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  1. #26
    Hoards Thumbshifters mechanicmatt's Avatar
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    I would not reuse the rim, that is just my opinion though. 30+ years on a stressed rim would not lead to a long life tied to another hub.

    As for the rear hub, you can carefully repack it with grease, the bearings are undersized and can fall everywhere. So be careful. That is actually the issue with the rear hub on Helico's the undersized bearings. So you can ride them just when they fail, they fail. It shouldn't be a spectacular explosion, just a lot of grinding. However if you have a lot of fast descents where you live then you may want to go ahead. At lease repacking would buy you time. As for the cassette itself, the lock ring can be removed carefully with Channellocks, it is delicate though so be nice to it. Front hub is perfectly fine.

    As for a new rear wheel, any Suntour or Shimano based rear hub that accepts 7 speed cassettes or freehubs should work. You will have to get a new cassette or freehub as well though because the Mallaird isn't compatible with anything else. Swap meets or asking the gentlemen on here may be a good way to find a replacement.
    "Because" -Richard Sachs
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  2. #27
    Senior Member SJX426's Avatar
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    The failure with the Helicomatic hub is often the cone:

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechanicmatt View Post
    I would not reuse the rim, that is just my opinion though. 30+ years on a stressed rim would not lead to a long life tied to another hub.

    As for the rear hub, you can carefully repack it with grease, the bearings are undersized and can fall everywhere. So be careful. That is actually the issue with the rear hub on Helico's the undersized bearings. So you can ride them just when they fail, they fail. It shouldn't be a spectacular explosion, just a lot of grinding. However if you have a lot of fast descents where you live then you may want to go ahead. At lease repacking would buy you time. As for the cassette itself, the lock ring can be removed carefully with Channellocks, it is delicate though so be nice to it. Front hub is perfectly fine.

    As for a new rear wheel, any Suntour or Shimano based rear hub that accepts 7 speed cassettes or freehubs should work. You will have to get a new cassette or freehub as well though because the Mallaird isn't compatible with anything else. Swap meets or asking the gentlemen on here may be a good way to find a replacement.
    Quote Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
    The failure with the Helicomatic hub is often the cone:


    Thank you for all this Helicomatic info. In the past, I've just thought "Helicomatic= Bad =Immediate Disposal. Right now, I have a bike with a Helicomatic and I've pretty much blown my bike budget so no new donor wheels unless something magical falls in my lap. I've had 3 bikes that have come with Helicomatics, this will be the first one that I'm actually going to use. At least until I get something else...
    *Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Man Of The Year" Award*

  4. #29
    Hoards Thumbshifters mechanicmatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
    Thank you for all this Helicomatic info. In the past, I've just thought "Helicomatic= Bad =Immediate Disposal. Right now, I have a bike with a Helicomatic and I've pretty much blown my bike budget so no new donor wheels unless something magical falls in my lap. I've had 3 bikes that have come with Helicomatics, this will be the first one that I'm actually going to use. At least until I get something else...
    No problem, just make sure that rear hub and front hub are packed heavily with good grease and you should increase the life. But start saving and looking for replacements right now, there are usually good ones out there available on 80's schwinn's and raleigh's that would do the trick.
    "Because" -Richard Sachs
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  5. #30
    Cottered Crank Amesja's Avatar
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    What a sweet find!

    Where does one find NOS high-end Trek touring bikes that have been sitting around for 30 years? Is this something your LBS had swinging from the rafters as a display for decades?
    '74 Raleigh Carlton Competition w/ Ultegra | '97 Trek 720 Singletrack CX-er w/ 105 | '64 Raleigh LTD-3 modernized w/ all alloy components |'69 Raleigh Twenty | '54 Raleigh Sports

  6. #31
    Senior Member SJX426's Avatar
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    BTW: The races are fine and the freewheel is nearly new. The cones are unobtainium or I would use it.

  7. #32
    Cottered Crank Amesja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
    BTW: The races are fine and the freewheel is nearly new. The cones are unobtainium or I would use it.
    If the bike was NOS then it should all be like new short of storage damage/rust.

