Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

The Unofficial Univega Appreciation Thread!

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

The Unofficial Univega Appreciation Thread!

Old 04-07-19, 08:05 PM
  #1301  
Senior Member
 
papaStrudel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 81

Bikes: '73 Motobecane Mirage, '94 GT Karakoram, '14 Surly Pugsley

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Classtime
Lovely! And you got it today? Looks like the PO got it ready to ride with new stem, hoods, and bar tape, and then gave it to you to ride. Nice.
Yes, it had been recently tuned and the tires are fairly new as well! I got it to scratch an itch I have to do a flat bar conversion. If there's interest I'll post the after pics when it's done!
papaStrudel is offline  
Old 04-07-19, 11:35 PM
  #1302  
Master Parts Rearranger
 
RiddleOfSteel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Portlandia's Kuiper Belt, OR
Posts: 4,402

Bikes: 1982 Trek 720 - 1985 Trek 620 - 1984 Trek 620 - 1980 Trek 510 - Other luminaries past and present

Mentioned: 221 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1556 Post(s)
Liked 2,024 Times in 989 Posts
Gorgeous Gran Rally! Love the original pieces. I'm all for keeping it original here, but my '81 Trek 716 with 600 Arabesque was all original...and then I made it 2x10 with STI shifters and brakes that really worked. But still drop bars because I will always ride dropbars. Man, that color........
RiddleOfSteel is offline  
Old 04-09-19, 06:53 PM
  #1303  
WV is not flat..
 
brandenjs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Charles Town,Wv.
Posts: 1,399

Bikes: 1 away from divorce!

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 150 Post(s)
Liked 431 Times in 174 Posts

Love the maroon color on the Gran Rally. Iíve got the same on my Specialissima. This is from this past weekend.
brandenjs is offline  
Old 04-15-19, 03:38 AM
  #1304  
Junior Member
 
babyshoe36's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Bernardston Massachusetts
Posts: 20

Bikes: Bianchi Tangent Cyclo - Serotta Legend Ti DI2-

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 3 Posts
Gran Turismo


Gran Turismo

Last edited by babyshoe36; 04-15-19 at 03:43 AM. Reason: Picture
babyshoe36 is offline  
Old 04-24-19, 07:09 PM
  #1305  
Senior Member
 
curbtender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SF Bay Area, East bay
Posts: 7,649

Bikes: Miyata 618 GT, Marinoni, Kestral 200 2002 Trek 5200, KHS Flite, Koga Miyata, Schwinn Spitfire 5, Mondia Special, Univega Alpina, Miyata team Ti, Santa Cruz Highball

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1606 Post(s)
Liked 2,571 Times in 1,218 Posts

Pulled this Nuovotech 450 out of a scrap pile. Rusted parts replaced but cleaned up good enough to go to college.
curbtender is offline  
Old 05-04-19, 08:58 AM
  #1306  
Senior Member
 
Mr. 66's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 3,288
Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1136 Post(s)
Liked 1,729 Times in 953 Posts
Gran Premio
Mr. 66 is offline  
Old 05-05-19, 07:12 PM
  #1307  
Master Parts Rearranger
 
RiddleOfSteel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Portlandia's Kuiper Belt, OR
Posts: 4,402

Bikes: 1982 Trek 720 - 1985 Trek 620 - 1984 Trek 620 - 1980 Trek 510 - Other luminaries past and present

Mentioned: 221 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1556 Post(s)
Liked 2,024 Times in 989 Posts
^^^ Circa 1980/1981.
RiddleOfSteel is offline  
Old 05-05-19, 07:39 PM
  #1308  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: California
Posts: 220

Bikes: Kuwahara Tandem, Centurion Ironman, Rossin, De bernardi, Schwinn Paramount, Giubilato, Gitane TDF, Medici, Scott Solice.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked 40 Times in 20 Posts
1983 Specialissma

aprieto28 is offline  
Old 05-05-19, 08:32 PM
  #1309  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 104
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Liked 50 Times in 20 Posts

Just put it on the local CL today....
Range Rover ES
Ottomotion is offline  
Old 05-12-19, 07:55 PM
  #1310  
Senior Member
 
capnjonny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Saratoga calif.
Posts: 1,049

Bikes: Miyata 610(66cm), GT Vantara Hybrid (64cm), Nishiki International (64cm), Peugeot rat rod (62 cm), Trek 800 Burning Man helicopter bike, Bob Jackson frame (to be restored?) plus a never ending stream of neglected waifs from the Bike exchange.

