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The Unofficial Univega Appreciation Thread!

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The Unofficial Univega Appreciation Thread!

Old 04-07-18, 01:02 PM
  #1251  
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The Story of my Univega Alpina 5.1

Previously I owned just one bike: a carbon fiber road bike. My friends were getting into touring and I desperately wanted to join them, but alas, with no money and even less time, I decided to see if my carbon road bike could pull a BOB Yak trailer, a mere $280 vs. thousands for a full touring bike/racks/panniers, etc setup. Well, it can... sorta... if it's lightly loaded, on pristine and perfectly dry pavement, with no elevation change, and in a straight line. After almost being thrown from the bike several times by less-than-adverse conditions for the carbon road bike / steel trailer combination, I was starting to come to the conclusion that the lightweight, small wheelbase, touchy steering carbon road bike was just not designed to pull a trailer, especially given my 100-pounds-soaking-wet body weight. I was in despair…

Then one day, my husband and I arrived at work and spotted a coworker across the parking lot unloading what looked like a small framed mid-90’s hardtail mountain bike. Being the cycling nuts that we are, we walked over to have a chat and have a look at the bike. He said he and his wife had a pair of these 1994 Univega Alpina 5.1’s. He loved his, but his wife had ridden hers twice and declared she liked her big box department store bike better (!?). After decades in the garage, he decided it was time to let it go. He was going to put it in the breakroom with a sign that said, “free to a good home”.

I immediately dropped to my hands and knees onto the asphalt in my work-appropriate khakis and studied the back fork. 7 speed cassette! Triple chainring! A set of holes for fenders on both the front and rear! Nice long chainstays! Wide wheelbase! Heavy chromoly steel! I stood over it. Standover height was perfect for my tiny 5’ 2” frame! I looked over at my husband who knew exactly what I was thinking and did some quick math in my head. “Give me $100 budget and I can get it up and running safely! I’ll do all the work myself!” He looked seriously displeased but it was this last part that caught his attention, since he had spent most of his life working on his own early-90’s mountain bike and thought this would be a great learning experience for me.

So, the bike never made it to the breakroom. Instead it spent the day in my cubicle with me and was taken home that night in my SUV. The front shifter was broken, the cables were a bit rusted, the pedals hardly turned, the bottle cages were rusty, the tires and tubes were dry rotted, and the saddle was just plain scary. I took my $100 budget and bought 2 new bottle cages, new tires, new tubes, new shifters, new foam grips, and new cables – went over by only a few bucks. I put one of my husband’s old road saddles on it and installed the high quality platform MTB pedals I was using on my road bike to pull the trailer. The result is the first picture.

When I had a bit more money I bought handlebars that were more comfortable for longer distances than the standard flat bar, and my closest friend and I went on a small weekend mini-tour. The bike performed fantastically! It felt very natural pulling the trailer and most of the time I forgot it was even there. I was determined to complete the conversion to a full touring bike, as I was definitely falling for this unassuming but truly special bike.

The paint was failing on it in spots and I worried about its durability, so I stripped the bike down to the frame and fork and got them sandblasted and powder coated gloss blank. Then installed replica vintage Univega Alpina Ultima decals, the closest I could find to the Alpina 5.1. I also bought fenders and a Brooks B17.S leather saddle to finish it off. Despite all this investment, the total cost was still a TON less than a new full touring setup. The last step was to trim the handlebars as they were a bit too long. The fully converted 1994 Univega Alpina 5.1 is shown in the second picture. It is truly a joy to ride and I wouldn’t trade it for a $1600+ brand new touring bike. I can’t wait to take it on my next tour! Long live Univega!
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Old 05-07-18, 10:06 AM
  #1252  
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UNIVEGA SUPERSTRADA - OVERSIZE 858 - Help Please

Hello All - just acquired a Univega Superstrade Oversize 858 - I know zero about this bike. It appears to be all original with stickers intact, including a "Lawee Design" sticker at the crank chain stay.
I am having difficulty uploading photos - may need a little help.
The question I have is: do I leave the bike original or do as I usually do and convert it to a single speed? Is there any value to a collector of this bike? If so, I would like to pass it on to a collector who would appreciate it more than me.
Thanks for any help or advice or info.
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Old 05-07-18, 10:23 AM
  #1253  
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Originally Posted by osuaero1
Previously I owned just one bike: a carbon fiber road bike. My friends were getting into touring and I desperately wanted to join them, but alas, with no money and even less time, I decided to see if my carbon road bike could pull a BOB Yak trailer, a mere $280 vs. thousands for a full touring bike/racks/panniers, etc setup. Well, it can... sorta... if it's lightly loaded, on pristine and perfectly dry pavement, with no elevation change, and in a straight line. After almost being thrown from the bike several times by less-than-adverse conditions for the carbon road bike / steel trailer combination, I was starting to come to the conclusion that the lightweight, small wheelbase, touchy steering carbon road bike was just not designed to pull a trailer, especially given my 100-pounds-soaking-wet body weight. I was in despair…

