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Are/were Univega Columbus Thron frames any good?(7 posts)

Are/were Univega Columbus Thron frames any good?HouseMoney
Oct 30, 2002 10:22 AM
I'd narrowed my new road bike choices down to two and was all ready to head out this weekend with checkbook in hand once I came to a decision (entry-level for training & casual group rides, but with the ability to take me further if I got hooked).

However, another bike shop I give some business to had an older-leftover '01 Univega Modo Vincere triple in my size with full Campy Veloce, Columbus Thron tubing, the same Mavic rims as the '02 Bianchi Imola I looked at (CXP21), but with a Sabre aluminum fork. We didn't get down to negotiating a final price, but they'll discount it so it will be a good $300-400 less than the Bianchi (105 gruppo, Reynolds 631/525, carbon fork w/ cro-moly steerer, quill stem). Heck, it's about 60% of the price of the 105/Ultegra CAAD5 I tested! I'd budgeted myself to pay more, but not if I don't have to. I figure if it's a good deal, I could always use some of the price difference towards a better carbon fork &/or wheels.

Now I haven't test-ridden the Univega yet (I will), but for a beginner-level bike, is this worth the risk considering Univega is kaput, i.e. warranty issues, etc.? This shop also carries Cannondales so I can get a good head-to-head comparison with a CAAD5, and I'll probably go back and ride the Bianchi again. The Univega seems to have received good reviews, with the exception of the saddle & pedals, which are personal preference.

I'd probably get used to either Campy or Shimano, since I don't have experience with either one on the road to have formed an opinion. I don't even remember what my last road bike had years ago, but they were downtube shifters.

I know I'm probably putting too much thought into such an entry-level decision, but ...
Thron is a good tubing set...SnowBlind
Oct 30, 2002 10:46 AM
My custom is made of mostly of Thron tubing, is very forgiving, and is very stiff in the BB area.
Granted, some of that is the geometry and the builder, but you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

You'll be OK with the the Veloce parts, not as crisp as higher levels, but very good for a starter bike. (I started with a Bianchi Veloce.)
Definitely look at better wheels if you got the cash, A carbon fork is nice, but not as big of a payback as new wheels. Get a pair of OpenPro/Record wheels and keep the old ones for rainy days.
Yes, they are.Leroy
Oct 30, 2002 11:27 AM
I have a Modo Vincere, in fact I wrote two of the reviews you read on RoadbikeReview, one about a year and a half ago, and one just last week. The best thing about the Univega is the frame. It rides real smooth, very compliant. I have replaced the stock aluminum fork with a carbon fork [looks like a sabre fork] I got off eBay for about $50.00. But actually there's nothing wrong with the stock fork. I have the stock veloce triple and brakes, daytona changers, and a daytona ac-h bottom bracket, mirage hubs, mavic cxp21 rim in front [back rim is a replacementcxp11] I would not hesitate to get the Univega. I love that bike; I'll never sell it. Derby Cycles who sells Raleigh handles all the warranty issues, as if you'd need it. You won't regret getting the Univega if that's the way you decide.

I'm just as big a fan of the Cannondale CAAD 5, too. I have one of them as well.

Let us know what you do - good luck!!
Not positive, but Univega and Raleigh were owned by the samescottfree
Oct 30, 2002 11:30 AM
company (Derby) and when Univega shut down, Raleigh absorbed their product lines. So Raleigh MAY honor Univega warranties. Worth asking.

As for the Modo Vincere, as with all Univegas, nice bike, good bang for the buck. I think Spinchick here rides one, may give you better scoop.
re: Are/were Univega Columbus Thron frames any good?The Human G-Nome
Oct 30, 2002 1:35 PM
i ride a Volare. great ride, great bike. very smooth and responsive. i replaced the seat and pedals, but that's about it. after you've test road it, i'd be surprised if that wasn't your choice. it just feels right and everyone else i've talked too says the same thing.
re: Are/were Univega Columbus Thron frames any good?merckx56
Oct 30, 2002 1:39 PM
I bought a Univega Thron frame on the internet for $125 and built my winter/Frankenbike project out of it. It's plenty stiff and rides very well. It ain't the lightest arrow in the quiver, but I also don't obsess about riding it. I really think that the framesets are a good value for the $$.
Univega owner here tooWalter
Oct 30, 2002 1:59 PM
I own the model with Mirage. Crummy seat but nice frame. No complaints at all. I have a review posted as well. Univega's "parent" company is Derby Cycles, the current owner of the Raleigh marque. They're alive and well and should certainly honor a warranty on a bike bought new from a LBS.