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 339 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 631 Times in 229 Posts
Here is an ItalVega Nuovo Record I just finished. Found at the Bike exchange as a bare frame someone had repainted black with peeling paint. I used paint stripper then sand blasted the bottom bracket and a few other places and repainted in Rustoleum bronze metallic enamel with a clear enamel final coat. It's the latest in my hipster series. It has a new threadless cartridge bottom bracket , Tektro levers, with Deore index thumbies. The stem is a 3ttt forged aluminum with an aluminum stem bolt and a nice deco look. . the rims are Campi with Shimano tricolor hubs . it has a 7 speed hyperglide cassette with a 30 tooth big cog.

As with all my builds I scrounge through the parts bins at the bike exchange to find neet stuff and often find a real jem , like the 3ttt stem.

I toyed with putting drop bars on this bike but figure that most people who ride drops want something much more modern and high tech.

capnjonny is offline  
Old 05-28-19, 06:45 PM
  #1311  
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: North East Ohio
Posts: 56

Bikes: 1977 Trek Tx700, 1978 Trek 510, 1969 Raleigh Competition, 1985 Univega Viva Sport, 1991 Bridgestone RB-1, 1986 Schwinn Voyageur, 1987 Bianchi Limited, 1986 Trek 400 Elance, 2019 Surly Karate Monkey

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
Liked 25 Times in 16 Posts
Absolutely LOVE this thread!

I have an 80's red and black Viva Sport. It's the bike I've had for the longest and definitely one of my favorites! Such a great bicycle. I've ridden a couple centuries on it so far. It rides so nicely! If the frame was a size larger I would have nothing to complain about.

It wasn't in the greatest shape when I got it. Along the way I've upgraded everything except the brake calipers and the headset. It's currently just a frame and fork. But the last build was 10 speed Dura Ace with some racing wheels.
gil_00000 is offline  
Likes For gil_00000:
Old 05-29-19, 08:00 PM
  #1312  
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: North East Ohio
Posts: 56

Bikes: 1977 Trek Tx700, 1978 Trek 510, 1969 Raleigh Competition, 1985 Univega Viva Sport, 1991 Bridgestone RB-1, 1986 Schwinn Voyageur, 1987 Bianchi Limited, 1986 Trek 400 Elance, 2019 Surly Karate Monkey

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
Liked 25 Times in 16 Posts


Colorado Springs Co. Definitely, the best place I've ever biked to and taken a pic of my bike


Fort Collins, Co. This was actually half way through a century


Fort Collins Co
gil_00000 is offline  
Old 05-30-19, 08:05 AM
  #1313  
Sempiternal Newb
 
tiredhands's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Panama City, FL
Posts: 637

Bikes: '92 Trek 750, '85 Univega Gran Turismo, '95 Stumpjumper,

Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 232 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 11 Posts


Bad picture, but I'm back at work on my '84ish Univega Gran Turismo. With a "modern" external bottom bracket and crank, the stiffness really makes it come alive. Didn't have a problem keeping up with a 27mph paceline (until we hit some hills, but that's the engine's fault not the bike's). I'm going to get some brazing work done next weekend, better pics soon.
tiredhands is offline  
Old 06-03-19, 06:52 PM
  #1314  
Junior Member
 
Theonlylib's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Middle of nowhere Maine
Posts: 21

Bikes: Bianchi veloce Bianchi campione

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 7 Posts
Scored a 82 Supra Sport at the dump the other day and I was wondering if anyone knew the meaning of the letter stickers on either side of the ss# and or the numerical sequence of the ss# pretty stoked about the find Iím just a geek about these sorts of things
thanks for any help
Theonlylib is offline  
Old 06-13-19, 07:33 AM
  #1315  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 36
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts

A couple of recent Univega Specialissima (2x) and Gran Turismo builds:


Va1984 is offline  
Likes For Va1984:
Old 06-13-19, 08:30 AM
  #1316  
Sempiternal Newb
 
tiredhands's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Panama City, FL
Posts: 637

Bikes: '92 Trek 750, '85 Univega Gran Turismo, '95 Stumpjumper,

Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 232 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 11 Posts
My Gran Turismo, post-op. I had Old Fields Cycles in Tallahassee reroute the cables and add some more bottle locations. I'll probably take it back in to have the cantilever bosses shifted, too, before painting it.


