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

What's so special about Univega?

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.

What's so special about Univega?

Old 02-04-14, 06:59 AM
  #51  
Senior Member
 
jonwvara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Washington County, Vermont, USA
Posts: 3,782

Bikes: 1966 Dawes Double Blue, 1976 Raleigh Gran Sport, 1975 Raleigh Sprite 27, 1980 Univega Viva Sport, 1971 Gitane Tour de France, 1984 Lotus Classique, 1976 Motobecane Grand Record

Mentioned: 77 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 766 Post(s)
Liked 664 Times in 353 Posts
To me, the special thing about Univegas is that they were the first quality low-priced bike I'd ever seen. In 1980, I worked at a hiking/mountaineering/bicycle shop in Burlington, Vermont that sold Univegas, and I remember just being astonished by them. In my experience until then, $100 would get you something like a Raleigh Grand Prix: a bike with steel rims, a steel cottered crank, and kind of crummy steel derailleurs and shifters--usually Huret Allvit or similar. But holy crap! Look at this Univega! Nice aluminum Araya rims, nice Suntour derailleurs and shifters (the first Suntour stuff I'd seen, though I was maybe a little behind the curve) and the cotterless SR cranksets that are now such a pain in the butt because they use 118 bcd chainrings. All that plus nice paint and decent-quality saddles.

They were a great buy. I never bought one then, but I've since built up a Viva Sport from that era from a frame I obtained in a trade. I ride it on rollers all winter and whenever the weather looks iffy throughout the year. As a result, I probably spend more time on it than any of my other bikes. It's a great ride.
__________________
www.redclovercomponents.com

"Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long."
--Ogden Nash
jonwvara is offline  
Likes For jonwvara:
Old 02-06-14, 10:46 AM
  #52  
Junior Member
 
RichardMc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 9

Bikes: 2008 Trek Madone 6.9 Campy Chorus 11, 1991 Bertoni TSX Campy Centaur, 1987 Falcon 531P Campy Record Ti 8, 1991 Dave Moulton Fuso converted to fixed, 2013 Trek Crossrip commuter

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Interesting thread. I work in a shop in SoCal owned by the brother-in-law of the late Ben Lawee. In 1984 I bought a Univega Superstrada with a full DuraAce AX group. It was my first "real" bike - I don't count a Nishiki and a crappy Raleigh Grand Prix. Through many conversations with my boss, I've got a pretty good "anecdotal" history of the Ben Lawee ventures as well about the man himself. While Miyata manufactured many of the Univegas (all the upper end) they were NOT rebranded Miyatas. Ben "specced" all of his models and they were built accordingly. We have in our shop a "one off" Univega built by Miyata to showcase the then new DuraAce AX group. Fillet brazed, oval tubes, totally insane. Sew ups never even glued. Shimano wanted to buy it and send it back to Japan for their museum but my boss declined.

Kind of a "bookend" to all this, I have a Bertoni TSX built from an NOS frame that had been hanging in the shop since 1991 or so. My friend Brian built the twin to it when I persuaded the owner to sell it (he didn't want to because of the emotional connection.) It's a spectacular ride and over-the-top in a way only the Italians could do it. Search Bertoni for some outstanding pics.
RichardMc is offline  
Old 02-06-14, 07:31 PM
  #53  
Senior Member
 
Lamplight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 2,768
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by RichardMc
Kind of a "bookend" to all this, I have a Bertoni TSX built from an NOS frame that had been hanging in the shop since 1991 or so. My friend Brian built the twin to it when I persuaded the owner to sell it (he didn't want to because of the emotional connection.) It's a spectacular ride and over-the-top in a way only the Italians could do it. Search Bertoni for some outstanding pics.
Have a picture of your Bertoni? Mine was also TSX and (I always assumed) from the early 90s.



Lamplight is offline  
Old 02-10-14, 09:59 AM
  #54  
Junior Member
 
RichardMc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 9

Bikes: 2008 Trek Madone 6.9 Campy Chorus 11, 1991 Bertoni TSX Campy Centaur, 1987 Falcon 531P Campy Record Ti 8, 1991 Dave Moulton Fuso converted to fixed, 2013 Trek Crossrip commuter

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Lamplight
Have a picture of your Bertoni? Mine was also TSX and (I always assumed) from the early 90s.
Still haven't figured out how to post quality pics but here's mine.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
088.jpg (49.4 KB, 957 views)
RichardMc is offline  
Likes For RichardMc:
Old 02-10-14, 08:09 PM
  #55  
Senior Member
 
