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Old 02-27-09, 10:01 AM   #1
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Univega info sought

Hey. I just bought a nice Univega Specialissima. At first glance it seems all original, but on second look, it seems like the nice, used-parts LBS put it back together with close-to-original parts.

the frame serial number is j375843

the derailleurs are Suntour Cyclone, def. the gt, from 1976 according to this:

they seem to old to be original.

bar end shifters, by suntour, which indicates a much later date, like, 87, right?

SR Apex triple crank

CENTER PULL DIA COMPE BRAKES, which don't seem to line up with the bar-enders at all.

miche front hub to araya rim

SunShine competition to araya in back

the miche and the center pulls and the derailleurs make me think this is a newer frame (1986-7), retrofitted with similar-era quality parts at the coop bike shop nearby. any ideas? suggestions? people telling me to get a life? I kinda want to upgrade the wheels and brakes and handlebars (sakae road champ's). Any ideas for some cool old jap stuff, not shimano?????


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Old 02-27-09, 10:13 AM   #2
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Check the vintage Trek site for date codes. I doubt that Cyclone GT is really that old. They were common on mid 1980s bikes.

Also post pictures of your bike.

Some will find the term cool old jap stuff offensive. Better off using the full name, as the Japanese built some awesome bikes in the 1980s. I have several of them: Miyata, Univega, Nishiki, Lotus, and some Schwinns. Many of these bikes came with Suntour components. Cyclone is a higher end (pretty good) Suntour product. Sunshine is a common hub, sometimes relabeled Suntour, but often labeled Sunshine. I don't see any reason to upgrade those wheels, without pics, they could be pretty decent.

Center pull brakes can be very effective, if properly adjusted. I prefer side pulls, only because they are easier to adjust.

Your bike is a 1981 model, based on the serial number. Suntour bar end shifters go way back, and were very likely stock on that bike, along with the center pull brakes and the cyclone derailleur. Univega switched their touring bikes to cantilever brakes in 1982, so my 82 Gran Turismo has cantis.

Last edited by wrk101; 02-27-09 at 04:23 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 02-27-09, 03:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Some will find the term cool old jap stuff offensive.
As I'm reminded by Ms. Blue Order, who is Japanese, every time she sees/hears something to that effect (not from me, I know better than to go there).

As for the Specialissima, that's a very sweet bike.

If you're looking for cool old parts that are not Shimano, you can't go wrong with SunTour gruppos, and there are loads of cool old cranksets to choose from, Sugino being particularly attractive in my view.
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