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ID Univega Via Carisma and components

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ID Univega Via Carisma and components

Old 08-17-16, 07:24 PM
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ID Univega Via Carisma and components

I see what appears to be a Univega Via Carisma on craigslist, but no luck Googling around to find more info on the approximate year and whether the components appear original or suitable replacements. The chain rings and handlebar look different from anything on any other Univega I've seen via Google image search. No problem if it's a replacement, as long as it's suitable.

And can the handlebar be replaced with something slightly more upright and swept back without major modifications? Nothing extreme, just comparable to albatross type bars, and maybe an inch or two higher. Low bars hurt my neck and I don't need anything aero for an all-weather errand/cruiser bike.

I'm just looking for an errand bike to replace my Globe Carmel (good basic bike but the simple spring fork is very flexy under heavier loads, not great for stability with a loaded errand bike). This Univega already has front and rear racks and fenders so it'd be perfect for what I have in mind. I see all kinds of Univegas via Google, but not the Via Carisma.

Thanks.







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Old 08-17-16, 09:05 PM
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It depends on the price, but that looks like a decent old bike that would fit what you need very well. Replacing those bars with some upright, swept-back city bars would be a piece of cake, as they make many bars with that geometry in 22.2 mm diameter. You might need to check your stem clamp diameter though.
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Old 08-17-16, 09:11 PM
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In this thread, that bike is discussed, and TMar puts the model year at 1991/92 with that rear derailleur.

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...ma-hybrid.html



I just built up an Via Activa with similar paint, purchased from a forum member, as a gravel bike. Although it's not super light, it rides very well and has clearance for large tires (38s fit great with room to spare). I can't speak to the components, as I built mine from a bare frame with parts on hand and new Tektro canti brakes. My Sun wheelset with a 135 mm rear hub fit easily in the frame dropouts with minimal effort to spread the stays.

The one in your OP looks to be a great candidate for and errand bike.

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Old 08-17-16, 10:49 PM
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Thanks, folks. I'd searched the archives but somehow missed that particular thread. I'll visit the seller and see if the bike fits me properly. Hard to tell from a photo but the gap between the top and down tubes indicate it should be close for me (I'm 5'11", 33" inseam).
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Old 08-18-16, 06:39 AM
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Looks similar in size to mine, which is a 58cm CTT.
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Old 08-18-16, 08:08 AM
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I absolutely love the splatter paint and marble swirl paint designs of late 80s and early 90s bikes. Ive had 2 Univega bikes(the green and black one in this thread being one of them) from the early 90s that were heavy bubble splatter and they just look cool. They make me want to jump on and ride because it looks like a fun bike.

I think its because I had a 1993 electric yellow with black line splatter GT Performer bmx bike growing up, so all the splatter and marble paint jobs pull on the nostalgia strings.

GT, Diamondback, Paramount Design Group, Univega, and many others during that 6 or 7 year period made some fun looking bikes!




As for this via carisma- its a solid hybrid commuter. Ive had Exage500 on a couple bikes and it works perfect still.
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Old 08-18-16, 11:24 AM
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+1 om the splatter paint job. I had a Univega Alpina that I bought and sold twice(24" mt. bikes are hard to fine). If it came up again I would probably buy it a 3rd time.

Yours looks to be pretty original except for the fenders and racks.
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Old 08-18-16, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Kobe View Post
24" mt. bikes are hard to fine
as rare as a hen's tooth and as difficult to find as a needle in a needle stack.

I have just resigned myself to 22" mtb frames with long stems and seatposts.
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Old 08-18-16, 01:46 PM
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The 500cx DR and the metalic splatter paint job place it as 93/94 model it does look to be basically original and in good shape. These were not high end but are very solid good overall bikes and make great commuters. As for the bars I'm pretty sure these take a standard 22.2 quill stem with 25.4 clamp so you should have no problem with alternative bar and or stem choices.
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Old 08-22-16, 11:33 PM
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I went ahead and bought the Via Carisma on Friday, after a test ride to be sure everything seemed functional. It'll do nicely for what I had in mind -- an errand and city bike that I won't have to baby or worry about.

No photos yet. The only day it didn't pour rain this weekend, I spent riding. I'll post some detailed photos later.

Looks like it was originally sold in Germany and later brought to the US, possibly a military veteran's bike. It has a decal for Rabe (Raven) bikes in Munich. SKS Bluemels fenders, Carratec front and rear racks.

