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Bought a vintage Univega Sportour on impulse and now I'm hooked

Old 01-02-14, 01:03 AM
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Bought a vintage Univega Sportour on impulse and now I'm hooked

We got our oldest a new bike for Christmas (he's 7 and a half and loves his new 24" 7-speed Trek mountain bike) and riding around the playground wasn't cutting it. On a whim I decided to pick up a cheap bike to see if I even liked riding.

There's a great local shop that fixes up donated bikes and sells them for charity (https://www.yelp.com/biz/re-cyclery-b...hop-san-rafael). I was determined to get a "cheap bike" just to ride around with my son.

Several years ago I bought a mountain bike and discovered that I didn't actually like mountain biking, especially the part where you bury half your energy into your suspension when you ride on the road. This time I decided to get a road bike and I was hoping to find something with straight-ish handlebars.

I adored this bike right away, but was convinced it was too big for me. I'm 6'1" and it's a 63cm bike. I rode it around a bit, and fell in love. For $250 I picked up an early 80s Univega Sportour w/ the Suntour Symmetric downtube friction shifters.



I've ridden around a bit for the last few days and am totally hooked. The best part is that I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. I'd love to learn more about these symmetric friction shifters. Sometimes they are amazing, and they are almost constantly confusing but totally fun. I have no idea what else is going on with the bike, parts wise, but the handlebars are awesome and have these asymmetric grips with flanged bits for your wrist.

Some quick questions, if I may:
* Should I be posting questions about the bike and its parts in the Vintage forum or the Hybrid forum or what?
* Can anyone enlighten me about friction shifters in general, and these symmetric shifters in particular?

Looking forward to learning a ton and having a blast riding around.
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Old 01-02-14, 01:38 AM
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Old 01-02-14, 01:59 AM
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Originally Posted by briandoll
Some quick questions, if I may:
* Should I be posting questions about the bike and its parts in the Vintage forum or the Hybrid forum or what?
* Can anyone enlighten me about friction shifters in general, and these symmetric shifters in particular?

Looking forward to learning a ton and having a blast riding around.
Welcome, Briandoll! You'll find the most relevant advice in the Classic and Vintage subforum. Japanese road bikes like yours (it originally had drop bars, I'm sure) are commonly discussed and well-liked there. They love Suntour there, too. I think those shifters are well regarded.

You did good with that bike. Univegas are great bikes and yours looks really very sweet. Nicely done.

Another amazing resource on BikeForums is the bicycle mechanics subforum. Once you start having questions about fixing and adjusting your bike, searching or posting there will be edifying.

It's slightly "too big" for you by many people's standards, but I have found that I like a nice tall bike for a stretched out fit. There are different schools of thought. Yours is what folks would call "French Fit." I'm around 6'4" and love my Panasonic 66cm. Riding tall and stretched out is luxurious and comfortable for me in the long run. The "modern" shift towards smaller framed bikes is racing-influenced, and has little to do with "having a blast" on the road with a bike like your Univega.

The great thing about bicycles is this: if it works for you, go for it.

You'll learn the friction shifting thing. Hit some hills or start commuting -- the necessities of those experiences will likely teach you pretty quickly how to finesse them.

Oh, and here's a bible to start browsing through:

https://sheldonbrown.com/


Joe
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Last edited by Standalone; 01-02-14 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 01-02-14, 08:05 AM
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Old 01-02-14, 06:14 PM
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Old 01-02-14, 10:16 PM
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There's just something about an 80's road bike with friction shifting... Welcome
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Old 01-08-14, 10:44 AM
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Welcome...I too have a univega...congrats
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