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  1. #1
    Senior Member simmonsgc's Avatar
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    '82 Trek 614 project

    Hello fellow CV'ers. I drove down to Gastonia, NC from the hills and hollers of western NC and bought this 82 Trek 614 for a hundred bucks when I saw it in a CL ad. The main reason I did is that it is a nice mate in my size to the 82 610 I just finished building up for my wife. That, and when I pulled up, the first thing I saw was the "531 butted tubes, forks, and stays" sticker, so I was looking at a full 531 frame supposedly. How much fun is it gonna be to do day rides and short tours on matching old Treks? Anyway, it fits me great, and is built out like a touring bike:

    Suntour 14-34(!) Perfect FW
    1st gen Suntour Cyclone RD
    Suntour Cyclone MK II FD
    28-40-45 Sugino cranket
    DiaCompe G sidepulls
    Shimano bar ends
    Old school Eclipse rear rack
    Laprade, Avocet, SR 150 pedals with Christophe cages, and all the other common early '80s Trek bits









    The paint is in MUCH worse shape than the photos suggest. I've already broken the bike down to the bare frame. So, since I have access to a blast booth and high-quality spray equipment, I was thinking of media blasting it, and putting a new Imron or PPG finish on. I've seen many here say, "better to touch up that original finish and save it, it's better than anything you can put back on." I also took note today of the lovely brass powdercoat job on that Bridgestone. So, I'm in that "re-fin limbo" so many of us have experienced.

    This is going to be a long-term winter project for me, so I'm not in a hurry. I'd appreciate any insight/input/comments from the sage populace of C&V. One last question/observation. When I pulled the fork, I noticed the Ishiwata stamp on the steer tube. So, that means the fork blades are 531, yes? Was that a common thing?

    Just for fun, here's the 610 I built up for my wife (and she's in love with it). Thanks for reading!


  2. #2
    Senior Member Casey Jones's Avatar
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    Nice bike for $100.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    Try to keep that period Avocet 10 or 20 computer on it.
    People look for those to complete their C&V build up. Those are hard to find in perfect shape like that and should still work after 30 years like mine.I
    IRC, I think a bunch of famous TDF riders even used them on their bikes in the 80's.
    They don't make the batteries for them anymore, but there is an equivalent you can get at any radioshack store. Google "Avocet 20 batteries" and the information should pop up.

    Chombi

  4. #4
    Senior Member simmonsgc's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, Chombi. Yeah, it came off carefully and went right into a box. I *think* it's a Cyclometer 20...there's no "number" like 15, 20, or 25 on it. Looks like the one listed as the 20 here. Thanks again for the battery info, I was wondering about that.

  5. #5
    Large Member realestvin7's Avatar
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    Dang, I wish I could score one of these in my size.
    Build a drop bar do-it-all MTB!
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  6. #6
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    The 6xx would have had Ishiwata fork and stays, so I think the factory applied the wrong sticker. Just MHO.
    72 special CNC ______ 72 Frejus (ala Legnano) _73 Holdsworth Record
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  7. #7
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex Pres View Post
    The 6xx would have had Ishiwata fork and stays, so I think the factory applied the wrong sticker. Just MHO.
    +1
    And if it's a 614m it's not just a humble opinion: The catalog specs 531 main tubes only.
    It does not detract from the ride though - every 6xx was terrific!
    - Auchen

  8. #8
    Wrench Savant balindamood's Avatar
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    Nice bikes!
    "Where you come from is gone;
    where you are headed weren't never there;
    and where you are ain't no good unless you can get away from it."

  9. #9
    Senior Member simmonsgc's Avatar
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    Yeah. I was curious about that, too-- whether the sticker was wrong or not. It is serial 029788 (1982 Trek 614 22 inches) at the vintage trek site. As you said, the catalog specs it as 531 mains only. Looks like many stock components have been changed as well. Haven't looked up all the date codes on the components yet, though all are in pretty good shape.

  10. #10
    Senior Member simmonsgc's Avatar
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    Just a quick update. I have an appt. this coming week to go meet a guy named Steve Garn. Steve has a shop near me called "Brew Bikes." I've never met him, but was put in touch with him by the owner of my LBS. Spoke with Steve on the phone and he seemed like a really nice guy. I'm on the fence regarding paint vs powdercoat, but this guy has lots of bicycle/motorcycle powdercoating experience. I'm looking forward to meeting him and checking out his shop. Like I said, the paint on my 614 is very rough. Thankfully, the inside looks good. It'll be frame-saved before hand.
    Last edited by simmonsgc; 12-23-11 at 07:22 PM.

