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  1. #1
    jamesss
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    Touring Trek light restoration

    Just bought this 1978 trek from original owner who rode from Virginia to Florida. 531 throughout, said it was a custom build. It rides, shifts great.

    Any ways I would like to do a light restoration any tips?

    thanks for your help

    James
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Torchy McFlux's Avatar
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    I'd do more than a light restoration. That rust around the BB is pretty bad, and rust is like cancer to a bike frame.
    I'd strip it down and repaint the frame/fork (after sourcing replacement decals), replace the cables with some nice new stainless ones with black housing, replace the tires with new gumwalls and toe straps with fresh leather ones, and try to keep all other components original. Except for the computer and 2nd bottle cage - I'd lose those.
    That BB lockring looks pretty nasty. Soaking it with Liquid Wrench and using a good lockring tool that grabs more than just 1 notch would probably be a good idea.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    Yep — more than light! ... please!

    The whole thing has to come apart — BB, hubs, crown bearings. Even the brakes should come apart, cleaned, lightly lubricated and new blocks installed.

    There are several ways you could go around the painting , and it DOES need painting. That rust has to come off. Lots and lots to read on the forum. Moreover, it looks like you will need to take it to yer LBS and have them drive the headset out with their proper drivers and mandrels. And then they may as well extract the cranks and crack open both the fixed and adjustable cups on the BB shell while they are at it. Only when the frame is nude of everything will you be free to choose any method of painting — including any commercial outfit that will powder coat it.

    If it has been in the American South, there is humidity to worry about — and possibly salty air. Again — lots to read here on the forum. In Japan, all the chemicals that are commonly advised on BF cannot be obtained by a normal Japanese civilian — at least not in the DIY stores I get to. So I use flushings of vinegar followed by hot water and a lot of WD-40 ... letting it dry a bit (it apparently forms a sort of varnish) then a huge spray of canned lithium grease. [Hahahaha — yeah, flame me whoever ... but it sort of works!] Better specialized products will get you farther into removal and protection.

    Next: chances are the bearing cups will be galled — that is pitted and beyond redemption. If the surfaces that contact the bearings are not perfect, the cups are screwed. Recycle bin please. The spindle will probably be OK, just be sure that you note which side is which when it comes out in case it is asymmetrical. A new Sugino or Dia-Compe BB MAY be a decent replacement — and MAYBE adapt to the spindle. If it is any flavour of Campagnolo — forget it! Campy needs a suite replacement.

    Anyway, if the cups are ruined you are into the very heart of bicycle restoration and some careful thinking and planning and budgeting is necessary.

    New crown sets are no problem — Tange Seiki being very available here for common head tubes. They are often a surprise. You predict that they are trashed and they turn out to be OK — just clean and put in new grease. You predict they will be OK and they are ruined. YMMV.

    Anything Shimano should have new replacement parts available. They are here in Japan, anyway.

    You may get lucky and find that the machine was never riddden in dried-out grease, and that it was serviced and cared for as far as the moving parts were concerned. In that case, you just need to dismantle, clean, polish, reassemble, adjust and wax. The frame will still need attention.

    The wheels had best get trued and adjusted by a pro on a proper stand — after you overhaul the hubs.

    Any bearings that come out of anything should have new ones going in to replace them. Grade 25 is recommended. Shimano Durace bearings are avaiable here in packaged sets. Most of us use loose balls for the BB (11 per side) and toss the retainered ones that the factory used in most cases. Loose bearing in crown sets are a PITA to install, I'd use retainered type there.

    It looks like a nice machine, but with all due respect, I don't think that 'light' will pay you dividends. IMHO — it's all or nothing! Anything less will ensure that it just grinds itself to pieces and becomes an unsalvegable beater.

    I apologize if I make it sound like you have less experience than you may already have. I'm no pro' myself, and I just learn from the kind folks here on BF and use the manuals. But I've been through the process. And seldom does restoration turn out to be either cheap or easy. In addition, some skilled people at a good LBS are an almost indispensable resource. There are just too many very expensive tools needed when you really get into restoration, not to mention the skill and experience to be able to use them. I predict you will need some of this professional help — re-facing and chasing that BB shell for one thing!
    Last edited by Lenton58; 02-11-10 at 03:15 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bibliobob's Avatar
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    She's beautiful! But, as others noted, this frameset does probably need to be fully stripped. It pains me to say it, as I loathe repaints, but I can't imagine that any amount of surface treatment is going to the trick here.

