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Road Test/Bike Review (1985) UNIVEGA Superstrada

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Road Test/Bike Review (1985) UNIVEGA Superstrada

Old 02-24-22, 04:52 PM
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SpeedofLite 
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Road Test/Bike Review (1985) UNIVEGA Superstrada





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WTB: Slingshot bicycle promotional documents (catalog, pamphlets, etc).
WTB: American Cycling May - Aug, Oct, Dec 1966.
WTB: Bicycle Guide issues 1984 (any); Jun 1987; Jul, Nov/Dec 1992; Apr 1994; 1996 -1998 (any)
WTB: Bike World issue Jun 1974.













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Old 02-24-22, 05:34 PM
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This is so cool!! I'm enthralled with the Fat City Cycles ad at the bottom of page 67! My shop built up quite a few of their beautiful frames. That said, the '85 Super Strada was ALSO a bike I lusted after in those days!!
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Old 02-24-22, 08:03 PM
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First, thanks SpeedofLite for putting out the effort to scan and share these articles, as always, I am grateful for your efforts. So, does anyone own one of these now? Is the paint, some 33 years later, completely gone... as I would expect after reading the article? I do have a Univega, I think a Sport model, somewhere in the queue, which I'm excited to rehab. I don't know how to take the article, as much of the mystique represented within the Italian marquees is also presented in a "Univega's are fine for the average bicyclist, but I'm a bicycle journalist, attuned to the delicate differences that separate the ordinary from the posh... you wouldn't or couldn't understand". Or maybe so many years later, still mostly devoid of any Italian bicycles, I still don't have the pedigree to tell the differences either. 1985... a swansong year for Suntour. Odd the little tip of the cap to Suntour being favored by the racer types... I rode Suntour, BITD, but I was just putzing around then, as now, using my bicycles to get away from the hassles of the world and grab some exercise to boot.

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Old 02-24-22, 08:29 PM
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In 1985, i settled for a 1984 Centurion ProTour with Suntour (not SUPERBE) for $300 - if I also bought helmet, bottle cages, & frame pump at their LBS. I had enough cycling experience to know a touring triple would open my route planning to the small mountain roads nearby. Santa Cruz Mts.

late edit: I really liked the high-end bikes such as this Univega. But having long borrowed a road bike from a friend with a 'racing cluster' for a freewheel - I knew it was for flatter terrain than I wished to ride. The local mountain roads, offering a nearly car free experience, were more appealing for my mostly solitary habit. A touring triple took me there, with a smile on my face. The climbing made me a better cyclist, too.

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Old 02-25-22, 01:48 AM
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Did they really use slotted chain ring bolts for the seat clamp? My '86 (?) Univega Competizione has the same fast back seat cluster, but thankfully the seat clamp bolt is socket head on both sides.
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Old 02-25-22, 10:50 AM
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Amazing how "clean" it looks compared to my Gran Tourismo.
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Old 02-26-22, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
Did they really use slotted chain ring bolts for the seat clamp? My '86 (?) Univega Competizione has the same fast back seat cluster, but thankfully the seat clamp bolt is socket head on both sides.
I don’t think it was an actual chainring bolt but a threaded tube with two slots on end that used a wrench like a chainring bolt.

some heavy knurling on the bottom and sides may have helped a lot



It’s amazing what you can easily find on the internet, unless it is something really important. The pic actually came from a 2018 bike forums thread. Univega Super Strada



Beautiful. I sadly don’t have a lot of experience with these upper end Univega bikes.
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Old 02-26-22, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
I donít think it was an actual chainring bolt but a threaded tube with two slots on end that used a wrench like a chainring bolt.

some heavy knurling on the bottom and sides may have helped a lot



Itís amazing what you can easily find on the internet, unless it is something really important. The pic actually came from a 2018 bike forums thread. Univega Super Strada
It's crazy that they went through all this trouble to create a one-off nut like that. Having said that, I leave the outside of chain ring nuts dry and only grease the inside threads. I don't have any problem with spinning nuts when I do that.
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Old 02-26-22, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
It's crazy that they went through all this trouble to create a one-off nut like that. Having said that, I leave the outside of chain ring nuts dry and only grease the inside threads. I don't have any problem with spinning nuts when I do that.
I donít think itís that uncommon of a part, several bikes used something similar, but it weird it isnít knurled to bite into the steel it presses against

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Old 09-05-22, 05:34 PM
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OK, so I picked up one of these a few weeks ago and can share what I found so far.

Regarding the paint, it is not completely gone, but does have a significant amount of scratches and chips. By far the worst is on DS chainstay due to chain slap. It looks like someone rode this on Paris-Roubaix. I think it is chromed underneath the paint in this area (it has chromed dropout faces), so maybe that is part of the issue. But overall, not too bad for a 37 year old bike. I scoured the local stores and found a decent nail polish to fix the paint scratches (not touched up yet in any of the photos below). Interestingly, I have a Competizione with the same color from the previous model year and it has held up reasonably well.

The magazine article talks about a thick layer of clearcoat. I honestly cannot detect the clearcoat, and some of the downtube stickers have some damage, which I thought would not happen with clearcoat (?).

Regarding the seat-post binder bolt, I wouldnít have given it much thought if it werenít brought up in the forum and magazine article. It is just like the picture posted by Bianchigirll. I used a big screwdriver to hold the NDS end, while tightening the other side with allen key. I admit it slipped on me the first time, when I was using a too small screwdriver, but no problem after that. I have not had issue with seatpost slipping. I have 2x 1984 and a 1986 Univega, and those all have a hex shaped opening in the seat cluster, with a nut to hold the NDS side.

Frame is 62cm C-T, and I like that it came with 120mm stem and 175mm cranks. It fits me very well. It has 41cm Nitto 55 bars (measured 40cm C-C).

The ďSuperbeĒ brakes are really white-labeled Royal Gran Compe, which is not a bad thing. Brake levers were previously upgraded to Shimano BL-1051, which are somewhat out of place, but work very well.

Mine has a 36h hub in rear, 32h in front with MA-40 rims. The one in the magazine has 32h front and rear. PO must have swapped the GP-4 sew-ups for MA-40 clinchers, maybe the rear hub was replaced at that time.

Mine came with a 7-speed 12/21 New Winner freewheel. Unsure if that was an upgrade after original purchase. Not suited for the hills, so at least for now I have only taken it on flattish rides. Debating whether to try a 13/28 6-speed instead.

Unfortunately, the stock pedals disappeared along the way, and I slapped on a new pair of MKS New AR-2.

I repacked all the bearings, which still had reasonable (though aging) grease and pristine cones/races. Itís hard to beat all the Superbe Pro parts!

I have used this bike as a commuted for several weeks, and took it on one long ride. Did a 100 miler yesterday (in awful heat). Bike was very comfortable and well suited for this flat but breezy ride. I rode in the drops for several hours straight and nothing was really bothering me (except the heat). Overall, a very nice bike!





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