EDITED FOR QUOTING BREVITY- stanman

The paint was failing on it in spots and I worried about its durability, so I stripped the bike down to the frame and fork and got them sandblasted and powder coated gloss blank. Then installed replica vintage Univega Alpina Ultima decals, the closest I could find to the Alpina 5.1. I also bought fenders and a Brooks B17.S leather saddle to finish it off. Despite all this investment, the total cost was still a TON less than a new full touring setup. The last step was to trim the handlebars as they were a bit too long. The fully converted 1994 Univega Alpina 5.1 is shown in the second picture. It is truly a joy to ride and I wouldn’t trade it for a $1600+ brand new touring bike. I can’t wait to take it on my next tour! Long live Univega!
I know it's been a month since posting, but i want to say I really like what you have done with this bike. It looks sharp, and I'll bet it rides beautifully.
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Old 05-07-18, 03:14 PM
  #1254  
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Neighbor rolled his dad's rusty Gran Rally over for some love. Rides nice...
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Old 05-21-18, 06:26 PM
  #1255  
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FINALLY 1984 Univega Gran Turismo.

Before:


After:
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Old 05-22-18, 11:10 AM
  #1256  
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Nice save @arex, looks like a new bike! Well it almost is except for the wheels , stem and handlebar. Barcons are always mt first change.
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Old 05-22-18, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by osuaero1
Previously I owned just one bike: a carbon fiber road bike. My friends were getting into touring and I desperately wanted to join them, but alas, with no money and even less time, I decided to see if my carbon road bike could pull a BOB Yak trailer, a mere $280 vs. thousands for a full touring bike/racks/panniers, etc setup. Well, it can... sorta... if it's lightly loaded, on pristine and perfectly dry pavement, with no elevation change, and in a straight line. After almost being thrown from the bike several times by less-than-adverse conditions for the carbon road bike / steel trailer combination, I was starting to come to the conclusion that the lightweight, small wheelbase, touchy steering carbon road bike was just not designed to pull a trailer, especially given my 100-pounds-soaking-wet body weight. I was in despair…

Then one day, my husband and I arrived at work and spotted a coworker across the parking lot unloading what looked like a small framed mid-90’s hardtail mountain bike. Being the cycling nuts that we are, we walked over to have a chat and have a look at the bike. He said he and his wife had a pair of these 1994 Univega Alpina 5.1’s. He loved his, but his wife had ridden hers twice and declared she liked her big box department store bike better (!?). After decades in the garage, he decided it was time to let it go. He was going to put it in the breakroom with a sign that said, “free to a good home”.

I immediately dropped to my hands and knees onto the asphalt in my work-appropriate khakis and studied the back fork. 7 speed cassette! Triple chainring! A set of holes for fenders on both the front and rear! Nice long chainstays! Wide wheelbase! Heavy chromoly steel! I stood over it. Standover height was perfect for my tiny 5’ 2” frame! I looked over at my husband who knew exactly what I was thinking and did some quick math in my head. “Give me $100 budget and I can get it up and running safely! I’ll do all the work myself!” He looked seriously displeased but it was this last part that caught his attention, since he had spent most of his life working on his own early-90’s mountain bike and thought this would be a great learning experience for me.

So, the bike never made it to the breakroom. Instead it spent the day in my cubicle with me and was taken home that night in my SUV. The front shifter was broken, the cables were a bit rusted, the pedals hardly turned, the bottle cages were rusty, the tires and tubes were dry rotted, and the saddle was just plain scary. I took my $100 budget and bought 2 new bottle cages, new tires, new tubes, new shifters, new foam grips, and new cables – went over by only a few bucks. I put one of my husband’s old road saddles on it and installed the high quality platform MTB pedals I was using on my road bike to pull the trailer. The result is the first picture.

When I had a bit more money I bought handlebars that were more comfortable for longer distances than the standard flat bar, and my closest friend and I went on a small weekend mini-tour. The bike performed fantastically! It felt very natural pulling the trailer and most of the time I forgot it was even there. I was determined to complete the conversion to a full touring bike, as I was definitely falling for this unassuming but truly special bike.

