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Buy cheaper bike...upgrade with 105 components from my old Trek 1400??

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Buy cheaper bike...upgrade with 105 components from my old Trek 1400??

Old 09-13-13, 06:39 PM
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rickjames
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Buy cheaper bike...upgrade with 105 components from my old Trek 1400??

I love my '89 Trek 1400 (was given to me) for group rides and solo 40 to 50 milers (on downhills I smoke all those folks with 2+ grand bikes). But, I keep getting flats after prob. every 2nd ride. Went biking in NC mtns a few wks ago. Rode 40 miles and everything was great. On my way back, the next day, I hear strange noises behind me..turns out both tires, within about an hour of each other, went flat (very loudly "phiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis" sound until completely flat). What the heck is happening, first of all? Second, I've heard that the Matrix IsoC rims were great. But, I'm tired of this happening, and the LBS mechanic, whom I trust, said the rims/tape/everything looks good. So, should I get a new wheelset and keep the Trek (I do get tired of shifting the old-fashioned way, though), or should I bite the bullet and get a new bike? I can't afford several grand...I've been looking at the $5-700 range, but mostly those are Sora components. Can I buy one of those and then just take the 105 components off my Trek and upgrade my new bike with those, kinda use the Trek as a parts bike but have the new frame with modern shifting?
Thanks for any advice you can give me. I searched around this site for a similar post but couldn't find one.
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Old 09-13-13, 06:48 PM
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Keep the trek. Spend some money to get it where you want it-- but make sure you know where you really want it.
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Old 09-13-13, 06:53 PM
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what is the reason for the flats. Did you examine the carcass and tube for the hole. Armored tires are much cheaper than new bike. Then you can look at shifter upgrades etc.

Rod
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Old 09-13-13, 06:58 PM
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The newest Sora is probably about as good as the older 105 stuff (5500 or older). Other than weight, I doubt it would be worth the swap.
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Old 09-13-13, 07:03 PM
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Examine the tubes to see where the puncture is. Match up that location to the rim and tire and find out what's causing them. Either you have a sharp object somewhere causing the flats, or you're riding really thin/worn out tires so worn that road hazards can easily puncture them. It could also be a technique issue if you're pinching the tube somewhere when you install it.

I once had a tube burst in my bedroom roughly a day after I inflated it, due to bad rim tape. So it does not necessarily happen instantly.
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Old 09-13-13, 07:09 PM
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+1

Find out what is causing the the flats.

It just doesn't seem like a sound reason to buy a new bike, although it's as good an excuse as any.

If your trusted LBS wrench says the all the wheel stuff is fine that doesn't leave a lot else. Tires, tubes or rider habits.

Search this forum. There are countless threads concerning flats and their causes.

To start with, line something up on your tire to the valve stem. Some use inflation range on sidewalls, others use brand logo. The whole effort is to see if the flats are occurring at the same place every time. If they consistently show up at the same location relative to the valve stem you have narrowed the problem to a specific area. You'd be more likely to find a problem in a five or six inch part of the wheel, tire, tube parts than looking around the whole thing.


Fastjake posted while I was typing.
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Old 09-13-13, 07:23 PM
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Let me see if I understand this; you think buying a new bike will solve your flat problem, right? A better review of the condition of the rim, rim tape, brake pad alignment, tube quality, etc. is more likely to solve the problem than a new bike. If you really want a new bike, go for it, but not with this reasoning.
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Old 09-13-13, 07:36 PM
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Thanks for all the great info. Maybe my LBS guy was just trying to sell me a new one when he told me this (we've never heard THIS before...), but he said the labor/parts/etc to move my shifters from the downtube up to modern integrated shifters wouldn't be worth it (all I know is that I hate leaning down to shift). I do love the frame and my rider position. I do think maybe the matrix wheels are simply ready to retire after 24 yrs of service. I'm not knowledgeable enough to figure out what is causing these flats....but the LBS mechanic (older and wiser, not some teenage punk) did a thorough inspection, and installed new tubes, and it still kept happening. He did say the first go-round that the position of the valve poking through likely caused the first flats (and possibly overinflation), but I inflate to the proper psi. Just torn on what to do....have about 700 bucks available to me right now....not sure if I want to upgrade the vintage, fast Trek (and save lots of that 700) or see what I can get new for that price range (and spend all of it).
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Old 09-13-13, 08:03 PM
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Nothing in that deal makes sense. If you have a problem with flats find the cause and fix it. Can't be that elusive. Find where the holes in those tubes are. If you really want a new bike then get one fitted out as you want. There is nothing to be gained by pitching new Sora equipment and replacing it with used 105 stuff. Beyond nominal bragging rights.

