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Trek back from the dead

Bike tags: Road bike | 8 speed | campagnolo | Euclid | fenders | more tags >>
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1978 Trek TX700, 64cm (25.5"), Reynolds 531, fully lugged, Campagnolo dropouts.

Nitto 42cm, unknown stem

Reynolds 531 fork; Shimano Dura-Ace headset, first generation (both original)

Campagnolo Veloce hub, cartridge bearings; Mavic Open Pro rim, 32 holes; Continental TT2000

Campagnolo Veloce 8-speed, cartridge bearings; Mavic Open Pro rim, 36 holes; Continental TT2000

Campagnolo Racing T, Chorus sealed bottom bracket

Serfas Cosmo seat (graphics removed), Campagnolo Record seat post

Shimano PD-M324 flip-flop pedals, SRAM chain

Campagnolo Record 8-speed brifters, first generation. Campagnolo Racing T front and rear derailleurs.

Campagnolo Euclid cantilevers

TA Zelito chainrings, 48-38-24; Chorus cassette, 13-26. Berthoud stainless-steel fenders, leather mudflap.

Bought this bike new in 1978, just a few years after Trek was founded. It was their best touring frame at the time, with full Reynolds 531, silver-soldered, investment-cast lugs, Campagnolo dropouts. (720s were four years in the future.) While I could only afford low-end components (Weinmann sidepulls, Shimano hubs laced to Fiamme Red tubular rims, SR crank, and Suntour derailleurs; this was paid for with lawn-mowing money, after all), the idea was to rebuild it full Campagnolo "later." Well, the Fiamme rims died immediately, so I put on used Campagnolo Nuevo Record hubs and Hardox rims. After a decade in Denver, moved to San Francisco, where I switched to a Sugino triple crank, Deore XT derailleurs, and Royale Compe sidepulls. A decade after that, moved to Boston, where the bike became my winter rider. By summer 2007, after many, many miles, the bike had numerous dents, a crack below the seat-post lug, and half its paint. Took a final ride that July from Boston to Montreal and back, then rebuilt the bike.

One patch, 22 braze-ons, two sets of reproduction decals, and a coat of original-color paint later -- as well as a mostly full-Campy rebuild -- here it is. While it's not at all "worth" the time and effort put into it (one framebuilder went so far as to suggest that I keep the head badge as a souvenir and pitch the rest), I'm delighted to have given the bike a second life. The last picture was taken in summer 2008 in Zahorany, Czech Republic. For a veteran, the bike sure gets around!

Yet another update: In November 2012 finally got around to swapping out the original bars. They were Sakae "champion du monde," date coded 77-A (January 1977), and only 39cm wide. The time had come, so got a nice set of 42cm Nitto Maes-bend bars. Had to recable, of course, but the result was gratifying. The new profile picture was taken on the way to Crane Beach, on the glorious North Shore of Massachusetts.

People who friended this bike The Beef, sibkis, janky, mastronaut, audioel, mariner fan, jhvu74, sunsurfandsand, toomanybikes, and what, Schwimbly, fanta, dreells, le velo, Lord_Athlon, amnomad, mayksense, eaglerock, cramer9, cannonhugodale, OZYMANDIAzzz, cobrabyte, the fumingator, keepitCLE, pkitchen, Velogarden, per.k, horsus prudentus, mechanicmatt, A-ko, ariz0ner, Sigback, thegrither, VictorKnox, vqstaphbeard,

mad respect

for the history behind your bikes. I love reading your stories about riding, upgrading, losing, breaking, rebuilding, and continuing to love and ride them. I look forward to spending decades with a bike or two; I can only fathom the experience. Experience I'd love to have, and can't wait to accumulate. Thanks for sharing, latron.

history matters

Thanks for the kind words. Do my best to keep track of everything, be it enjoyable (long tours, multi-city service) or painful (alas, stolen rides). There's utility in all of it.

Wow

Thank for for documenting the long life of this bike so well latron, really makes me appreciate it. I had an old Trek that my friend borrowed and left behind his mom's car, who of course pulled out over it. Still miss it to this day.

Beautiful Bike.