    One step to try first would be soak the entire frameset in oxalic acid (use powdered deck bleach from Home Depot). If there's rust inside the frame tubes (I'm guessing that there is), then you'd want to do this anyway and it's your only chance of not needing an entire repaint. I'd wire brush the heck out of the bottom bracket and any other visible rust areas (after removing ALL components, including BB cups) and then letting it soak for a week. Vigorously wire brush again, and post more photos here.

    That's a very nice and hard to find bike, and worth the effort.

    Good luck!
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  5. #5
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    +10 No light restoration on this one. That frame rust is serious.

    +100 DO NOT RIDE IT AS IS. Any chance of saving the wheel hubs and bottom bracket cups will be lost.

    As far as shifting well, look at those cables, they are very rusty as well. New replacements are cheap.

    +1 Requires a total down to the frame strip, followed by an oxalic acid treatment on the rust. You may be able to touch up the paint, its borderline in that regard. All of this sounds difficult, but it really isn't. It will take some time, but you have a great project there.

    If you are not up for a project, then you are better off selling it as is to someone who is. Otherwise, the bike will continue to deteriorate (it won't stop rusting now), and be worth nothing.


    I hope the seat post and handlebar stem are not stuck.
    Last edited by wrk101; 02-11-10 at 07:59 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    Blast and paint, the frame is practically begging for it. I imagine it will be in good shape, but get it done soon.,,,,BD

  7. #7
    jamesss
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    re-restoration

    The paint just had to come off after chipping away so easily, and there was plenty of unseen rust. After roughing the serial number I noticed it is a G and not a C or O.
    The bike is now enjoying a wood bleach bath and is looking great! Thanks to everyone in the C&V forum for their help. What other parts can I put in the OA BATH! I am seriously considering powder-coating. I am like the original blue but am leaning towards granny smith metallic.
    Any opinions appreciated
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    Last edited by jamesss; 02-15-10 at 09:57 PM. Reason: update

  8. #8
    jamesss
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    heres what she looks like after 12 hours in OA. and sprayed with WD40.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member raverson's Avatar
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    I'd say that light restoration is coming right along.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    GREAT — you are on the path!

    The best tool I ever made myself came from something read on BK. It is for stripping paint. Get the paint loose and floppy from the chemicals. Then get a PET beverage bottle — Coke bottles are cool cuz of the shape. Take a box cutter and carve out the shape you need for shoving up and down the tubes to remove paint. The plastic is kind to the steel underneath, and yet it is hell for the paint and undercoat! I dunno about IRON. Some later treks came with that stuff and I have no idea how it comes off. KEEP IT COMING!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    GREAT — you are on the path!

    The best tool I ever made myself came from something read on BK. It is for stripping paint. Get the paint loose and floppy from the chemicals. Then get a PET beverage bottle — Coke bottles are cool cuz of the shape. Take a box cutter and carve out the shape you need for shoving up and down the tubes to remove paint. The plastic is kind to the steel underneath, and yet it is hell for the paint and undercoat! I dunno about IMRON — Dupont's brilliant (highly toxic) 2-pack aviation coating. Some later Treks came with that stuff, and I have no idea how it comes off. I think I face the situation when it comes time to repaint my Trek 930. KEEP IT COMING! I'll stay tuned for sure!
    Last edited by Lenton58; 02-17-10 at 10:50 AM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    I have an 83 560 with Imron, I think they were using it pretty early on, actually? My 84 830 has it also.,,,,BD

  13. #13
    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
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    oh man, i would have left it like this! beautiful!


  14. #14
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by illwafer View Post
    oh man, i would have left it like this! beautiful!

    I have never ever said or thought this in the past... you are right though, that rust IS beautiful! It's like stone, or an old painting.

    OP, I still think you are doing the right thing here. Powder coat sounds like a great option and Green is never a bad choice.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    OK ... get the paint off of the frame choosing whatever method you select from the advice you been given. In this case it HAS to go down to bare metal so that no rust is left whatsoever. After it is painted — again whatever method you eventually choose — the BB threads should have that rust chased out. And the BB shell should be refaced. The tools involved are very expensive and there are skills needed to employ them., Thus you want to find a bicycle mechanic who knows what he/she is doing. A master machinist could probably do it, if he had the equivalent tools ... but virtually all of us rely on the bicycle specialists. The refacing ensures that the fresh paint/coating is not interfering with a precise parallel conjunction of the cups, spindle and bearings.

