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Old 12-28-07, 05:17 PM   #1
Bolo Grubb
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Vintage Trek: Conversion to Nexus 8 (Pics!)

Thanks to Fender1 and Sheldon Brown. I decided to convert my old Trek into a Nexus 8 commuter.
Fender1's bike

The project is not quite finished but it is getting close enough for me to feel like posting some pics.

I just put on the small front rack today. I guess I need to look at running the shift cable under the rack.



I had to modify the bracket for the rack just a little as it was a bit too tall under the headset.


The rack sits much higher then I expected but it is solid feeling there



I have been on just a couple of rides with it so far but it seems to work just fine.

The shifter does work good on the end of the drop bars and was very natural feeling to reach for it there to shift.

I left the downtube shifters on it as I did not have anything better to put on the shifter bosses and it looks better with them there then the naked bosses do.







I still need to get some short stack bolts so I can remove the extra chain rings up front. Putting the largest ring in the middle position will give me a nearly perfect chain line.




I got the hub built in the wheel from Harris Cyclery and bought a matching front wheel from them as well. This bike had 27" wheels on it before. I was lucky that there was enough adjustment in the brakes for them to work with 700c wheels.

I put Schwalbe Marathon plus tires on it in the 700 x 32 size and I am pretty happy with the way they feel. I still have the original Brooks team pro saddle on the bike but it is showing the abuse it has had over the years. I may replace it soon with another team pro.

I still need to consider fenders, but as I live in Arizona, we do not get much rain, so I am in no hurry.


I got the original bike for $300 a couple of years ago from the original owner. The specs are as follows:

1984 Trek 720, 22.5 inch frame.
Nexus 8 speed hubm 36 hole Sun CR18 rimm Schwalbe Marathon plus 32mm Tires
Matching 36 hole Sun CR18 rim in front
Original crank 170mm 48th chainring
19th rear sprocket (35.9-110.2 gear inches)
Brooks team pro Saddle (original)
Original Blackburn Expedition rack
Nexus twist shifter attached to hubbub adapter for drop bars
Oval Concept bars 42cm
Nashbar Threadless stem adapter
Nashbar 120mm stem with 7 degree rise
Tektro brake levers

Bike weight: 35lbs

Last edited by Bolo Grubb; 04-24-09 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 12-28-07, 05:34 PM   #2
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Very nice! I have been thinking about something similar for some time, along with a generator hub up front. My only concern with the Nexxus is I would like about 25 gear inches on the low end for some of the hills when the wind is in my face, and I have a feeling that won't leave much on the top end.
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Old 12-28-07, 05:35 PM   #3
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Very nice. I wish trek still made 720s, and it's always good to see an old bike get new life.

How come you used a cable guide on the fork when there is one on the headset?
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Old 12-28-07, 05:43 PM   #4
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Very nice. I wish trek still made 720s, and it's always good to see an old bike get new life.

How come you used a cable guide on the fork when there is one on the headset?
The cable stop that sat in the guide on the headset broke. So I decided to try the fork mounted one. Less severe of a bend in the brake cable that way.
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Old 12-29-07, 06:33 PM   #5
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Very Nice!!! Enjoy!! I really like mine and have found that having 20+ gears for the type of riding I do is overkill. It is also nice being able to shift while stopped in traffic. Good luck!!!
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Old 12-30-07, 11:02 AM   #6
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Welcome to the Nexus club. How do you like the folding Wald baskets? I'm thinking of picking up a pair. I've got grocery panniers now, but they will pop off once in a while.
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Old 12-30-07, 01:03 PM   #7
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Bolo,
Thanks for posting the detailed pics. Gives lots of detailed information..
I am thinking about doing this myself. Would you be willing to let us know how much you spend on the rear wheel, hub and required acessories?
Thanks, Duppie
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Old 12-30-07, 01:40 PM   #8
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Gotta chime in on the folding baskets -- I'm not a fan. I had these on my last commuter and installed them way back on the rack, but still banged my heels on them whenever they were unfolded. That was a mountain frame, so maybe not so bad with a 700c frame where you can set the rack a little further back? Then again, I'm no frame geometry wonk, so maybe that's not the case. If they were cut away a bit at the bottom like a pannier, it would solve the problem, but that just doesn't work for a folding basket. Maybe others have had better luck with these baskets, but I left them on when I sold the bike.
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Old 12-30-07, 01:45 PM   #9
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That's a beautiful conversion...

