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Thread: Trek 420?

  1. #1
    Senior Member rugerben's Avatar
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    Trek 420?

    OK so I've been on the hunt for my dad for a solid "road bike" since he has it in his head that he wants to do serious road riding. By serious road riding, we're realistically talking about at most, a metric century, with a bunch of other guys who are 50-65 and will take their time doing that. After talking with him about his wants and needs, he and I have agreed that the best thing would probably be a steel framed touring bike with brifters. He does not like DT shifters since he feels like he'll lose his balance if he uses them. He is willing to go with bar-end shifters though, which opens up worlds of possibilities to us.

    I've been searching around (and in the process actually nabbed a C-dale tourer for myself!!! woot!!), and this bad boy has popped up on eBay. Can anyone tell me about it?
    I see that it's double-butted trutemper cro-mo, combined with LX and Biopace which sounds like a great combo to me. Seller says it's 18 speed. I assume it's 3x6 rather than 2x9? If 2x9, it'll be easy to find brifters for him. If it's 3x6, looks like it would need bar-end shifters.


    The guy calls it a touring bike, and it does look like it would have that sort of geometry, but it looks like it does not have the cantilever brakes that are so typical of tourers.
    Do you think it really is early-mid 90's?
    Any other thoughts?
    MOLON LABE

  2. #2
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    I think he is off on the year. Here is the Trek 1993 catalog. I don't see a 420. I think it is mid-80s.

    I have an '85 460 with doubled butted true temper. Mine is more of racing geometry. I just finished taking it apart and building it back up again with bar end shifters and long cage derailer and a 34T cog on the freewheel. I've been riding it for a month indoors on the rollers. I can't wait to get it out on the road. It seems to ride real well.

    I also flipped a 1985 400 which was also TT frame, but that one had the geometry of the 520 without as many braze ons. It was more of a sport tourer. Almost wish I had kept it but had several others that were higher priorities. That was a nice bike as this appears to be.

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    Latvietis Ablaut's Avatar
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    Hard to tell for sure, but it DOES appear to have cantis.

    Quote Originally Posted by IceNine View Post
    I think he is off on the year. Here is the Trek 1993 catalog. I don't see a 420. I think it is mid-80s.
    I think he's off on the year, too. Checked with the vintage-trek database and don't see a 420 for '93. If that counts as a scarlet color scheme, possible an '85?

    Link if you wanna check it out - http://www.vintage-trek.com/model_numbers1.htm

    Regardless, I'd pay $195 for that bike only if I could pick it up locally. Looks like you'd be in for another $70-150 for shipping and $30 for disassembly/packing at LBS.
    Last edited by Ablaut; 01-24-09 at 02:17 PM.

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    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    420 was a decent low end Trek touring bike. +1 Best suited to local pickup option.

  5. #5
    Latvietis Ablaut's Avatar
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    Ask for some better pictures. The number on the seat tube looks more like a 400 than a 420. If that's the case, then it could be an '88 400:

    http://www.vintage-trek.com/images/trek/Trek88_1.pdf

    That model was available in red w/black decals. Seat and rims match, too, as well as that black chainstay protector/paint.

  6. #6
    cycles per second Gonzo Bob's Avatar
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    Biopace and 6-speed says late '80s to me. I bought a pair of NOS 7-speed indexed bar-ends on eBay a few years ago and they came with a sliver for 6-speed compatibility. Or you could just run friction mode.

    The 520 of the mid-80s didn't even have cantilever brakes (my brother still has his).

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    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    It certainly does look like a 400. I had one in that color scheme with triple crank. It had caliper brakes, but they were some diacompes that could accommodate HUGE tires! I ran it cyclocross style with some 700x38c knobbies for a while.

    Pretty good bike, but the bottom bracket seemed mushy to me. Probably OK if pops doesn't stand on the pedals much.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Olde Western Auto Cruiser.

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    Senior Member rugerben's Avatar
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    I just heard back from the seller about derailleurs. He says the RD is labeled Deore, the front is not labeled.
    I have no idea why he listed it as LX then.

    It would cost $120 to ship to my house.

    Bike=$200
    Shipping=$120
    Bar-end shifters=$60

    That's already $380 in the bike. No way it's going to be worth that much. I can get him a better suited bike for that kind of dough.

    Thank you to those who just saved me from throwing money I don't have, into a bike would be not worth the end cost. (still a good bike no doubt, just not worth the best part of $400)
    MOLON LABE

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