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Old 09-23-11, 08:08 AM   #1
treebound 
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Boomerang bikes - bikes that come back to you

I know many of you have had a bike pass through your hands and then later down the road return to your ownership, so how about sharing a story about one of them. Might be an interesting read.

I'll start with this one. I think sometime last year I did a lunch run and stopped at a rummage sale and picked up two bikes. One of them was a smaller Trek 400, probably from around 1985 or so, 6-speed on back, 49cm ctt seat tube, 54cm ctc top tube. I think it has 700c wheels. Paint needed some attention, needed a tune up, and needed tires. Back at work one of the daily cycling commuters saw it and mentioned he was looking for one for his daughter so I gave it to him for what I had paid for it (not much). His daughter rode it around a bit but came to realize she didn't really like the drop bars and brake setup on it so it got parked and he got her a more upright bike instead from a relative. We're starting to go into winter mode here and as such he was cleaning out his garage and asked me if I wanted the bike back, so I said sure. Not too sure what I'll do with it yet, might fix it up for a step-grandkid, or pass it along again.

Here are some marginal cell phone pics. He had disposed of the seat that was on it because it was pretty bad, no problem because I've got a small pile of saddles at home.
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File Type: jpg t400-2.jpg (99.2 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg t400-1.jpg (99.1 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg t400-3.jpg (102.9 KB, 23 views)
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Old 09-23-11, 11:46 AM   #2
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Well, I'll just follow up a bit on the bike. Looking at the vintage Trek site and checking the components and s/n on the bike it appears that it is either a transitional bike or one someone changed stuff on. The serial number makes it a 1985 model 400 19" frame. The cranks look like the ones in the 1985 catalog scan. The wheelset on the other hand appears to be from 1986 since they are 700c and have a Maillard hub on the rear and it appears to look like the rims at one time had an oval sticker like Rigida. The rear hub also states Helicomatic, so what sort of tool do I need to remove the freewheel?????

1985 catalog: http://vintage-trek.com/images/trek/85TrekSport.pdf
1986 catalog: http://vintage-trek.com/images/trek/86TrekCatalog.pdf

1985 bikes were supposed to have 27" wheels, but the brake pads on this one are all the way at the upper end of the brakearm slot looking like 27" wheels would not work with this brake setup. 1986 bikes came with 700c wheels so maybe someone swapped out the brakes along with the wheels, or maybe it was a late season build. Don't know, confusing, thoughts?
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Old 09-23-11, 11:51 AM   #3
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I haven't had any come back, but if one was to work it's way towards my house....

It was a free CL bike, I did some work on it and gave it to my Daughter's friend's Pop.

It's not even my size, but I would like to have it for kids future use.

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Old 09-23-11, 12:05 PM   #4
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Not too interesting of a story. I gave it to a friend. He gave it back. I made some changes. I sold it. New owner very happy!



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Old 09-23-11, 01:02 PM   #5
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I ran into similar difficulty dating an old Trek 510, I think some were sold as bare frames and built up by the shops so that can make them hard to nail down.

I've not had any boomerang bikes yet but I can think of a couple I'd like back.



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Old 09-23-11, 02:27 PM   #6
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I recovered a stolen bike I had sold at cost to a neighbor's grandson. Run of the mill Trek 800 mountain bike, but the kid absolutely LOVED it. I certainly only had Huffys at age 12 so I guess I would have been pretty impressed with it at that age too.

Anyway, the dad took the kids bike lock saying that nobody would steal his "old" bike; that he needed the lock for his "new" (assumed walmart) bike. Of course, the bike was stolen that very same day.

It felt good to reunite him with his beloved Trek, but someone else had bought him a replacement walmart bike in the mean time. I'm sure he'll still get plenty of use out of the Trek.

The other boomerang bike is a Schwinn Suburban I sold to someone who eventually decided they wanted a folding bike instead. She was one of our first customers when we started selling bikes officially rather than just on craigslist. (Registered, insured, sales, service, etc) Instead of selling the Schwinn back to us she insisted we take it for free to help support the cause of our upstart biz! That was great, but the very next day we found a vintage single speed foldie that we in turn insisted we give to her in trade. She's happy, we're happy, and the new owner of the Schwinn is happy too!
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Old 09-23-11, 02:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treebound View Post
.... The rear hub also states Helicomatic, so what sort of tool do I need to remove the freewheel?????
A pair of wire cutters

Actually, Maillard made a special tool, but I found that the lockring was easy to remove with slipjoint pliers. Of course, you'd have to replace it with another Helicomatic cluster since nothing else will fit, and you'll still have a Helicomatic hub, but hey...
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Old 09-23-11, 03:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cycle_maven View Post
A pair of wire cutters

Actually, Maillard made a special tool, but I found that the lockring was easy to remove with slipjoint pliers. Of course, you'd have to replace it with another Helicomatic cluster since nothing else will fit, and you'll still have a Helicomatic hub, but hey...
Is this one of those hubs that only one thing will fit? As in I can't even put a bmx freewheel on it? I don't think I've ever taken one off before.

edit: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_ha-i.html#helicomatic

{{{Insert sound of head hitting desk here******

Rats, cats, and elephants, looks like I've got some trade fodder for a Francophile.
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Last edited by treebound; 09-23-11 at 03:21 PM. Reason: added edit and thud
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Old 09-23-11, 04:15 PM   #9
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I have had a couple of boomerrang bikes.

Bought new in 1989/1990, used it for trail rides, then converted to an all weather commuter. It was stolen around 1996, recovered a short time later. Sold about a year later to a friend, it was stolen from him and recovered a month later. He gave it to his brother in law, it was used around the neighborhood for a few years and came back to me in late 2007. I just recently got around to upgrading it to an expedition tour bike.

Here are the before and after pictures.

Aaron


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