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Old 07-05-08, 06:46 AM   #1
borgagain
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Trek Antelope commuter?

I got this Trek Antelope 830 from the craigslist free section. As I mention on the page, I rode it to work after I got everything working.

If I put some semi-slick tires on it, will it be less of a pig on the road? I like having some lower gears available on a commuter. It's hilly here and if I could get to work a little less sweaty, it would be a good thing.

Can old mountain bikes make good commuters?
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Old 07-05-08, 08:07 AM   #2
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You might want to try the commuting forum, but the antelope can be a great all-around commuter. A friend swears by his, but slicks do help for road riding.
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Old 07-05-08, 09:58 AM   #3
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Putting on some high pressure slicks would make a big difference for commuting. Maybe add 1 or 2 slime or flat proof tubes, bar ends, and a rear rack and you should be on your way. A hybrid bike would probably be perfect, but for the price you paid -you won't have to invest much.
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Old 07-05-08, 11:55 AM   #4
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I could have posted in Commuting or MTB but I thought someone here might have experience with this since it's an older bike.

The other option, of course, would be to flip it but I'm not sure I'd get enough from the sale to buy a more suitable bike and the darned thing fits me. I guess I'll see how it goes but I want to upgrade as cheaply as possible and still maintain a margin of quality/safety.

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 07-05-08, 12:06 PM   #5
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One of my hallmates this past year had a maybe '91 Antelope in a crackle-splatter yellow-green color. It was basically the beater bike for the whole floor to use because he skated to class. Anyway, even though neither of the derailleurs worked, it was about as bombproof as a bike can get.
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Old 07-05-08, 12:40 PM   #6
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In general, Antelopes are sturdy, reliable tanks. That's what makes them road pigs. I commuted on one for a couple of years, and they are good for that. Toss some high pressure slicks on, and you're good to go - but figure on topping out at about 12mph unless you're really humping or going downhill. You might experiment with putting a road crank up front and leaving the big rear cassette - that might get you more top end.

The good news is that the bike will never let you down - cockroaches will be riding them long after we're all gone.
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Old 07-05-08, 02:54 PM   #7
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My first commute bike was a Trekk 800 Antelope with 1.5" slicks
Great bike, always enjoyed it

I think 90s rigid mountain bikes with slicks make great commuters
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Old 07-05-08, 03:01 PM   #8
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"Antelope" is meaningless in Trekese.
IF TREK made an 8XX Antelope, they DIDN'T make a plain 8XX the same year.
I have a 91' 820 "Antelope" as my back up bike ($20). It's "sturdy".
I would guess your's has the 28-38-48T rings with a 12-28 Cassette?
You can put on something like a 14-32 or 13-34 Cassette.
Get skinnier street tires.
I use 26x1.50" aired up to max + 5PSI.
Keep in mind, that going to a smaller tire also gears you down a bit.
A 26x2" tire is 4% larger than a 26x1.5". Just like going from a 25T cog to a 26T. That, and the reduced weight & rolling resistance, is like adding another tooth to the cog.
DO tires first, and THEN consider your gear change.
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Old 07-05-08, 07:45 PM   #9
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Antelopes get no respect, but I love mine (1990 Trek 800) and it isn't even as nice a model as yours. Go look up the specs for the current commuter/urban bikes and many are very similar to the old rigid framed CroMoly mountain bikes. I agree with the advice to change the tires. I put Avocet cross tires, 1.5 inch width, on mine. I also changed the bar to a Nitto Albatross for more comfort (North Road type handlebar). The Albatross bar will fit the original brake levers and shifters which I'm still using. But, really, if everything is still working on the bike, change the tires, replace the chain, and regrease everything, and you're good to go. The bike is heavy and slow, but very dependable.
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Old 07-05-08, 08:30 PM   #10
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'91 830 was my first "real" MTB. I rode it incredibly hard and it took some wonderful beatings...only failures where crushed rear rim (BIG jump with sideways landing) and the 1st gen radipfire shifters (replaced with Xt thumbies).

It did doulbe duty as my desert mountain ride and as a triathalon trainer with skinny specialized fatboy slicks and a set of aero bars. I hit 51mph on a big downhill road bomb and it was stable as any road bike I've ever ridden.

It's been with me from one side of the country to the other and even though it's not a high-end bike it's the one I'll have with me 'til the end.

