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Recent builds - 1972 Italvega chrome and 1983 Univega Alpina Uno

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Recent builds - 1972 Italvega chrome and 1983 Univega Alpina Uno

Old 05-30-13, 09:21 AM
  #1  
Catnap
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Recent builds - 1972 Italvega chrome and 1983 Univega Alpina Uno

here's a two bikes I've built in the last few weeks, I figured you guys would appreciate them:



This one is a 1972 Italvega, most likely a Super Record model. I stripped the paint and polished the chrome, and built it up with a mix of Shimano 600 and Z-series parts. Amazingly smooth shifting for such vintage parts - the Shimano SL-A400 ratcheting shifters are similar to SunTour but even smoother. More details and pictures on my blog.



I built this 1983 Univega Alpina Uno in the "Rivendell" style, inspired by their Bombadil bike. I built a compact triple from a Sugino crankset, and used the modern SunRace thumb shifters that Grant is a fan of. The idea was for a go-anywhere urban townie that could be converted into a touring bike with the addition of racks and drops. More details and pictures on my blog.

Right now I'm in the midst of refinishing and building up the Schwinn Crosscut I bought from BluesDaddy. Hopefully it'll be done this weekend.
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Old 05-30-13, 09:35 AM
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Wow, that Italvega is right up my alley, just beautiful! We rarely get to see these on the forum. I don't think they were to widely distributed here in the States, and I believe they were pretty much only found in California shops.

The Shimano 600 looks great and I really like the water bottle cage. Great job on the chrome to! How is the ride?

I'll be looking for this beauty on the streets of Brooklyn!
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Old 05-30-13, 09:44 AM
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That Univega is stunning.

A few days ago I went and looked at a 1985 Mongoose ATB (all-chrome frame with biplane fork and mid-fork eyelets!) that someone had turned into a single-speed with big slick tires (Fat Franks I think). I even had visions of putting Wald fenders on it like your Univega. Unfortunately it was a bit too small for me, but now I really want a bike like that.
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Old 05-30-13, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
Wow, that Italvega is right up my alley, just beautiful! We rarely get to see these on the forum. I don't think they were to widely distributed here in the States, and I believe they were pretty much only found in California shops.

The Shimano 600 looks great and I really like the water bottle cage. Great job on the chrome to! How is the ride?

I'll be looking for this beauty on the streets of Brooklyn!
This Italvega came from the Zumwalt's Bikes store in San Diego, which matches your comment. The ride is great, nimble and speedy. With the smooth shifting and skinny tires, it handles like a proper racing bike.

A co-worker of mine who lives Ft. Greene bought it yesterday, so you might just see it out on the streets this summer.
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Old 05-31-13, 08:31 AM
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Both of those are really nice. I especially like the Univega. As a matter of fact, I was trying to figure what to do with my Diamondback and I think you just answered that question.

Last edited by azgreg; 05-31-13 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 05-31-13, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by ennchicago View Post
That Univega is stunning.

A few days ago I went and looked at a 1985 Mongoose ATB (all-chrome frame with biplane fork and mid-fork eyelets!) that someone had turned into a single-speed with big slick tires (Fat Franks I think). I even had visions of putting Wald fenders on it like your Univega. Unfortunately it was a bit too small for me, but now I really want a bike like that.
Originally Posted by azgreg View Post
Both of those are really nice. I especially like the Univega. As a matter of fact, I was trying to figure what to do with my Diamondback and I think you just answered that question.
i'm becoming a fan of these hardtail MTB-to-townie builds. they handle better than a beach cruiser while retaining the comfort and some of the similar style. they're also a lot more useful, since they can be quickly converted to tourers or cargo haulers.

i would LOVE to do one of these builds with an all-chrome frame like the Mongoose ATB.
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Old 05-31-13, 09:08 AM
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They're both excellent. Well done!
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Old 05-31-13, 09:17 AM
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I remember Italvega when it made its brief US appearance in the early 1970s, before they had to change the name to Univega because it was no longer made in Italy. I looked at a Valentino-equipped model at Charlie Harding's shop near UCLA, but ended up buying the American Eagle Semi-Pro, instead.

I suspect your Univega serves the same purpose for you that my Schwinn KOM does for me -- the main difference is I prefer ATB bars with extensions, although I have contemplated putting drops on it. However, since my wife does not care for drops and occasionally rides my mountain bike, I'll probably stick with the current configuration. (I originally built the Peugeot 40 years ago for her, but since she does not do much on-road riding, I took it over as my commuter/beater and put drops on it.)
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Old 05-31-13, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
I remember Italvega when it made its brief US appearance in the early 1970s, before they had to change the name to Univega because it was no longer made in Italy.
I didn't know that!

The things you learn hanging around here!
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Old 05-31-13, 09:55 AM
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By the way, you mind if I ask what handle bars and fenders you have on the Univega?
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Old 05-31-13, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by azgreg View Post
By the way, you mind if I ask what handle bars and fenders you have on the Univega?
Wald 26" chrome fenders and Action Bicycles house-brand porteur bars.
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Old 05-31-13, 10:33 AM
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Thanks.
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Old 10-01-19, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
I didn't know that!

The things you learn hanging around here!
No doubt right!?!?
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Old 10-01-19, 06:34 PM
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fantastic job and both really nice bikes
this is nitpicking but one day i reckon white tape on the road bike to match the hoods
and 1.75" paselas on the mtb, plus some custom decals
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Old 10-02-19, 06:02 AM
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I will keep an eye out for that Italvega! I had a blue one for years, that in the end sold to a guy in Bed Stuy who I often pass crossing the bridge - now I wish I had stripped him back to all-chrome!


Originally Posted by Catnap View Post
This Italvega came from the Zumwalt's Bikes store in San Diego, which matches your comment. The ride is great, nimble and speedy. With the smooth shifting and skinny tires, it handles like a proper racing bike.

A co-worker of mine who lives Ft. Greene bought it yesterday, so you might just see it out on the streets this summer.
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Old 10-02-19, 09:41 AM
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great builds...... the univega is a totally practical build and if it it like my similar nishiki build it is simple fun and great to have a "throw a leg over and go bike" in the stable
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Old 10-02-19, 10:27 AM
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The Italvega is awesome! I love a chrome frame!
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Old 10-02-19, 10:30 AM
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Both very cool bikes. We don't have enough mountain bike builds in C&V.
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Old 10-02-19, 12:59 PM
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Well these 'recent builds' were from 6 years ago, but they are by all means still neatly done and good to see. In fact that Univega catches my eye as just the kind of thing I'm trying to do right now.
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Old 10-02-19, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Catnap View Post
This one is a 1972 Italvega...
How do you like that Soma saddle? I noticed one brand new on ebay for $45 shipped...
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Old 10-10-19, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
How do you like that Soma saddle? I noticed one brand new on ebay for $45 shipped...
Catnap hasn't been here since 2017.

That said, I've got an Italvega Super Speciale, circa 72, and that frame is partially chromed in the exposed places (head tube and seat lugs, fork, some parts of the stays) but it isn't completely chromed, so I wonder if the OP actually polished up both the chrome parts and the tubes, can't quite tell from the pics he posted. I'd certainly love to see a fully chromed Italvega or Torpado or Torresini frame, that would look spectacular.
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Old 10-10-19, 05:46 PM
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You've produced two very nice rides there! I'm envious!
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