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Old 09-13-13, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by rickjames View Post
he said the labor/parts/etc to move my shifters from the downtube up to modern integrated shifters wouldn't be worth it (all I know is that I hate leaning down to shift).
This is true is a lot of cases. The cost of the shifters alone is sometimes enough to make it not worthwhile. Then if you're running 7-speed you need to at the very least put on a different freehub to get an 8/9/10 speed cassette on there, new chain, and after you add it all up it's more than the bike is worth.

Since it sounds like you won't be doing this work yourself then it definitely isn't worth it.

Originally Posted by rickjames View Post
I do think maybe the matrix wheels are simply ready to retire after 24 yrs of service. I'm not knowledgeable enough to figure out what is causing these flats....but the LBS mechanic (older and wiser, not some teenage punk) did a thorough inspection, and installed new tubes, and it still kept happening.
This is a major red flag. How many times have you had flats? They aren't THAT hard to diagnose and any competent mechanic should be able to figure it out the first or second time it happens.

There is no such thing as wheels being "old" or "ready to retire" and therefore resulting in flats. I just built up a wheelset with 30 year old rims. The rims were still in good shape, but the spokes were garbage, so I rebuilt them.
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Old 09-13-13, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rickjames View Post
I love my '89 Trek 1400...... But, I keep getting flats.....What the heck is happening.... LBS mechanic, whom I trust, said the rims/tape/everything looks good. So, should I get a new wheelset and keep the Trek (I do get tired of shifting the old-fashioned way, though)......the $5-700 range..... take the 105 components off my Trek and upgrade.........new frame with modern shifting?
I broke your post down to try and address everything.

89 trek 1400 for free has definitely served its time it doesnt owe you anything. The oldest 1400 I could find on bikepedia was a 94. I assume it was a steel frame w/downtube shifters.

2013 sora shifters are 9 speed, I think 2012's were 8 speed. (the 94 was 8 speed) If your trek is a 6/7 speed you will have issues. either with your shifters, rear wheel spacing, or hub config, My point being maybe you can make it work but it will probably suck to some extent.

as someone has already said, recurring flats are not a "real reason" to replace the whole bike, however if you're ready for a new one then why the hell not. If you wanted, you could buy new rims, cassette, tires, and tubes for less than $700.

I would first remove the tire completely from the rim and check for something stuck in your tire. also check for burrs or spokes poking though the rim tape. double check your LBS. maybe even replace just the tires.

I personally would go for a new bike, Just because your trek is nearly 25 years old, it didnt cost you anything initially, I prefer an alum frame and carbon fork over steel (take it easy all you "steel is real" guys). Ill go out on a limb and say the newer technology of modern bikes is superior (calm down c&v'ers) and your ride will be smoother and more efficient than a cob job'ed monstrosity.

$700 will get you something decent and if you decide to upgrade later it will be easier.

