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Reviving a Trek/To HELiomatic and Back

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Reviving a Trek/To HELiomatic and Back

Old 05-21-04, 09:49 PM
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rhetoric
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Reviving a Trek/To HELiomatic and Back

Bikees --

I have a 1985 Road Trek (400 series, I think -- had orthroscopic surgery on my knee today and I'm too sore to make it all the way to the basement to confirm) 12 speed that I'm trying to resurrect. I will have to do some work on the BB (later post) but now I'm working on the rims. I have trued the rear rim to no avail --it's just shot. So...
1). Are the Nashbar wheelset closeouts ok? Heavy doesn't bother me -- the stronger the better. Any recommendations? I'm trying to spend less than the bike is worth in the first place!
2) Current rims are weinmann (700X25) with the Heliomatic hub on a 6 speed cassette. Do I need the whole new schmere? hubs and cassette? And can I get a 7,8,? sized cassette for the back w/o changing the derailer, etc?
3) Clearly, I have proven my newbieness so go easy on me. I'm not ready to start hand-forging my own spoke nipples.

rhetoric (aka pbs, aka paul)
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Old 05-22-04, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by rhetoric
Bikees --

I have a 1985 Road Trek (400 series, I think -- had orthroscopic surgery on my knee today and I'm too sore to make it all the way to the basement to confirm) 12 speed that I'm trying to resurrect. I will have to do some work on the BB (later post) but now I'm working on the rims. I have trued the rear rim to no avail --it's just shot. So...
1). Are the Nashbar wheelset closeouts ok? Heavy doesn't bother me -- the stronger the better. Any recommendations? I'm trying to spend less than the bike is worth in the first place!
2) Current rims are weinmann (700X25) with the Heliomatic hub on a 6 speed cassette. Do I need the whole new schmere? hubs and cassette? And can I get a 7,8,? sized cassette for the back w/o changing the derailer, etc?
3) Clearly, I have proven my newbieness so go easy on me. I'm not ready to start hand-forging my own spoke nipples.

rhetoric (aka pbs, aka paul)
Now, before you spend any money, is a real good time to think through this whole project.

You can almost never change just one part on a bicycle. Everything works together so, when you change one part, you usually find yourself changing or modifying something else in order to make it work. Bikes have changed quite a bit in the last 19 years so finding exact replacement parts may be challenging and/or expensive.

First the good news. Assuming your rim is truely ruined (which I'm pretty sure is true) it's probably much cheaper to buy a whole new replacement wheel than it would be to buy the parts and have a new rim laced onto your current hub. And honestly, if it were my bike, I wouldn't want to rebuild a Heliomatic wheel anyway.

Now the bad news. A bike of that era is likely to have 126mm dropout spacing and 6-speed "click" shifters. That calls for 3 modifications:
1. You'll have to either spread the rear triangle of your frame or else "force feed" your new 130mm wheel onto your frame. (This sounds like a bigger deal than it really is.)
2. Your shifters wont match up with your new 7 or 8 speed cassette. The quick, dirty workaround for this is to convert the shifters over to friction mode and not worry about the indexing. The more delux solution, of course, is new shifters but you've already said that your trying to hold down the cost.
3. You'll need a new cassette. You will probably want to get 8-speeds. The cost is only about $5.00 additional and you'll eliminate the need to make yet another modification to make it fit on your new wheel.
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Old 05-22-04, 07:34 AM
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Make it into a single speeder. Seriously. Thats what I did with my ~85 Peugeot. Its become one of my favorite bikes. Older bikes are great bases for making singlespeed and fixed gear rigs.



Total cost was about $100, the majority of which went towards a new wheel set (Nashbar closeout)

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Old 05-22-04, 08:13 AM
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The cheapest way to go is to replace the rim on the old hub. I wouldn't do that because Heliomatic hubs are poorly designed and repair parts are no longer available.
You could use a modern 8 speed hub, but I wouldn't be happy with the way friction shifters work with an 8 speed. You would also need an 8 speed chain, which won't shift well on the old front, and which is much more failure prone than the original 6 speed chain. Upgrading the whole drive train (including shifters and all) to 8 or 9 speed is way too costly. You would be better off to buy a new bike.
For me, the best way to go is to convert to single speed or fixed gear. If it has horizontal dropouts, get a flip flop hub with a solid axle and use a fixed gear. If it has vertical dropouts, get a quick release hub with a single speed freewheel, and use the derailer as a chain tensioner.
I have a 9 speed and a fixed gear bike, and unless I'm riding with a group where I need to match what the group does, I always ride the fixed gear.
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Old 05-22-04, 12:20 PM
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That's why I came to you guys first. I was afraid that it wasn't as simple as a new rim. The bike has friction, not click shifters, but from your posts it doesn't sound like a resurrection is likely. Tell me the joys of a single speed, though? It's not like there's a velodrome in North Chili, NY. Other "applications?" But there is good news, guys. I read my wife your replies and she said, "Ah, why don't you just buy a new bike!" (I'll pay you later).
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Old 05-22-04, 01:27 PM
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I might have a Helio rim in the basement...I'll look tomorrow (Sunday) when I'm home (at work tonight).

BUT, I'd go go for the new bike anyday.

If I do have one you can have it cheap...it came off a Trek I converted to fixed, so how's that for funny?

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Old 05-22-04, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by rhetoric
That's why I came to you guys first. I was afraid that it wasn't as simple as a new rim. The bike has friction, not click shifters, but from your posts it doesn't sound like a resurrection is likely. Tell me the joys of a single speed, though? It's not like there's a velodrome in North Chili, NY. Other "applications?" But there is good news, guys. I read my wife your replies and she said, "Ah, why don't you just buy a new bike!" (I'll pay you later).

All you really need to know bout SingleSpeedin and Fixed Gear ridin

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html

For me its the simplicity, the knowing you've only got that one gear so to go faster or climb that hill you've got to pedal.

I like my fixed gear bike, but the singlespeeder wins hands down.

And the Peugeot had Helio on it also.
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Old 05-22-04, 08:02 PM
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You can also check out the single/fixed forum on this site. I have ridden my fixed as my main bike, it is my favorite pavement bike.
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