    If this was my bike I'd probably clean up the entire wheelset and sell it off NOS. It'd probably more than finance a newer, better wheelset plus some pocket cash. Heck, if it were my bike I'd be selling everything but the frame and building it back up with all new components so take that with a grain of salt

    Unless the OP really wants to keep it stock now is the time to upgrade as his NOS parts aren't going to get any more valuable as he rides them into the ground (and they will go into the ground eventually if he rides them. They aren't going to last like a more convetional freewheel hub will) No point in riding them IMHO when now is the time to sell the parts for maximum value and upgrading.
    '74 Raleigh Carlton Competition w/ Ultegra | '97 Trek 720 Singletrack CX-er w/ 105 | '64 Raleigh LTD-3 modernized w/ all alloy components |'69 Raleigh Twenty | '54 Raleigh Sports

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechanicmatt View Post
    I would not reuse the rim, that is just my opinion though. 30+ years on a stressed rim would not lead to a long life tied to another hub.

    As for the rear hub, you can carefully repack it with grease, the bearings are undersized and can fall everywhere. So be careful. That is actually the issue with the rear hub on Helico's the undersized bearings. So you can ride them just when they fail, they fail. It shouldn't be a spectacular explosion, just a lot of grinding. However if you have a lot of fast descents where you live then you may want to go ahead. At lease repacking would buy you time. As for the cassette itself, the lock ring can be removed carefully with Channellocks, it is delicate though so be nice to it. Front hub is perfectly fine.

    As for a new rear wheel, any Suntour or Shimano based rear hub that accepts 7 speed cassettes or freehubs should work. You will have to get a new cassette or freehub as well though because the Mallaird isn't compatible with anything else. Swap meets or asking the gentlemen on here may be a good way to find a replacement.
    Thank you for your reply. Appreciated. This is one of those bikes I purchased under the (self assumed) assumption () I'm not going to adding mega $ to this project so I'm trying to keep the cost down. I mentioned saving the rims as I'd prefer to keep it close to original but also keeping an open mind towards upgrades that would enhance the ride. Even though the rims are 30 yrs old, they haven't been used. Are they really under "bad" stress?
    I've cleaned out the old grease on all the bearings and replaced with new synthetic grease so I'm thinking I should be good for the upcoming season.
    I need to read more about a possible next move whether it's a 7 speed cassette or freehub.
    Assuming they are made for a 126mm, what's the preferred version?

    This?


    Or this?


  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
    Thank you for all this Helicomatic info. In the past, I've just thought "Helicomatic= Bad =Immediate Disposal. Right now, I have a bike with a Helicomatic and I've pretty much blown my bike budget so no new donor wheels unless something magical falls in my lap. I've had 3 bikes that have come with Helicomatics, this will be the first one that I'm actually going to use. At least until I get something else...
    I understand the bike budget, which makes me want to use what I already own. Mine cleaned up very good and it's spinning fine. I'm for keeping things clean and well lubed so maybe this could outlast me.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
    If the bike was NOS then it should all be like new short of storage damage/rust.

    If this was my bike I'd probably clean up the entire wheelset and sell it off NOS. It'd probably more than finance a newer, better wheelset plus some pocket cash. Heck, if it were my bike I'd be selling everything but the frame and building it back up with all new components so take that with a grain of salt

    Unless the OP really wants to keep it stock now is the time to upgrade as his NOS parts aren't going to get any more valuable as he rides them into the ground (and they will go into the ground eventually if he rides them. They aren't going to last like a more convetional freewheel hub will) No point in riding them IMHO when now is the time to sell the parts for maximum value and upgrading.
    Thank you for your comments. You made good points. I'm not hung up on being the only one in my family to claim I road a helicomatic. If I could do a swap for a new better wheelset, front and back for even money, I may go for it.