Adding this bike to the vintage Trek cluster.

Nice

I see classics a lot, most beat up but still working great, which is fine but this is a sweeeet ride. The best part is (by the looks of it) it's my size, or close to it. 60cm?

63cm

It was the biggest they made; next size down that year was 59cm. Early on Trek made a lot of big frames, and I got one. Glad you like the bike -- rides great.

a perfect

staple

Love is never rational -

Love is never rational - what a great story. That this is a one owner machine as well is fantastic.

I think the oldest Treks I've seen Down Under would be early/mid 90s vintage. Not to say older ones aren't around, but I think the importers and distributers only probably started getting serious around then.

The bike was good to me....

...so I was honor-bound to be good to it. I'd gotten years of service without a single complaint, no matter what stunt I pulled. Off-road? No problem. 24" of snow? At your service. Thrown into the maw of an airline cargo bay? Back with a dent, but still ready to roll. Rebuilding the bike was the least I could do.

I originally had dreams of

I originally had dreams of doing something similar to an old early 60s VW Beetle I owned (only 2 previous owners with a fairly complete history otherwise) But I quickly, over an 8 year period, realised my own circumstantial and personal limitations as far as serious automotive body repair goes. I've since found a more realistic vent for this part of my persona with bikes. What's more - it's much better for the mind and body in the day-to-day rat race of commuting anyway.

dreams are easy...

... but bikes make them easier. I have/had a similar project with a once-was-beautiful 1970 BMW 2002, but it's not going to happen -- too complicated, too messy, too expensive, and, even if you succeed against all odds, financial and otherwise, what do you have? A car! I'm much happier with bikes -- way better for the soul. (Though I do have to say I still dream of an early '60s VW microbus with a split windshield....)

rain

I have a friend who lives in Seattle, and she says, "If I didn't ride when it was raining I wouldn't be able to ride." Riding in all weather is fun, even the crazy stuff (snow especially is a blast). Get some good gear and go for it! As for cars, they're way more trouble than they're worth.

Nice restoration

Boy, your bike turned out nice. Now you got me thinking of fixing up another Trek. Actually, mine is a 60cm and I need to go up to a 62. I like the 700 series and will be looking for yet another frame. Well done!

bring a Trek back to life

Glad you liked the bike. There are a good number of older Trek frames knocking around, and a lot of them are larger sizes, interestingly. Have never seen another TX700, but they've got to be around. While Trek was just starting out, even then they were still turning out a lot of frames. Will keep my eyes open.

Older Treks

Please do! I've been searching in vain for a 62cm Trek touring frame.

Fantastic Restoration.

I picked-up a 1982 Trek 614 touring bike from Ebay last winter. I have touched up the paint and fully reconditioned it. It has a blackburn rear rack and I put a lowrider Nashbar rack up front. The wheelbase is not quite as long as yours but it is the best handling bike I have ever ridden. You were very smart to stay with this frame. To get this same quality and ride would cost at least 00 if you where to have one made up by a frame builder. Love your Berthoud fenders. I have put SKS P45 cromo-plastic on my Trek. They may be a touch lighter but the Berthoud's exude class and style.

thanks much

It was a long process rebuilding the bike, but was definitely worth it. Glad you were able to bring the 614 back -- if you see another early Trek, save its life! A few more things to do on this one (I'm considering a small "constructeur" rear rack from Velo-Orange, for example), but am going to try to keep it simple.

On the SKS fenders, they may not be as nice as the Berthouds, but they're very solid and classy in their own way, and far better than some of the other options. They're on the Super Sport I refer to in another reply, and I'm very happy with them.

the right bike, the right builder

I love the original Treks, and they fact that they were hand-built in the U.S. makes them even nicer. Have to give a shout-out to the framebuilder who helped me bring this one back to life, Toby Stanton of HotTubes in Worcester, Mass. Total can-do guy, and the complete opposite of some of the fussy "I only do it my way" builders out there. He's reworking a zippy mid-'80s Schwinn Super Sport for me now; can't wait to get it back.

Love it! The large frame and

Love it! The large frame and fenders make 'the look'.



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