How would you say the Univega Alpina measures up in terms of performance when compared to other similar makes and models, for example: Specialized, Trek, Bontrager, Raleigh, Cannondale, Gary Fisher, or GT??? I own a 1997 model Univega Alpina 500 that I remeber riding like a dream when I was a kid back around 1998-2001. I would sometimes enjoy jumping this bike more than my Litespeed Ocoee I was riding at the time! Another thing though, from what I read, was that Litespeed Bicycle Group had designed the frames for Univega back in the mid-late 1990's. For instance, my Alpina 500 has a label that boasts a "Bi-Axial Power Oval" frame. This basically being the same type of work Litespeed had been developing with their G.E.T. Tubeset frames, or "Geometrically Enhanced Tubing". All of the downtubes on Litespeed's mid-late 1990's-era mtn. bikes have bi-axially ovalized downtubes that gave their frames greater stiffness and flexibility both at the welds and through the downtube, my Univega Alpina being the same design. I am just now looking to re-build my old 14.5" Alpina with some new old stock Shimano LX and XT components and invest in a pair of Rock Shox as opposed to the old RST forks that came as factory standard. I was also thinking about some Mavic wheels and good Shimano or equivalent hubs to replace the Mongoose brand wheels that came on it. My only problem is I am wondering about how this bicycle is going to hold up for me in terms of ride quality and whether or not this sort of model is worth investing high-quality components into. I just would like some other Univega owners and their opinions on how well their bikes hold out on serious rides and what sort of qualities they see in them when compared with other similar mountain bikes of that era.
Im not too knowledgeable about other makes, Ive ridden a few such as Coves etc, but Id say the Univega is well made, light and responsive. This bike has never let me down, Ive done some off piste work on it and with the right tyres was faultless. Simple, rugged and reliable.