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  1. #1
    Junior Member ken72's Avatar
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    Trek 800 conversion?

    Hey, I recently purchased a late model Trek 800 for only $50 on craigslist. The bike looks brand new other than the busted rear hub and it almost looks like its hardly seen any riding time. I would like a hybrid and i was in the market for to spend $300 but now I am thinking about taking this bike and making it a hybrid. What i would like to do is add a mosso aluminum fork with a new headset and neck. Right now it has an older mountain bike wheel set with slick road tires. Is there a thinner size wheel I can use for better road use?
    Alternatively I have considered flipping this bike for about $100 since I have it running and spending about $350 on a used hyrbid. Problem is there are not a lot of options on craigslist and I really dont want a walmart or target bike.
    I really like the idea of building this bike into something for me but I wanted a few opinions or some of those classic "what i would do if I were you" answers.

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Its a MTB pre suspension fork just put nice street tires on it and ride it.
    \
    My old MTB of that sort wears the studded tires for the Black Ice on the street.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BaseGuy's Avatar
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    An old Trek 800 will make a GREAT hybrid. I did the same conversion to my 1997 Specialized Rockhopper (also a steel, no-suspension MTB).

    1) With your current rims, which are kind of wide, you can use 26" x 1.5" tires well, and might find some 1.25" wide slicks out there. Instead of fixating on width, look instead for max pressure. Many MTB slicks only allow 65 PSI or so. But there are a few that allow 95 or 100 PSI, which makes a big difference in rolling resistance. I found some at Performance Bike, their "Forte" house brand, and they were inexpensive, too. I run them at about 90 PSI and they feel great.

    2) If you ride fast on the flats, you might find your stock MTB gearing is a little short (i.e., you'll spin-out the high gear), especially given the smaller rolling diameter with your small tires. If you ride hills, you'll probably like the short gearing.

    If you've got to replace the rear freehub, get one with taller gearing (i.e., fewer teeth on the smallest cogs). I'm guessing you have a seven-speed in back? It's a little tough to find that stuff (it's getting old), but it's still out there, and even amazon.com might have it.

    Otherwise, you are good to go. These bikes feel great, and will show you why so many older cyclists rave about steel frames. Do it!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Specifying WHICH 800 would be useful.
    IF it has a suspension fork, I'd pass. It appears those models are NOT CR MO tubing, thus heavier.
    You really don't want useless weight on a commuter. An 800 SPORT is HEAVY!
    IF it's an earlier model, just throw on some 1.25" slicks and give it a ride. Then you can decide if it's worth throwing more money at it.
    Many of the earlier 800 series are good candidates.

  5. #5
    Junior Member ken72's Avatar
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    Thanks for they replies.
    Bill, this is a Trek 800 singletrack. Seems to be a later model but no suspension. I like the frame because it has some slope in the top tube and wider in the frame body.
    I have ridden aluminum frame bikes in the past when I owned a nice Giant full suspension mountain bike and a decent Schwinn road bike but I like this steel frame quite a bit.
    I know it sounds crazy because after I spend what I plan on this bike I could have purchased a much newer / used hybrid. But I just like the idea of making this bike my own. Plus I enjoy wrenching on stuff and I like projects. For me there is nothing like the sense of pride you get from doing your own work.
    What I have ordered: a set of aluminum wheels (cheap zerolites) but still better than whats on it now. A new threadless quill and stem, and a new seat. Thinking about replacing the fork with an aluminum but I think I will ride for a while.

  6. #6
    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    Start here. Obviously, you can use whatever handlebars you want. Most are steel.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ar-Conversions

    Here is a late 1980's Miyata Terra Runner I converted, running $10 Panaracer 26 X 1.5" tires.

    Last edited by oddjob2; 11-16-13 at 04:10 PM.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein
    2014 Additions: 1985 Trek 560, 1992 Trek Multitrack 700 (my 2nd), 1994 Trek Carbon 2200, Peugeot PX-10, 1981 Schwinn Voyageur 11.8, 1989 Bridgestone RB-1, Miyata 912

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    the selection for the 26" road tires is ok but 700c has more choice. i have one converted mtb with 1,5 x 26, another mtb converted to 35mm x 700c, a bianchi hybrid with 28mm x 700c and an old puch converted to a hybrid with around 32mm x 27 tires. the mtb with 700c is going back to mtb as i have a nos hybrid frame i am building up. out of the lot i like how the old puch rolls with the 27 and mtb with 26 the least. i plan to send the 26 to the philippines where the 26 tire is more common and large frames are not common.