$500
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...mirage_slx.htm

$700
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...quila_xiii.htm

$800 steel/carbon
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...remio_xiii.htm
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Last edited by catonec; 09-13-13 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 09-13-13, 08:18 PM
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I apologize retroactively for my ignorance in all things mechanical....I'm an excellent rider but not so much with the tinkering part. Am new to road biking...have mountain biked for years, and on my Giant Yukon that I've beaten to death in various run-ins with trees, rocks, and trees sticking out of rocks, I'm still running on the factory tires 8 yrs later, and I've only replaced ONE TUBE during that time, so this replacing tubes every time I turn around on my road bike has me a bit in unfamiliar and frazzling territory. I'm starting to believe, with the wisdom of a previous poster and a trip to my garage to study the darn thing, that my tires themselves may be thinned to the point of allowing easier flats.
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Old 09-13-13, 08:29 PM
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Catonec, thanks for the info. The trek is aluminum (has "aluminum" stamped across the top tube in big red letters) and also 1400 and trek in red letters on the other tubes. (got it free from a parent of one of my students...I teach 5th grade....was cleaning out her garage and came across her husband's old racing bike, and since he became a fat lazy couch potato, she was going to THROW IT OUT...so I told her to hold the phone and voila, free bike). I think I am going to go the route of just biting the bullet...figure I'll spend a few extra hundred to have something brand new instead of a parted-up classic. (and maybe I can make about $100 selling the Trek on CL to help cover the cost). As for the flats, I know some posters are frustrated by my lack of addressing the flats, but I and the LBS guy looked them over very thoroughly and couldn't find anything suspicious anywhere. My money is on the tires being too worn or somehow improper inflation. As for your suggestions, I've always wondered about bikesdirect.com but can't quite figure out if it's legit and worth it or not, after so many mixed reviews I've read after scouring the 'net for advice on them.
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Old 09-13-13, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rickjames View Post
Catonec, thanks for the info. The trek is aluminum (has "aluminum" stamped across the top tube in big red letters) and also 1400 and trek in red letters on the other tubes.
The 1400 is not only aluminum but it is bonded aluminum, that is the tubes are bonded (read glued) to internal aluminum lugs. Trek made their aluminum frames in this way from the late '80's up through the early 90's when the switched their aluminum frames over to TIG welded construction, mostly as a cost saving measure.

Those bonded Treks were fine frames. I have a 1992 1420 (the triple crank version of the 1400) that I bought new and put about 20,000 miles on before giving it to my son who still rides it. It's worth modernizing if you want to but, again, not just to prevent flats. The two projects aren't related.
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Old 09-13-13, 08:52 PM
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Many people are against bikes direct. Actually most of them are against any online purchases for bicycle stuff. I can understand the argument. Buying local supports the community and helps keep the little guys open. You also get support w/fitting, upgrades, maybe even a discount on accessories, I get it.

I often refer people to BD. I am not associated w/ them nor do I receive any compensation for my opinions. I ride a Kestrel RT9 which is a brand carried by BD however I did not purchase it from them. I ebay'd the frameset brand new from a dealer.

so other than the few reasons listed above buying online has some other issues to consider. Not riding the bike in person first bothers alot of folks, sizing/geometry may be wrong, shipping/returns, there will be some basic assembly required.

If these things are not a huge deal for you, then the pricing is very attractive. Usually you get what you pay for but in this case I think the buyer makes out pretty well, better than a lbs.

You may need to have your wheels re-tensioned/trued as some others who bought from BD had needed but thats only $25 a wheel or so.

weigh your options, BD is not the only online source either. Many prefer Performance bike.com
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Old 09-13-13, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
The 1400 is not only aluminum but it is bonded aluminum,...Those bonded Treks were fine frames...
My 97 zx6000 trek mtb is a bonded frame as is my wifes 7000 from around the same era. it rides beautifully.

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Old 09-13-13, 09:07 PM
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If you want a new bike that's your choice, and frankly if you want integrated shifting on the handlebars it's probably your best choice value-wise.

Bikes Direct is not a bad place to buy a bike, but in my opinion ONLY if you meet the following two criteria:
- You know exactly what you want, and what size you need.
- You know how to put a bike together or are willing to pay someone to do it.

