I'm (kind of) new to this and need advice please

Sulphurman

Retro Newbie
Hi Everyone, 1st post!

I have a retro bike that I've always enjoyed riding (It's a Univega Alpina 5.3). I'm not riding the bike now and haven't been very fit of late after losing my Dad a year ago but would really like to get back 'into the saddle' as it were. Didn't even know retro bikes were a thing until I found this site while googling the bike name. I've never been into riding in a really big way but feel like it might be the thing that gets me feeling better about life.

The bike was given to me about 20 years ago, by a good friend at the time. I had been on a MTB weekend for the birthday of a colleague and all I had at the time was a cheap p.o.s. that I'd bought from 'bid up tv'. He saw how much I enjoyed riding and he gave me the bike as a thank you for something I did to help his family out when they were in trouble abroad.

I used to ride the bike to work (just a couple of miles) and then for leisure and holidays, and then my son used it for a while to visit his girlfriend. It gradually got neglected, and was in a bit of a state until earlier this year when my partner got a new bike and I decided mine needed a bit of love, rather than taking it to the dump and buying a new one.

So I cleaned it up and loved it again, but haven't really been able to use it as the gear changers are not working at all well. I'm not bad at fixing things but these have proved annoyingly impossible to sort out.

Can anyone advise me about what to buy to replace them? I don't have a lot of cash right now but really want to get this thing back on the road. My mental health thanks you in advance.

Steve
 

Sulphurman

Retro Newbie
Yes, the bike is identical, even the gaffer tape round the grips lol, except the colour (mine is green and black), and the shifters are the same. I'm at work but will post a pic later. It's 3 x 7 gears.
 

raidan73

Moderator
Retrobike Rider
BoTM Triple Crown
BoTM Winner
Gold Trader
PoTM Winner
Rocky Mountain Fan
Brodie Fan
Feedback
View
Hi and welcome to Retrobike :)

From your comments I'm assuming that the shifters are working, to some degree at least? The most common issues are probably either the cables or the shifters themselves. I would disconnect the cables from the mechs and remove all the outer sleeves, so you just have the bare inner cables, still attached to the shifters. I would then try the shifters up and down, while keeping a little tension on the inner cable by hand, just to make sure the shifters are doing what they should. If the shifters aren't working or feel a little 'sticky' when you do this then removing the dust cover and getting a bit of lube in there might help. If they appear to be working ok then it's maybe time to check the cable inners and outers - replacing them will hopefully get you going again. It could be the mechs themselves but this is less likely as they're pretty hardy, unless physically damaged.

That's what I'd do anyway. I'm sure there are plenty of other ways to go about troubleshooting the issues
 

Sulphurman

Retro Newbie
Hi and welcome to Retrobike :)

From your comments I'm assuming that the shifters are working, to some degree at least? The most common issues are probably either the cables or the shifters themselves. I would disconnect the cables from the mechs and remove all the outer sleeves, so you just have the bare inner cables, still attached to the shifters. I would then try the shifters up and down, while keeping a little tension on the inner cable by hand, just to make sure the shifters are doing what they should. If the shifters aren't working or feel a little 'sticky' when you do this then removing the dust cover and getting a bit of lube in there might help. If they appear to be working ok then it's maybe time to check the cable inners and outers - replacing them will hopefully get you going again. It could be the mechs themselves but this is less likely as they're pretty hardy, unless physically damaged.

That's what I'd do anyway. I'm sure there are plenty of other ways to go about troubleshooting the issues
Oops didn't read all the replies before that last reply. I will of course do as you've said before anything else. I can see the logic of the cables needing to have free movement within the outers.
 

MT62

Dirt Disciple
The quite likely issue might be old grease sticking in the shifters. Then it seems it is not pulling the cables when attempting to shift.
Quick fix for that is pouring WD40 or something like that inside and trying to shift to flush the old grease out. Either way disconnect the cables, or just flush it, ride and try to shift as often as possible. It is nice for the shifters to grease it once they are working again.
New cables will improve the feeling, too, as mentioned.
 

Sulphurman

Retro Newbie
Pics of bike and the offending shifter. How do I get the cable out of the shifter?
 

Attachments

  • 930C4A43-01FC-44ED-B5B6-219AAEDFB036.jpeg
    930C4A43-01FC-44ED-B5B6-219AAEDFB036.jpeg
    646.2 KB · Views: 22
  • B36A8930-91F0-4DA7-A387-43DEC2418772.jpeg
    B36A8930-91F0-4DA7-A387-43DEC2418772.jpeg
    341.7 KB · Views: 21
  • 09AB9769-133B-486F-8481-BE18935C9468.jpeg
    09AB9769-133B-486F-8481-BE18935C9468.jpeg
    529.3 KB · Views: 23
Top