Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

renovating Trek 400 bike

Old 05-19-16, 11:29 AM
  #1  
skytanic
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
renovating Trek 400 bike

Hi, I found my dad's old 1992 Trek 400 in the attic at their place and was wondering if there is a cost-effective way to get it rideable again (I think I tried riding it like 10 years ago briefly, and before that it hadn't really been ridden for another 10 years or so). I will be visiting them in the summer for a short period of time so I wanted to do all the legwork/get parts/etc. so in the brief time I have there I can just bring everything to a LBS, especially since the area is very high cost so I don't want to have to buy the stuff at the LBS.

I grabbed a picture from the 1992 trek catalogue I found online with all the specs and attached it here.

So questions for all you experts:

1. I'm a big guy (6'8", close to 300 lbs), so those narrow tires definitely won't cut it. Can I replace the tires with something wider or would I have to get all new rims?

2. If I do get all new rims, what's the widest I can fit on this bike? If someone could just identify the general sizes and types that are compatible I can search myself, but I really don't know anything about bike mechanics.

3. Alternately, if you have any recommendations for something very inexpensive (and I mean regular person inexpensive, not bike afficionado inexpensive)? I am only interested in cost and strength in that order, performance and weight are completely irrelevant to me. Also, yes, this bike may be a little small on me frame-wise but it is either this or nothing.

4. Will the bike need a new chain? It's been inside the entire time, but it also hasn't been maintained. If so is there a specific size/type I need? Any recommendations? Again, strength and cost are my only considerations.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
trek400.jpg (48.2 KB, 46 views)
skytanic is offline  
Old 05-19-16, 11:31 AM
  #2  
cb400bill
Administrator
 
cb400bill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Kalamazoo MI
Posts: 16,434

Bikes: Fuji SL 2.1 (carbon fiber), Pinarello Stelvio (steel), Cannondale Synapse (aluminum)

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1246 Post(s)
Liked 36 Times in 26 Posts
Does this bike even fit you? How tall is you dad?
cb400bill is offline  
Old 05-19-16, 11:38 AM
  #3  
cny-bikeman 
Mechanic/Tourist
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Syracuse, NY
Posts: 7,510

Bikes: 2008 Novara Randonee - love it. Previous bikes:Motobecane Mirage, 1972 Moto Grand Jubilee (my fave), Jackson Rake 16, 1983 C'dale ST500.

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 477 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Assuming it fits Sheldon has a table on compatibility between rim widths (measured on the inside in mm) and tire width at: Tire Sizing Systems. Scroll down to Width considerations. I'm guessing that rim can take a 28 or even 32 mm tire.
__________________
There's no such thing as a routine repair.

Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

Please respect others by taking the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!
cny-bikeman is offline  
Old 05-19-16, 11:44 AM
  #4  
HillRider 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 31,489

Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1141 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 20 Times in 19 Posts
The largest frame that year was 25.5" or almost 65 cm so it's going to be marginal at your height. If it's a smaller size it probably won't work at all. Consider that before going any further.

I had a '83 Trek 400 and I believe it would clear 700-32 tires so perhaps yours will too but that's about the largest I expect to fit. Tires that size will work on your present rims.

One thing that should be done first. That bike has been sitting unused for 10 years and probably 10 more before that so the bearing grease is almost certainly dried out. Before doing anything, have the hubs, headset and bottom bracket disassembled, cleaned, inspected, greased, reassembled and adjusted. Riding it in the current condition will almost certainly ruin the bearings.
HillRider is offline  
Old 05-19-16, 11:48 AM
  #5  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 15,118

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 107 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3608 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 56 Posts
There's a decent market for used road bikes like this. You might be better off selling this and using the funds to buy a vintage mountain bike. They're relatively cheap and you can fit a nice fat tire on them.
bikemig is offline  
Old 05-19-16, 11:52 AM
  #6  
ypsetihw
Senior Member
 
ypsetihw's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 1,110

Bikes: s-1

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 221 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
There's a decent market for used road bikes like this. You might be better off selling this and using the funds to buy a vintage mountain bike. They're relatively cheap and you can fit a nice fat tire on them.
this. sell it to someone who will use it or flip it properly, and use the money to buy a used rigid mountain bike, then you can put on some street tires and roll on.
ypsetihw is offline  
Old 05-19-16, 12:00 PM
  #7  
RubeRad
Keepin it Wheel
 
RubeRad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,610

Bikes: Surly CrossCheck, Moto Fantom29 ProSL hardtail

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked 49 Times in 40 Posts
The rim is not as much of a limiting factor as frame clearance (which is usually tighter than fork clearance). Look at where the tire passes through the rear brake and the chainstays, measure the clearance in mm wherever the tire is closest to an obstruction. Double that (because there's clearance on both sides), add it to the current tire size (original equipment is nominally 25mm wide, but measure if you can), and that's the theoretical maximum. Knock 2-4mm off that because in reality you need a little clearance, especially if the rear wheel is not perfectly true.