Lamplight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 2,768
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 12 Posts
Nice! Mine was the only Bertoni I'd ever seen in person, and while I've seen several online, I think yours may be the only one I've seen with the same paint job as mine. I've also seen a Daccordi with the same paint.
Lamplight is offline  
Old 03-28-17, 07:32 PM
  #56  
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Univega, Twoivega, Threeivega, floor

I have one that looks just like this, that used to be white. The previous owner sprayed it black.
Total Frankenbike: Mavic Open Pro wheels with Campy hubs, Campy shifters and derailleurs, and a 105 crank. It was the first road bike I ever owned, and I got it for $160 15 years ago. I hadn't realized what a steal I'd gotten, save for the "custom" paint job.
When I hosed my spine, I figured I'd never ride again, so I got rid of all my bikes and kit... I only kept this one because of its sentimental value. It was my first road bike...the bike I rode my first Tour De Tucson on (which was also my first century ride at 109 miles)... It meant a lot to me. Prior to a couple weeks ago, I hadn't touched a bike since 2010, and it's only now that I'm finally able to get moving again. Now I have 40 lbs to lose and blood pressure to get under control, and my first bike is starting all over again with me.

If my train wreck of a body allows me to keep with this, I'm buying a Kestrel next year.
But so far, so good.. I've seen marked improvement on every ride. And even though I look like a circus bear on a tricycle riding it (220 lbs at 5'10"), it gives me a little hope. Those downtube shifters, though.....
TheWrench is offline  
Old 03-29-17, 09:00 PM
  #57  
Senior Member
 
Cougrrcj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 3,478

Bikes: A few...

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 620 Post(s)
Liked 372 Times in 258 Posts
As I stated earlier, the Univegas were built by Miyata to Univega's Ben Lawee's specs, so they ARE 'comparable' but not quite exact matches to offerings by Miyata.

My '84 Univega Viva Sport 'after' some component changes and weighing in at 24.1 pounds: The main differences in specifications between this bike 'after' and the same-year Miyata 710 are the wheel diameter -- the Uni being 27", and Miyata being 700c. I prefer bar-con shifters, so.... and I 'upgraded' to aero brake levers.



and my '84 Univega Gran Tourismo 'before', which is actually a bit ABOVE the same-year Miyata 610 specs in that the Uni has mid-fork rack mounts.



The Gran Tourismo will also be getting Aero brake levers and barcons when I get around to the refurb to my own particular tastes... Oh, and I already have a better seatpost and saddle...

Last edited by Cougrrcj; 03-29-17 at 09:05 PM.
Cougrrcj is offline  
Old 03-30-17, 05:41 AM
  #58  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Minas Ithil
Posts: 9,173
Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2432 Post(s)
Liked 641 Times in 398 Posts
They're well built, good looking and you can usually get them pretty cheap.

Lazyass is offline  
Old 04-02-17, 07:31 PM
  #59  
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mine is a Competizione that the last owner sprayed black *facepalm*. It looks like it used to be white. The name on the top tube is still visible because it's slightly raised. With the Campy/Mavic/Shimano accessories and pump and seat bag attached, it comes out to a little over 22 lbs. Don't have any photos, though. Not a very aesthetically pleasing beast.
It still perplexes me why someone would go through the trouble of building Mavic Open Pro wheels with Campagnolo hubs, outfit the frame with Campagnolo derailleurs and downtube shifters, and then *spray paint* the frame. -__-
TheWrench is offline  
Old 04-03-17, 09:09 AM
  #60  
Senior Member
 
Kevindale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 1,662

Bikes: 1980 Koga-Miyata Gentsluxe-S, 1998 Eddy Merckx Corsa 01, 1983 Tommasini Racing, 2012 Gulf Western CAAD10, 1980 Univega Gran Premio

Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 600 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by TheWrench
Mine is a Competizione that the last owner sprayed black *facepalm*. It looks like it used to be white. The name on the top tube is still visible because it's slightly raised. With the Campy/Mavic/Shimano accessories and pump and seat bag attached, it comes out to a little over 22 lbs. Don't have any photos, though. Not a very aesthetically pleasing beast.
It still perplexes me why someone would go through the trouble of building Mavic Open Pro wheels with Campagnolo hubs, outfit the frame with Campagnolo derailleurs and downtube shifters, and then *spray paint* the frame. -__-
That's a great frame. You might get some organic paint stripper and try it in a few places. If the PO didn't do proper prep work for the home paint job, you might be able to get the black off without wrecking whatever's left of the original white and decals. Or just media blast the frame and get a nice powdercoat job.

