Vintage Univega bicycles history and facts

Last Updated on May 23, 2022 by FAB Jim The Cyclist

Univega was the creation of Ben Lawee in the 1970s.  He had a long history as an importer of bikes like Motobecane and Bianchi.  The first brand he created was Italvega and these bikes were made in Italy.   In the mid 70s he moved production to Miyata in Japan and the brand changed to Univega.  The brand is well known for its road and mountain bike models.  Lawee designed and spec’d out all the bikes.  The bikes they made prove he was very good at designing bikes.

Univega Head Badge

Lawee was constantly unhappy with the offerings by all the current bike brands. He felt they were too expensive or often didn’t meet the needs of riders. He spec’d high quality bikes that were fun to ride and affordable. His slogan was “Ride it your way”.

1985 Univega Gran Turismo


Activa Action

Activa Country

Activa Trail

Alpina Sport

Alpina Uno


Custom Maxima

Gran Rally

Gran Premio

Gran Turismo

Maxima Sport


Nuevo Sport

Pro Comp

Rover Sport




Super Strada

Via Carisma

Via De Oro AL

Via Montega

Lawee sold the brand to Raleigh in 1996, and I think they slowly disappeared from the market afterward.  In 2018 Univega was bought by Kent International, and they are bringing the brand back.  Bikes are all assembled in the USA.

1983 Univega Super Strada

1983 Univega Super Strada

Will be adding more info and pictures soon.

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