I helped my friend pick out a bike on BD. He is happy with it, but I had to take half the parts off and reinstall them properly. Nothing was tightened properly, NONE of the threads had any grease on them, brakes (disc) were way off. This wasn't a problem for me but expect to pay a bike shop at least $100 in labor to get a BD bike in proper riding condition.

I was under a time crunch to get my friend's bike ready for him, but if I ever buy a BD bike for myself I will strip it down to the bare frame in reinstall everything myself. That's how poorly it was assembled. Do not expect to put the wheels on and ride it like they claim on the site...
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Old 09-14-13, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by catonec View Post
My 97 zx6000 trek mtb is a bonded frame as is my wifes 7000 from around the same era. it rides beautifully.

Interesting. I didn't know they built them that late into the '90's. Along with my 1420 I also had a '93 Trek 7000 rigid fork hardtail MTB with the same type of bonded frame. Never had any problems with it either.
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Old 09-14-13, 08:51 AM
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My experience with Matrix rims on late '80's Trek. Look for cracks at the eyelets, especially on the rear. This was after many years and miles
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Old 09-14-13, 09:06 AM
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The Trek 1400 is a great old bike. I rode one for group rides and centuries for a couple of years. If you are tired of shifting "the old fashioned way" you can get Retroshifts http://www.retroshift.com/ to get the shifters off the downtube and onto the handlebars (you can buy the Retroshifts without the shifter and reuse your existing DT shift levers).

If you are getting a lot of flats, as others have mentioned, a new bike isn't the solution. You need to find out why you are getting flats. Many threads on the topic. If you have the original hard anodized rims that are extremely narrow, you might want to consider replacing them with modern machined sidewall rims around 19-22mm wide. I laced my old 105 hubs to a set of new Mavic rims with butted spokes and ended up with much better braking and a less squirrely feel on sandy or wet surfaces. I also went from 23mm to 25mm tires at the same time.

If you want a new bike with decent components for under $800 consider the Motobecane Gran Premio from Bikes Direct. It has a butted 520 chro-mo frame with CF fork and 105 brifters and derailleurs. The crankset is an FSA which is adequate and probably better than a 20-year-old 105 crankset and the brakes are Tektro. I hated the original 105 brakes on my 1400 (too much flex) and swapped them for some RX100 dual pivot brakes from the same era. The wheelset on the Gran Premio is entry level but not bad. Not a top end bike by any stretch, but as good as anything else you'll find new for $800.

Of course there is always the option of a new-to-you used bike that is newer than your 1400 and comes with 130 or 132.5mm dropout spacing and brifters with a decent groupset. I see a fair number of 2-3 year old models with 105 or Tiagra level components in decent shape priced in the $400-800 range.
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Old 09-14-13, 09:40 AM
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I'm not sure how replacing the frame and drive train will address the problems with your tires. Tires and tubes are wear items and should be replaced as needed. If you want a new bike, by all means get one, but rationalize it in a way that doesn't involve your tires and tubes.
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Old 09-14-13, 09:50 AM
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I think some are are missing what the OP has said, he wants to buy a modern bike and transfer the old outdated 105 components over to a new bike of some sort and replace the Sora components with the old 105. First thing, I'm not even sure that many frames are made with old style downtube shifter style bosses so he would be out of luck there in the first place. Secondly, seems to be quite of a downgrade to move to older downtube shifters from intergrated brake/shifter levers even Sora. Sora components are plenty fine mechanically and work just as good as older 105 stuff except that they are modern (8-9 speed, modern shifting, double pivot brakes, ramped and pinned shift assisting, etc) and have all those advantages over classic stuff. Personally I find modern intergrated shifting to be a HUGE improvement over downtube shifters. I just don't like having to reach way down to shift.

My son has a 92 1200 Trek that I fixed up for him with semi modern parts and he rides the thing to death. I put a newer freehub wheelset on it (i bought it as a frameset), 8 speed cassette, nice 105 STI 8 speed intergrated brake/shifters, 600 era double crankset, and some unknown double pivot brakes. But mind you, I had all those parts laying around in my parts collection, I didn't pay for them.

