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Univega Specialissimo 1981 Craig's find

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Univega Specialissimo 1981 Craig's find

Old 09-07-21, 07:16 AM
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tjfastback66
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Univega Specialissimo 1981 Craig's find

You know, I am not sure if this is the beginning of some kind of sickness now that I am in my late '50's but I cannot seem to stop myself. So this weekend I found a Univega Specialissimo on Craig's for $45.00 - Look I just cannot resist that! Brian was moving from Minnesota to Arizona and needed to clean house. Turns out he bought the bike new in San Francisco back in 1981 and had it all these years. Needing some pedals for another project, I scooped it up!

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Old 09-07-21, 07:52 AM
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Can't go wrong for $45! Heck, I'd have paid that just for the frame OR the parts. Looks like a decent frame pump too!
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Old 09-07-21, 08:50 AM
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Amazing find! The bar end shifters alone are worth that. Univegas are great bikes!
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Old 09-07-21, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Charliekeet
Can't go wrong for $45! Heck, I'd have paid that just for the frame OR the parts. Looks like a decent frame pump too!
Originally Posted by noobinsf
Amazing find! The bar end shifters alone are worth that. Univegas are great bikes!
Yeah I was actually looking for some MKS pedals - these on the Univega are SR SP-150 and they cleaned up very nice. The Zephal frame pump actually works too. I am torn between parting it out and selling off the parts or restoring it. Reading up on this brand and the specialissima model I think that I am leaning to restoration. Thoughts?
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Old 09-07-21, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by tjfastback66
these on the Univega are SR SP-150 and they cleaned up very nice .

Not too bad for 40 years old
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Old 09-07-21, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by tjfastback66
Yeah I was actually looking for some MKS pedals - these on the Univega are SR SP-150 and they cleaned up very nice. The Zephal frame pump actually works too. I am torn between parting it out and selling off the parts or restoring it. Reading up on this brand and the specialissima model I think that I am leaning to restoration. Thoughts?
If it fits, keep it -- it'll be hard to find a better touring frame. If it's a close fit, try it before making a decision. If it's way off, sell the frame and get something else good.
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Old 09-07-21, 10:12 AM
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You shouldn't have to stop yourself when the deal is this good!
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Old 09-07-21, 12:21 PM
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"You know, I am not sure if this is the beginning of some kind of sickness now that I am in my late '50's but I cannot seem to stop myself." I love when a thread starts like this, it makes me realize I am not alone. Nice score, what kind of cranks are those by the way?
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Old 09-07-21, 12:41 PM
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I would hazard a guess that the cranks are SR Apex like I took off of an 82.miyata 1000. Very nice copy of the Stronglight 99 with 86 bcd that runs a triple on one set of screws. Not sure of minimum ring size but perhaps 28t. I used mine as a 34-47 compact double by ditching the outside ring. Pretty cranks.
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Old 09-07-21, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by tjfastback66
You know, I am not sure if this is the beginning of some kind of sickness now that I am in my late '50's but I cannot seem to stop myself. So this weekend I found a Univega Specialissimo on Craig's for $45.00 - Look I just cannot resist that! Brian was moving from Minnesota to Arizona and needed to clean house. Turns out he bought the bike new in San Francisco back in 1981 and had it all these years. Needing some pedals for another project, I scooped it up!
Nothing amiss here, you're right on track, keep it up.

Keep it and upgrade, restore, fuss away, etc.

These are very nice if not under valued and kitted IMO.

I would encourage you to step up as far as possible on the rebuild, you are very unlikely to regret it, carry on.
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Old 09-07-21, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf
If it fits, keep it -- it'll be hard to find a better touring frame.
Yes, it is a 25" frame and she will see some road time in the not to distant future! If the Frame is everything I have read about then she will be a keeper!
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Old 09-07-21, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by sd5782
I SR Apex like I took off of an 82.miyata 1000. Very nice copy of the Stronglight 99 with 86 bcd that runs a triple on one set of screws. Not sure of minimum ring size but perhaps 28t. I used mine as a 34-47 compact double by ditching the outside ring. Pretty cranks.
Originally Posted by wschellen
Nice score, what kind of cranks are those by the way?
SR Apex is correct 52-?-34 they cleaned up nice too!