But as noted above, the bigger issue is fit. If you have the largest size available, 25.5"=64.77cm, that would probably be workable with a long enough seatpost, but any smaller and the fit would not be good.

Craigslist is always a great source for cheap bikes, are you looking for a comparable (drop bar, road, vintage) bike, or would you prefer a flatbar, more upright seating? Obviously you are interested in wider tires.

Where are you located? Search yourlocal.craigslist.org/bik and drop some links that look interesting to you, we love to look at bikes and give opinions
RubeRad is offline  
Old 05-19-16, 12:32 PM
  #8  
skytanic
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Does this bike even fit you? How tall is you dad?
Like I said above, I've ridden it. It's fine.
skytanic is offline  
Old 05-19-16, 01:51 PM
  #9  
skytanic
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
The rim is not as much of a limiting factor as frame clearance (which is usually tighter than fork clearance). Look at where the tire passes through the rear brake and the chainstays, measure the clearance in mm wherever the tire is closest to an obstruction. Double that (because there's clearance on both sides), add it to the current tire size (original equipment is nominally 25mm wide, but measure if you can), and that's the theoretical maximum. Knock 2-4mm off that because in reality you need a little clearance, especially if the rear wheel is not perfectly true.

But as noted above, the bigger issue is fit. If you have the largest size available, 25.5"=64.77cm, that would probably be workable with a long enough seatpost, but any smaller and the fit would not be good.

Craigslist is always a great source for cheap bikes, are you looking for a comparable (drop bar, road, vintage) bike, or would you prefer a flatbar, more upright seating? Obviously you are interested in wider tires.

Where are you located? Search yourlocal.craigslist.org/bik and drop some links that look interesting to you, we love to look at bikes and give opinions
Thanks for the advice on the clearance! Unfortunately I can't measure the bike until I get there and I was hoping to figure out a plan before I travel. As for getting a different one I'd rather keep this one if possible; if I visit them over the summer I don't want to spend time traveling around the county trying to find an appropriately-sized mountain bike. Also it's been around so long that I'm sentimentally attached to it. The frame size should be ok since my dad is 6'4" so I assume he would have gotten the largest possible frame.
skytanic is offline  
Old 05-19-16, 02:04 PM
  #10  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 15,118

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 107 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3608 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 56 Posts
There is no telling, without some trial and error, how large a tire you can fit on that 400. You may top out at 25c or 28c or you may be able to get a 32c to work.
bikemig is offline  
Old 05-19-16, 02:19 PM
  #11  
skytanic
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
There is no telling, without some trial and error, how large a tire you can fit on that 400. You may top out at 25c or 28c or you may be able to get a 32c to work.
Thanks, starting to feel that way. I'm tempted to take a gamble on spending $30 bucks or so on a pair of 700x28 Continental Ultra Sport IIs; I have Continental Touring Pluses on my Jamis Allegro and they seem pretty sturdy and well-made.

Continental Ultra Sport II Road Tire

Do you (or anyone) think this plan is doomed to fail?
skytanic is offline  
Old 05-19-16, 02:21 PM
  #12  
rmfnla
Senior Member
 
rmfnla's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: La La Land (We love it!)
Posts: 6,330

Bikes: Gilmour road, Curtlo road; both steel (of course)

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 268 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by skytanic View Post
Hi, I found my dad's old 1992 Trek 400 in the attic at their place and was wondering if there is a cost-effective way to get it rideable again .
Don't try to "upgrade" the drivetrain.

Like HillRider said, bearing maintenance is a good idea and the good news is this bike is all cup and ball so clean & repack is probably all it will need.

Too bad you can't do it yourself; simple job, really...
__________________
Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...
rmfnla is offline  
Old 05-19-16, 02:26 PM
  #13  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 15,118

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 107 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3608 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 56 Posts
Originally Posted by skytanic View Post
Thanks, starting to feel that way. I'm tempted to take a gamble on spending $30 bucks or so on a pair of 700x28 Continental Ultra Sport IIs; I have Continental Touring Pluses on my Jamis Allegro and they seem pretty sturdy and well-made.

Continental Ultra Sport II Road Tire

Do you (or anyone) think this plan is doomed to fail?
My guess is that a 28c will work. This is an older sports touring bike and those generally took long reach sidepulls. If you measure the reach on the brakes, you'll figure out whether they are short or long reach: Brakes for Bicycles from Harris Cyclery

If short reach, you may top out at 25c; if long reach (47-57 mm), you may well top out at 28 mm.

