For lovers of old Trek mountain bikes, I have a success story to share.
A couple of years ago I found a 1992 Trek 830 Antelope MTB dumped in the hard rubbish collection around the corner from my home in Sydney. I guess her original owner wasn't feeling the love anymore, so I wheeled her home to see how we would get on. I replaced a few worn items, like the lower cassette, 2 x brake cables, 2 x Kenda tyres and a siezed gear shifter which was kindly donated by my local bike shop. I setup the derailers, cleaned and lubed the chain and with some minor works the bike was very rideable. In fact it felt gooood. The eliptical sprokets give it a very smooth pedalling action, quite different to other bikes I'd ridden. My local bike shop mechanic got a bit bleary eyed when he saw it because he had fond memories of 'ridin the hell outta one' (his first bike) as a teenager in the 90's. With his encouragement I decided to continue this old school restoration project and retrofit some suspension forks. I wanted to do some off-roading and shocks would definitely help an unskilled rider like me. Fortunately the original Trek forks had a 1 1/8" threaded steerer. It's possible to spend a fortune on forks but I wanted to replace them with something basic. My LBS found some entry level 80mm suspension forks, but with unthreaded steerer tubes. A minor problem it turns out, I had to replace the old quill type headstem with something compatible from Mongoose. Not wanting to over capitalize, I made do with a selection of used and new parts; total cost of $180.00 for the suspension fork upgrade.
The original Trek setup used a flat handlebar, but to improve my riding position I installed some Mongoose steel riser bars and new grips to give about a 2" lift. Also the suspension fork needed a v-brake caliper. The Trek original was a cantilever type which would not work with the fork travel but a replacement caliper added another $15.00.
I'm no expert, and not a hardcore rider but this feels like great value for money and I'd encourage others to show some love to the pedigree. Some of the online 'experts' are claiming that adding suspension to the Trek 830 is either impossible or not worth the effort, but I am well happy with this old school ride and consider it money well spent. BTW, some forums claim this bike has a 1" steerer but in the case of my 1992 model it is most definitely 1 1/8" - the current defacto standard.
In the next few weeks I'm taking her off-road and if I don't break my neck first, I'll post some photos and feedback of how it handles in the dirt...!!!
Yeah, I guess the Trek is a low end bike but I'm a low end rider so we were made for eachother!
I looked at what I could get for that kind of money in the second hand market but it seemed like I'd be buying more problems. Unless I spent at least $500.00 I'd be dealing with other peoples rust and worn running gear. Ultimately, it's not really about the money; it makes me happy to think that I saved this rig from certain death and after a little TLC she rides like the wind.......
Work Bike - Trek 4500, Personal Bike - Trek 800 Antelope
Wow! I have a Trek 800 Antelope that I think was made in 87' or 89'. Bought it for $50 on craigslist. I have been wondering if I could upgrade it or if I should just invest in a newer mountain Bike? The biggest problem I'm having is finding a fork like yours.