I am also planning on joining the Nexus club very soon as I want to update my 3 speed commuter to an 8 speed.
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Old 12-30-07, 02:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Welcome to the Nexus club. How do you like the folding Wald baskets? I'm thinking of picking up a pair. I've got grocery panniers now, but they will pop off once in a while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyselad View Post
Gotta chime in on the folding baskets -- I'm not a fan. I had these on my last commuter and installed them way back on the rack, but still banged my heels on them whenever they were unfolded. That was a mountain frame, so maybe not so bad with a 700c frame where you can set the rack a little further back?

The wire baskets are ok. A bit noisy but they hold what I need them to hold. As you can see from the photos I have mine mounted a ways back. I used several zip ties as well as the mounted brackets that came with them.



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Bolo,
Thanks for posting the detailed pics. Gives lots of detailed information..
I am thinking about doing this myself. Would you be willing to let us know how much you spend on the rear wheel, hub and required acessories?
Thanks, Duppie
Nexus 8 Twist Shifter With Cable
Shimano 8-speed Nexus/Sun CR18 622 mm (700C) Wheel No Brake
HubBub Drop Bar Twist Grip Adaptor
Shimano Front Deore/Sun CR18 700C Wheel

GRAND TOTAL: $470.80 from Harris Cyclery.
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Old 01-10-08, 07:05 PM   #11
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Some of you may find this silly but here is my nexus-sized 7 speed Schwinn Wasp (1956). I say silly because it is flat here, but it gives me a higher top end and lower gears to into the wind.

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Old 01-10-08, 07:30 PM   #12
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Very nice conversion! I'm still amazed that you got a Trek 720 for 300 bucks!
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Old 01-14-08, 07:45 AM   #13
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Very nice conversion! I'm still amazed that you got a Trek 720 for 300 bucks!
At the time I bought it I had no idea that it was such a good deal. Since I have been riding it regularly for commuting I can understand why. It rides great.

The ride quality is still great after the conversion.
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Old 02-27-08, 01:29 PM   #14
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Just an updated picture from yesterday's commute
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Old 04-24-08, 12:16 PM   #15
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(A little creative Cut&Paste of images here)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bolo Grubb View Post

....

Hi,

Up in the Brooks saddle review you posted a pic (assuming this cut&paste works), what panniers/bags are those on your bike? They look interesting. Are they Carradice, or something else?

(Nope, that didn't work, so I'll try this then: )

(that worked)

Thanks for any info on them.
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Old 04-28-08, 07:43 AM   #16
Bolo Grubb
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(A little creative Cut&Paste of images here)



Hi,

Up in the Brooks saddle review you posted a pic (assuming this cut&paste works), what panniers/bags are those on your bike? They look interesting. Are they Carradice, or something else?

(Nope, that didn't work, so I'll try this then: )

(that worked)

Thanks for any info on them.
The pannier that you can see in this picture is a homemade job. I bought an Arkel hook system kit, used the stiff backing of an old pannier, and an Eddie Bauer vertical Briefcase bag I already had. Put it all together to make the pannier.

On the other side is a Jannd economy pannier. I use to have a pair of them but one wore out so that is where I got the stiff backing for the Eddie Bauer pannier I made. I could have used all the hardware from the Jannd pannier, but I liked the look of the Arkel system and it was only $25 from Arkel online.

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-28-08, 07:57 AM   #17
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That is a gorgeous bike
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