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Old 09-07-21, 01:36 PM
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A Rose By Any Other Name...

Congratulations on your new acquisition! May you enjoy many miles together!

You know the Specialissima may be essentially a rebranded Miyata 1000?

I suspect if you provide the Serial Number, T-Mar may not only be able to confirm the maker, but would also appreciate another for his extensive, helpful and informative database?

Kudos on your photos!
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Old 09-07-21, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by sd5782
I would hazard a guess that the cranks are SR Apex like I took off of an 82.miyata 1000. Very nice copy of the Stronglight 99 with 86 bcd that runs a triple on one set of screws. Not sure of minimum ring size but perhaps 28t. I used mine as a 34-47 compact double by ditching the outside ring. Pretty cranks.
Yeah, 82-ish is what I thought, too. The earlier ones like this one used Tange Champion instead of the Miyata proprietary tubing, and they also had caliper brakes instead of cantilever. Wow, what a find...
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Old 09-07-21, 02:02 PM
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I would hazard another guess that like an 82 miyata 1000, those rings are 52-47-34. Nice score, and nice riding. I have read about these “touring” frames, but the three that have came my way ride more sport touring to me. Just a nice riding bike.
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Old 09-07-21, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by machinist42
Congratulations on your new acquisition! May you enjoy many miles together!

You know the Specialissima may be essentially a rebranded Miyata 1000?

I suspect if you provide the Serial Number, T-Mar may not only be able to confirm the maker, but would also appreciate another for his extensive, helpful and informative database?

Kudos on your photos!
On the bottom bracket it reads: J496062

Here is what my research lead me to think that it is an '81 :UNIVEGA SERIAL NUMBERS

Univega frames were made in Japan by Miyata. It's my understanding that serial numbers for Miyata and Univega bicycles manufactured from 1972 on used an XX12345 format, with the first letter representing the year, as follows:

A 1972 B 1973 C 1974 D 1975 E 1976 F 1977
G 1978 H 1979 I 1980 J 1981 K 1982 L 1983
M 1984 N 1985 O 1986 P 1987 Q 1998 R 1989
S 1990 T 1991 U 1992 V 1993 W 1994 X 1995
Y 1996 Z 1997


For example, serial #MI12345 would indicate 1984. I don't know what the rest of the digits indicate.
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Old 09-07-21, 03:37 PM
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Fantastic find! That’s the sport touring pre-canti brake version of the Specialissima. A very versatile frame. I added STIs to mine and used some longer reach caliper brakes for fit 700c wheels and 32 mm Paselas. Chain rings for that crank are hard to find but they’re out there. The crank is very versatile too..
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Old 09-07-21, 04:50 PM
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In my opinion, the best cheaper crank made in those days..had one on my 1982 Bianchi Randonneur...had my more favored gearing of 52-40-something small. Cannot remember the small ring but I thought it was 30?

Edit. Think it was a 34

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Old 09-08-21, 11:42 AM
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Great find - was the early eighties the golden age for Japanese bikes

Thatís a keeper. I love Japanese bikes (road, sport, touring, early mountain) and components from the early eighties. Each manufacturer actually put thought into their bikes. By the late eighties, we just got cookie cutter bikes - first came the same all shimano groups on every bike, then came tig frames, and then more and more technology. Luckily, we can still find some of these treasures from the golden age if we look hard enough.
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Old 07-07-22, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by retroshifter
Thatís a keeper. I love Japanese bikes (road, sport, touring, early mountain) and components from the early eighties. Each manufacturer actually put thought into their bikes. By the late eighties, we just got cookie cutter bikes - first came the same all shimano groups on every bike, then came tig frames, and then more and more technology. Luckily, we can still find some of these treasures from the golden age if we look hard enough.
Now that I have had a chance to ride this one, this is by far my favorite bike to ride since I completed the restoration a couple of months ago. Perhaps it also sheds some light on this similar frame to the Miyata 1000 - I can see why they are so coveted.

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Old 07-07-22, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Whit51
Fantastic find! Thatís the sport touring pre-canti brake version of the Specialissima.
These being Miyata 1000's, would we consider the early 1000's sport touring as well? Are you basing this on frame geometry or components? I don't know what the measurements are for these.
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Old 07-08-22, 04:39 AM
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That is a great looking restoration!
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