The paint was failing on it in spots and I worried about its durability, so I stripped the bike down to the frame and fork and got them sandblasted and powder coated gloss blank. Then installed replica vintage Univega Alpina Ultima decals, the closest I could find to the Alpina 5.1. I also bought fenders and a Brooks B17.S leather saddle to finish it off. Despite all this investment, the total cost was still a TON less than a new full touring setup. The last step was to trim the handlebars as they were a bit too long. The fully converted 1994 Univega Alpina 5.1 is shown in the second picture. It is truly a joy to ride and I wouldn’t trade it for a $1600+ brand new touring bike. I can’t wait to take it on my next tour! Long live Univega!
Loved reading your story, happy cycling! Old mtbs make great touring rigs.
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Old 05-22-18, 04:49 PM
  #1258  
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Originally Posted by Kobe
Nice save @arex, looks like a new bike! Well it almost is except for the wheels , stem and handlebar. Barcons are always mt first change.
The wheels are new...I think a homeless guy had the bike for a while, just because of the condition it was in. The tires probably weren't inflated properly, and the wheels picked up a lot of hard dings, which the PO felt compelled to remove with a file. He also taped the bars with black duct tape, and lubricated the chain with a mop.

Let's see...the frame is original, the stem is original, the crankset and chainrings are original, the rack (not yet reinstalled) is original, and the front derailleur is original. The headset was probably salvageable, but I went ahead and replaced it anyways. The bottom bracket was too pitted and grumbly to be saved...replaced with a UN55. The wheels (CR18 27") are new, the seatpost (Thomson) is new, the Brooks Swift is used, the brakes are all new (Tektro mini-V). The rear derailleur is an old Suntour XCM, since the original derailleur had some weird-ass pulleys on it that couldn't be replaced. The handlebars are new, but only because the original bars were too narrow for me...the new bars are otherwise identical (rando bars). NOS Suntour Accushift barends, set to friction. Panaracer Pasela tires. Delightfully garish yellow Easton bar tape and yellow Jagwire housing.

Due to the worn-through paint on the fork and frame, I'm thinking someone was actually touring with the bike at one time...certain spots were rubbed clean, as if by bags. I'd like to think so, anyways. Once I cleaned the frame, I rubbed off as much of the rust as I could with a rough cloth, and then shot it with rattlecan clearcoat to seal the wounds.
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Old 06-12-18, 08:22 PM
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Got the Supra sport out for first ride after winter changes. Letour handlebars and new fenders. New tires. I’m 6’1 so a tad smaller stem is in order. Otherwise the bike bike rides great.

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Old 06-12-18, 08:25 PM
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Couple pics when I got the bike home last year
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Old 08-06-18, 03:49 AM
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New to this but sounds very interesting!

Very simply, I found my Univega on OfferUp, I was interested because it looked like a hybrid, part mountain bike part commuter. I was looking for a bike for exercise and for simple commutes - to school, to library, local store etc. (no more than 10 miles).

I tried to look it up online with the information given, (classic Univega mountain bike) to find specs such as height and it’s weight, (wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be by the way) since I’m 5’3 and wanted to make sure I could mount bike on car by myself... but instead I found this website and realized there where so many varieties!

I decided to take it for a spin and meet up. He told me he was the original owner, bought back in 93’ considering that, I thought it looked good! He gave me a few bike accessories that were acquired for it back when he used to ride it 20years ago, but apparently its been in the garage since.

I’ve since purchased new handle grips and a basket for my needs, I also added a cushion for my bum,

id like to know thoughts on this bike and if anyone knows anything about it! Also any recommendations on what I can do to improve or tips would be nice to read.

heres a picture of the bike as presented on the ad. —except not cause this is my first post and I need at least ten... pictures posted soon

Last edited by Rodas23; 08-06-18 at 03:57 AM. Reason: Couldn’t upload photos
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Old 08-06-18, 03:09 PM
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Latest acquisition,
Arrowpace mixte
Cromo frame tubes
Taiwan edition
Bike shop sticker reads *JohnDay,Or.

38536213_1663925583718784_5149861642707664896_o by K Farm, on Flickr

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Old 08-13-18, 12:31 AM
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Anything new?

How much have you learned since this original post?
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Old 08-19-18, 07:03 PM
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IMG_5043


IMG_5044

I love this thing so much! It's comfy and quick and looks nice too!
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Old 08-20-18, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by osuaero1
Long live Univega!
Nicely done osuero1.

That's a remarkable transformation!

