Save the Triple

Picked up this Univega from a fellow bike nerd as he had too many projects. As if i don’t.. It was in good condition, but needed some work on all wear parts and bearings. Also the cockpit.. Would’ve liked to be there when the designers made that brilliant decision: “yea lets put a 150mm stem and some really narrow and completely straight handlebars on there, that’ll probs be great for all day riding in the mountains!”

These Univegas are super rad, always with massive tire clearance, those funky chain stays, pretty cool colour combos, usually a threadless forks, and that extra bottle cage mount under the down tube (for the gram points) if lots of water capacity is your thing. In general, old mtb frames are an exceptional starting point for a cheap functional / daily / touring / adventure bike.

The plan was to do my typical jam with a front rack, mudguards, the biggest rubber boots it’ll take, a short highrise cockpit and a 1×9 drivetrain conversion. When i started pulling stuff apart, i realized the drive train actually seemed really crisp and in great condition. When it works, it works!

Apart from the front and rear hub overhaul, it ended up getting new Mitas Defender 26×2.35″ tires, new inner cables, new brake pads, Sunrace 7 speed chain and cassette, Cube Comfort Shape bars, RFR front carrier, Wald 1372 zip tied on, some really rad and cheap generic plastic platform pedals, and SKS Bluemel guards.

Working on this bike has prompted the most appreciation i’ve ever had for old drivetrain components like these. Im not gonna say i’d choose this over a 1×11 with a massive cassette, but dayum that klunk the front mech makes when hopping down into the granny ring is actually super satisfying. Save the triple crankset!