Components look basic but functional, Shimano Exage. I can't tell whether the brake and thumb shifter levers are plastic or coated aluminum. Frame is labeled made in Taiwan, presumably a 1990s-something model. The chrome moly tubing is surprisingly thin -- the bike might actually be pretty lightweight if stripped of the accessories and fitted with lighter wheels and tires. Came with new Innova tires, an all terrain pattern nearly identical to the Michelin Protek Cross Max on my other bike, a good pattern that rolls well on smooth pavement and grips securely on gravel, in the wet and loose stuff.

Only hitch is the flat bar that's a bit low for my preference. I need to take a break about every 10 miles to stretch and get the circulation back in my hands. I rode 40 miles Sunday but had a few stops to rest.

The cable for the center pull front brake runs through the stem and is tensioned against a stop inside the hole through the stem. So I can't adjust the stem height without needing to re-adjust the brakes. I may swap bars with my Globe Carmel, which has typical comfort hybrid type riser bars. That'll give me an idea of the height and angle I'd need before buying a replacement handlebar for the Via Carisma.
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Old 08-23-16, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I I may swap bars with my Globe Carmel, which has typical comfort hybrid type riser bars. That'll give me an idea of the height and angle I'd need before buying a replacement handlebar for the Via Carisma.
You could also get a different stem, or route the brake cable differently.
Get this and have it double as a spacer in the headset- https://www.amazon.com/Bicycle-Cable...S5AP7VZCT5DVY3
Or get this and attach it to the fork- https://www.amazon.com/Tektro-Front-.../dp/B006GHDRYC

This will allow you to use a stem which fits you properly and removes the funky twist of a brake cable going thru the stem.
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Old 08-23-16, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
You could also get a different stem, or route the brake cable differently.
Get this and have it double as a spacer in the headset- https://www.amazon.com/Bicycle-Cable...S5AP7VZCT5DVY3
Or get this and attach it to the fork- https://www.amazon.com/Tektro-Front-.../dp/B006GHDRYC

This will allow you to use a stem which fits you properly and removes the funky twist of a brake cable going thru the stem.
Thanks! Very helpful.

Adjusting the saddle properly also relieved some hand pressure. I found myself squirming around too much and moved the saddle forward about an inch and tilted the nose up slightly. Much better. Less strain reaching forward and less pressure on my wrists. I may try some ergo grips with palm shelf supports before deciding on another handlebar and/or stem.

I needed to adjust the brakes and hadn't seen these before. Easiest way to get at 'em was to remove the front and rear racks and fenders. Gives me a good excuse to clean up the whole bike anyway, and become familiar with the components and adjustments. Looks like all, or mostly, Shimano Exage CX 500, including the aluminum chain rings (a first for me -- I suppose I'll need to be more careful about cleaning those to minimize premature wear).
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Old 08-23-16, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
The 500cx DR and the metalic splatter paint job place it as 93/94 model it does look to be basically original and in good shape. These were not high end but are very solid good overall bikes and make great commuters. As for the bars I'm pretty sure these take a standard 22.2 quill stem with 25.4 clamp so you should have no problem with alternative bar and or stem choices.
My literature states the 1993 Via Carisma as being Exage LT equipped while the 1994 version is spec'd with Alvio. The only year that CX500 is specifically mentioned for the Via Carisma is 1992. Regardless, now that the OP has purchased the bicycle, we should be able to establish the model year from the serial number and/or component date codes.
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Old 08-23-16, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
My literature states the 1993 Via Carisma as being Exage LT equipped while the 1994 version is spec'd with Alvio. The only year that CX500 is specifically mentioned for the Via Carisma is 1992. Regardless, now that the OP has purchased the bicycle, we should be able to establish the model year from the serial number and/or component date codes.
Thanks, I'll try to post that info this week. I need to clean the frame and take some detailed photos.
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Old 09-04-16, 02:54 AM
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(Ugh, looks like Google Photo's dreaded webp format incompatibility has struck again. I tripled checked these photos on three different browsers on my laptop and all worked fine. But now some are blanked out. I'll have to give up on Google as a photo host and go back to photobucket.)

Follow up to my earlier post. Thanks all for the help. I've ridden the Via Carisma for a couple of weeks and with some minor mods it's been exactly what I wanted for an affordable rigid fork starter bike. I'll probably ride it a year and decide later whether I can justify a "better" road bike, or handle drops again. Took me a year with the Globe Carmel comfort hybrid to get to this point, so I'm in no hurry.

