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  1. #1
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Is it worth the rehabilitation?

    I have an old Trek 950 hardtail mountain bike, that I used to ride, sitting in my shed. Yesterday I pulled it out thinking I would do some clean up and modifications so I can use it as a utility ride... You know, ride it to the store for the newspaper, or short trips around town to run errands, etc. In any event, I discovered that the rear brakes are missing and the axle in the rear wheel is broken. Both my adult sons have used this bike during the last ten years. I asked them about the brakes and axle. They tell me, "Oh, yeah. We told you about that. Don't you remember?" No... I really don't remember, but I digress. In addition to the two "must fix" items, I suspect it will need new cables, new rubber (tires, tubes and handlebar grips), the bottom bracket bearings and headset bearings replaced, and a different saddle. So, I'm left wondering if it's really worth the time, money, and effort to do a rehab on it, or would I be better off just junking it and looking for something esle? I must confess to not being very good at these kind of decisions. I have an uncanny ability to let my emotions have way too much impact on what should be an easy, rational decision. I seem able to talk myself into almost anything. What to do; what to do? To rehab or not...

    To be thus is nothing... But to be safely thus. My fears in folly stick deep, and in my loyalty to the past reigns that which would be feared; 'tis much I dare. And to that dauntless feebleness of mind, I hold no wisdom that doth guide my choice. To act in safety. There is none but I whose choices I do fear; and knowing me, my genius is rebuk'ed.... What would you do?
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  2. #2
    Castiron Perineum Bockman's Avatar
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    would you be doing the work yourself?
    The best libertarian podcast on the internet! freedomainradio.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunabayashi
    would you be doing the work yourself?

    Yeah, 30 years ago I used to be a wrench in a bike shop. So, I don't think I'll run into anything I can't figure out.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  4. #4
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    Tough call. I almost posted recently with a similar question. I have a real soft spot in my heart for my two-wheeled friends. In fact, every bike I've owned in my adult life is still on the road, either with me or with a family member. I had an old beater mountain bike that I loaned (more or less permanantly) to a friend, but he never rode it, left it out in the rain and snow, etc. So, finally to his relief and my own, I took it back. In the end, did a rehab job similar to the one you're talking about.

    Was saving the bike a good use of money? Well, there are worse ways to blow $100. And, in my case, I jacked up the handlebars way up, so now I've turned a beater into a bad-back-beater, which I'm using during my rehab from an injury I mentioned on this board a few days ago.

    Fortunately, my wife, who is not a cyclist, views bicycles as something akin to people or animals. She believes they need to be respected and taken care of. I guess I'm a lucky guy.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  5. #5
    Castiron Perineum Bockman's Avatar
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    If you like the frame, and have fond memories of riding it, then absolutely I'd say go for it.
    The best libertarian podcast on the internet! freedomainradio.com

  6. #6
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    To me, its obvious that the bike would fulfill the functions you ask of it. To me, rebuilding a bike is rewarding it for all the fine service it has given, an ecological statement of continuing to reuse items, and most importantly, its like building a hot rod. Taking the time to put together a bike that expresses your personality.

    I do mean what I say. I have a Nishiki/American Eagle that has been through many sets of components. There are rust spots on it, but only ones created by my dripping sweat as I rode it. It's character.

  7. #7
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    Thrift stores are full of parts bikes; go for it

    At least around here (Reno), you can hardly walk into a thrift shop without tripping over a pile of old mountain bikes. I bought a Specialized Hardrock in near-perfect condition, for my wife to use as a beater and grocery-getter, for 10 bucks--all it needed was chain lube and air. Treks are very common, so you should be able to score a parts bike pretty cheap.
    Since you can do the work yourself, I'd go for it. It's always good to have a bike around, and even if you're not an enthusiastic rider, you'll enjoy it this summer.

  8. #8
    a77impala a77impala's Avatar
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    Do it, the satisfaction you will have when you are done will be worth it.
    Treks, 85-420, 87-560, 90-930,92-970, 95-930, 96-1220, LeMonds, 2000 Zurich, 05-Etape, 06-Versailles

  9. #9
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88
    Both my adult sons have used this bike during the last ten years. I asked them about the brakes and axle. They tell me, "Oh, yeah. We told you about that. Don't you remember?" ...

    What would you do?
    1. I have two grown sons too. Boys tend to give equipment like bikes a real good test. Big boys are stronger and more wreckless and consequently break more stuff than little boys. My bet is that this bike has been used up and, the more that you get into it, the more things you will find that need fixing. The smart thing to do is to pitch it and get it out of your sight.

    2. If it was my bike, I'd completely disassemble and repaint it and rebuild it with whatever new components I thought would suit my intended purpose. Probably not smart, but I'd have fun doing it.

