Univega Bike Review

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Editorial credit: Dmitry Yashkin / Shutterstock.com

It is increasingly rare to find bikes made in the USA. Univega is an exception to this trend. But how do Univega bikes compare to their competitors?

Univega is a mid-range US brand that makes a wide selection of bicycles for off-road and on-road riding. Bikes from Univega are assembled in South Carolina and sold through independent bike dealers. Univega bikes offer exceptional value for money considering their quality and competitive prices.

If you are searching for a reliable US-made bike, you may have encountered the Univega brand. You might also want to assess the merits of Univega-branded bikes. Here is a brief (but hopefully useful) Univega bike review.

Univega: Value For Money Bikes Made In The USA

Univega is an established brand with a decades-long reputation for offering high-quality and affordable bikes.

The brand continues to provide the riding community with a diverse catalog of excellent and competitively-priced Univega bicycles.

It is worth highlighting that Univega bikes are designed and  assembled in the USA. These value-for-money bikes are built at the Bicycle Corporation of America in Manning, South Carolina.

A Quick Overview Of The Univega Brand

The Univega brand has a long history in the bike industry.

Univega was founded nearly five decades ago by an Iraqi-born US citizen and industry pioneer named Ben Lawee. Lawee initially designed, imported, and distributed bikes from Italy under a brand he created in 1970 called Italvega bikes. These bikes were hand-built at the Torresini workshop, a legendary bike fabrication facility in the Italian city of Padua.

Toward the end of the decade, Lawee to moved his production operations from Italy. In the late seventies, Lawee created the Univega brand and began producing bikes in Japan in partnership with Miyata, an internationally renowned bike manufacturer. Univega bike production moved to Taiwan in the late eighties due to shifts in currency exchange rates.

In 1996, Univega became a subsidiary of the German bike company Derby Cycle (the parent company of Raleigh and Nishiki bikes). Lawee’s brother-in-law David Menahem subsequently bought the intellectual property and trademark rights for the Univega brand in 2010.

Kent International, purchased Univega in 2018. This leading global bike company owns the rights to the brand and produces and distributes Univega bikes in the US.

What Bikes Does Univega Offer?

Univega offers a comprehensive selection of bikes to suit most riding needs and preferences.

The bikes are expertly designed and manufactured with high-quality frames and components. Univega bikes perform reliably and give riders excellent stability and control. Univega-branded bikes also have a stylish, sleek look that riders with sophisticated aesthetic tastes will find appealing. 

The brand has an array of on-road and off-road bikes divided into three basic types:

  • Comfort/Hybrid,
  • Mixed Terrain/Mountain,
  • Sport.

Comfort/Hybrid Bikes

Univega Comfort/Hybrid bikes are for riding on the road. The bikes are ideal for cruising or commuting short distances in urban areas and are equipped with rear-rack and water bottle bosses. There are four Comfort/Hybrid models (available in step-over and step-through options):

  • Weekend Voyage 1.0 – $549.99,
  • Weekend Voyage 1.0 – $649.99,
  • Weekend Escape 1.0 – $599.99,
  • Weekend Escape 2.0 – $699.99.

These Comfort/Hybrid models look similarly stylish. The bikes have rust-proof, lightweight aluminum frames, alloy wheel hubs, stainless steel spokes, and reliable and smooth-functioning Shimano derailleur systems.

The Voyager 1.0 has an excellent 7-Speed Shimano Tourney derailleur and cantilevered (or V) braking system. For an extra $100,  the Voyager 2.0 offers riders an upgraded 8-Speed Shimano Altus derailleur, dual mechanical disc brakes, and a lightweight aluminum fork.

Univega’s Weekend Escape has a few more advanced features than the Voyager. The Escape is fitted with an 8-Speed Altus derailleur from Shimano and Comfort saddles which are even easier on the buttocks than the Voyager’s Hybrid Comfort seats.

The Escape 2.0 is Univega’s top-of-the-range Comfort/Hybrid bike. This model has front and rear mechanical disc brakes (unlike the 1.0 model), and a seamless and powerful drivetrain.

Mixed Terrain/Mountain Bikes

Univega’s Mixed Terrain/Mountain bike models are as well designed and produced as their road bikes. These models  are light but sturdy and provide impressive performance and comfort when riding on mountain trails. Univega offers the following Mixed Terrain/Mountain models:

  • Rover Flex – $379.99 to $499.99,
  • Rover Mesa – $699.99.

The Rover Flex is for younger riders (6 to 18 years old) and is available in four sizes ranging from 20 inches to 27.5 inches.

This model has a lightweight aluminum frame, a robust steel fork, and an 8-Speed Microshift M-26 derailleur. The tires on the Rover Flex have versatile, semi-knobby smooth treads for mixed-terrain riding. Univega’s Rover Flex is also fitted with a water bottle boss and a derailleur guard.

The Rover Mesa is Univega mountain bike model for adults. This superbly designed and crafted model has a sturdy and lightweight aluminum frame with internal cable routing. The Rover Mesa also has 8-Speed M-26 derailleur from Microshift.

One of the most significant advantages of the Rover Mesa is its Tekro dual mechanical disc brakes, which offer exceptional braking power and control. 

The Rover Mesa’s SR Suntour XCM front fork suspension is another of the bike’s strengths. This high-quality suspension system gives riders 100 millimeters of travel (fork compression), enabling riders to tackle to roughest off-road trails.


Univega’s Fitness/Sport class of bikes consists of the 700c Maxima Sport and the 700c Maxima Fit.

The Maxima Fit is not available yet. Univega plans to release this bike (in 1.0 and 2.0 versions) in the fall of 2022.

The Maxima Sport ($669.99) is superb for cruising on roads but is also great for riding on mild off-road trails. This innovative and well-balanced model has all-terrain tires, front and rear mechanical brake discs, and an SR Suntour Nex front suspension with 63mm of travel.

To maximize energy efficiency and pedaling power, the Maxima Sport has a 21-Speed drivetrain integrated with a 3-Speed front derailleur and 7-Speed Microshift M26 rear derailleur.

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Editorial credit: Dmitry Yashkin / Shutterstock.com


Univega bikes are proudly made in the USA and offer riders tremendous value for money. The brand has a reputation for producing high-quality, competitively priced bikes.

Univega offers several models for on-road and off-road riding. The bikes have a stylish, minimalist aesthetic while also being reliable and performing better than many other bikes in the same price bracket.



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