Univega
Brand Directory
Country:Japan/USAPrimary Focus:Bicycles
Years of Operation:1970's - 1990's
General Information
Models:
Univega marketed road and touring bicycles and later, also mountain bikes.

Models include:
Activa, Activa 200, Activa Action, Activa Country, Activa ST, Activa Sport, Activa Trail
Alpina, Alpina Country, Alpina Pro, Alpina Sport, Alpina Team, Alpina Ultima, Alpina Uno
ArrowPace, Arrow Speed, Arrow Star
Boralyn, Competzione, Custom Maxima, Custom Ten, Custom Ten
Gran Premio, Gran Rally, Gran Record, Gran Sprint, Gran Sprint - S, Gran Tech, Gran Touring, Gran Turismo, Ground Force
Ital Sport, Land Rover 12, Maxima Sport, Maxima Uno, Metro Ten, Metrothree, Modo Volare, Modo Vivere
Nuovo Sport, NuovoTech 450, Nuovo Ten, Nuovo Touring, Supra Sport
Pathfinder, R7.2, RAM 970, Range Rover-ES, Rover, Rover-ES, Rover Sport, Rover STI, Safari
History
Univega is a brand of bicycles, created during the bike boom of the 1970s by Ben Lawee (1926–2002) — who founded Lawee Inc. to design, specify and import bicycles manufactured initially in Italy by Italvega and subsequently in Japan by Miyata.

Prior to creating the Univega brand, Lawee had been the importer of Motobécane bicycles in the U.S. and had created the Italvega and Bertoni bicycle brands manufactured in Italy.

Lawee marketed the Univega brand using the taglines "Discover the Difference" and "Ride it your way" and began marketing their Alpina series of mountain bikes in the early 1980s.

Univega competed in the U.S. with domestic and European bicycle manufacturers including Schwinn, Raleigh, Peugeot and Motobecane — as well as other Japanese manufacturers including Miyata, Fuji, Bridgestone, Panasonic, Nishiki, Lotus and Centurion. Japanese manufacturered bikes succeeded in the U.S. market until currency fluctuations in the late 1980s made them less competitive, leading companies to source bicycles from Taiwan.

In 1996, Univega along with Nishiki brand was absorbed by Raleigh's parent company Derby International in 1997.

Ben Lawee, who was born in Baghdad, Iraq and emigrated to the U.S. at age 19, attended business school at Columbia University, and became a sales representative for George Joannou Cycle Co. of New Jersey and Miami, Florida. He later purchased Jones Bicycles in 1959 — growing a single store into a multi-store chain. He sold the retail chain in 1965 and began importing Bianchi and Legnano bikes, as well as becoming the national distributor for Raleigh and Motobecane — later founding and operating Lawee Inc. He sold the Univega brand to Raleigh in 1996 and retired from the bicycle industry. Lawee had two children, David and Monique, with his wife Ariela. He died November 8, 2002.
Bicycles & Frames
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View AllRoad SportMountain BikeHybrid / Fitness
Recently Added / Updated Frame Models
Frame ModelCategoryAdded / Updated
Univega Viva SportRoad Sport08/20/2013
Univega Via De OroHybrid / Fitness05/17/2012
Univega Supra SportRoad Sport06/07/2011
Univega Gran SprintRoad Sport01/10/2011
search Univega Frame Collection Overview
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