  10. #10
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    Back in 1988 or 89 I bought a Trek 950 with dreams of hitting the local trails. Found that the local trails are sugar sand and that ended that. The bike has sat mostly unused since. With less than 500 miles on the clock I put semi slicks on it two years ago thinking I would use it as a utility bike. Now the bike hangs from it's assigned hook in the garage with new tires on it. I may sell it, but doubt I could get much for it. So on the hook it stays for now. It shares hook space with an 88 Trek 520, and a 96 Trek 520, both retired. On the active fleet side of the garage are an 04 520 and an 05 Lemond Zurich. The 520 offers so much utility that the need for another utility bike just isn't there.
    I'm just trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

  11. #11
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    I'm no wrench, so it's hard for me to advise with any sense of practicalities. That said, I will say this: is it likely you'd have to spend more than a couple of hundred dollars on parts? If not, and you enjoy tinkering and rebuilding, and, as you say, you have a certain nostalgia for the bike, then why wouldn't you keep it and fix it up? What have you got to lose?

    If you work on it, and reach a point where you decide it's just not worth it, you've still had the fun of puttering around with it, you're out a bit of money, the new parts can be kept in a box for another bike, and you move on.

    I'm not mechanical, so it costs me the price of labor to restore an old bike, but I think I still got a cool bike out of my 1980's Univega, which I had converted to a single speed. I probably invested $200 in a bike I bought from a guy for $25. It's a shame the bike is slightly too large for me, so I'll probably flip it but you get the point.

    I say keep it, and go for it!
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  12. #12
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    I'm no wrench, so it's hard for me to advise with any sense of practicalities. That said, I will say this: is it likely you'd have to spend more than a couple of hundred dollars on parts? If not, and you enjoy tinkering and rebuilding, and, as you say, you have a certain nostalgia for the bike, then why wouldn't you keep it and fix it up? What have you got to lose?

    If you work on it, and reach a point where you decide it's just not worth it, you've still had the fun of puttering around with it, you're out a bit of money, the new parts can be kept in a box for another bike, and you move on.

    I'm not mechanical, so it costs me the price of labor to restore an old bike, but I think I still got a cool bike out of my 1980's Univega, which I had converted to a single speed. I probably invested $200 in a bike I bought from a guy for $25. It's a shame the bike is slightly too large for me, so I'll probably flip it but you get the point.

    I say keep it, and go for it!

    Depends on finances and how important the bike is to you. Even with the labour Free- It is still an old bike and I had an 820 15 years ago. Do a DG and look on Craiglist? I do feel that you can get a better bargain for less than you would spend on this bike. Gary is an amenable chappie- so when he come out- I'm certain he will pass on some tips to you.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  13. #13
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    Depends on finances and how important the bike is to you. Even with the labour Free- It is still an old bike and I had an 820 15 years ago. Do a DG and look on Craiglist? I do feel that you can get a better bargain for less than you would spend on this bike. Gary is an amenable chappie- so when he come out- I'm certain he will pass on some tips to you.
    If the decision is about money, Stepfam is right (on the money, I'm tempted to say). If it's whether or not it's a good way to spend your time, then you'll have to decide whether you like doing the labour. (Stepfam, notice I spelled it laboUr.)
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  14. #14
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Paulie
    Good one, Gee!
    Huge Paulie,

    There's little reason to repeat yourself. We all heard you the first time.
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  15. #15
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    If the decision is about money, Stepfam is right (on the money, I'm tempted to say). If it's whether or not it's a good way to spend your time, then you'll have to decide whether you like doing the labour. (Stepfam, notice I spelled it laboUr.)

    Sorry about the spelling but I am English- I speak English and I write English. While we are on spelling--


    stApfam

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  16. #16
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    Sorry about the spelling but I am English- I speak English and I write English. While we are on spelling--


    stApfam

    I don't care what people call me as long as they call me.
    Good lord I'm quite embarrassed. I've always thought it was STEPfam. Please forgive me -- I don't know how I got that idea. Truly -- what a weird thing that's stuck in my head. I think I always figured it was something to do with a step-family or something. Do you mind sharing the origin of your screen name?
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  17. #17
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    If you like the bike, plan to do your own work, and don't mind scrounging eBay, this forum, and yard sales for parts and donor bikes, I say go for it! Because of the two-tone Cat. II CyclArt paint job, fixing up the 1959 Capo cost me the price of a mid-grade new bicycle, but I would far rather ride something very classy and distinctive than something new, but generic, that looks and feels as though it came out of a white box with a blue "bicycle" label on it. My other restorations, limited to mechanical rehab/upgrade and general cleanup, have been very economical and gratifying.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88
    I have an uncanny ability to let my emotions have way too much impact on what should be an easy, rational decision. I seem able to talk myself into almost anything. What to do; what to do? To rehab or not...

    It is irrational to be rational about bicycles.

    You might enjoy fixing up the bike your boys rode.