*******

New-to-me Univega Via Carisma, in all its black and blue splatter paint glory. Maybe 1992-'93? I don't know much Univega minutiae.

I wasn't looking for anything fancy, just an affordable rigid fork bike to try for awhile. A car wreck 15 years ago busted up my back and neck and I still have limited mobility and pain from a permanently damaged C2. So my first bike last year, after 30 years away from cycling, was a comfort hybrid with spring suspension fork, upright bars and springy padded saddle. After a year of riding 2-4 times a week, I was in good enough shape to try something different.

Road bikes with drop bars are out. I'll never be able to handle that again. Even the flat bars that original came with the Univega were painful. Here's how it looked as-bought...


Looks like it was originally purchased in Germany, at Raven bikes ("Rabe") in Munich. Part of the yellow triangular store decal is still legible on the downtube. The Corratec racks and SKS fenders round out the German origins. Might have belonged to a US serviceman who brought it home.



I rode it four times as-is, 10-40 mile rides. First ride home after buying the bike it poured rain halfway home. Those fenders helped.

Decided I liked it well enough to modify a bit to suit myself. I removed the racks and fenders so I can replace the rusted nuts. And I wanted a better look at the frame and components after cleaning it up a bit. It'll be easier to finish adjusting the brakes, etc., with the fenders and racks off. I'll put those back on soon.

Serial number is M1J 60235. Not sure how to date that.


Frame is labeled Made in Taiwan, Chromoly double butted 969, Biaxial Power Oval. I'll need to rephotograph in better light to show off the subtle tubing shapes from round to oval.






Forks are labeled CrMo too.




This chromoly frame feels very different from my old Motobecane Mirage with hi-ten frame and forks. The Univega frame feels lighter and has a pingy tone when struck. The Motobecane had a dull tone, as you'd expect from hi-ten steel. No idea about subjective feel. My back and neck are often so stiff and achy that no bike frame material feels any more comfortable than another. All that matters is the fit, tires, fork, saddle, handlebars, that sort of thing.


Components are mostly labeled Shimano Exage 500 CX: both derailers, triple SG E-30/40/50 chain ring. Not sure about the brakes and thumb shifters.





Rear freewheel is Hyperglide 12/14/16/18/21/24/28. Feels about right for this bike, my fitness and local terrain.

(Continued in followup post, due to limit of 10 images per post.)

Last edited by canklecat; 09-05-16 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 09-04-16, 02:55 AM
  #16  
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(Cont'd from post #15)

(Ugh, looks like Google Photo's dreaded webp format incompatibility has struck again. I tripled checked these photos on three different browsers on my laptop and all worked fine. But now some are blanked out. I'll have to give up on Google as a photo host and go back to photobucket.)

Right rear chain stay is labeled "Lawee Design USA" and has a long black Univega protective decal under the chain, as I've seen on photos of other Ben Lawee Univegas. (Interesting to note that Ben Lawee might also have been the original distributor for my 1976 Motobecane Mirage, which I bought from an Oceanside shop after I was stationed at Camp Pendleton.)



Brakes are Shimano center pull but I'm not sure what model ID.
Pads were old Shimano and glazed over but broke in well enough to continue using as-is for now. I might replace them after I finish brake adjustments. They pivot and close evenly and equally, but the yokes look a bit off kilter. Not sure it's worth worrying about as long as the bike stops reliably.


Hubs are Shimano, Exage HB-RM50 front, FH-HG50 rear.




Interesting extra was the very functional kickstand. Nicer than the usual chainstay-crushers.


Seat post quick release clamp. I was surprised how thin the seatpost material is. With all the components removed I'd bet this frame would ring like wind chimes.
That's an old VistaLite VL-300 rear red taillight clamped to the seat post. It's a non-blinky type with 3 LEDs. Not as bright as newer lights but it'll do. The reflector helps.



Here's how the Via Carisma looks at the moment, after a quick wipe down.




That's a Bell soft padded saddle with fabric cover and rear red blinky LEDs. Functional and fairly comfortable. I might replace it eventually. It's okay for now.

The slight riser bars, swapped from my Globe Carmel, made a huge difference in comfort. I'd have given up on this bike within a week with the original flat bars. But those same flat bars turned out to be perfect on my Globe. So both are better rides now.


Last edited by canklecat; 09-05-16 at 09:31 PM. Reason: fix image links
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Old 09-17-16, 10:04 PM
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Hi,
I had the ladies' version of this bike.
I sold it last month for $140 Canadian. I bought it for $25 and overhauled it.
This is the best bike $140 can buy.