  11. #11
    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
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    if you are getting a repaint, may i suggest adding 2nd water bottle mounts and any other items you'd like to add to the frame beforehand?

  12. #12
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    Congratulations! I bought an '81 614 this past year in practically unridden condition.
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/765200-Hey-check-out-my-time-capsule!?highlight=

    I've got the few rubber parts to restore it back to pristine, just haven't got around to it. But it still rides great, even with its few ugly bits.
    And I even learned a little about something I'd never heard of before... low-trail bikes. Apparently we're now both members of this contentious fraternity.

    cheers brother,
    happy TREKing
    Joe
    Last edited by woodrupjoe; 12-23-11 at 08:05 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member simmonsgc's Avatar
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    Congrats on that lovely bike, Joe. I have imron-envy.

    And yup, I'm gonna talk to Steve at Brew Bikes (who apparently is quite a builder, of cycles both motor and bi) about additions to the frame. Thinking of bottle mounts, and was even toying with the idea of cantis for a 700c wheel change. However, I've always wanted a touring bike with centerpulls on it for some reason. Just never owned one. Had cantis before, but never centerpulls. Still thinking about it, and I guess that's part of the fun.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    had one of lesser quality i bought new in 82. same color, brings back memories

    and about the paint. it's not a ming vase. have it painted if you want to. it'll look brand new. nothing like riding a shiny bike.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Captain Blight's Avatar
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    I *may* be mistaken, but I was given to understand that the 612/3/4 used clamp-on top tube guides, and the 616 used the braze-ons.

    In any event, I got a grey Trek like that that I like a lot. It came to me with a damaged fork, which I replaced with a unit from a Motobecane Grand Touring. This meant a French headset, which is not a big deal. I really, really like it. It's my daily rider when the roads aren't too grody.
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  16. #16
    Wrench Savant balindamood's Avatar
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    I have an '82 614 (only burgunday) and it has brase-on guides.
    "Where you come from is gone;
    where you are headed weren't never there;
    and where you are ain't no good unless you can get away from it."

  17. #17
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodrupjoe View Post
    Congratulations! I bought an '81 614 this past year in practically unridden condition.
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/765200-Hey-check-out-my-time-capsule!?highlight=

    I've got the few rubber parts to restore it back to pristine, just haven't got around to it. But it still rides great, even with its few ugly bits.
    And I even learned a little about something I'd never heard of before... low-trail bikes. Apparently we're now both members of this contentious fraternity.

    cheers brother,
    happy TREKing
    Joe
    There is a lot more to learn about low-trail. That Trek just really isn't low-trail. It's 50 degrees. Low trail is more like 43 mm max.

  18. #18
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    "There is a lot more to learn about low-trail. That Trek just really isn't low-trail. It's 50 degrees. Low trail is more like 43 mm max. "

    Well, there you go. I think the operative word there was "contentious". I don't know anything about low-trail bikes, but I do know that once you use that term someone is going to weigh in about it. Good, Bad, let's fight about it and use a whole bunch of various blogs and websites to back up our opinions. No offense meant to Road Fan, but that pretty much sums it up from what I've seen. I've been enjoying sitting on the sidelines while I learn all about a dispute that I never even knew existed.
    (Apologies to Road Fan, I didn't mean to imply that your post was one of those argumentative posts that sometimes enter the low-trail debate. But folks do get pretty spirited on that subject, and leave a bunch of us scratching our heads...)

    Still sitting on the sidelines and enjoying the education,
    Joe

  19. #19
    Steel is real, baby! frpax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by illwafer View Post
    if you are getting a repaint, may i suggest adding 2nd water bottle mounts and any other items you'd like to add to the frame beforehand?
    +1 Great idea. Maybe some shifter bosses on the downtube also...