  11. #36
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce27 View Post
    I read some horror stories when I was doing a search...and it looks very "industrial". If you think it's better, I may just leave it then. Appreciate the input.
    In terms of shifting quality, almost nothing is better then a Duopar on cog sets with a small small and a big 32+ big sprocket. The problem comes in if you don't have it feathered just right and then you pedal back wards. It won't break the mech if you stop it and clear any jammed chain, but it is a PITA and it gets your hands dirty. The look is just the look - it's amazing that Huret made a piece with such great functionality with the folded-sheet metal technology they did use. Superbe, but flawed. Still, I have two in use.

  12. #37
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    Yes, I was at Trek from 1980 to 1986.
    I have a 1984 610 that I purchased in Denver, that soon developed the threaded ear on the seat lug cracking under the pressure of the seat post clamp bolt. It was returned for warrantee work, and as a result needed a repaint. I got it back painted in the bright, rich blue of 1985 or 1986. I was very glad to get it back, but still wish it had come back with the original paint renewed. Still, the frame has been a workhorse since then, nearly 30 years.

  13. #38
    Hoards Thumbshifters mechanicmatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce27 View Post
    Thank you for your reply. Appreciated. This is one of those bikes I purchased under the (self assumed) assumption () I'm not going to adding mega $ to this project so I'm trying to keep the cost down. I mentioned saving the rims as I'd prefer to keep it close to original but also keeping an open mind towards upgrades that would enhance the ride. Even though the rims are 30 yrs old, they haven't been used. Are they really under "bad" stress?
    I've cleaned out the old grease on all the bearings and replaced with new synthetic grease so I'm thinking I should be good for the upcoming season.
    I need to read more about a possible next move whether it's a 7 speed cassette or freehub.
    Assuming they are made for a 126mm, what's the preferred version?

    This?


    Or this?

    If it is 126 spacing then the answer is either a) any hub that is meant for that spacing (likely your second choice, but there are some that are cassettes at that spacing) or b) spreading the frame apart to fit a modern width (first choice hub likely). Matching up for the spacing is typically easier and best way to go.

    My experience yes. That is 30 years of tension, Jobs Brandt would beat you down with his book if he knew. 30 of tension on aluminum rim, it begging for an early rim failure from eyelet breakage, or weld seam breakage. That is only my opinion though. There are others that would disagree and have done this process, but I would just get a new rim. Again, if you have serviced the hub, then I would ride it until the next swap meet near you and you likely will find a wheelset on the cheap that would take care of your needs.
    "Because" -Richard Sachs
    My gift is that I am somewhat handy, my curse is that I am somewhat lazy.

  14. #39
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    I can see how this project can easily turn into the attack of the domino effect.

  15. #40
    Reeks of aged cotton duck Hydrated's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce27 View Post
    I can see how this project can easily turn into the attack of the domino effect.
    You said it, brother!

    I still own the 1984 Trek 520 that I bought brand new in 1983... and I decided to refresh and renew her a couple of years ago.

    The dominos kept falling and falling... and falling. By the time I was finished, I had about $2200 invested in new parts.

    She is beautiful tho...
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.-Aristotle

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hydrated View Post
    You said it, brother!

    I still own the 1984 Trek 520 that I bought brand new in 1983... and I decided to refresh and renew her a couple of years ago.

    The dominos kept falling and falling... and falling. By the time I was finished, I had about $2200 invested in new parts.

    She is beautiful tho...
    You should post some pictures to really stoke my fire. Are you still running 27" wheels?

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce27 View Post
    I can see how this project can easily turn into the attack of the domino effect.
    Robatsu and I got our 620s around the same time. He's the guy who did the "Phoenix Project" 1985 Trek 620. Where he shelled out a commanding amount of money on the outset- I've piddled money here, money there, money here, money there... and honestly- the bike doesn't look a WHOLE lot different than when I got it, but I've sunk a metric **** ton of money and time into that bike. The Phoenix 620 has bling all over it.