  8. #8
    Junior Member ken72's Avatar
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    I wanted the 700c but did not realize they made a brake modification for them. I found this out after I ordered the new 26 inch wheelset. Im keeping my eyes open for a good used set now that I know.

  9. #9
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    the mtb to 35mm x 700c was a on trek 3700, i tried the wheels on my jamis komodo mtb but they would not fit. i have a $30 19" 800 in the basement and i am 99.9% sure 700c would not fit that frame. since you already have the road tires, ride it as is for while and form your own view before putting more $ into it.

  10. #10
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    the earliest Trek 800 had mainframe cromo tubes
    later on trek cheaped out and did SEAT TUBE cromo-the decal will tell the story.
    and later still went to aluminum
    The mainframe cromo would be most desirable
    but frankly I can tell any RIDE DIFFERENCE between ANY of them-certainly not the seat tube vs all 3 tubes
    Yeah they are nice bikes.Ride well-sturdy-great "better than beater" bikes.

  11. #11
    Junior Member ken72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr1445 View Post
    the mtb to 35mm x 700c was a on trek 3700, i tried the wheels on my jamis komodo mtb but they would not fit. i have a $30 19" 800 in the basement and i am 99.9% sure 700c would not fit that frame. since you already have the road tires, ride it as is for while and form your own view before putting more $ into it.
    Thats good advice. I had an aluminum 700c hybrid that I loved riding about 4 years ago. It was the last bike I owned until now. I remember the bike was fast but right now I am doing this fun. Plus my daughters is riding now and this is a great way to spend time with her. Think i will just get the thinnest tire I can buy and run that for a while on these new wheels.

  12. #12
    Junior Member ken72's Avatar
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    Bike old.jpg

    Bike new2.jpg

    Here is my before and after. Of course we are looking forward to some very cold weather over the next couple of day. Hope to ride soon.

  13. #13
    Senior Member BaseGuy's Avatar
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    Bike looks good. I've got those wheels on my own converted-MTB-hybrid, and they seem to be pretty good. I've got two decent road bikes, but the old hybrid is a great utility bike and wet-weather device, and still a lot of fun to ride.

  14. #14
    Junior Member ken72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaseGuy View Post
    Bike looks good. I've got those wheels on my own converted-MTB-hybrid, and they seem to be pretty good. I've got two decent road bikes, but the old hybrid is a great utility bike and wet-weather device, and still a lot of fun to ride.
    Thanks Baseguy. It was a cold day but I finally got to take it for a ride. The wheels ride as well as the stock ones. I am looking at adding some disk brakes but only because I have always wanted a bike with discs.

  15. #15
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    Kona Hoss Conversion,

    Gone are the heavy front suspension forks, fat tyres and clipless pedals.

    Added a steel rigid fork, ergo grips, cheap bar ends, skinny tyres and flat pedals.

    I could probably squeeze 29" wheels on it!

    Nice and light and responsive, well twitchy.

    002.jpg

    Beic

  16. #16
    Junior Member ken72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beic View Post
    Kona Hoss Conversion,

    Gone are the heavy front suspension forks, fat tyres and clipless pedals.

    Added a steel rigid fork, ergo grips, cheap bar ends, skinny tyres and flat pedals.

    I could probably squeeze 29" wheels on it!

    Nice and light and responsive, well twitchy.

    002.jpg

    Beic
    I really like the fork. Bike looks good as well. I wanted a fork like that for my Trek.

  17. #17
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    Hi Ken,

    The fork is a UK On One cromo fork, available from Planet X and On One who now have a USA outlet.

    Cheaper than a Surley Instigator here at approx $100.

    Beic
    Last edited by Beic; 11-27-13 at 04:54 PM.

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