Currently stripped to frameset and awaiting the parts for a cool new incarnation.



http://www.observedtrials.net/otn4/trek830neon.JPG





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Old 07-05-08, 08:40 PM   #11
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Tough old MTBs make the perfect commuters. I love them.

jim

p.s., this is the funniest line I have read in a while:

Quote:
Originally Posted by hxzero View Post
Anyway, even though neither of the derailleurs worked, it was about as bombproof as a bike can get.
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Old 07-06-08, 06:34 AM   #12
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I am using, what I would think is a very similar rigid mountain bike as a commuter/all around rider, and changing to slicks made a HUGE difference. The second most profound change that made it a nicer bike to ride was replacing the straight handlebar with a set of Nashbar Trekking/Butterfly bars. The mountain bike controls (brakes/shifters) fit it and I now have 3-4 hand positions and a bit more rise.
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Old 07-06-08, 06:55 AM   #13
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Nice to see so much for the Antelope.
Here's mine with some fat tires/without the racks and lights.
Why buy a new commuter,when you can find something like this dirt cheap!!!
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Old 07-06-08, 07:00 AM   #14
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I drive an 18-year-old Trek 800 and have no complaints.
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Old 07-06-08, 09:00 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by jitterymonkey View Post
Nice to see so much for the Antelope.
Here's mine with some fat tires/without the racks and lights.
Why buy a new commuter,when you can find something like this dirt cheap!!!
Those fenders seem well mated with the bike. What are they, if you don't mind my asking?

I just got back from my morning ride. I took the Antelope out of impulse and I've got to say it's really starting to grow on me (proving my signature once again). It's beastly with its current tires, but it provides the right balance of a good workout without too much strain on the hills.

All of these posts have reinforced the idea that it should be my commuter and I will be doing some upgrades starting with the tires.

Thanks again for the input!
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Old 07-06-08, 09:13 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borgagain View Post
Those fenders seem well mated with the bike. What are they, if you don't mind my asking?

I just got back from my morning ride. I took the Antelope out of impulse and I've got to say it's really starting to grow on me (proving my signature once again). It's beastly with its current tires, but it provides the right balance of a good workout without too much strain on the hills.

All of these posts have reinforced the idea that it should be my commuter and I will be doing some upgrades starting with the tires.

Thanks again for the input!
Just a cheap set from the LBS
http://ecom1planetbike.com/fenders.html

I'm also gettin' front/rear racks for it and
the biggest,brightest lights I can find because I
commute in the dark
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Old 07-06-08, 09:15 AM   #17
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I just aquired an '88 820 from a garage sale. It is 4 in too big for me as a mountain bike but, only a cm or two as a road bike. I loaned it to a co-worker for a week, and his comment was "thats the most comfortable bike I have ever rode!" His comment got me thinking so, I looked up the geometry for it and commpared it to other bikes that, are of interest to me, but out of my price range.
After comparing them I, think with the right stem, they could be used as a "Country Bike", as Rivendale describes thier slack geometry all rounder. The 820 has smaller wheels, and a higher bottom bracket than Riv's Saluki.
I have set mine with a butterfly bar also. It is quickley becoming my go to bike when in sneakers. It is heavy but once she is moving, its all very smooth, and feels pretty fast. I don't have a speedometer on it but I know I am above 12 mph,with a semi slicks. I am thinking of putting drops on this one and selling off all my 700c & 27 in bikes, leaving me with only one size wheel,tire & tubes to deal with - I like the way it rides that much.
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Old 07-06-08, 09:20 AM   #18
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Here's my Trek 800 build. It's even heavier than your frame, with straight gauge CrMo main tubes. But with the wheel upgrade (Deore DX/Araya RM-20) and semi-slicks, it isn't too bad on the road. Definitely not as fast as a road bike, but some narrower full slicks would provide even less resistance. Great commuter potential with tons of room for fenders and lots of braze-ons. I say go for it!

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Old 07-08-08, 01:01 PM   #19
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I spent 4 days and covered 250 miles on my 91 820 last year. I purchased this bike new for $300 and still feel it has another 30 years left in it. Very solid bike. And I have'nt been easy on it over the years..It's the one bike I don't have any pictures of right now. I'll have to update that.
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Old 07-08-08, 05:23 PM   #20
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I just sold this one but I rode the crap out of it all last winter.
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Old 07-08-08, 05:30 PM   #21
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Should make a great commuter with some slicks and some lights and a rack. Throw some fenders on it or not and you are good to go. Nice find I never get those free deals. Well I did get a really nice mixte frame from BBM for nearly free.
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Old 07-08-08, 06:25 PM   #22
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A rigid steel mtb has become my daily rider. It's a color that makes the eyes hurt, but hey, others have to look at it more than me. Fenders help. It also has a set of Schwalbe Marathons at 100psi. You might want to look at those-their reflective sidewall strip helps at night.
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Old 07-08-08, 07:10 PM   #23
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A rigid steel mtb has become my daily rider. It's a color that makes the eyes hurt.....
Heh, heh..... I rode a blazing pink one to work one summer. Solid and reliable, but made my eyeballs ache. No one stole it, though, and I ended up selling it for $60.
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Old 07-10-08, 11:55 AM   #24
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Here's my 91 820. It has held up very well over the years.

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Old 07-10-08, 12:04 PM   #25
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Oh boy does this thread rekindle the sadness I felt when my Antelope was stolen. It was black with bright neon green logos. Fun all around bike.
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