Save
Kevindale is offline  
Old 04-03-17, 11:44 AM
  #61  
Senior Member
 
OldsCOOL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: northern michigan
Posts: 13,319

Bikes: '77 Colnago Super, '76 Fuji The Finest, '88 Cannondale Criterium, '86 Trek 760, '87 Miyata 712

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 660 Post(s)
Liked 601 Times in 314 Posts
For me, it is the magic of owning something others havent even heard of, especially out on the singletracks. They have a quality and ride all of their own.

Here is my all original '84 Alpina Uno as given me by the original owner....
[IMG][/IMG]
OldsCOOL is offline  
Old 07-20-17, 10:26 PM
  #62  
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Univega Vintage Chromoly bike

Hi, I would like to know more about this Univega bike I picked up. It's vintage, tange chromoly frame, supra sport, serial m9d50230, has 'chromoly' signed nest to Univega logo. I like it. It's super light compared to my cross or mountain bike. I'd like to change the gear system on it, but the guy at wheel-a-world said that the parts are way too hard to find. I think it's a 1984. Any thoughts or more info about this bike would be great. thank you.
aihene is offline  
Old 07-21-17, 05:09 AM
  #63  
Senior Member
 
Murray Missile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: 700 Ft. above sea level.
Posts: 3,277

Bikes: More than there were awhile ago.

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 644 Post(s)
Liked 1,345 Times in 629 Posts
Parts aren't hard to find, they just aren't available through his regular sources and he doesn't want to mess with it. Don't know Univegas but sounds like a decent one.
Murray Missile is offline  
Old 07-21-17, 07:00 AM
  #64  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 23,223
Mentioned: 656 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4722 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3,046 Times in 1,882 Posts
Originally Posted by aihene
Hi, I would like to know more about this Univega bike I picked up. It's vintage, tange chromoly frame, supra sport, serial m9d50230, has 'chromoly' signed nest to Univega logo. I like it. It's super light compared to my cross or mountain bike. I'd like to change the gear system on it, but the guy at wheel-a-world said that the parts are way too hard to find. I think it's a 1984. Any thoughts or more info about this bike would be great. thank you.
Welcome to the forums. That is not the serial number format I was expecting. However, it is a pretty common format and suggests a 1979 or 1989 model. There was no Supra Sport in 1979, so that would leave 1989. Still, we'd need pictures and/or brands and models of the major components to be sure.
T-Mar is offline  
Old 07-22-17, 06:45 PM
  #65  
Senior Member
 
Hummer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Rupert's Land
Posts: 1,249

Bikes: 1981 Raleigh GP, 1985 Norco Bush Pilot, . . .

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 244 Post(s)
Liked 193 Times in 141 Posts
Originally Posted by aihene
Hi, I would like to know more about this Univega bike I picked up. It's vintage, tange chromoly frame, supra sport, serial m9d50230, has 'chromoly' signed nest to Univega logo. . . .
Hello aihene,

the serial number is for frames made by Merida of Taiwan. The first digit 9 indicates that the frame was made in 1989.

Univega was getting many of its frames from Miyata of Japan. When the Japanese yen was revalued in 1985 it became less economical to get frames from Japan and many brand names switched to Taiwanese frame manufacturers.

Here is a link to another Supra Sport from the same year:

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...formation.html
Hummer is offline  
Old 07-23-17, 02:01 AM
  #66  
Senior Member
 
merziac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: PDX
Posts: 13,189

Bikes: Merz x 5 + Specialized Merz Allez x 2, Strawberry/Newlands/DiNucci/Ti x3, Gordon, Fuso/Moulton x2, Bornstein, Paisley,1958-74 Paramounts x3, 3rensho, 74 Moto TC, 73-78 Raleigh Pro's x5, Marinoni x2, 1960 Cinelli SC, 1980 Bianchi SC, PX-10 X 2

Mentioned: 269 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4554 Post(s)
Liked 6,513 Times in 3,737 Posts
There's plenty special about them. Just the other day I saw an Alpina Pro, smoked chrome, great shape, looked to be mostly original. I could not stop staring at it, so cool!
merziac is online now  
Likes For merziac:
Old 07-23-17, 01:59 PM
  #67  
Senior Member
 
Bikerider007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: AZ/WA
Posts: 2,403

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 460 Post(s)
Liked 54 Times in 30 Posts
Although I don't own one, Univega holds a special place for me. From the age of 7/8-15 there was a hippie in my neighborhood named Mario (late 70s). He rode a Univega everywhere. He was a big influence on me riding. I was your typical kid, BMX was the thing so I went that way after banana seat bikes but had my first road bike by 10. I have 5 brothers and no sisters and a couple others guys named Danny and Larry (other bros best friends) rode with Mario all the time.

