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gamby
gamby SuperDork
12/5/10 9:15 p.m.

This old Trek--a 1984 400--was my road bike from 7th grade all the way to the end of college for me (I successfully grew into it, so it still fits me perfectly). It had run its course with me as other interests had me dry dock it indefinitely around 1994.

The bike hung in my Mom's basement since then until I got inspired. I'd been thinking of doing something with it over the past few years. Initially I was going to do a singlespeed, but the more time I spent on my road bike (Decathlon Sport 7.2--an entry level euro bike) the more I realized that I liked gears.

Since I raised so much money for the MS150, I got a $250 gift card to a bike shop--that set this project in motion--although I spent way more than that.

Here's the bike upon seeing daylight for the first time in 16 years:

Note the 80's-riffic neon green bar tape w/ fly pattern on it. Very hip. Hard to see, but the bike had a nice film of mildew on it--that's the white stuff on the seat pack. Yuk.

Stripped it down of anything I wasn't reusing

I repacked the bottom bracket (still in great shape) and headset, so they were now good as new. I also cleaned it obsessively--think of that scene in Full Metal Jacket where Pyle was cleaning his gun like a psychopath.

Started throwing it together with all of its new parts

Now it was looking like a bike. Ran all the cables and got to work fine-tuning. What parts you ask?

Specialized Pro II Ergo bars and Shimano Sora 9-Speed/double levers, quill-to-aheadset adapter with a Giant stem

Wrapped with 2 layers of bar tape--Bontrager 1st layer, Specialized Cork S-Wrap 2nd layer

Tektro R536 brakes--specifically for the 27" to 700c conversion

Tiagra long cage derailleur and SRAM 11-32 9-speed cassette (I still want to get up hills--I have nothing to prove) and a SRAM PC58 chain

Our own EastCoastMojo hooked me up with these trick little STI adapters that replaced the frame shifters and let me run newschool STI levers. They pretty much look factory on there

I borrowed a derailleur hanger straightener from work (I'm a bike tech part-time) and straightened the hanger. I also spread the rear dropouts by hand (carefully) so the 130mm hub would fit in the 126mm space.

Wheels were a low-buck deal I got on ebay--Alex R450 doublewalls with Michelin Dynamic tires 700x23C

WTB Pure saddle

Re-used my oldschool red Rhode Gear seat pack after scrubbing it down with a brush and some 409. Also re-used the stock cranks and front derailleur. Polished those up w/ some Mother's Aluminum Polish to make them a little prettier.

Specialized bottle cages and an Avenir pump completed it.

Took it on a shakedown ride yesterday and it's just divine. I forgot how pleasant a steel frame is. Shifts beautifully, brakes nicely, rides very comfortably and quietly. It's like a new bike--because it essentially is.

So there it is--a nice entry level sport tourer that is back from a long hibernation. Now, I just wait for Spring to come.

paul
paul Reader
12/5/10 9:26 p.m.

Very cool!

(hilarious FMJ reference too:)

STS_ZX2
STS_ZX2 Reader
12/5/10 9:29 p.m.

The pride of Waterloo. Nice.

Luke
Luke SuperDork
12/5/10 9:32 p.m.

Very cool, indeed. I love that funky crankset/chain-ring.

I have a similar vintage Italian steel frame. Slowly collecting NOS, period parts for it. But seeing this makes me reconsider the restmod route.

EvanB
EvanB Dork
12/5/10 10:01 p.m.

Lokks great!

I have some Alex wheels on my bike as well, a Gary Fisher mountain/road bike (not sure what the name for that is, hybrid?).

Derick Freese
Derick Freese Dork
12/5/10 10:05 p.m.

I have a '73 Schwinn Super Sport. It rides so nicely. Old bikes just feel better to me than new ones.

Is that frame nice and clean, or do you have some patina going? I love bikes with patina and a bunch of brand new running gear. It feels good, man.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/5/10 10:09 p.m.

