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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 10-02-11, 01:15 PM   #1
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Bike shopping becomes bike love becomes bike buying!

OK, so if you saw my post from yesterday you know that I was looking for a new bike that 1) needed to be lighter than my current suspension-fork monster 2) needed to fit better 3) higher gearing 4) steel preferred yadtada yatada...

So yesterday I spent an hour at the LBS, looking at various incarnations of the Jamis Coda.

Last night, I searched for "Jamis" on Craigslist -- and found an ad that said, in effect, "don't by a new Jamis when you could buy this old Trek!"

And that, my friends, is exactly what I did.

1983 Trek 620, touring bike, Reynolds 531 steel, made in America. Lugged frame. Some chips in the paint. Somewhere along the line, the original stock 27" wheels got upgraded to 700c "Ambrosio 19" with 36 spokes. It looks like the front crankset, at least, was replaced in the 90s; it's not stock, but it's still not current.

And then there's the handlebars. Um. Well. Well, someone already put the wildly inappropriate flat bars on this classic ride, so I don't need to feel guilty when I switch them out for trekking/butterfly bars.

And I can put on any crankset/derallieur/cassette I want!

I may be hanging out over in C&V for a while...



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Old 10-02-11, 02:40 PM   #2
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Nice find congrats on the new (to you) bike...
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Old 10-03-11, 11:24 AM   #3
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That's a nice vintage for Treks. Have you got adequate standover clearance on that frame? If forced to guess, I'd say it looks a little on the large side.

Last edited by CraigB; 10-03-11 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 10-03-11, 01:38 PM   #4
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pwetttyyyy!!!
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Old 10-03-11, 01:58 PM   #5
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pretty
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Old 10-03-11, 02:00 PM   #6
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Level that saddle.
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Old 10-03-11, 02:20 PM   #7
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That's a pretty big frame. Looks bigger than the Trek I had and mine was a 58 (I'm 6'1).

Any crank, derailleur and cassette? You may be limted depending on the 1983 spacing. If it's a 6 speed in the back, you may be limited to a 7 speed cassette. Not sure if it can be spread to an 8-10 speed without special attention.
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Old 10-03-11, 02:47 PM   #8
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What a pretty bike! What else are you going to change on it?

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Originally Posted by jeneralist View Post
Last night, I searched for "Jamis" on Craigslist -- and found an ad that said, in effect, "don't by a new Jamis when you could buy this old Trek!"
I hate people who do this on CL. I'll go do a search for one specific thing, and find three dozen completely unrelated posts that list my search term along with a lot of other gibberish at the bottom. I always mark posts like that as spam. Ranting aside, though, I'm glad you found a bike you love.
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Old 10-03-11, 05:34 PM   #9
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That's a nice vintage for Treks. Have you got adequate standover clearance on that frame? If forced to guess, I'd say it looks a little on the large side.
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That's a pretty big frame. Looks bigger than the Trek I had and mine was a 58 (I'm 6'1).

Any crank, derailleur and cassette? You may be limted depending on the 1983 spacing. If it's a 6 speed in the back, you may be limited to a 7 speed cassette. Not sure if it can be spread to an 8-10 speed without special attention.
It's listed as a 21" frame. Standover is -- snug, but OK. Let's just say I don't want to ride it barefooted. One nice thing is that with the lower positioning of the bottom bracket in that era vs. today, I can tippie-toe it at stop lights and still get full extension while pedalling.

3 gears up front, 6 in the rear. I think I can deal with the current gearing for a while, although someday I may want to put in an 8 speed in the back. That'll be the time for a new dérailleur, new shifters, etc.

Already on order:
  • new pedals (SPD)
  • grey water bottle holder to replace the amazingly white one.
  • cyclocomp

Next stage:
SOMETHING to replace that handlebar. I don't mind flat bars -- in fact, I was specifically looking for a flat bar bike -- but that black bar with foam grips looks so out of place! I haven't used drops since I was in junior high, when all the ten-speeds had them. Frankly, I'm not sure I can be comfortable with drops. I'm looking at a few options: trekking/butterfly, or bullhorn, or Scott AT-3s (thanks, Sheldon!). I wish I had a big bucket o'bars, and could just take one off and put another on again and again.

Once I know what bars I'll be using, then I can think about what I want in the way of gear shifters -- and that may be the time to work on derailleurs, crank, and cassette. I've heard that shifter indexing is very manufacturer and model specific: a particular brand of shifter may necessitate a certain derailleur. Am I right in thinking that?

Oh, and it turns out that the guy who sold it to me is a frequent poster over at C&V. Small world!
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Old 10-03-11, 06:03 PM   #10
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It's listed as a 21" frame. Standover is -- snug, but OK. !
Wow, my MTB is a 19.5 inch.

Is purty though! My buddy has a bike much like it, he loves it.
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Old 10-03-11, 06:34 PM   #11
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Wow, my MTB is a 19.5 inch.

33" inseam. You?

Yeah, it's VERY purty. At some point I think I may get it repainted -- just the same color scheme, but without the scratches from almost 30 years of use.
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Old 10-03-11, 08:29 PM   #12
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33" inseam. You?

