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Old 07-16-09, 04:16 PM   #1
UBUvelo
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another modifying thread? ;) another TREKenstein in the making...

ever since i moved from mississippi in 2003, i haven't had a bike to use...except for a more or less brand new hand-me-down from my wife's father's bike he rode a couple of times until his back went out: a 2004 Trek Navigator 200...

my last bike was a long serving, heavily modified Giant Iguana, and tho it was nice to get a 'free' bike, this is simply a comfort/hybrid...or was

ok, reality: i'm finally getting back into sustained daily riding and this is what i have for the moment. i am shopping around for possibly getting something more akin to the Cannondale Badboy (aggressive almost all-around megahybrid), but for now, i am using this Trek to get my game back on, loosen up the muscles, get some stamina going, etc. sure, i've treated this like a mountain bike on some semi-rough backtrails (handled creekbeds just fine) and it's been decent around the little city environs of media, pa and 'burbs. it's pretty decent on the nearby Ridley Creek State Park multi-purpose trail only after i've done some 'maximal' adjustments; but until i get something else, i think i will have to do some serious modifying of this to make it a little more aggressive, a 'rat rod' of sorts that will ultimately have to be functional and fun to push (to the limit, not down the road!).

before i mention possible modifications, here's what i've adjusted: lowered stem as far as it can go as well as adjusted it to lean more forward AND the handlebars themselves are following that adjustment line.

modifications...none yet but i plan to take ALL COMFORT out of the equation. the seat is huge and has suspension (!) so i'm trashing it (ebay) and getting a much more minimal sleek one from a friend. those RST shocks have to go...so, i am thinking something lighter that works (technically)...going with a stiff fork of course. i admit to not being tech saavy, so if i make this leap, i will probably let my local shop fit me with what works with the geometry and application(s). i am fine with the stem and handlebars for now (slight moustache). last thing for now is the tires. right now it has the bontrager 'comfort' tires (26x1.95)...i plan to hit mild trails, bumpy and smooth city/county roads, go to Trader Joe's about 1.5 miles away, just about everything EXCEPT (of course) hardcore mountain riding or road/touring/racing. this will be a commuter, a mutated hybrid, a fun bike. do i go for a thinner front tire (fork will limit the choices somewhat)?

having moved those handlebars/stemset forward has made it actually corrected the sense i had of the seat being 'too far back' so that's one adjustment i am happy with.

if this helps, i am about 5'9" and 153 lbs. the bike seems to be the right size.
any comments/suggestions are welcome. thanks,
andy

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Old 07-16-09, 06:06 PM   #2
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i forgot to add this stock picture of it from the trek archives...

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...e/navigator200

as mentioned, the stem is now bottomed out and the adjustable neck is going much more forward...seat is lower, too, than the pic example.

but is the kicker the frame? is it really useful for how i plan to modify? bye fat seat and shocks...and maybe fat tires. bye...
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Old 07-16-09, 06:30 PM   #3
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I wouldn't put any money into it - take every dollar and put it towards getting a good used mountain bike and slick tires


good quality steel frame bikes from the 90s that are still in good enough shape for road riding are cheap and plentiful if you can spend a day tuning them up - road bikes and mountain bikes with shocks fetch the bucks, so you can get great deals on nice rigids
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Old 07-16-09, 06:56 PM   #4
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thanks jj...and i figured that would definitely be one of the suggestions...now i may be getting some virtually free parts that i need changed (seat...and possibly a fork off an older stiff fork mountain bike...and perhaps even thinner tires)

but is the problem more or less the FRAME's geometry itself that makes this undoable, not worth modifying? or the gear ratio?

maybe i just need to dismantle it as practice for getting my hands dirty again...

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Originally Posted by JJPistols View Post
I wouldn't put any money into it - take every dollar and put it towards getting a good used mountain bike and slick tires


good quality steel frame bikes from the 90s that are still in good enough shape for road riding are cheap and plentiful if you can spend a day tuning them up - road bikes and mountain bikes with shocks fetch the bucks, so you can get great deals on nice rigids
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Old 07-16-09, 10:36 PM   #5
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it's a geometry thing - you obviously want to stretch out over a long top tube, not sit upright like in an office chair
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Old 07-17-09, 07:00 AM   #6
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well, i have "stretched' it out by putting the stem and bars more forward...and down

would an offset seat that angles to the back a few inches make a difference? it's definitely set up now that i don't "sit up" anymore, but even being as short as i am, i do feel like the seat should go "back" even more.
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Old 07-17-09, 05:59 PM   #7
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flogging...?

i noticed, though, in the TREK archive pic, that my bike frame looks a bit different. maybe the one in the picture is a women's model, but mine has a less radical 'angle' where the top bar meets the stem...

also, i do still have my wife's 200 (which she has forgotten about) that has been ridden maybe 3 times since 2004...same thing...should i use it as a parts bike or just clean it up (what little there is to do with that regard) and trade it in towards what i really want?

i guess, then, i'll just keep this men's 200 and trick it out with freebies/cheapies and use it around the neighborhood and for just fun...

MORE IMPORTANTLY, if i changed the wheels (keeping them at 26" would i still have to change out rims if i got with slightly narrow tires (from the 1.95 to, say, 1.5?)
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Old 07-20-09, 07:49 AM   #8
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well, i have almost given up on this one as being a serious bike...at least for now...got some info from a bike friend who said this was actually doable as an extreme urban bike...

won't be until maybe december that i can get what i really want...

but for now (and let me keep this simple as opposed to the above), what kind of stiff fork would easily replace the RST shock fork? is the offset an issue?

thanks for anyone here willing to impart their wisdom...
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