Very cool. I was mentally making a to-do list while riding my 25-year-old Cannondale this afternoon. I really should repack the bearings and get the blip in the front wheel fixed. Also, real pedals would be nice. I have no idea where these came from, but they don't work well with Vans. Does that mean it's (finally) time to clip in?

gamby
gamby SuperDork
12/5/10 10:14 p.m.
Derick Freese wrote: Is that frame nice and clean, or do you have some patina going? I love bikes with patina and a bunch of brand new running gear. It feels good, man.

The paint is still nice and glossy, but it's original. Just some random scuffs/scrapes/chips. I always stored it indoors.

David S. Wallens wrote: Also, real pedals would be nice. I have no idea where these came from, but they don't work well with Vans. Does that mean it's (finally) time to clip in?

Meh--I'm a luddite when it comes to pedals. I ride in Adidas skate shoes.

gamby
gamby SuperDork
12/5/10 10:15 p.m.
paul wrote: (hilarious FMJ reference too:)

That's all I was thinking while I was doing it--"every surface is clean..."

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/5/10 10:18 p.m.
gamby wrote: Meh--I'm a luddite when it comes to pedals. I ride in Adidas skate shoes.

Call me a baby (waaa), but my current combo just isn't too comfortable. The 15-year-old Vans might be part of it. If not clip-ins, what about some old-school DX-type BMX pedals?

gamby
gamby SuperDork
12/5/10 10:24 p.m.

My skate shoes still have nice stiff soles, so they're really comfy (I rode the MS150 in them with zero foot discomfort).

Newer shoes might help. I still want toeclips/straps for pedaling efficiency and even just to keep my feet from shuffling around on the pedals (that drives me nuts).

Some big ol' DX's would be rad, though.

Derick Freese
Derick Freese Dork
12/5/10 10:31 p.m.

I've never clipped in. I don't like my foot being attached to the pedal. I get a decent position on the pedal and don't worry too much about it.

The_Pirate
The_Pirate New Reader
12/5/10 11:30 p.m.

Very nice, I love those old steel Treks. And it's always good to have a beater bike. Is the Decathlon Campy?

I myself came across a 2001 LeMond Tourmalet (Reynolds 853 ) that I'm currently building up on a budget. I ride my bike to work (can get there faster on my bike than in my car) on days where I don't have class and most every day in the summer, so it's going to be built up as a commuter.

gamby
gamby SuperDork
12/5/10 11:48 p.m.
The_Pirate wrote: Is the Decathlon Campy?

Nah--it's 8-Speed/Triple Sora that I stuck a Tiagra rear on.

They built (and still build--under the B-Twin brand) some sick stuff. My mountainbike is a Decathlon Rockrider 9.1 full suspension--Deore LX/Deore combo w/ Hayes cable discs. Nice bike.

DaveEstey
DaveEstey Reader
12/6/10 9:27 a.m.

Nothing rides like steel. I need to rebuild my Cro-mo Bianchi.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair SuperDork
12/6/10 11:02 a.m.

@ Gamby, nice work! i've got to look into those 27"-to-700c brakes. when i restomodded the Mirella, i kept the balilla center-pulls and adjusted/bent them as much as i could to get decent pad contact to the new rims.

@ The-Pirate, i parted out an '03 LeMond Buenos Aires to update the Mirella. i've heard great things about Reynolds 853, but never rode it because the cables were rusted solid and it was already disassembled when it came into my possession.

EastCoastMojo
EastCoastMojo SuperDork
12/6/10 11:58 a.m.

Lookin' good man Nice job on the build!

donalson
donalson SuperDork
12/6/10 12:22 p.m.

mmm i love trek lugged frames... and specificly the rear D cable running though the chainstay...

nice looking build man mark

Pumpkin Escobar
Pumpkin Escobar SuperDork
12/6/10 1:32 p.m.

Thats awesome! Glad to see another steelie out there...I love my all Columbus cro-mo Bianchi, I probably wont ever ride Aluminum. I like your build except for the stem, Ive never liked a stem with rise, but thats a personal opinion. If you ride it and like it, its a good build.

David S. Wallens wrote: Also, real pedals would be nice. I have no idea where these came from, but they don't work well with Vans. Does that mean it's (finally) time to clip in?