I was enamored by these guys working on these derailleurs and adjusting things.A couple of my brothers had a Charger and Challenger which also got me into cars and fixing them up. But, I still think Univega when it comes to road bikes.

In reality not exceptional, but not bad and with many bikes there are models.
Bikerider007 is offline  
Old 10-31-17, 06:58 PM
  #68  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 61
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hey everyone. I just picked up a 94 Univega CB6.3 MTB Frame. For some reason they made the wheel hanger on the right side of the stay arm removable. Does anyone know what this bracket is called or if I can get another.
Y0SH is offline  
Old 10-31-17, 07:06 PM
  #69  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 329
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 103 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 28 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by Y0SH
Hey everyone. I just picked up a 94 Univega CB6.3 MTB Frame. For some reason they made the wheel hanger on the right side of the stay arm removable. Does anyone know what this bracket is called or if I can get another.
One of these might work https://derailleurhanger.com/manufacturer/univega/
danmyersmn is offline  
Old 07-26-19, 01:21 PM
  #70  
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Laredo/Monterrey
Posts: 47

Bikes: '18 Specialized vita sport, '90 nishiki, '90 alubike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 4 Posts
Hello!

I might just buy a (it seems) 93 univega activa country. Rims are in bad shape and it has a lot of mixed parts but looking for a shout out of the price and if its worth it to fix it. It will cost me around $40 bucks
Sorry for the crappy pics, my phone has a crappy camera


Attached Images
File Type: jpe
1.jpe (126.4 KB, 517 views)

Last edited by TigreBici; 07-26-19 at 01:32 PM.
TigreBici is offline  
Old 07-26-19, 07:55 PM
  #71  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 123
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 56 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 56 Times in 36 Posts


What's so special about univega ? I ride one, that's what ! 🐥
Goofball is offline  
Old 09-18-20, 10:40 AM
  #72  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 621
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 171 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 260 Times in 151 Posts
Just finished building up this '94 CB. Can anyone elaborate as to why the frame looks identical to the Giant\Cadex lugged unit?
VtwinVince is offline  
Likes For VtwinVince:
Old 09-18-20, 04:51 PM
  #73  
Chromolly dreamcoat
 
otherself's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Lincoln, United Kingdom
Posts: 18

Bikes: 1954 Carlton Flyer, 1958 Pennine, 1969 Carlton Catalina (Capella lugs), 1989 Faggin Aelle, 1996 Mercian Pro Lugless Reynolds 731 (time trial) 1999 Olmo Superlight Columbus Genius, 2012 Bob Jackson 631, 2022 Planet X Spitfire Ti, 2022 BXT T1000 carbon

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I've never ridden a Univega road bike but their Alpina range mountain bikes from the 90s were excellent value for money and rode very well. You got a quality triple butted bi-oval tubeset on a bike that cost $300-400. They had good paint finish,a very neat welds, triple bottle mounts and pannier eyelets so would convert to rugged touring easily. Typically the sort of frame quality you'd see on 600 to $800 bike.

Last edited by otherself; 09-18-20 at 05:02 PM.
otherself is offline  
Old 09-18-20, 05:43 PM
  #74  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Humboldt County, CA
Posts: 835
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 409 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 431 Times in 287 Posts
Originally Posted by VtwinVince
Just finished building up this '94 CB. Can anyone elaborate as to why the frame looks identical to the Giant\Cadex lugged unit?
It very well might be a Giant... Giant started as a contract builder in the 80s, and were still doing it in the early 90s. Even though they were selling bikes under their own name, they were not the... very large thing... that they became.

--Shannon
ShannonM is offline  
Old 09-21-20, 08:08 PM
  #75  
Senior Member
 
Hummer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Rupert's Land
Posts: 1,249

Bikes: 1981 Raleigh GP, 1985 Norco Bush Pilot, . . .

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 244 Post(s)
Liked 193 Times in 141 Posts
Originally Posted by VtwinVince
Just finished building up this '94 CB. Can anyone elaborate as to why the frame looks identical to the Giant\Cadex lugged unit?
Univega was a brand name and never made frames that I have seen. As far as I know all Univage frames were built by companies contracted to supply frames.

In 1993, 1994 and 1995 some of the Univega frames were made by Giant. Giant frames have identifiable serial number location and formats.

The serial number of your bicycle can be used to determine if your bicycle has a Giant frame.
Hummer 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.