​​​​
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Old 08-26-18, 08:45 PM
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BikeTales, nice Viva Sport. I've an '85 and just took it out for 20 miles or so on a bike trail,
Alum Creek Trail, North and South, Columbus, Ohio. Had the day off from family and tried pushing some limits.
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Old 09-16-18, 06:07 PM
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Nuovotech 450




,
Posted this one awhile back from the ad pictures. Got it all cleaned up and ready to ride. Didn’t take much. Bought it from the original owner and it was only ridden under 50 miles.
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Old 09-16-18, 06:12 PM
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Specialissima


Built this up for some light touring. Have put on a few miles on the Great Allegheny Passage in Western Maryland.
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Old 09-16-18, 07:59 PM
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Univega Superstrada

Trying real hard to post photos but keep getting kicked out because I don’t have 10 posts!
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Old 09-19-18, 01:06 PM
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Anyone know what model/year this is? I'm on my little tàblet and can't expand the pics enough to see a model name decal.

https://charlotte.craigslist.org/bik/d/vintage-univega-road-bike/6680966902.html

*edit* disregard, I see the seller posted it's a Sportour

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Old 10-07-18, 06:54 AM
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Put my Nuovo Sport away about a year and a half ago. Had too many bikes out in the open and had to get a few put away in storage. I had replaced the Light Action group with 6208 but for some reason it never shifted real great. Two weeks ago I decided to pull her out. Reinstalled the Light Action and got her all cleaned up and polished. The battery in the computer was dead so I just removed it completely. The rides I've taken on it since then have been some of the most relaxing and enjoyable ever. Riding without worrying about my speed, average speed, ect actually makes it a whole new experience. Took it off road for about three miles of my route yesterday. This bike just rides so nice, I love 27in wheels. I saw a blue Nuovo Sport on ebay a few months ago and passed on it but I've been regretting it ever since. Really want a blue one.

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Old 10-07-18, 07:25 AM
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Not mine. This one is on the local CL and if it were my size I wouldn't be telling you guys about it. .

https://richmond.craigslist.org/bik/...711621428.html

Touring Bike 1982 Univega Specialissima - $360 (Richmond)





bicycle type: road
frame size: 53cm
wheel size: 700C
Don't shell out 2k+ for a brand new touring bike; invest in quality Japanese craftsmanship and quality control! The bike handles beautifully loaded and unloaded, and feels pleasantly springy with 40lbs of gear on the racks. Cyclone is the best friction group I've used short of Superbe Pro, and the its been converted to 700c wheels so there's more room for plush tires and way more wheel and tread options down the road. Double butted main triangle and stays, diamond cut lugs and a beautiful metal-flake azure paintjob. There are light paint chips on most of the tubes and a small dent in top tube next to the largest paint nick, seen in pictures. Most components have some surface wear and tear but nothing bad. If you're looking for a do-it-all bike with rack mounts, cantilevers, and a hand-built steel frame, this Univega is your stop.

-53.5cm top tube ctc
-53cm seat tube ctt

- Suntour Cyclone front derailleur, downtube levers and GT rear derailleur
- Gran Compe brake levers w/ new hoods
- Tange headset and BB
- SR apex crankset w/ halfstep triple, 52-48-34t
- Front wheel is a 36s mavic ma40
laced to a 1985 Performance sealed hub, 32c IRD crossfire tire
- 36s rear wheel, hub and rim are without branding, new-ish Shimano 7 speed freewheel, Forte Speedtrac/k Kevlar 35c tire
- Vetta front rack, brandless rear rack and Planet bike rear fender

The brakes I found to work best with 700c's in the frame's old canti post spacing are Dia compe 981's in the back and Shimano Altus' in the front. The bike is currently set up as such, but I also still have the original Dia Compe 960's that I am happy to include if you're looking to return it to 1982 rolling status.

Offers always considered, local pickup In Richmond, VA. Am willing to deliver/ meet half way for the price of gas for my old ass van.
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Old 10-16-18, 05:22 PM
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Finished this 1995 Alpina 505 today:

DSC_1631 by 2cam16, on Flickr
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Old 12-13-18, 09:05 PM
  #1274  
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Spotted in Old Sacramento tonight. Not mine but I really like it




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Old 12-13-18, 09:44 PM
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Just picked up a pretty early (1977) Gran Rally ......with the Italvega style logo. It was a throw-in with a Motobecane Gran Jubile, and it looked pretty unprepossessing covered in dirt and a rear rack...... but a good bath did real wonders for the paint, and when I rode the bike I was blown away---- the ride feels great. My new favorite coffee bike....




From the seller's ad....pretty dirty.


Transformed by soap, some chain lube, and a new saddle....
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