Power grip FTW!

but I also can recommend clipless pedals...Spend some time on a bike in a trainer "clipped in". Its not too hard to get out, and the stiffer soles of the shoes will help comfort a lot especially on longer rides. make no mistake, YOU WILL FALL at least once, but likely it will be at a stop, so only your ego will bruise. The power and comfort benefits outweigh the fall risk IMHO, so I say go for it. Plus you can get some skate style clipless shoes, which makes it a little less "road weenie" - ish

gamby
gamby SuperDork
12/6/10 11:01 p.m.
Pumpkin Escobar wrote: I like your build except for the stem, Ive never liked a stem with rise, but thats a personal opinion. If you ride it and like it, its a good build.

Yeah, the riser stem is a must for me. I'm no longer hardcore enough to have a zero-rise stem.

AngryCorvair wrote: @ Gamby, nice work! i've got to look into those 27"-to-700c brakes. when i restomodded the Mirella, i kept the balilla center-pulls and adjusted/bent them as much as i could to get decent pad contact to the new rims.

They're super-reasonable--like $50 for the set. Plus, they look really nice.

AugustWinters
AugustWinters
6/6/14 8:31 p.m.

Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I too bought that 400 same color, also yellow handlebar tape, and yellow seat in the 7th grade, rode it until end of college and then some until about 1995. Sadly for me, I threw away my beloved friend and partner along with the Time peddles and Cateye solar. Many great hours spent on that bike, wish I still had it. Great job on yours!! enjoy!.

gamby
gamby UltimaDork
6/7/14 11:14 a.m.

Wow--look at this resurrection!

It's had a couple thousand miles put on it as my backup bike since then. I switched to clipless a few years ago, it has the new Sora 3500 levers on it and a different set of wheels. It's been a great bike and will continue to be a great bike.

I don't think I have any pics of it in its current configuration.

donalson
donalson PowerDork
6/7/14 11:29 a.m.

I had a '92 400... was a great bike... I now ride a '83 560... late 90's ultegra bits on it with a brooks b17... such an awesome bike... I've got a pair of 10 speed campy shifters that are going to replace the ultegra brifters here soon supposed to work well with the 9 spd shimano bits with a slight cable reroute

rebelgtp
rebelgtp UberDork
6/7/14 12:36 p.m.

I have nothing to add for road bikes. I have never actually rode one though I have considered finding one several times.

My boss is actually doing a 75 miles ride today for charity.

donalson
donalson PowerDork
6/7/14 1:35 p.m.

here is mine just after I'd built it up

in it's nearly current configuration taken by a friend while I was rolling up the flat tube... for reference it's a 25.5" frame so about 64cm in modern bike speak... also notice the super awesome SPD sandals... such a great way to ride :)

reynolds 501 chromo lugged frame set brazed with silver solder, DT swiss wheelset running 32c pasela tires, ultegra shifty bits, tektro bigmouth calipers (opens far enough to clear the 32c tires without deflating) nitto noodle bars, an LOOK ergostem (something like $200 originally, mostly a time trial/tri thing as it lets you get the stem low)

I run a bar bag on her now and got rid of the silly cell phone holder thing... the stem will be traded out for a more traditional Nitto Technomic (standard -17 rise quill just made so it can be tall) and i'm seriously looking into 200mm cranks, as the bike sits now the chain stays are a bit too short for my height (weight sits to far back and it leads to a speed/death wobble if i'm not careful) moving the saddle forward the 25mm should cure that... just a question of loosing 2.5cm of crank to ground clearance :-/ she rode wonderfully, longest ride I've done on here was 45 miles or so, I haven't ridden her in a while as I had to focus on getting my touring bike all set up and the brooks saddle broken on on it... finally going to get back out on the road bike this week though :)

here is my old trek 400 I added an ultegra triple crank and some tektro brake levers (fatter campy style hoods)... loved the relaxed geomotry on the 400

I've keep my eyes open for a 25.5" "sport" models but they are few and far between especially when I have $$$ lol

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