  20. #20
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodrupjoe View Post
    Congratulations! I bought an '81 614 this past year in practically unridden condition.
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/765200-Hey-check-out-my-time-capsule!?highlight=

    I've got the few rubber parts to restore it back to pristine, just haven't got around to it. But it still rides great, even with its few ugly bits.
    And I even learned a little about something I'd never heard of before... low-trail bikes. Apparently we're now both members of this contentious fraternity.

    cheers brother,
    happy TREKing
    Joe
    There is a lot more to learn about low-trail. That Trek just really isn't low-trail. It's 50 degrees. Low trail is more like 43 mm max.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
    +1
    And if it's a 614m it's not just a humble opinion: The catalog specs 531 main tubes only.
    It does not detract from the ride though - every 6xx was terrific!
    Awk, you're certainly on the right track. The only Trek catalog listings I recall as clearly labelled "531 double butted tubes, forks, and stays" were the 7xx's. I could still be wrong about there NOT being a 6xx with that tubeset, and it seems Trek's practice may not have matched it's catalog specs. Or the decal could have been applied by an owner or LBS to "replace" a torn-up OEM decal. I use the serial number to sort out the specs, at least. There were a lot of small variations in geometry, and Trek's descriptions of tubing really don't let you see what's really there, unless it actually is Reynolds.

    What may detract from the ride is Trek's use of a 10/7/10 downtube rather than the standard 531 Competition 9/6/9, such as one would find in a Woodrup or other upper-end Britbike. Stiffness of that tube is considerably greater. I've always found my 1984 610 a bit stiff-feeling, compared to my Woodrup, but there may be additional factors at play there as well.
    Last edited by Road Fan; 12-24-11 at 08:30 AM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member simmonsgc's Avatar
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    Road fan, thanks for these thoughts. I can't say about the fork blades and stays on this particular 614, but I can tell you the steer tube is stamped Ishiwata. As for the sticker, it's the one in the pic. My LBS guy here offered the same explanations I've heard here....wrong/replaced sticker, Trek running short on other tubes at the end of a run and using all 531 on a few 6xx frames, etc. Since the bike is currently stripped down, does anyone know how to settle the mystery? Weight? A way to tell once it's media blasted I'm looking at a bare frame?

    To be honest, I don't really care. The bike fits me great, and I always thought these old 531 main triangle bikes have a wonderful lively ride. I suppose my palate isn't seasoned enough to whine about forks/stays yet

  23. #23
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Great attitude! Whatever the truth is about the tubing, it's a well-built quality frame.

    Nobody can say what tubing is actually there with out removing paint to observe for stampings, cutting tubes to measure wall thicknesses, and performing chemical analysis on the steel to verify alloys. When you're done with all that in you DIY material science lab, you no longer have a Trek 614 to ride.

    Short of those measures we just have an estimate. Taking what Trek said is at least as good as any other info.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodrupjoe View Post
    "There is a lot more to learn about low-trail. That Trek just really isn't low-trail. It's 50 degrees. Low trail is more like 43 mm max. "

    Well, there you go. I think the operative word there was "contentious". I don't know anything about low-trail bikes, but I do know that once you use that term someone is going to weigh in about it. Good, Bad, let's fight about it and use a whole bunch of various blogs and websites to back up our opinions. No offense meant to Road Fan, but that pretty much sums it up from what I've seen. I've been enjoying sitting on the sidelines while I learn all about a dispute that I never even knew existed.
    (Apologies to Road Fan, I didn't mean to imply that your post was one of those argumentative posts that sometimes enter the low-trail debate. But folks do get pretty spirited on that subject, and leave a bunch of us scratching our heads...)

    Still sitting on the sidelines and enjoying the education,
    Joe
    So if you think it's low-trail, what does it mean to you? We're not just making up new words here, or in some of the various "blogs and websites" that may "back up our opinions." We're trying to say something about bikes, based on riding experience. Bikes do things that one may subjectively experience but are difficult to define in concrete descriptive terms, or in precise engineering terms.

    To me it means the bike will give pretty good handling with perhaps 8 to 10 lbs of load in a rack-mounted front bag. In my experience vintage Treks do not do that without different fork geometry. I had a Woodrup that did it quite a bit better than any of my Treks.

  25. #25
    Senior Member simmonsgc's Avatar
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    Hi folks, I'm beginning to shop for parts and was considering swapping in a UN-55 since the cups of the old BB are in rough shape (and may do the same on my wife's Trek). I've read the threads about sizing and still I'm not sure I have it straight. The old spindle is an asymmetrical one, stamped "3U" and has the exact dimensions listed in Sheldon's table - 124.5 overall length, 32 non-drive side, 40.5 drive side. In the market, I'm seeing only 122.5 and 127 as choices in the UN-55. Can those of you who have swapped in lots of these on 68mm shells with a triple crank point the way for me a little bit? I know I should've measured the chainline to the middle ring before I broke the bike down, but it slipped my mind.

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