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Old 01-30-08, 12:58 PM   #1
John Ummel
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1982 Trek 613 - Ishiwata Front Fork

I am talking to the original owner of a 1982 Trek 613- have confirmed that with Skip Exchert.

When he bought the bike at Palo Alto Bikes, he opted to change-out the front Ishiwata fork and replace it with a chrome fork. I have to admit, it looks really sharp on this bike. The owner said it was a “trek” fork.

While I am concerned about purchasing a classic without the original component, I am more concerned whether this replacement fork is comparable to Ishiwata quality.

I called Palo Alto bikes and of course no one there is old enough to explain how and where Trek dealers got replacement forks back in those days.

Can anyone shed some light on this? Did Trek dealers replace original forks on new bikes with comparable Reynolds or Ishiwata forks from Waterloo?

I do have an email to Skip on this.
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Old 01-31-08, 09:25 AM   #2
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Anyone?

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Old 01-31-08, 12:23 PM   #3
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this may not answer your question, but I'll ramble on anyway: AFAIK, by the early '80s Tange was supplying a lot of manufacturers with factory-built forks and Trek might have been one of those. Tange really had nearly cornered the market by automating steel fork production and a lot of individuals purchased their chrome-plated replacement forks, retail. Often the steering columns are stamped "tange" but not always, especially when supplied in quantity to "the trade", who didn't always want folks to know that their hand-built beauty included a fork made by a robot. Quality was typically very good, I'd say the top-of-line was about as good as a Waterloo-made Ishiwata fork, but lacking the hand-made finesse.YRMV
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Old 01-31-08, 01:37 PM   #4
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Aren't you (John Ummel) getting a little too exercised about this? If you have a nice chrome fork, and it works, then what's the big deal? If that's a deal-breaker for you, in terms of its being non-original, then find another frame. It's not going to be simple to find a solo fork in the size you need (or longer, could be cut down and threaded) or the color, matching condition of the frame.
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Old 01-31-08, 01:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ummel View Post
I am talking to the original owner of a 1982 Trek 613- have confirmed that with Skip Exchert.

When he bought the bike at Palo Alto Bikes, he opted to change-out the front Ishiwata fork and replace it with a chrome fork. I have to admit, it looks really sharp on this bike. The owner said it was a “trek” fork.

While I am concerned about purchasing a classic without the original component, I am more concerned whether this replacement fork is comparable to Ishiwata quality.

I called Palo Alto bikes and of course no one there is old enough to explain how and where Trek dealers got replacement forks back in those days.

Can anyone shed some light on this? Did Trek dealers replace original forks on new bikes with comparable Reynolds or Ishiwata forks from Waterloo?

I do have an email to Skip on this.
I bought my 1984 Trek 610 new from The Big Wheel on West Colfax Avenue in Denverr, Colorado. The store is certainly still there, and perhaps the owner would remember how this might have been done. I do know retailers interacted with the factory to a considereble degree, because when I had a seat lug issue, he conferred with the factory and sent back my frame.

Another one to try to talk to is Ron Boi at RRB Cycles in Kenilworth, Illinois. He was a Trek dealer back in those days, too, and is still in the saddle at his shop.

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