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Any help identifying a univega vintage bike.

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Any help identifying a univega vintage bike.

Old 07-16-15, 11:22 PM
  #1  
albertoaad
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Any help identifying a univega vintage bike.

Hi everyone, I was wondering if anyone could help me identify or give me some info on my dads old bike. I decided to restore it and would like to know a bit more about it before I take it apart. Here's what I've found out so far. Most if not all the components are from the year 78 according to the number combinations they have stamped on them. The head badge says Univega and the frame decals say Diamond Back. I am not sure if those two brands go together or what? (I'm new to bikes). The frame serial number is JG7098827 which I believe dates it 1981. I'm trying to find out what model it is, since part of the frame paint where the model was stated is coming off, but I can tell it had two words. I cant make out any of the first word, but I can see the letters "spo" of the second word, which makes me think is a "something sport". The rear derailleur is a shimano eagle, front derailleur says maeda IND.LTD, handlebars say special and sr sakae, brake handles are dia-compe, and the crank arms silstar. All those parts have numbers in the format of xx78 except the derailleurs that have nothing on them. I would ideally like to know the model, but any info is welcomed. Thanks in advance for any info that you guys can give me.
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Old 07-17-15, 04:19 AM
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Pictures would help you a lot. Post them to a free site like Flickr or Photobucket and then post a ink.

Maeda Ind was the parent company of Suntour.

Here is a list of Univega models with Sport as the second word in the name.

Activa Sport
Alpina Sport
Ital Sport
Maxima Sport
Nuovo Sport
Rover Sport
SupraSport
Tandem Sport (Likely not your bike )
Viva Sport
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Old 07-17-15, 12:09 PM
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Hi, I couldn't upload the pictures because the file sizes are too big, but here are the links to the pictures on Photobucket. I hope that helps.

https://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f2...psmbc26adr.jpg
https://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f2...psdcerk8mt.jpg
https://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f2...psc0vpixxn.jpg
https://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f2...pscwt5zic0.jpg
https://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f2...ps8ylpulhe.jpg
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Old 07-17-15, 02:05 PM
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The combination of the riveted Univega head badge and the shiny Diamond Back sticker on the downtube makes me think someone stuck the DB sticker on a Univega. Rivets trump adhesive most of the time when working on identification. Also, from the looks of that bike in general, the company that produced both Diamond Back (mountain bikes) and Centurion (road bikes) would have a Centurion name on that one. Only later did the name Diamond Back appear on both its road and mountain bikes and this one looks too old for that.

Now, which Univega is the question. I definitely see a Sport decal there.
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Old 07-17-15, 02:20 PM
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Based on that top tube decal, my guess would be that this is an early Nuovo Sport from around 1977-1979 (probably 1978, as the component codes suggest). I think Univega changed the font of the decals around 1980 (others on here may know for sure).

There are two undated catalogs here, but they are both pre-1980. Although the scans are not very detailed, Viva Sport looks like it had chromed fork whereas Nuovo Sport didn't. The one thing I can see in your pictures that's different is that the rear derailleur on Nuovo Sport was a Suntour VGT Luxe, while the one on your bike looks like a Shimano Eagle.

These are the only decent pictures of an early Nuovo Sport (1978 in this case) that I could find.
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Old 07-17-15, 11:05 PM
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Definitely not a Diamondback. Wonder what your old man was getting at there? I'm guessing it's a Viva Sport or Nuovo Sport, both popular high-volume models. The fork looks bent, too, but that might just be the angle of the pose

Univega didn't really import any bad bikes, but this one is fairly low end. If you decide to restore it as a labor of love, it would be a fun project, and parts would be cheap and plentiful on eBay. But you will never get back any money you put into it, so keep that in mind if you're rebuilding it.

If, instead, you just want a nicer bike to ride around on, just buy a newer one complete on your local Craigslist.
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Old 07-18-15, 08:01 AM
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Agree with everyone's input here. I refurbed a Univega mixte of that same vintage. Even though it's considered entry-level, I found it a pleasure to work on, and it has made for a very smooth-riding steed. You could tell that even at that price point, it was a thoughtfully considered package. I would not hesitate on snatching up another Univega.
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Old 07-19-15, 01:10 AM
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Originally Posted by albertoaad View Post
. . . Most if not all the components are from the year 78 according to the number combinations they have stamped on them. . . .
The frame serial number is JG7098827 which I believe dates it 1981. . . .
Hi albertoaad,

did you get the serial number correct? If this is a Univega, then it should have a Miyata format serial number. The serial number that you quoted is not Miyata format.

I would suggest that your serial number starts with the letter "G", which would mean that the frame was made in 1978. This matches the dates of the components.

The headbadge is not from 1981, it is earlier. In 1978 that was the headbadge.

The bike has stem shifters. Maxima Sport model tended to have stem shifters.
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Old 07-19-15, 06:48 AM
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I hope it is just angle of the forkVframe but I think you fork is bent. Try looping a rubber band around the down tube and hook it on the valve stem. The take a good look at the fork from a right angle to the bike. The upper painted section of the blades should follow the line of the head tube angle the curve forward at the chrome section. This one looks like the blades angle back a bit.



That Diamond Back decal looks like a old BMX decal. Is that a dent on the top tube?




Personally depending on you definition of 'restoring' this may unfortunately be a bit too far gone. It certainly needs a doo deep overhaul (all parts stripped from the frame everything cleaned regreased and reinstalled), tires, tubes, cables, brake pads, bar tape maybe a chain too.

All that can add up. if you can do the work that will bring the cost down but depending on how nice a tires and cable you use parts can run $40ish to 100+. If you can't do the work the labor may run $100-150ish depending on your location.

Are you a avid cyclist now? If you put $100-200+ plus into this will you ride it? I really wanted my Dad's old guitar and was going to have it cleaned up but the odds of learning to play were slim.. so my sister got and she actually took lessons.


(for all you geetar nuts I think it is an old Martin from the '50s. He used to sing in a local country band)
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Old 07-20-15, 09:44 PM
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Thanks for the input everyone. I looked at the catalogs that MauriceMoss posted and it looks like a Nuovo Sport. As for the fork, it does look bent so I'll look for another one on ebay. I already took it apart and cleaned most of the parts which seem to work for the time being. I also sanded off most of the paint on it and its almost ready to be repainted. I started this project because I have lots of free time and need to be entertained with something. I do plan on riding it, but overall I'm thinking of giving it back to my dad as a gift since he used it for work back in the day.

Hummer, the serial number stars with a J, but it isn't aligned with the rest of the numbers. The second letter which is aligned with the string of numbers is a G.
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