Yeah, it's VERY purty. At some point I think I may get it repainted -- just the same color scheme, but without the scratches from almost 30 years of use.
Sounds about correct. I have a long torso that makes for my height.
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Old 10-03-11, 08:30 PM   #13
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Beanz, I thought you were a taller guy? I'm 6'3 and I find my 22.5" to be too small.
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Old 10-03-11, 08:32 PM   #14
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Beanz, I thought you were a taller guy? I'm 6'3 and I find my 22.5" to be too small.
Nope, 6'1. My 19.5 fits like glove.
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Old 10-05-11, 04:56 AM   #15
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Nice bike. I've built up a few vintage treks for friends recently and I find them pretty nice.

As far as the sizing goes, I'm continually amazed at how personal it is. I tend to ride a 22.5 mtb and a 60 road bike but every bike shop puts me on a smaller size. Two people of the same height can ride pretty different sized bikes. I find an effective top tube of 59 to 60 works pretty well for me, once I figured out sizing got much easier.

Jeneralist, if you're interested in trying drops, there are lots of different shapes that can greatly affect comfort. The nitto noodle, salsa short and shallow and nitto randonneur all are pretty comfortable bars. Bars with flat ramps tend to be much more comfortable for a wider range of people. I've ridden a few kinds of drop bars, north road bars, flat bars semi, swept bars. What works best for me are drop bars with a bit of flare like randonneur bars and mtb drops. How they are set up can make a big difference in comfort too. One of the advantages of drop bars is that they have a lot of flexibility position of levers, brakes etc...
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Old 10-05-11, 03:43 PM   #16
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Sweet ride.
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Old 10-05-11, 03:54 PM   #17
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Which pedals did you order for it?
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Old 10-05-11, 06:37 PM   #18
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Which pedals did you order for it?
I use SPD cleats (I can't bring myself to call them "clipless" when they obviously have a clip!), but i I'm in traffic I spend a lot of time with just one foot cleated in place. On my hybrid, I've got Nashbar Soho pedals. For this one, I've ordered the inspiration for those: the Shimano A530.

You might be able to tell I'm not trying for a period restoration, here... no way am I putting toeclips/cages on it!
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Old 10-05-11, 06:40 PM   #19
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Jeneralist, if you're interested in trying drops, there are lots of different shapes that can greatly affect comfort. The nitto noodle, salsa short and shallow and nitto randonneur all are pretty comfortable bars. Bars with flat ramps tend to be much more comfortable for a wider range of people. I've ridden a few kinds of drop bars, north road bars, flat bars semi, swept bars. What works best for me are drop bars with a bit of flare like randonneur bars and mtb drops. How they are set up can make a big difference in comfort too. One of the advantages of drop bars is that they have a lot of flexibility position of levers, brakes etc...
At this point, I've got an old, used Scott AT-3 bar on order. It looks a lot like a trekking bar, and weighs a lot less. (I can't believe that I'm making a big deal about a 200 gram difference, when I still have a lot of weight to lose....) Sheldon Brown's website even has instructions for getting grip twist shifters on it.
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Old 03-25-12, 02:58 PM   #20
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At this point, I've got an old, used Scott AT-3 bar on order. It looks a lot like a trekking bar, and weighs a lot less. (I can't believe that I'm making a big deal about a 200 gram difference, when I still have a lot of weight to lose....) Sheldon Brown's website even has instructions for getting grip twist shifters on it.
Grip shifters on the AT-3: It can be done!



And, the whole bike:





Updates include:
  • Grey bottle cage instead of white
  • Kept the Biopace gears, but now have 28-38-50 instead of 28-36-48
  • Shimano A530 Pedals
  • Grip shifters (I know some people hate them, but I really like them)
  • Scott AT-3 handlebars, as mentioned
  • Fizik light blue bar wrap, to match the blue accent on the frame as well as I can, with blue heat-shrink on the ends
  • Brooks saddle -- I actually had a B67 around the house; will be moving to a B68 (no springs)
  • Nitto stem to hold the new handlebars
  • Nitto seatpost -- I need to keep the seat low enough that the flutes on the old one turned into "rain gutters" leading water inside the seat tube
N+1, my friends, n+1...
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Old 03-25-12, 03:15 PM   #21
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Great looking bike !
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Old 03-25-12, 03:40 PM   #22
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As a tip, steel frames can be cold set to accept wider read hubs. Or you can do what I did and just jam a wider hub in there and it'll self adjust (although that's not recommended, I was younger and not as concerned with convention)

Your rear end (ha ha) is 126mm and modern bikes are 130. So yeah, 2 whole mm difference on each side and that's why I didn't worry about it. 6 and 7 speeds are 126, 8, 9 and 10 are 130 for road bikes at least:

http://sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html

If you're going to go 8, you might as well go 10 when you do it.

Have fun, looks like you're enjoying gussying up your new ride.
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Old 03-25-12, 05:14 PM   #23
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I like the Scott bars and I read the link about attaching the grip shifters... nice! My bike has grip shifters and they are rather easy to use. I shift without even thinking about it.

Excellent vintage ride, Jen!
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