Not doomed to failure but the bike needs some work. I'd take it down to a bike co-op (assuming there is one where your Dad lives) and get the bike in riding shape.
bikemig is offline  
Old 05-19-16, 02:58 PM
  #14  
dsbrantjr
Senior Member
 
dsbrantjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 6,225

Bikes: '93 Trek 750, '92 Schwinn Crisscross, '93 Mongoose Alta

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 650 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 44 Times in 41 Posts
Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
The rim is not as much of a limiting factor as frame clearance (which is usually tighter than fork clearance). Look at where the tire passes through the rear brake and the chainstays, measure the clearance in mm wherever the tire is closest to an obstruction. Double that (because there's clearance on both sides), add it to the current tire size (original equipment is nominally 25mm wide, but measure if you can), and that's the theoretical maximum. Knock 2-4mm off that because in reality you need a little clearance, especially if the rear wheel is not perfectly true.
Make sure that you check everywhere the tire passes; on two of my bikes the front derailleur mechanism is the tight spot for the rear tire clearance.
dsbrantjr is offline  
Old 05-19-16, 03:15 PM
  #15  
GravelMN
Senior Member
 
GravelMN's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Rural Minnesota
Posts: 1,604
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 73 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
An easy way to check frame/fork clearance is to air the tires up to near maximum pressure (listed on the sidewall) and take a set of metric allen (hex) wrenches and pass each one through the tightest space between the frame/fork and the tire. The largest one that will pass through without dragging significantly will give you your clearance. Do both sides because they are not always equal. You need at least 2mm clearance on each side of the tire. If you have a total clearance of 10mm or more, consider going up a tire size. Honestly, decent 28mm tires will fit most stock rims and are fine for riders up to 300# or maybe more.

Be aware that stated tire size is a manufacturer estimate so 28mm tires from different manufacturers will vary in actual width. Your rim width will also make a difference to the final profile of your tire. I once tried swapping the front wheel from my touring bike (Mavic A17 rims) with a 28mm tire onto my road bike and it was a no go, but on my narrower road rims (Mavic Open Pro) the 28mm tires clear with a couple mm to spare.
GravelMN is offline  
Old 05-19-16, 03:23 PM
  #16  
GravelMN
Senior Member
 
GravelMN's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Rural Minnesota
Posts: 1,604
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 73 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Depending on the conditions under which it was stored, a 25 year old bike will need at least a full servicing which includes:

- clean, regrease and adjust the headset, bottom bracket, wheel bearings and pedal spindles
- clean, lubricate and adjust the front and rear derailleurs and brakes
- clean and lubricate the chain, cassette and chainrings (if you need to replace the chain, you will need a 7-speed chain, sometimes sold as 8-speed but they are the same width, for a multi-speed bike. They all come long and need to be "broken" at the appropriate spot. Any bike shop can do this for you or you can get the tool to do it for $10-$15.
- check cables and housings for condition and wear, replace as needed
- replace brake pads if they have become hardened or cracked
- replace tires if they are seriously hardened or cracked (tubes too if tires are in poor condition)
- assure that the seatpost and stem are not seized and can easily be raised or lowered. Remove, clean and reassemble with a light coating of grease or anti-seize.

If major components are worn or damaged, you will have to consider whether or no the project is worth it. As others have mentioned, if the frame is significantly undersized, you might want to sell this bike and get one with an appropriately sized frame.

Some photos and measurements would be helpful. Measure from the center of the bottom bracket (the center of the bolt that holds the pedal and sprocket assembly to the frame) to the center of the horizontal frame tube, measuring along the seat tube. This is an old method of frame sizing but will give you some idea of whether the bike size is appropriate.

I'm 5' 11" with a 34" total inseam (32-33 pants inseam) and average body proportions. On an old school frameset like this, I would ride a 21" frame as measured per above. I might be able to ride a 22"-22.5" frame depending on geometry.

Last edited by GravelMN; 05-19-16 at 03:34 PM.
GravelMN is offline  
Old 05-19-16, 07:51 PM
  #17  
skytanic
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ok, have another question:

So this bike has been mostly in the attic for 20+ years. An unheated attic in a vacation home that is only occupied in the summer, in the northeast. Should there be any issues with the frame in terms of temperature changes over the years? I believe it's an insulated attic so there would not have been any extreme temperature changes, but would the slow heating and cooling over the years do anything to the aluminum?
skytanic is offline  
Old 05-19-16, 08:18 PM
  #18  
HillRider 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 31,489

Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1141 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 20 Times in 19 Posts
The temperature excursions will have had no effect on the frame unless there is a lot of condensation inside the tubes that caused rust. That frame is steel so I don't understand your question about aluminum unless you are asking about the aluminum components like the crank, rims, etc.. The temperature swings will have no effect on the aluminum parts either.
HillRider is offline  
Old 05-19-16, 08:36 PM
  #19  
skytanic
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
The temperature excursions will have had no effect on the frame unless there is a lot of condensation inside the tubes that caused rust. That frame is steel so I don't understand your question about aluminum unless you are asking about the aluminum components like the crank, rims, etc.. The temperature swings will have no effect on the aluminum parts either.
You're right, I mistyped, it's chromoly; the question (which you answered) would have been the same. Thanks for the info!
skytanic is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
vol
Commuting
45
10-22-15 08:13 AM
robtown
Fifty Plus (50+)
1
04-03-10 02:12 PM
ITT
Bicycle Mechanics
16
12-19-06 04:27 PM
Terror_in_pink
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
12
01-31-05 07:35 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.