So far it's in the top 3 of my favorite bikes (out of around 40 I have owned).
Shimano Exage 500CX is excellent. Although it's 24 years old, it feels as smooth as some Tiagra stuff I have on other bikes.
The trigger shifters are of the good kind: you need to use your thumbs only (unlike those you have to alternate thumbs and indexes).
Cantilever aluminum brakes are fine.
Frame is very comfortable even with the 700x25c tires I installed.
And you feel the bike wants to move forward when going out of the saddle.
Usually comfortable bikes are not stiff and dampen the acceleration.
The weight is 28 lbs or so.
But you know what ? Weight doesn't matter much.
I sold an aluminum Giant Cypress R to a 250lbs lady once. She said she wanted an aluminum bike to go faster.
My point is mere mortal complain about their bike being 3lbs heavier than they would want. At the same time they usually carry an extra 10, 20, 30 lbs or more on their belly/ass. Quit blaming the bike !!!!
What matters is total weight rider + bike + backpack + bottles + etc...
What matters even more is position, and the engineering of the frame.
Light bikes are usually designed to be light. Regardless of other qualities.
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Old 09-17-16, 11:56 PM
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Thanks, that does appear identical to mine, other than the mixte frame. I've ridden mine for a couple of weeks with the minor modification shown, the slight riser bar. Much more comfortable. And I'm trying other tires to find a good compromise for the pavement in my area.
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Old 02-02-20, 06:20 AM
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NEW QUESTION
Hi there,

Hope I can post in a previous thread related to the same bike/topic (please split it if a new thread should be started). I've got a chance to buy a Univega Via Carisma (with a men's frame setup, it's uniform light blue if this matters) and would like to know a few things beforehand as the bike looks like it really needs some overhauling. I've currently got a 700c bike with a similar frame but the fork has some play in it and I'm wondering if I could use some of the components from my current bike on the Via Carisma frame.
  1. Does someone know the width of the rear and front forks on the Univega Via Carisma?
  2. Is there any information (decal) on the frame regarding its size so I can ask the owner to tell me the size of their bike or send me a photo of it?
  3. Is it difficult to find compontents for this bike? (I don't mind using substitutes, but am not sure if the Carisma's components are standard and easy to find).
  4. What size is the fork steerer?
  5. Is it possible to tell the year the bike was made in by just looking at its colour (uniform light blue)?
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Old 02-02-20, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Thomas1 View Post
NEW QUESTION
Hi there,

Hope I can post in a previous thread related to the same bike/topic (please split it if a new thread should be started). I've got a chance to buy a Univega Via Carisma (with a men's frame setup, it's uniform light blue if this matters) and would like to know a few things beforehand as the bike looks like it really needs some overhauling. I've currently got a 700c bike with a similar frame but the fork has some play in it and I'm wondering if I could use some of the components from my current bike on the Via Carisma frame.
  1. Does someone know the width of the rear and front forks on the Univega Via Carisma? The rear is I believe the 130 as they were 7spd usuallt MTB hubs and the front the 'standard' 110
  2. Is there any information (decal) on the frame regarding its size so I can ask the owner to tell me the size of their bike or send me a photo of it? I don't recall Univega doing this.
  3. Is it difficult to find compontents for this bike? (I don't mind using substitutes, but am not sure if the Carisma's components are standard and easy to find). Most of the parts were standard MTB brakes, derailleurs, cranks etc were regular MTB stuff and should be easily replaced with modern parts.
  4. What size is the fork steerer? 1" threaded, I don't recall Univega using threadless on their hybrids
  5. Is it possible to tell the year the bike was made in by just looking at its colour (uniform light blue)? Some of can tell by the color and brand model of compoents. The Via Carisma first came out in '90 and IIRC Univega went out of business by '96. Suntour derailleurs would mean an earlier model and gripshifters might be on a later model.
Do you have any pics? Is this on craigslist? What city?
If you can do the work a Via Carisma that need a full overhaul and maybe some new parts (aside from the usual ires, brake pads cables etc) might be a great project. If you have pay someone to do the work maybe not.
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Old 02-02-20, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Thomas1 View Post
NEW QUESTION
Hi there,

