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Old 05-26-04, 07:23 AM   #1
Journeyman
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1990 Trek road bike:go with old or new?

Well, I have a chance to buy a 1990 Aluminum Trek road bike. Good condition for $200. My question: should I wait and spend my money on a brand new bike? Or, will the used bike be worthwhile? Worried about having to spend more than its worth on components etc. when needed. But, the used bike would allow me to get a road bike sooner than I expected. Any advice or feedback? Thanks.
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Old 05-26-04, 12:09 PM   #2
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Hi Journeyman,

I had to do that choice 2 years ago, and I chosen the used one (a gardin (1980) with
shimano RX brakes, campy derailleur and gipiemme drive train ($300)) and 2 years
later I think that I made the good choice (for me) The bike is for commuting (every days) and I try to ride it 30 or 40 km each week end. But be sure that the size of the frame is good for. Seat tube and top tube.... If the frame fit not at your size you will lose your money..
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Old 05-26-04, 02:27 PM   #3
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Fit is definitely very important, and if the components are decent and in good shape, I'd get it and start riding. If it doesn't fit well, you won't like riding it much though. I had a similar era Trek that I started on for a few years. I fell in love with road biking on it, I even threw on a carbon fork for relatively cheap on winter. I'd still be on if someone hadn't walked off with it. If you upgrade to a newer bike, you can have this one as a foul weather ride.
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Old 05-26-04, 03:11 PM   #4
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Just remember aluminum has a life expectancy so if its been ridden hard, it might not be a great deal. Also, on those old Treks they used a bizarre through the frame mounting system for the downtube shifters. We recently had a customer snap his shifter off, and found that it was held on there with a "bolt" the diameter of a spoke, not a great design. Old aluminum has a ttendency to be very harsh and not as compliant as today's bikes either. If it has Biopace (ovalized chainrings popular around then), often labeled Exage, I would leave it. It was low end, and the ovalized stuff is pretty gimmicky. If it has straight RX100, 105, 600, etc it might be a good deal, but watch those downtube shifters... if they brake you're kinda screwed (if it has that setup even).
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Old 05-26-04, 07:00 PM   #5
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But even though Seely brought up some good info, in reality the lug bonded AL tubes are actually stronger then the welded type we have today. The only thing I sort of disagree with is the stiffness factor of todays AL vs ones made in 1990's; if anything the older ones might be more compliant due to the normal size frame tubes-but they are thicker than todays AL tubes, to give it the strength that todays AL bike's that use larger size tubes; so it may be a wash in the comfort area. So Seely mentioned the negatives, I mentioned a positive, now you need to make a decision if that is what you want.

Obviously test ride the bike for about 12 miles and crank hard on once in awhile to see if the frame is flexing (you can usually tell if the chain rubs on both sides of the front derailleur and or the chain on the rear jumps gears). Then after 8 to 12 miles you will also find out if the bike is comfortable for you.

By the way, in aircraft they bond the frames together not weld, because the bonding is stronger and allows some flex without failure.
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Old 05-26-04, 09:08 PM   #6
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If the used Trek is in very good condition, go for it. If not, negotiate for a discount or look elsewhere.
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Old 05-27-04, 09:58 AM   #7
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Well, everything said so far has been very helpful. Thank you. I've looked up a lot of information on the net related to the older Trek bikes and I am still very interested in this bike. Looks like I better look closer at it though, especially on the basis of fit. Not sure what parameters I should use in looking at this but I will figure this out. Thought I knew what model this was, but now I am not sure? The cross frame has T-100 on it? Does anyone know what this stands for? Is that the aluminum? How can I tell if the bike is worn out?

Seely, it does have shifters on each side of the lower cross tube, you mentioned shifters that mount on the down tube is that the tube that holds the handle bars? Not sure on the definitions for the cross bars etc.? I have been to the vintage trek site although it doesn't cover alum Treks it has been real helpful for me. It does show some bikes with shifters in different locations that may have these issues. Maybe this bike has a different "better" arrangement? When purchased in 1990 from LBS, the buyer paid $678 for it. So, it should be one of the better models.

Journeyman

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Old 05-27-04, 10:37 AM   #8
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Try www.vintage-trek.com although it might be too new for that site.

PJ
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Old 05-27-04, 11:20 AM   #9
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Vintage Trek is steel frames only.
They do have some sections of the 1990 brochure. While your model has been
"snipped" they do have the specifications pages for all 1990 models. I don't see
a T-100 but do see 1000 model.

I like old Treks, have a 1985 670 and am awaiting delivery of an 1983/84 770.

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Old 05-27-04, 10:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeyman
on each side of the lower cross tube, you mentioned shifters that mount on the down tube is that the tube that holds the handle bars? Not sure on the definitions for the cross bars etc.?

Journeyman
The downtube is tube that runs from the headtube (where the handlebars/stem are mounted) to the bottom bracket (where the cranks are). Downtube shifters are just two metal levers of a sort with cable running directly down the downtube to the derailleurs. I can all but guarantee it has downtube shifters... I just wonder if it has that cheesy bolt hold them together though? I'm not sure what year(s) Trek used that though.
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Old 05-28-04, 08:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seely
The downtube is tube that runs from the headtube (where the handlebars/stem are mounted) to the bottom bracket (where the cranks are). Downtube shifters are just two metal levers of a sort with cable running directly down the downtube to the derailleurs. I can all but guarantee it has downtube shifters... I just wonder if it has that cheesy bolt hold them together though? I'm not sure what year(s) Trek used that though.
Seely-Thanks for your help with this. I have completed a little research on this bike and it is the 1100 model Trek. The Vintage Trek website dealer information tells me that this bike has the Suntour 4050 Edge group which includes:
7 speed indexed shifting
BRS barking
Triple crank
Aerodynamic crankset [with oval chainrings.]

So I am not real sure what I should do at this point. Maybe I should just plan for a newer bike with the 105 components and wait? Thanks for your help.
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Old 05-28-04, 11:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeyman
Seely-Thanks for your help with this. I have completed a little research on this bike and it is the 1100 model Trek. The Vintage Trek website dealer information tells me that this bike has the Suntour 4050 Edge group which includes:
7 speed indexed shifting
BRS barking
Triple crank
Aerodynamic crankset [with oval chainrings.]

So I am not real sure what I should do at this point. Maybe I should just plan for a newer bike with the 105 components and wait? Thanks for your help.

I dont know Suntour stuff very well, but it sounds kind of lowend... the "ovalized" chainrings were equivalent to Shimano's Biopace system which was pretty low end. I would maybe go with a new Tiagra/105 equipped bike if you can afford it. For $200, or offer lower, it might not be bad, if it fits really well. I can't remember what model our customer had but I think the components were pretty similar... it had kind of a red/white theme as I recall. Not a BAD bike but not that amazing either... then again I like STEEL
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Old 05-28-04, 11:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seely
I dont know Suntour stuff very well, but it sounds kind of lowend... the "ovalized" chainrings were equivalent to Shimano's Biopace system which was pretty low end. I would maybe go with a new Tiagra/105 equipped bike if you can afford it.
I dunno about 'low end' - for a while it seemed like shimano was slapping biopace onto everything. I know for a fact that my early nineties fuji with 105 had biopace chainrings, and I'm pretty sure it made it all the way up to the 600 group. Not sure whether dura-ace was ever cursed with it or not.
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