    Here in Japan, I'm told that powder coating involves heating the frame and virtually blasting the paint off with heat. I don't know how that effects the rust, but they must get it out somehow. When I worked in automotive back in the Cretaceous, parts were sunk into a bath of caustic soda — as long as they were not aluminum. Anyway, who ever you send it to will give you the info.

    However because you are stripping it yourself, I am assuming that you will be painting it yourself. In that case you must select a paint system of compatible undercoat and top coats. If I were to do it, I would choose enamels that I cannot get here in Japan — unless I am a pro. But in North America, you should be able to get industrial coatings from any paint shop that supplies the pros. These will be difficult to apply and will have to go on with the best brushes [sash tools] that you can buy. I am not going to go on and on about this — just follow me up. (At some time in my life I was a painter.) I do not think much of rattle cans, but polyurethane could do it fine, but with a lot of patience and nail-biting. Almost nothing is harder to paint than a bicycle or motorcycle frame — IMHO! Just my 2 cents.

    Powder coating seems the best bang for the buck, but your stripping efforts may be wasted if the process includes ripping the material down to the bare surface as part of the service. I know what it is like to be on a budget, but professional coatings may be worth the sacrifices. It sure looks like a nice frame.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    OK ... get the paint off of the frame choosing whatever method you select from the advice you been given. In this case it HAS to go down to bare metal so that no rust is left whatsoever. After it is painted again whatever method you eventually choose the BB threads should have that rust chased out. And the BB shell should be refaced. The tools involved are very expensive and there are skills needed to employ them. Thus you want to find a bicycle mechanic who knows what he/she is doing. A master machinist could probably do it, if he had the equivalent tools ... but virtually all of us rely on the bicycle specialists. The refacing ensures that the fresh paint/coating is not interfering with a precise parallel conjunction of the cups, spindle and bearings.

    Here in Japan, I'm told that powder coating involves heating the frame and virtually blasting the paint off with heat. I don't know how that effects the rust, but they must get it out somehow. When I worked in automotive back in the Cretaceous, parts were sunk into a bath of caustic soda as long as they were not aluminum. Anyway, who ever you send it to will give you the info.

    However because you are stripping it yourself, I am assuming that you will be painting it yourself. In that case you must select a paint system of compatible undercoat and top coats. If I were to do it, I would choose enamels that I cannot get here in Japan unless I am a pro. But in North America, you should be able to get industrial coatings from any paint shop that supplies the pros. These will be difficult to apply and will have to go on with the best brushes [sash tools] that you can buy. I am not going to go on and on about this just follow me up. (At some time in my life I was a painter.) I do not think much of rattle cans, but polyurethane could do it fine, but with a lot of patience and nail-biting. Almost nothing is harder to paint than a bicycle or motorcycle frame IMHO! Just my 2 cents.

    Powder coating seems the best bang for the buck, but your stripping efforts may be wasted if the process includes ripping the material down to the bare surface as part of the service. I know what it is like to be on a budget, but professional coatings may be worth the sacrifices. It sure looks like a nice frame.

  17. #17
    jamesss
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    I sent it to be powder coated and blasted yesterday. I stripped the paint to really get a good look at the condition of the metal also I soaked it the acid to kill any rust inside the frame. I will have to do some research on the re-facing of the BB... speaking of the BB, Is there an advantage to keeping the original BB (assuming it is in decent condition) as compared to having a "modern" BB installed?
    I have scrubbed every portion of the components and reassembled. I have since rebuilt the pedals. I cleaned the wheels and hit the hubs with water hose oops! I realized my mistake when I was drying with compressed air and red grease started flying out...I guess those aren't waterproof! so now I am chasing down some cone wrenches to rebuild the hubs.
    Thanks for providing direction and motivation to do this right.
    James

  18. #18
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    I will have to do some research on the re-facing of the BB... speaking of the BB, Is there an advantage to keeping the original BB (assuming it is in decent condition) as compared to having a "modern" BB installed?
    I can't speak to you about cartridge BB types. Only my Trek 930 has one, and I've never removed it (even though by now it needs attention). Sections 9 and 10 of Barnet's Bicycle Manual — a fantastic resource of information — covers all this stuff in excellent detail. There may be some advantages in cartridge types in terms of longevity, and the fact that they may seal out the elements better. But, if the original assembly is in good condition, I'd advise keeping it.

