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Old 11-27-08, 02:14 PM   #1
Engyo
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'84 Trek 620 - worth restoring vs. new parts?

Hi folks -

I have an old '84 Trek 620. I think I'm the second owner - bought it in '92 I think. Upgraded to bar-end shifters; had to replace the rear derailleur about 8 years ago. Haven't ridden in four or five years; got on it today and the helicomatic rear hub decided to freewheel on me.

The frame is in fair shape, some paint chips and a bit of rust at some of the braze-ons. Bars and seat post are scarred but in good shape. Decals are old and cracking, but the bike rides really well (except for the rear hub now, of course). I also replaced the front wheel after I got hit and potato-chipped it about 5 years ago.

Is it worth trying to keep this thing in relatively original shape, or should I just upgrade with new stuff as needed? It's been a great bike and I like it, just trying to decide on a path forward.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
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Old 11-27-08, 02:20 PM   #2
cuda2k
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What are your plans for the bike? Every day rider, commuter, special occasions rides, tourng?

Personally I'd probably try to find a good solid rear wheel to drop in there to keep it on the road. Something with a real freewheel which you can replace a lot easier than fixing a helicomatic if it goes south on you.
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Old 11-27-08, 02:32 PM   #3
Engyo
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Thanks, Cuda -

I'd like to keep riding it - I can't commute right now due to distance and work schedules, but weekends (during the winter) and evenings (once we get back to DST) are good. I haven't ridden in a while, but I can't make myself go to the gym often enough, and I will ride regularly once I get back in the saddle. My wife is also getting back on her bike - so I won't get grief for spending time on the bike.

I am also looking at bents - haven't test-ridden any yet. I really think a bent or even a trike would be good for the wife. She has some breathing and dizzyness issues that worry me a bit with her on a DF bike. Anyway, I will see what I can find locally for a replacement wheel, and one gentleman on here has an old Trek rear wheel we are discussing.

So, I appreciate the advice, and that of anyone else who wishes to chime in.
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Old 11-27-08, 02:33 PM   #4
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Yes, if the Helico is broken it will be a problem, since it's unique and it's been out of production for ages. But if it worked ok when you last rode, it's probably just dried out, right now. I'd run some solvent through it by dripping it in around the inside of the small cog, let it drain out and possibly blow it out with compressed air, then add something like 30W motor oil or a good bike oil. It probably just needs relubricatin to loosen up the pawls so it ratchets and catches again. It is NOT worth it to take the freewheel apart. To take it off, yes, but not to take it apart.

But for the long term, get a good quality used 126mm OLD wheel. Wheels based on Campy Record hubs are as cheap now (used) as many lesser wheels, so you should be able to do a very high quality upgrade for low $$$.

It doesn't need to be a wheel from a Trek unless you want another Maillard Helicomatic set-up, it just needs to be a 700C wheel with 126 mm OLD, and with clearance for a 6-speed freewheel in your frame.

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Old 11-27-08, 02:37 PM   #5
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As far as the frame goes, the Trek 620s and others with 6xx numbers, were real mid-cost gems. It's definitely worth some modernization to keep pedaling this old girl.
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Old 11-27-08, 02:59 PM   #6
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I recommend updating it with new parts. The frame itself is extremely nice (double butted 531) and the dropouts are very nice. The original components were nice, but they are not as functional as newer parts. For example, replacing the brake levers with some aero or sti levers would increase their braking ability. A new rear wheel would give you more gears. Replacing the old BB with a new cartridge BB would make it more weather resistant.

Here's mine set up for commuting. In about an hour I can set it up for touring by putting on a couple parts. Here's what I have done so far:

XT Wheelset
XT Derailures
XTR Headset
Campy Bar-Cons
Original 600 Triple Crank
Original Canti Brakes w/ Kool Stops
Brooks Saddle
Ritchey Touring Bars
Salsa Brake Disrupters
Crank Bros Pedals
SKS Fenders
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Old 11-28-08, 01:43 PM   #7
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Definitely go on the new rear wheel (and I'd be interested in taking that helicomatic hub off your hands). Now upgrading to newer stuff is going to depend on just how much you want to spend.

I assume your current shifting is friction. If you want to upgrade to indexed, and especially if you want to go to brifters, you're talking major bucks. I'd seriously start looking at eBay for the various models of brifters and look at prices - you can probably buy Shimano RSX (7-speed) and Sora (8-speed) reasonably cheaply, but you're going to be getting expensive at anything from 105 and up.

I'm running RSX on my Mavic neutral support bike replica and have been real happy with them.

Keep in mind that the brifters you use (assuming you want to go that route) will influence all the other changes you'll end up making on the bike.
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Old 11-28-08, 03:42 PM   #8
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I bought a 1982 610 from the local bike shop and it appears it hadn't been ridden for a long, long time. I put two new tires on it and a friend and I overhauled all the bearings, freewheel, put new Tektro brake levers on it and the bike rides great. It's got Suntour Blueline derailleurs and they shift flawlessly. I think my daughter is really going to like it when she has her birthday in 10 days and the bike comes out of hiding for her. Total for the parts was probably $75 maximum and the bike is as good as new.
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Old 11-28-08, 04:03 PM   #9
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I had a 1985 Trek 600 given to me. It now has Campy Mirage brifters, Racing T crank, Campy hubs, wheels and brakes, Brooks 17 saddle, Serfas Seca tires, rear rack and fenders. This is a lively, fast, smooth little bike, and my favorite of the 9 bikes I ride. They are well worth upgrading, in my opinion.
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Old 11-29-08, 08:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waldowales View Post
I had a 1985 Trek 600 given to me. It now has Campy Mirage brifters, Racing T crank, Campy hubs, wheels and brakes, Brooks 17 saddle, Serfas Seca tires, rear rack and fenders. This is a lively, fast, smooth little bike, and my favorite of the 9 bikes I ride. They are well worth upgrading, in my opinion.
That is definitely my style! My '84 610 is moving toward full campy, inch by inch.

8-speed Ergopower levers are really reasonable now on Ebay, ditto some -90s Chorus double cranksets.
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