    But what makes it even worse for me, is that I don't really know a whole lot of what I would do differently. That sucks in that I learned a lot of stuff, but I apparently didn't learn enough!
    *Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Man Of The Year" Award*

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechanicmatt View Post
    If it is 126 spacing then the answer is either a) any hub that is meant for that spacing (likely your second choice, but there are some that are cassettes at that spacing) or b) spreading the frame apart to fit a modern width (first choice hub likely). Matching up for the spacing is typically easier and best way to go.

    My experience yes. That is 30 years of tension, Jobs Brandt would beat you down with his book if he knew. 30 of tension on aluminum rim, it begging for an early rim failure from eyelet breakage, or weld seam breakage. That is only my opinion though. There are others that would disagree and have done this process, but I would just get a new rim. Again, if you have serviced the hub, then I would ride it until the next swap meet near you and you likely will find a wheelset on the cheap that would take care of your needs.
    Thanks Matt. I won't spread this frame so I'll be on the lookout for something decent in a 126mm hub as backup. Did not know that about the rims. Makes me a little paranoid about the even "older" rims I have in use. I'll think twice about doing 35 again on that downhill nearby.
    Never been to a swap meet so I'll be on the lookout.

  19. #44
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    Hello All,
    Anyone know if the hub splines should have grease before adding the freewheel?
    Thx

    Rear Hub.jpg

  20. #45
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    After working on this bike on and off for over a week i've decided to take the advise that someone offered and replace the wheel set. The helicomatic will be sold off. Hopefully it will be of interest to someone. Another issue I've encountered is the Duopar RD does have a bend somewhere as the lower pully "leans" inward towards the wheel spokes and is not perpendicular to the ground. I could probably bend it into shape but the trouble is that it has so many parts its difficult to tell which section has the bend. It's frustrating since it doesn't look damaged, but its obviously not hanging correctly.

    Somehow I was thinking this would just be a clean up but it's turning into much more. I need to keep reminding myself I bought this primarily for the frame. Se la vie.
    Last edited by Bruce27; 03-05-14 at 09:18 PM.

  21. #46
    Cottered Crank Amesja's Avatar
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    Spreading the frame is really nothing. I've done it a bunch of times.

    Buy yourself a nice 10-speed wheelset and an Ultegra Di2 groupset and don't look back...
    '74 Raleigh Carlton Competition w/ Ultegra | '97 Trek 720 Singletrack CX-er w/ 105 | '64 Raleigh LTD-3 modernized w/ all alloy components |'69 Raleigh Twenty | '54 Raleigh Sports

  22. #47
    tcs
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    OK, for long term, the one thing I would change for sure is the helicomatic rear hub/cassette combo. Obsolete for almost 30 years, cassettes sell at a premium, takes a special tool, etc.
    Slip joint pliers work fine.
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  23. #48
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcs View Post
    Slip joint pliers work fine.
    As long as you're careful not to crush the ring.
    Last edited by JohnDThompson; 03-01-14 at 11:14 AM.

  24. #49
    Reeks of aged cotton duck Hydrated's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce27 View Post
    You should post some pictures to really stoke my fire. Are you still running 27" wheels?
    Here she is:
    520side.jpg520rack.jpg520rear.jpg

    I converted to run 700c wheels... that took some tinkering with the canti brakes to get the clearances right.

    I still love this bike... I guess that could be because I have so many miles on her over the 30 years that I've owned her.
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.-Aristotle

  25. #50
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    Nice. These bikes are a part of our lives so I completely get that. There's not too many things I still have that I've owned for 30+ years. Generally speaking, the things I've kept for that length of time will be with me till the end. I can only hope my grandchildren will appreciate the hand-me-downs.

    What rear derailleur did you settle on? I need a rear derailleur. My Duopar, although looking new, will unfortunately be sold for parts since after starring at it repeatedly, I cannot see what is causing the issue...and.... just figured out the Suntour VX-GT I planned on as backup has a max chain wrap of 34, and I need 37.
    Last edited by Bruce27; 03-05-14 at 08:37 PM.

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