    OK, here are the things to consider in regards to the old style cup and bearing BB: the bottom bracket shell itself, the cups, the spindle (as the 'axle' is called), the bearings:

    Original bearings usually come in a retainers. They are usually 1/4" balls. They should always be replaced. The retainers are used for convenience by the factory, but enthusiasts usually use loose balls. If you use retainers, you have to determine which side of the retainer goes where — a real PITA IMHO. Install eleven (11) balls on each side. If there is an odd size (probably not with the Trek) the number could vary. But before we get to this point, we have to determine if the other parts are OK.

    There are two cups. On the right side is a fixed cup. On the left side is an adjustable cup and a lock-ring. The adjustable cup is just contacting the bearings, but on disassembly, it may be difficult to move out because of rust and stuff ... but I see that you've already done that. Both the fixed cup and the lock-ring are assembled according to recommended torque settings.

    Both cups have to be checked for cracks and damage to the threads. Then you move on to examining the bearing races ... the surfaces that contact the bearings. You are checking for pits and galling. You can use a glass, but most people use a ball pen and trace the race on both cups. You can feel any roughness that may be the result of pits. Pitting makes the part unusable.

    Now check the race on the spindle cones. Same thing here, but pitting and damage are less likely to occur on the spindle than in the cups. If all these surfaces are cool, you are ready to clean them up and reassemble. If there are seals pressed into recesses in the cups, see if you can get replacements. If the races are worn out or damaged, I would consider getting a whole new assembly ... that is cups, spindle and bearings UNLESS you are absolutely certain that the cups are a replacement value for the spindle. For vintage machines this could be problematic, but Barnet has a compatibility chart that may help you. Some judicious use of the vernier caliper will help too.

    If you are using the old spindle, you will want to know if it is asymmetrical or symmetrical ... ie: is one side longer than the other, or are both sides the same length? Measure from the edge of the cone race to the end of the spindle to find out. (A vernier caliper is useful here.) Remember which side of the bike each end was on if it is asymmetrical.

    Now, if you have to replace the spindle, you will want to use one that is of the same or very close to the same length — assuming that the original arrangement was not tampered with by the previous owner. Altering the spindle length may alter the chain line enough to cause problems up the road. From what you have described, it is more certain that the current parts were set up by the factory.

    When the machine comes back from the coating people, there will be powder coating on the faces of BB shell. AFAIK, this coating must come off. The faces must made absolutely parallel to each other for the sake of the BB assembly aligning the bearings properly and exactly. This is done with a special cutting tool. Personally I am leary of any mechanic who has used the tool to cut on chromium plated frames. There is a claim that chromium will dull the cutter and chatter may result as the tool is used. Some people may think this is a lot of BS. One mechanic refused to face my chromed Simplon. Another was ready to do it — no problem. ???

    Personally, I like to have the threads chased out on steel frames. Nice clean threads make the feel of the adjustment on the bearings much easier, and it helps to prevent cross-threading. Some material might come off as the threads are being tapped, so after you get the frame back from the mechanic, be sure this is all taken out using an old toothbrush and some WD-40, kerosene or something.

    Assemble the fixed cup first. Put some grease on the race. Then grease up the threads and make sure that you are threading nicely into the shell. Secure at about 30 foot pounds of torque. Fix 11 new balls of at least grade 25 onto the spindle's cone race by pressing them into a good blob of grease. Carefully install the spindle from the opposite side. It is easy to topple the balls, so you should be suspicious and heedful.

    By this time you should have prepared the adjustable cup by installing grease in the cup and pressing in 11 new balls. So, while holding the spindle in place, insert the accordioned, plastic cylinder (if there is one) that keeps crud from getting into your bearings — rust from inside the frame and rain water if there is a drain hole in the shell. Now thread on the adjustable cup. With nice, fresh, lightly greased threads, you may work the cup into the shell most of the way with just your hands. You will be slightly compressing the plastic cylinder as well, so all in all, you will likely need the help of a pin spanner. Gently contact the bearings, then back off just a tad. Put on the lockring and work it hand tight. Now rotate the spindle and see if any balls have toppled. The assembly should look right and feel right — although the tension on the bearings has not been set yet. When that is achieved the lockring is tightened to about 38 foot pounds while using the pin spanner to hold the cup in place.