    Does the bike have a name? If so, you'll never pitch it. Goes back to that old barnyard rule....you don't name something you might have to eat.

  19. #19
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    What I'd do?

    1) Replace the rear brakes and axle. That Trek probably used Shimano canti's which you can get off of ebay.

    2) Put street slicks on it and don't choose the lightest. Try http://www.biketiresdirect.com/produ...RSLK&tnum=&c=0

    3) FENDERS http://www.rivbike.com/webalog/fenders/27002.html You might be able to find these elsewhere but what the heck. Grant is a great guy to hand money to.

    4) Racks - there are some really nice racks out there and if memory serves that Trek has all of the braze-ons for them. But unless you discover yourself riding across the country on your latest dream the cheap aluminum ones from Blackburn or such. (But check out this one http://www.cyclexpress.co.uk/product...Black_2600.asp)

    5) Pedals - now here's a problem. Since you'll discover that you like riding this bike as long as you aren't trying to race anyone anywhere, you'll start riding it in the conditions that you don't want to take your good bike out in. If you ride it a lot you'll want clipless but you also want a pedal that you can ride up to the store in your sneekers as well. On my non-road bikes I use Crank Bros pedals but for an application like yours I'd suggest Shimano Spds.

    6) Lights - if you're going to be out after dark running errands the latest LED technology stuff is really nice. A rear blinky and a front LED will put out more than enough light for city riding and the batteries seem to last forever.

    7) Gearing? My advice is to keep MTB gearing and use the bike to suppress the urge to race everywhere.

  20. #20
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    OK, folks. I appreciate the information and have been pushed to think about this in a slightly different way. I think I'm going to try something that is extremely difficult for me. That is, I will move ahead with the rehabilitation, but will take it on as a rainy day project to extend over the next 12 to 18 months. Typically, when I make a decision, I jump in head first and keep at it until it's completed. However, with this project, I'll only work on it when the weather is too bad for me to be out riding... typically about 20 to 30 days a year. I'll do my searching for parts, shopping, repair work, the whole deal only on bad weather days. My youngest son is reading this post over my shoulder and laughing his head off... We'll see if he ever gets a chance to ride this one when it's done!
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  21. #21
    Castiron Perineum Bockman's Avatar
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    Sounds good, NOS-- feel free to take lotsa photos because I for one would enjoy/appreciate seeing the rehab.
    The best libertarian podcast on the internet! freedomainradio.com

  22. #22
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    Good lord I'm quite embarrassed. I've always thought it was STEPfam. Please forgive me -- I don't know how I got that idea. Truly -- what a weird thing that's stuck in my head. I think I always figured it was something to do with a step-family or something. Do you mind sharing the origin of your screen name?
    Easy-- Surname of Staplehurst Hence Stap and it is a family hence Fam Stapfam.

    I go back a few years on E-mail addresses and it used to cost to get extra for my wife and 2 daughters I was- and still am, strapped for unnecessary expediture so all the family shared the one address.

    Incidentally- Staplehurst is a Village in Kent But my fathers family are from London- When I lived in Kent, I knew no-one with the same Surname- but it appears that Staplehurst is an old Sussex Surname. Apparantly-My ancestors lived in Staplehurst in the 1500's but moved to Sussex around this time. They finished up being called Staplehurst from where they came and have thrived ever since. I have 4 other Staplehurst families in close proximity in my part of the Town- None of whom are related as far as we know- but go to a village about 15 miles up the road and every other family is a Staplehurst.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88
    OK, folks. I appreciate the information and have been pushed to think about this in a slightly different way. I think I'm going to try something that is extremely difficult for me. That is, I will move ahead with the rehabilitation, but will take it on as a rainy day project to extend over the next 12 to 18 months. Typically, when I make a decision, I jump in head first and keep at it until it's completed. However, with this project, I'll only work on it when the weather is too bad for me to be out riding... typically about 20 to 30 days a year. I'll do my searching for parts, shopping, repair work, the whole deal only on bad weather days. My youngest son is reading this post over my shoulder and laughing his head off... We'll see if he ever gets a chance to ride this one when it's done!
    Oh, good decision. The 930-950-970 Treks were a cut above the 820-850 bikes so well worth restoring. I recently bought a '93 970 that has a lugged frame, XT and DX components, and is a really nice ride. I went through it and greased everything, replaced chain, cassette and brakes, raised the bars, new seat, mounted some Conti Town and Country tires and Jandd Exped racks and Presto! - for under $500 I have an "expedition tourer" to use for off-road camping. What fun! I haven't done anything but bomb around on it so far but it sure is fun to imagine the possibilities and I think I will take it up to Idaho this summer and camp off it.
    Specialized Roubaix SL4 Disc, Cannondale T2000 (touring), Stumpjumper M5 (Mtn - hardtail), Cannondale Rize4 (Mtn - full susp)

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