Hope I can post in a previous thread related to the same bike/topic (please split it if a new thread should be started). I've got a chance to buy a Univega Via Carisma (with a men's frame setup, it's uniform light blue if this matters) and would like to know a few things beforehand as the bike looks like it really needs some overhauling. I've currently got a 700c bike with a similar frame but the fork has some play in it and I'm wondering if I could use some of the components from my current bike on the Via Carisma frame.
  1. Does someone know the width of the rear and front forks on the Univega Via Carisma?
  2. Is there any information (decal) on the frame regarding its size so I can ask the owner to tell me the size of their bike or send me a photo of it?
  3. Is it difficult to find compontents for this bike? (I don't mind using substitutes, but am not sure if the Carisma's components are standard and easy to find).
  4. What size is the fork steerer?
  5. Is it possible to tell the year the bike was made in by just looking at its colour (uniform light blue)?
I'll try to get those measurements later. My Via Carisma is at the back of a pack of bikes in the spare room. And I'm going for a ride in a few minutes, to enjoy a sunny warm day when most folks are watching the Superbowl.

There is enough clearance for my favorite hybrid tire, the Continental SpeedRide, -- nominally 700x42 but measures closer to 700x38 according to most users, including me (via calipers). Varies a bit according to rim width. It will definitely *not* clear Michelin Protek Cross Max 700x40, which measure closer to 700x45. The wider tire limits the swing of the front derailleur, and the side knobbies/tread will nick the chainstays. But the Via Carisma has been great with tires ranging from 700x32 to x38 (including the "700x40" SpeedRides). And there's enough room for SKS Bluemel fenders.

Regarding question 3, the Via Carisma should work with most mountain bike derailleurs and brakes. Some folks will swap out the original cantilever brakes for linear pull V-brakes, but I've left mine original.

Mine has the Shimano Exage 500 CX group, which appears to have morphed a year or two later into the Deore group with long cage RD, front derailleur that could cover a triple chainring, etc. I have both the Exage 500 CX and Deore LX RDs and they're nearly identical.
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Old 02-03-20, 11:36 AM
  #22  
Thomas1
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Thank you both for your replies, much appreciated.

Here’s a link to the ad (the pictures are low quality unfortunately; not much detail is discernible, but I can see the bike is in poor condition). The bike is available in Poland.

olx.pl/oferta/rower-univega-via-carisma-wysoki-stary-solidny-sprzet-CID767-IDzMLEA.html#f3954e4cdb

(Please paste the above address into your web browser. I’m still not allowed to post pictures or links – I’ve got few posts).

1. Canklecat: while taking the measurements in question could you please get size of your frame (best c-c seat tube), the wheel base as well as the chain stay length?

2. Also, have you ever used rear rack and panniers on your Carisma? If so, was there enough distance between the panniers and your heels enough?

***

I see the 130 mm should be fine; well at least it’s not too narrow. I’ve been wondering whether, if I want to, it’s possible to install a 700-C wheel I’ve already got:

The current setup I have is spaced at a little less than 120 mm (I can’t remember the exact number right know) in the rear fork, but I guess that’s not very troublesome as it’s possible to either narrow the fork by cold setting or widen the rear hub by adding, for instance, a few washers and possibly a new axle- I guess the latter option would be more convenient in my case bearing in mind I would like to use the original wheel with the rear derailleur too (provided it can be salvaged).

3. I’ve got a Shimano Nexus 3 Speed internal gear hub (SG-3R40- no coaster brake) fitted in semi-horizontal dropouts – I really do like this hub and would like to be able to sometimes install it in the Carisma, but is it possible to fit it to vertical dropouts which I believe the Carimsa has (correct me if I’m wrong here)?

4. Can you tell if Suntour or Exage 500 CX derailleurs are fitted and the bike’s manufacture year?

5. Any idea how to explain how to measure a bicycle frame (the simpler the better, to make it easier for someone who may not necessarily into bikes)? This is the first condition that needs to be met before I can go on any further.

I’m not sure yet who’s gonna overhaul the bike. I’d really like to do it myself – I’ve recently become fond of tinkering with the bikes we’ve got in my family and I find it really enjoyable , but I don’t know first if I can do it and second if I’m gonna have enough time for it. While the first ‘if’ may not be that problematic—I realise I may not be able to do certain things myself even though I’m eager to learn stuff; I may have an LBS mechanic do certain things for me (wheel building/truing comes to mind), the second ‘if’ may unfortunately be so…

6. One more question: how many bottle cages can you mount onto the Carisma’s frame? I think I can see two.
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Old 02-03-20, 12:02 PM
  #23  
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The Via Carisma was produced for over a decade, so there can be a wide varirety of specs but nothing should be so odd as not to be able to find compatible replacements, if req'd. Having said that, the only solid light blue versions that I've seen were from the first year, which was 1990. However, it's possible that the same colour scheme was used in subsequent years. Do you have any seller pictures of the bicycle?