    Barnet recommends using a piece of tape marked off in 8ths of an inch and applied to the shell. A reference mark on the cup allows you see keep track of your adjustment and whether or not it has moved as you lock up the ring. I've seen a very experienced mechanic lock up a BB with precision in mere minutes completely by feel. It takes me a long time, and I use the tape.

    Getting the right tension on the bearing is complicated by the tension of the seals draging on the spindle, but the main objective is to be able to lock up the assembly so that with both hands you cannot feel any knock. Just like wheel bearings, it's a case of not too much and not too little.

    If you do not feel comfortable doing this, you could assemble everything very nicely and have the mechanic set the bearings and lock up the assembly. And if you don't have have a torque wrench, you could have him/her put on the cranks at the same time. When they go on, you or the mechanic can retest for knock. If there is any yet undetected, it will show up then. Do NOT grease the taper on which the cranks are torqued. They are left dry! Some people may disagree here.

    The BB is the heart of the bicycle — literally. The better the quality of the parts, the easier it is to get a nice smooth result with the least amount of hassle. There is something really satisfying about getting a firm but smooth rotation without any gritty feeling or drag in some part of the rotation. The facing and chasing is not always essential, but it is greater assurance that the best result will be obtained. Recently I assembled my vintage aluminum Vitus without facing and chasing. I felt confident that the shell was perfect in every respect. So far, that assumption has proved correct. YMMV.

    Grease: this is one of those subjects that start controversy. I've taken to using synthetic grease that is intended for bicycles. it is the correct weight, performs properly at the optimal ambient temperatures bicycles operate in, does not separate out the waxes and oils, and should be engineered for the shear factor that can be expected in bicycle application. I keep a big tube of automotive lithium grease around for less critical stuff.

    Please let us see the frame when it comes back

  19. #19
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    I cleaned the wheels and hit the hubs with water hose oops! I realized my mistake when I was drying with compressed air and red grease started flying out...I guess those aren't waterproof! so now I am chasing down some cone wrenches to rebuild the hubs.
    Well, they should be done anyway ... WTH. Clean everting perfectly. Note which side of the axle came out of the hub. One cone is usually locked in pretty tight, but it can be moved to expose an equal amount of axle to receive the drop-outs. Check the cones. If they are pitted or damaged, Shimano should be able to provide new ones on order. If they are SunTour or Campy, a new quest will begin!

    I clean wheels with a rag, toothbrush and some WD-40. This puts a slight coating on the spoke ferules. Then I finish off with some metal polish and a wax. My absolute favourite metal polish for alloy is made here in Japan by Wackos (They are into high performance lubricants.) If I am washing a bike, I use a drizzle spray. Same with my motorcycle.

  20. #20
    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
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    re: your BB issues. tldr it all but you might be interested in this:

    http://www.velo-orange.com/grcruthbobr.html
    Grand Cru threadless bottom brackets fit most frames, even those with Swiss threading. And they work on frames with damaged BB shells, even if the existing threading is totally stripped.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    re: your BB issues. tldr it all but you might be interested in this:
    Yep! Way cool! I'm interested! For classic resorations I hope that they have some less garish anodized colors, but still I may look into this for my Simplon. If they really are any good, how could yo resist the price. People with Campagnolo cranksets had better beware however. I will predict that the spindle taper is sure to be non-compatible — unless they make a specific one for Campy installations.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    re: your BB issues. tldr it all but you might be interested in this:
    Way cool! I'm interested! For classic restorations, I hope that they have some less garish anodized colors, but still I may look into this for my Simplon. If they really are any good, how could you resist the price alone? People with Campagnolo cranksets had better beware however. I will predict that the spindle taper is sure to be non-compatible — unless they make a specific one for Campy installations.

  23. #23
    jamesss
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    Powdercoated Granny Smith Metallic

    Maybe I should change the the name of this thread to Touring Trek Light Green Restoration
    Attached Images Attached Images

  24. #24
    Is Right
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    Looks stunning. Better than new. Awesome job man.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesss View Post
    Maybe I should change the the name of this thread to Touring Trek Light Green Restoration

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesss View Post
    Maybe I should change the the name of this thread to Touring Trek Light Green Restoration
    Perfect for ozneddy's green bike thread! Keep going, I am watching this thread like a hawk now, as I just purchased a Trek TX700 frameset today. What are you going to use for wheels, the ones that came with her, or am I jumping the thread's natural progression?

    I can be patient. Love the color by the way.
    Last edited by gomango; 02-25-10 at 05:04 AM.

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