A co-worker has asked me to work on his almost vintage, 1989 Trek 1000. He's having trouble reaching for the downtube shifters and would like to upgrade it to a brifter bike. Its an aluminum frame with chromoly fork. As I looked at this bike, I wasn't sure it's worth the investment. So I thought I would post it here and gather input.
The rear brake is missing part of the mounting hardware but I should be able to correct that from my parts bin. If you think you're seeing a buldge in the rear tire, you're correct, it's shot and, of course, he needs a saddle.
If we were to change this to a brifter bike, the Suntour 7 speed freewheel would have to be replaced with a Shimano compatable freewheel, I'd have to add cable stops, new cables, bar tape and a new chain. I've added a pic of the Maillard 500 hub with Suntour freewheel. I estimate the cost of the conversion will be between $160 to $210 for parts. The largest part of the cost will be the 7 speed RSX brifters. Right now, 7 speed brifters are running around $100 with shipping on ebay (they're getting hard to come by). Adding up the remaining parts comes to an additional $100.
I thought about using the new Shimano stem shifters that are used on the Schwinn bikes sold at WallyWOrld along with a Wally World chain. The costs with all the other parts would still run around $80-$90 and I'm not sure how tight the shifting tolerances are on those shifters. BTW, Friction shifters are not an option.
So let me know if you would invest $160 to $210 to upgrade an aluminum Trek bike that fits you well, but needs a shifter location change.