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Should I build it? If so, how??

Old 12-05-20, 07:19 PM
  #1  
tfh4
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Should I build it? If so, how??

I picked up this frame a while back in the hope of learning how to do a build up through endless YouTube scrolling. I recently took it over to my LBS and heard that it’s hard to find the parts for such a build unless I want to do an “old school, small gear build”. I may build it for myself or I may give it to my daughter if she is interested. In either way, I love the paint so I wanted to ride it. Lately, I’ve been watching a number of Old Shovel videos where he shows the paint process so I may consider that although I’d probably want another frame first. I looked online and it looks like the 8 speed groups are available although not with Shimano, most were Microshift. I’d love to get some thoughts on this since winter is setting in and the roads are less enticing as the temps drop. Thanks in advance!

PS. I don’t know jack about building bikes.

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Old 12-05-20, 07:56 PM
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I'd not heard the parts of that frame's era called "small gear" before. Oh well one more attempt to make what's current seem so much better I guess.

If the were my own I would try seeking out used parts before getting all new stuff. Andy
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Old 12-05-20, 08:40 PM
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That looks like it has a 130mm spread in the rear drop outs. If so, literally ANY 8-9-10-11 speed group or any combinarion of comparible components can be installed, easily.
Even if the rear drops are 126mm, that aluminum frame can be gently spread by hand to insert a 130mm rear hub.
Lots of used Shimano 8-9-10 speed stuff out there, shop around.
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Old 12-06-20, 12:43 AM
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how tall are you? That looks like a very small frame for a short person
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Old 12-06-20, 01:29 AM
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The best but about this frame is that you already recognise that it is not important, which means you can take risks with it. I have a pair of folder frames I am using to get familiar with different bike components and then have fun riding them around. They have coaster brake rear hubs, and I have just bought a very well used child's bike for very little money that also has 24 inch wheels but 3x5 derailleur gears but bent cranks - I am not sure how much I can make fit my folders, but I sure will have fun trying.
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Old 12-06-20, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by tfh4 View Post
Lately, I’ve been watching a number of Old Shovel videos where he shows the paint process so I may consider that although I’d probably want another frame first. I looked online and it looks like the 8 speed groups are available although not with Shimano, most were Microshift. I’d love to get some thoughts on this since winter is setting in and the roads are less enticing as the temps drop. Thanks in advance!

PS. I don’t know jack about building bikes.
I have had good experience with Microshift components, and a recent post about the ability to buy new indexing plates for their bar end and thumb shifters to freely change among number of speeds would put them right in line with your project. You can start at 8 speed and if you want to go with another number of speeds just get a new indexing plate.
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Old 12-07-20, 07:38 AM
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Sounds like you are going to enjoy the build and I can tell you handing down a build to a daughter is one of life's great pleasures. I had a 1996 1220 pass through the shop many years ago with the same purple paint. Al frame but carbon fork. It was 3x7 so the dropouts measured 126mm which I believe yours is as well making it unsuitable for a modern 8 to 11 speed. You can search for "vintage-trek" and find the catalog with your frame with specs.
If you have a bike coop in your town they will have parts and classes that would help. Some small neighborhood shops might have time for helping with parts. You could even ask on our Classic and Vintage Sales forum as I and others have bins full of old Shimano RSX STI parts collecting dust.

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Old 12-07-20, 08:49 AM
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I purchased that same purple Trek 1220 new in 1996 as a present for my adult son and he rode it for about 20 years. It had Trek's bonded aluminum frame, a Cr-Mo fork and RSX 3x7 components. I don't recall if the dropouts were 126 or 130 but I owned an even earlier (1992) Trek 1420 bonded al frame bike that was spaced 128 mm and was sold as both 7-speed or 8-speed models by Trek so your 1220 may be useable with a 130mm wheel.
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Old 12-07-20, 09:04 AM
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This is a '90s frame and probably 130mm rear. Even if it's 126mm, a 130 hub will fit. It's been done a thousand times.

Easiest and surely the cheapest way to "build" a bike like this is to find one of a similar vintage (maybe in the wrong size) that needs and overhaul. Strip it down. As you clean and re-grease the parts, put them on your frame instead of the one you bought. Sell the other frame when you're done.

LBS is either clueless or just wants to sell you a new bike. These are some of the easiest bikes in history to build, with standards that were around for decades. 1" threaded headset, 27.2mm seatpost, 68mm English threaded BB shell, 700c, caliper brakes, etc. You could do anything from a super retro down-tube friction shifting tubular build to 10/11-speed STI and carbon wheels. The possibilities are endless.
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Old 12-07-20, 09:33 AM
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There is only one issue, finding “inexpensive” good used parts. Most people will suggest a bike co-op or community bike garage where bikes are donated. If you have one close by that is the best option.

I “used” to suggest eBay, but that has pretty much dried up as a reasonably priced source for older bike parts. I don’t know if it is pandemic related or a generational run on older parts, but the prices even on old used stuff are crazy.

It looks like IRA has been replaced with NOS.

The Microshift shifters suggestion is good, as well as Sunrace cassettes.

John
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Old 12-07-20, 09:38 AM
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i had a TREK 1400 bonded aluminum bike - nicely sized for me - loved it. Aluminum is supposed to give a harsh ride, but this was like buttery nice. maybe it was the wheels or the seat - dunno. it was nice.

for your frameset, the headset is already installed. that's the hardest part of the bike build. next is the bottom bracket, and that's not hard to do.

after that you just start bolting parts on. if you're in no rush you can find them in the C&V section. if you use the "in search of " thread, you can probably get some free stuff.
check to see if you have a local facebook group that is bike-stuff specific for sale. you have to wade through on the carbon fiber garbage for sale with 3 or 4 digits after the dollar sign, but you can occasionally find a nice wheelset that would work on this bike, then you avoid shipping.

if you start a thread in the C&V section with a title like: "what would you hang on this frame for your daughter? " - you'll get all kinds of help.

cheers.
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Old 12-07-20, 12:25 PM
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I wonder if the LBs's comment that the frame is only suitable for an "old school, small gear build" means it isn't suitable for the now trendy 1X drivetrain and the accompanying dinner-plate size largest cassette cog. So I guess you are stuck using a horribly old fashion double or triple crank and a cassette with a 32T or so maximum cog. How dreadfully disappointing.
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Old 12-07-20, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
I wonder if the LBs's comment that the frame is only suitable for an "old school, small gear build" means it isn't suitable for the now trendy 1X drivetrain and the accompanying dinner-plate size largest cassette cog. So I guess you are stuck using a horribly old fashion double or triple crank and a cassette with a 32T or so maximum cog. How dreadfully disappointing.
You would thing they could make them microwave safe by now.

Ride all day... eat all night.

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