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1994 Univega Alpina Build
#1
I am running a bit late this season as there are not enough hours in a day. I need to build me up a new go anywhere Expedition/Commuter.
I came across this Univega Alpina 5.1, stock stx equipped full CROMO frame with a couple cool features like sweeping chainstays, seatstays above the toptube, and locking wheel catch integrated in the front fork lug. Original list for the 5.1 was $429, when other brands used STX on bikes costing hundreds more I would say Univega was a good deal for the day and they did not cut cost buy using Gripshift and only a slight downgrade with the Alivio crankset.
The asking price was $150, it had been sitting around for a few years and looking thru the grunge it appeared to be used mainly on the street and really not off-roaded. when I showed up to look at it the owner said he bought it new and took it for a ride and then realized the shifters were not working correctly, the old rapidfire solidified grease in the pawls thing. So I ask what are we thinking you want for the bike now? He goes how about $60, knowing there is a chance of repairing the shifters and with a little **** and shineola and having a plethora of vintage parts i gave him the sixty.
So now I have this dirty garbage pile and have to make an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan.
Its going to get a complete overhaul and I have to roll with the black and blue with the yellow. It has a couple imperfections in the paint but livable. It will built with nos top mount deoreXT thumbies (easy to use with gloves or mitts). DeoreLX fc-550 crank, suntour and DeoreXT derailuers, front and rear racks and three bottle cages are off to powder coat for a gloss black paint to match the frame. Nos Stx canti's and nos Deore brake levers and a new wheelset.
here are some pics and I will post more she is done.
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#2
some update photo's, still waiting on the racks and cages. But coming along nice with some sweet NOS parts ! will make me a nice commuter. From trash to treasure all it take is a little elbow grease and some spare time
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#3
A good picture of the wheel lock would be nice. How much time do you spend on hubs spokes & rims? I've spent hours on just one wheel, very frustrating.
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#4
(05-04-2013, 05:58 PM)1FJEF Wrote:  A good picture of the wheel lock would be nice. How much time do you spend on hubs spokes & rims? I've spent hours on just one wheel, very frustrating.
I will try to get a pick of the wheel catch for you. I have always dreaded the wheel building process for the same reasons jef.It is not as frustrating but more tedious than anything for me, but as you know if you want it the way you want it you have to do it yourself, it just comes with the territory. not including the time it takes to get the right spokes, it takes me about an hour or so to lace each wheel and about an hour or so to dish/stress/tension each wheel. Time consuming for sure. I charge an average of $100 + parts per wheel.
seems high for some but not on my top of the list of favorite things to do merely because I do not do it everyday. Though I like to once in awhile. I used to have access to a spoke machine/threader which was really nice tool to have.
I borrowed the wheelset for this bike from my 1997 Barracuda A2ZS which was a 21 speed that I am converting to a 24 speed with some NOS DeoreLX stuff. The Cuda was kind of a NOS bike that was never really built up all the way and was originally a stx equipped bike. It is a beautiful bike and is a fine example of a Cuda before the company that bought them lost track of what a Barracuda really was. I will run a spread about it later too.
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#5
Nice picture. What I meant was even simpler than that, what do you do to try and clean up wheels on a restore? Do you just skip it & rebuild, or do you spend hours cleaning an assembled wheel?
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#6
I see, it would depend on the type of finish of the wheel, but basically yes I hand clean the grime off first, I will use hand knitted scrub pads that are not as abrasive as scotchbrite but similar wetted with a degreaser or WD-40. then I will use a polishing compound with rags and do the rims and spokes by hand with that. it works well and safe on black ano and colored rims too. for rims that have that brushed inner surface if i am not satisfied with the look after the polishing compound I will resurface brush the rim with a brass bristle wheel on my bench polisher. If it is real bad I will take the spokes out and resurface and rebuild the wheel. As far as the hubs i will degrease and hand polish with polishing compound and if not satisfied with that will use rouge on the bench polisher. Most everything I do is by hand and thats about all I do to make bikes
"Pop" so to speak. plus a fine balance of components and colors
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#7
(05-04-2013, 09:24 PM)painkiller Wrote:  I see, it would depend on the type of finish of the wheel, but basically yes I hand clean the grime off first, I will use hand knitted scrub pads that are not as abrasive as scotchbrite but similar wetted with a degreaser or WD-40. then I will use a polishing compound with rags and do the rims and spokes by hand with that. it works well and safe on black ano and colored rims too. for rims that have that brushed inner surface if i am not satisfied with the look after the polishing compound I will resurface brush the rim with a brass bristle wheel on my bench polisher. If it is real bad I will take the spokes out and resurface and rebuild the wheel. As far as the hubs i will degrease and hand polish with polishing compound and if not satisfied with that will use rouge on the bench polisher. Most everything I do is by hand and thats about all I do to make bikes
"Pop" so to speak. plus a fine balance of components and colors

Hi Painkiller, tha bike looks real good and seeing it before and after, i'm inspired and encouraged to tackle some of the projects I have to do but have been lacking the motivation to get going. You really show what can be achieved with a bit of hard work and effort.
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#8
Thanks HC, I call it sweat equity. I like to show the pics just for that reason. to inspire others and show them not to be constrained by an off the shelf bike, but even older used bikes can be made to be special for you and have some fun doing it. You are fine example of this yourself HC!
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#9
Nice again! I like it already!
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#10
Got some update pics, They sent me the wrong bottle cages so they did not get powder coated with the racks. The racks turned out nice with the gloss black, Nigel assured me that the brakes boss style front rack should not break my posts, I hope he is right ! I trust his judgement and it was priced right and fit up nice, I still have to to have the local shoe shop sew velcro straps to the front rack trunk and that will be nice. The rear panniers
should be in this week along with the cages back from powder coating. with all the new parts and upgrades it rides great and will last me a good long time.
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#11
Beautiful.
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