tiredhands is offline  
Old 06-13-19, 08:06 PM
  #1317  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: East Tennessee
Posts: 251

Bikes: 2002 Trek 800 Singletrack, 1982 Bridgestone Spica

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 57 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 32 Posts
Originally Posted by Tom Pedale
Here's more. Even though Ben Lawee never rode a bike (he did however, have a terrific car collection), he was very sharp when it came to reading the bike market.
At a certain point in the 70's, he realized that the Japanese parts makers were coming on strong. At this time, if you imported an Italian bike, it came with Italian parts, French bikes came with french parts. Ben was the importer for Motobecane. After a long and sometimes acrimonious discussion with Motobecane, he convinced them that it would be best to put Suntour derailleurs on their popular priced bikes. This proved to be very successful and was a harbinger to the creation of the Univega brand. At the time, Ben imported a brand named Italvega (Italian Star). While this brand was somewhat successful, sales were mostly concentrated among a few upper end models that were spec'd with Campagnolo. Lower priced models came with baseline Italian parts which did not perform as well as the Japanese components. Also, bicycle delivery from the Italian factories were unreliable with too many missed deadlines which was not well received by Italvega dealers who needed product to sell during the bike season. Delayed shipments showing up late in the season did no one any good. Hence Univega (Universal star) was created by Ben to signify that bikes could be sourced from any number of countries. The partnership with Miyata was very successful. The Miyata product was a consistently higher quality bike. Deliveries were on time and volume soared. Ben had more control over the brand than he did with Motobecane and eventually stopped distributing Motobecane to concentrate on Univega. Motobecane never regained its strong presence in the U.S. Years later, it was re-born as a mail order brand, although the bikes are made in Asia, not France. One big reason Ben was successful with both Motobecane & Univega was his ability to choose attractive color combinations that gave both brands great eye-appeal. I spent a lot of time with Ben in a special showroom where we would both discuss the pros and cons of various paint & decal combinations. I was always applying different colored alcohol transfer decals on the bikes so we could see how they looked. The idea was to make our bikes look more modern, expensive and attractive then the competitors. This worked in the popular price ranges but Ben was never very successful with the more expensive Univegas since they were competing with brands that had a presence in the pro peloton. As well, bikes made in Europe still ruled at the upper end. Eventually, Ben created a short-lived brand called Bertoni which was like Italvega made in Italy. It was not very successful due partially to the fact that Ben didn't believe in sponsoring racers or teams. You need pros and their race victories to create a successful high-end brand.
Tom, thank you for these excellent posts on Ben Lawee and Univega history. And Motobecane USA history. I have always regarded Ben Lawee as a man with an eye for detail, and a good pulse on the finger of the USA bicycle buyer. His bikes were well specced, with better than average equipment for the price point, all manners of classy touches and elegant detail, and all done with taste, and good value for the money. I love Univega's middle of the line and higher bikes especially well, and have done so since they were new bikes. I really appreciate you sharing your history here, and your experiences being a part of the staff. Much appreciated. Very enjoyable thread, and superb Velo reading.
Kent T is offline  
Old 06-30-19, 02:52 AM
  #1318  
Sophomore Member
 
Lemond1985's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 2,531
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1628 Post(s)
Liked 1,057 Times in 631 Posts
A mid-1980's Arrowpace mixte I fixed up for my niece as a singlespeed, before and after:





Lemond1985 is offline  
Old 07-03-19, 04:10 AM
  #1319  
Lucille
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 449
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 133 Post(s)
Liked 65 Times in 35 Posts
Both the Zinn and the Haynes bicycle maintenance books.
Lucillle is offline  
Old 07-21-19, 07:37 PM
  #1320  
Senior Member
 
gear64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: STL Missouri
Posts: 473

Bikes: State Black Label All Road, Univega Gran Premio, Lotus Classique, Terranaut Metro

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 105 Post(s)
Liked 94 Times in 62 Posts
Just picked up a Gran Premio