The serial number number submitted by canklecat confirms a 1992 model, as I previously suggested. The format is indcative of Merida of Taiwan and an October 1991 manufacture date, which is late enough in the calendar to be a 1992 model. Also, as previously stated, 1992 was the only model year that the Via Carisma was spec'd with Shimano Cx500.
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Old 02-03-20, 01:21 PM
  #24  
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To some of your questions:

2) I commuted with a Via Carisma, I think a '90 or '91, for many years. I did have to be careful about heel strike with a pannier/rack, but if the pannier is placed right, it's doable. The rack pictured in the seller's ad is pretty far forward, so a rack that sits further back would work better, if you have one.
3) A chain tensioner, that bolts on in place of the derailleur, should allow you to use that IGH hub with a vertical dropout rear triangle.
5) Maybe one good way to instruct the seller how to measure is with pictures. Send her one close-up photo of a tape measure with the starting point at the BB spindle bolt (using your existing bike), and one showing where the tape measure passes the top tube. Then ask her to do the same, and send you the pics.
6) I definitely see two sets of bottle cage mounts. Pretty typical of hybrids of that period.

BTW, do I read the ad right, that she's asking 40 zt? That's a little more than $US10. Excellent deal.
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Old 02-04-20, 05:05 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Thomas1 View Post
Thank you both for your replies, much appreciated.

Hereís a link to the ad (the pictures are low quality unfortunately; not much detail is discernible, but I can see the bike is in poor condition). The bike is available in Poland.

olx.pl/oferta/rower-univega-via-carisma-wysoki-stary-solidny-sprzet-CID767-IDzMLEA.html#f3954e4cdb

(Please paste the above address into your web browser. Iím still not allowed to post pictures or links Ė Iíve got few posts).

1. Canklecat: while taking the measurements in question could you please get size of your frame (best c-c seat tube), the wheel base as well as the chain stay length?

2. Also, have you ever used rear rack and panniers on your Carisma? If so, was there enough distance between the panniers and your heels enough?

***

I see the 130 mm should be fine; well at least itís not too narrow. Iíve been wondering whether, if I want to, itís possible to install a 700-C wheel Iíve already got:

The current setup I have is spaced at a little less than 120 mm (I canít remember the exact number right know) in the rear fork, but I guess thatís not very troublesome as itís possible to either narrow the fork by cold setting or widen the rear hub by adding, for instance, a few washers and possibly a new axle- I guess the latter option would be more convenient in my case bearing in mind I would like to use the original wheel with the rear derailleur too (provided it can be salvaged).

3. Iíve got a Shimano Nexus 3 Speed internal gear hub (SG-3R40- no coaster brake) fitted in semi-horizontal dropouts Ė I really do like this hub and would like to be able to sometimes install it in the Carisma, but is it possible to fit it to vertical dropouts which I believe the Carimsa has (correct me if Iím wrong here)?

4. Can you tell if Suntour or Exage 500 CX derailleurs are fitted and the bikeís manufacture year?

5. Any idea how to explain how to measure a bicycle frame (the simpler the better, to make it easier for someone who may not necessarily into bikes)? This is the first condition that needs to be met before I can go on any further.

Iím not sure yet whoís gonna overhaul the bike. Iíd really like to do it myself Ė Iíve recently become fond of tinkering with the bikes weíve got in my family and I find it really enjoyable , but I donít know first if I can do it and second if Iím gonna have enough time for it. While the first Ďifí may not be that problematicóI realise I may not be able to do certain things myself even though Iím eager to learn stuff; I may have an LBS mechanic do certain things for me (wheel building/truing comes to mind), the second Ďifí may unfortunately be soÖ

6. One more question: how many bottle cages can you mount onto the Carismaís frame? I think I can see two.

When you're asking about 'fork width' are you asking about the size of the hub or tire clearance? If you're asking about tire clearance most hybrids came with a 700x38 tire. You might be able to get something bigger in but not much bigger than 700x41ish. I am not sure when it expired but there was a tariff or something on hybrids and I think MTBs about tire size to protect US production. However I think by the time I was going to the bike shows very few production bikes were being built in the US the whole idea was kind of moot.
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