance)?

What do you mean by saying that the fork does not match the balance? Would that be something I'd be looking to replace?

(I'll leave aside the question of, "How did you figure all that out with a few shoddy pictures?"- I'll chalk that one up to experience )
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Old 11-06-15, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by mororian View Post
Hello, and thank you! I also have a couple follow-up questions, if you don't mind:

I'm really only familiar with v-brakes, and everything I can find about calipers vs. cantis is just people nitpicking, so what's the difference in terms I'd care about (how well they function + maintenance)?

What do you mean by saying that the fork does not match the balance?

Would that be something I'd be looking to replace?

(I'll leave aside the question of, "How did you figure all that out with a few shoddy pictures?"- I'll chalk that one up to experience )
have no experience of v-brakes so cannot comment on comparison.

balance, as in remainder, of bicycle, not balance in a teeter-totter sense.

as to last statement: old guy.

Last edited by juvela; 11-06-15 at 08:36 PM. Reason: punctuation
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Old 11-06-15, 09:14 PM
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mororian
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Ah, I see. Well, thanks again for the help!
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Old 11-07-15, 12:34 AM
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Definitely a replacement fork, usually meaning the original fork was ruined in a head-on collision, which may or may not have bent the frame as well (can't tell from those pics).

Front and rear brakes don't match, because replacement fork doesn't have canti studs to mount the original canti brakes. An aesthetic issue, but also a practical one, since cantis have more clearance if you want to add fenders, and theoretically have more stopping power.

All things considered, it's not a horrible deal at $200, if the frame isn't bent. But it's also not a screaming "run-don't-walk" deal at all. Depends on how many bikes in your size (25in/62cm) are available in your area. Usually they'll turn up if you're looking for them.
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Old 11-12-15, 06:10 PM
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Seems this thread is a few days old and thus this sale has possibly already run it's course. I recently overhauled a Univega Gran Turismo, which I believe to be from 1982, based on the serial and an assumption that it was a made during the years when Miyata was making Univega's bicycles (in which case the serial will follow the scheme of Miyata). Same color. I built it up as my touring bicycle to do longer rides with my wife. I would say, these bikes are excellent multi-purpose bikes. However, as mentioned above, this one is no deal. The fork isn't original and I would pass on it just for that unless the guy was giving it away. Secondly, I picked my bike up for $100. It really only needed some minor tune-up work, the typical consumables (tires, tubes, cables, housing, bar wrap), but I went ahead and sunk way more into it as it is plenty solid of a foundation to do up a neo-retro bike. I threw on 9-speed Tiagra and the works.

Both my wife's Miyata 210 and my Univega Gran Turismo were picked up for $100 like this:



Great shape and easily serviceable with minimal money and effort. But we were looking for something more modern. Came up with these:










Moral of the story: I think you're on the right track with model. These frames have tons of potential. Pass on that specific one you were looking at though. Too many potential issues. As an aside, there is a Miyata ST210 here in STL that's 24" and would be an excellent bike to tune up or even go crazy with. Are you near here by chance? It's been posted for quite a while, likely because of it's size. Also, I would be happy to assist acquiring this bike if it interests you. Let me know! https://stlouis.craigslist.org/bik/5283511762.html

Lastly, as far as good resources for servicing bikes, I picked up Park's Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair (Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair ? 3rd Edition - Park Tool). It's been an excellent resource, though there are many online for free as well.
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