I think ~1990, but haven't been able to find too much about it beyond others pics. It seems to be all original except for having grown a third chain ring. All Exage 500 LX. Alesa rims. My new favorite as far as the ride, but don't like those 90s decals as much as my 80s bikes, and the bar engraving is less elegant, kind of like computer ASCII char graphics. Also first bike I've had with leather tape, what a sweet spot between cloth and rubber. I hate the chunky look of rubber, but cloth is tough on the hands.
gear64 is offline  
Old 09-11-19, 02:54 AM
  #1321  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 659
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 195 Post(s)
Liked 207 Times in 126 Posts
What's the difference, (if any), between the grand tourismo and the grand touring? I had an early grand tourismo that came with center pull brakes, no rack braze-ons, no cable braze-ons and stem shifters. It was an entry level touring bike. Even the triple crank was of a design that eliminated a granny smaller than 34t. I rebuilt the thing with clamp on water bottle holders, a decent triple, barcons and clamped on low-riders and a rear rack and had the time of my life. I think it was early 80's. If my memory is accurate, that would make the "grand touring" the higher tier touring bike.
This is all to say, I've found a "Grand Touring" that has a flat bar conversation for $200. I'd like to buy it and change it back to drop bar configuration probably for resale and fun. At $200 it's just not worth it to me but knowing the "Grand Touring" is a top tier bike might make it harder to dismiss. Anybody know the pecking order?
Cycle Tourist is offline  
Old 09-11-19, 06:45 AM
  #1322  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 23,223
Mentioned: 654 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4722 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3,036 Times in 1,874 Posts
Originally Posted by gear64
I think ~1990, but haven't been able to find too much about it beyond others pics. It seems to be all original except for having grown a third chain ring. All Exage 500 LX. Alesa rims. My new favorite as far as the ride, but don't like those 90s decals as much as my 80s bikes, and the bar engraving is less elegant, kind of like computer ASCII char graphics. Also first bike I've had with leather tape, what a sweet spot between cloth and rubber. I hate the chunky look of rubber, but cloth is tough on the hands.
Shimano 500EX and LX were only manufactured for the 1990-1992 model years. The serial number may allow us to determine the manufacturer and exact date.
T-Mar is offline  
Old 09-11-19, 07:19 AM
  #1323  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 23,223
Mentioned: 654 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4722 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3,036 Times in 1,874 Posts
Originally Posted by Cycle Tourist
What's the difference, (if any), between the grand tourismo and the grand touring? I had an early grand tourismo that came with center pull brakes, no rack braze-ons, no cable braze-ons and stem shifters. It was an entry level touring bike. Even the triple crank was of a design that eliminated a granny smaller than 34t. I rebuilt the thing with clamp on water bottle holders, a decent triple, barcons and clamped on low-riders and a rear rack and had the time of my life. I think it was early 80's. If my memory is accurate, that would make the "grand touring" the higher tier touring bike.
This is all to say, I've found a "Grand Touring" that has a flat bar conversation for $200. I'd like to buy it and change it back to drop bar configuration probably for resale and fun. At $200 it's just not worth it to me but knowing the "Grand Touring" is a top tier bike might make it harder to dismiss. Anybody know the pecking order?
I believe the Grand Touring was a very late 1980s replacement for the Gran Tourismo, The differences will depend on the relative years you are comparing. The later Gran Tourismo were much more sosphisticated than yours due to advancements in technology and would be comparable to a Grand Touring. Expect indexed shifting, cantilever brakes, triple chainrings with a 28T granny, brazed-on rack mounts and brazed-on bottle mounts.
T-Mar is offline  
Old 09-27-19, 02:34 PM
  #1324  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: north NJ
Posts: 687

Bikes: Miyata 710, Univega Viva Sport, Centurion LeMans, Peugeot U09

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 212 Post(s)
Liked 111 Times in 80 Posts
I picked up this 1983 Viva Sport the other day for $80. No super deal, but the woman who owned it had bought it new all those years ago, and was so proud of it I didn't have the heart to negotiate. After lubrication, and replacing the tires, bar wraps, and a few odds and ends, it's a super bike for banging around town and general cruising. Even the lower-end Univegas were solid.




kross57 is offline  
Likes For kross57:
Old 09-27-19, 08:46 PM
  #1325  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 659
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 195 Post(s)
Liked 207 Times in 126 Posts
Return to Grand Touring

Found a Grand Touring on CL. It's outfitted with a flat bar. I waited a few weeks and offered $160. I'm so excited to get started. Adding: drop bars, a seven speed freewheel, moving the 32t to replace the 28t, a leather seat and racks. I've got some brifters but also some friction barends. 🤔
Before
Cycle Tourist is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.