Sunday, October 21, 2018

Bike Refresh

My Univega hybrid bicycle is circa 1993 or 1994 and was due for a refresh. Since it is some 25 years old, I considered buying a new bike, but after riding a couple of new Treks and a Bianchi, I decided that I didn't love them as much as I'd hoped I would, and that perhaps I'd be happier updating my old bike.

All updates to the bike were to get it working properly again, keep it safe to ride, and improve my comfort when possible.

I find shiny metal parts to have a certain engineering and artistic appeal; this provided my motivation to capture some photos of my new and improved bike.

Note that I'd gone on three or four rides after installation of the new parts, so you'll see some road grit here and there in the photos. This adds a sense of realism :)  I didn't want to "photoshop away" these marks of distinction.


The main reason for keeping my old frame is the ride comfort. Chromoly (steel) frames are more flexible and absorb road bumps far better than aluminum or even carbon fiber. Most new bikes sold use aluminum or carbon which are extremely rigid materials; they're popular primarily because they are so very lightweight. I find these materials give a ride that is way too stiff; I can feel almost every nook and cranny on the road compared to my smooth chromoly ride. While chromoly may weigh a pound or two more than the other materials, the ride comfort is hard to beat.

Double Butted is a Good Thing

Rear Cassette

Rear Wheel Drive

Shiny Holey Teeth

My Selle SMP seat's design helps men and women to ride with more comfort on their sit bones, giving riders happy bottoms, compared to more traditional designs.

Made in Italy

Cable Housings

Check out the blue paint job. Most new (non-custom) bikes don't have anything like this.

25 Year Old Paint Job

In this next photo you can see the old rear derailleur along with the new rear cassette, new chain and new rear wheel.

Old and New

Planetary Momentum

Though the new crankset is labeled "Hyperdrive", it turns out this only becomes a reality if you pedal very, very quickly.

Crank and Friends

In Gear

Derailleur Picks Up the Slack

You can see here that Univega was very proud of this product when they built it 25 years ago, and rightly so!

Product Placement

Through the Wheel

All photos © 2018, all rights reserved.  Contact for licensing or to order prints.

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