Univega 53cm Town-Style @ Pedal Revolution Refurbished Bicycle Update

Several weeks ago we had a customer come by the bike shop to donate an old Univega that dated back to her college days.  She hoped that we would make use of it, and we assured her as much.  It’s the objective of this post to show the process we go through to refurbish good-quality older bicycles here at Pedal Rev.


The Univega as it looked when it arrived: old and definitely pretty tired.

To be a reliable and comfortable bicycle for the next rider, this Univega really needed everything.  This started with removing all components from the frame and determining which parts could be re-used.


Though it might have stopped the bike well enough in the 1980’s, this old Dia-Compe brake caliper isn’t really up for tackling San Francisco hills.  Note extensive rust on spokes as well



The new Tektro dual-pivot caliper.  New, much more powerful, and high-polish silver finish.


The bottom bracket cups, complete with grease dating back to the Reagan/Thatcher years…


The bottom bracket spindle, again gummed up with late Cold War-era grease…


Amazing what some steel wool and a little buffing can achieve: under all that old grease the bearing races were still in very nice shape, so I repacked the cups with new 1/4″ ball bearings and fresh grease…


The original Shimano 600 front derailleur, featuring the unique “Arabesque” font, after a good detailing…


The fork crown and lower headset cup…a bit on the rusty side of things


After being given a ‘lil Tri-Flow/steel wool love…


Original sticker, which I left on.  Always interesting to consider the bike’s history.  This shop no longer seems to be in business, but it was originally founded by Czechoslovakian pro road racer Otto Rozvoda in the 1960’s.


Our sticker, affixed to the downtube



Ready to get built up with all the new/refurbished components


The original stem/handlebar.  Not the most comfortable setup for riding around the city.


Retro-style brake levers, modern indexed Shimano bar-end shifters, and cork bar tape finished off with some burgundy Newbaum’s.


A new derailleur mated to a 9-speed wide-range cassette and original crankset.  Got some new MKS Sylvan Touring pedals on there too!


The final product, featuring a new Shimano/Mavic wheelset, Panaracer Pasela 700 x 32 tires, Velo Orange stem/Soma Oxford Bar.  Ready for all the urban jungle has to throw at it!

She’ll be a good fit for somebody in the 5’3-5’7″ range.  Come take a test ride!





Among us bike nerds/collectors/obsessives there is a funny formula that succinctly expresses our never sated pursuit of the optimal number of bikes to own: N + 1 (N = Number of Bikes Currently Owned)

acheadbadgeI (Joel) was recently down to a scant 5 bikes after having sold my 1960 Atala track bike that I had built as a safe (see front brake) and dandy upright fixed gear city bike.  A really neat bike that I just wasn’t riding and was terrified to lock on the street; a wicked negative feedback loop!


Lots of Campy here

Nevertheless, I saw the need to have a lighter weight bike for East Bay Bart trips.  My main city bike (a Surly Cross Check retrofitted with a 1969 Sturmey Archer AW 3-Speed Hub and equipped with Velo Orange Porteur Rack fenders, and generator lights) can be a bit a bear to lug up and down stairs and maneuver on semi-crowded trains.


44 lbs with an average tool and lock load

Enter the All City Nature Boy single speed cross bike:

acmainOver the years I had accumulated a lot of parts that I was able to utilize on this bike.  Mainly, I had to buy the frame/fork and build new wheels on a rear Surly hub given to me by my co-worker (thanks Todd) and a nice sealed bearing front hub made by Specialized about 20 years ago (not sure who to thank here).

acaboveandbehindThe complete build is very lightweight compared to my Surly so it is easy to haul up and down stairs and it is nice to not have to worry about smashing a rear derailleur when Barting or parking on the street.

acfullonAs pictured, the bike is a fun ride on off-road romps.  I’m in the process of sorting out optimal gearing and handlebar/cockpit position/set-up.  I may use it for some cross racing in the fall and will definitely use it for city riding with some 35mm slick tires and non-clipless (clip?) pedals.


Cool (too tall?) tall stack stem

All City bikes share the same parent company as Surly bikes but have some very interesting aesthetic flourishes like paneled paint jobs…


Wet Paint Job

and this awesome dual-plate lugged fork crown.


Now I have 3 bikes (N divided by 2) with this style fork

Although I can’t ultimately solve the problem of N+1 I do believe no serious city/utilitarian cyclist can have just 1 bike.  A serious rider needs to have a primary transport bike (city bike or touring bike???) plus a secondary/back-up/guest/rain/booze missile bike (single-speed/road racing/British 3-speed/touring bike???) for those times when one’s primary bike is is need of service or other call of duty. For now, just wait until I get my new mountain bike