Find the cause of the flats. Worn out rims do not cause flats, plain and simple. Worn out rims suffer worn concave brake tracks and/or cracking at the spoke holes that warrant replacement. If your rims are not bent up, have worn concave brake tracks, cracks by the spoke holes or other areas, then they aren't worn out. Something else is causing the flats. What kind of different tires have you tried? Are you trying to ride super skinny 700x23c tires as urban commuting tires and doing stuff like bunny hopping, riding on rough bad surfaces, etc? Are you keeping your tires inflated properly? Not running them at 20psi?

This isn't a mountain bike and should not be treated like one.

Last edited by bobotech; 09-14-13 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 09-14-13, 10:11 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by rickjames View Post
Maybe my LBS guy was just trying to sell me a new one when he told me this (we've never heard THIS before...), but he said the labor/parts/etc to move my shifters from the downtube up to modern integrated shifters wouldn't be worth it (all I know is that I hate leaning down to shift).
Consider Retroshifts. Since you have shifters already, and presumably have short-pull brakes (i.e. caliper, not V), it would be CX2 for $129. As for flats, I don't know what wheels have to do with it, that's all in the tire department. Get new wheels if you want, but consider tire-based remedies for flats. You've already make sure the inside of the rim, and the rimstrip, are OK. So look for some new tires with flat protection. Or get any cheap tires and use flat-protection liners. I use Mr Tuffy's, and they work very well for me. Also consider getting wider tires, as far as your frame will allow (chainstay clearance is probably the limiting factor), but you should be able to do 700x25, maybe even 700x28. Wider means you can run lower pressure, which is less prone to punctures (and has the benefit of more comfort).

Also, since you smoke everybody on downhills, I presume you are (like me) overweight. Nobody can descend like a fat man! This also indicates (a) you will be more prone to flats, and (b) you would do well to look for wider tires.

[EDIT] now I see Myosmith beat me to the Retroshifts recommendation! In order to one-up, I can offer the link to my review.

Last edited by RubeRad; 09-14-13 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 09-14-13, 07:10 PM
  #24  
rickjames
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Lots of great info here. Thanks to all who have contributed. As for my weight, I'm actually not overweight (6', 200), and I'm in perfect shape (run all the time, workout, do 60 mile rides, etc), but I still find that I'm one of the bigger guys out there on group rides...it is frustrating to watch some of the other guys fly up the hills, but then I realized I could fly up, too, if I weighed 135 lbs. I have inspected the wheels a little more closely than before, and I still found no cracks (put some new rim tape on recently, too, so the insides are updated). I have come to the conclusion that it's cheap tires and/or inflation issues. I have the Vittoria Zaffiro tires (got red ones b/c my Trek is red/white). They were only 18 apiece, so they're certainly not the $70 Continentals that the LBS guy said he's used for years with no flats. However, this aftn I made the rounds of 4 LBSs and came across 1 that I really like. The Diamondback Podium 3. For $799 at Performance, it comes with 105 components and is a great looking ride with an awesome frame. I test rode a Trek 1.2 (with Sora, around 750), a Fuji Sportif (around 499, with Sora), a Fuji Roubaix (with Sora/Tiagra, about 650), and the Diamondback. The Fujis felt pretty lame as far as durability, ride, etc, and the Trek felt fine, but all 3 of them shifted rougher than I'm used to with my old Trek (those old 105s felt better than the new Soras). When I got on the DB, it felt very sturdy and high quality, and the 105 shifters were completely smooth and awesome. So, I'm pretty much at the point where I just want to spend the 799 to get a new bike, new technology (and the 105s!!) instead of nickel and diming my way to upgrading the 24 yr old Trek. Any thoughts on the Diamondback Podium 3? (I know DB kind of fell off the map for a while and just made big box store crap, but this Podium was high quality stuff at the LBS).
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Old 09-14-13, 07:38 PM
  #25  
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maybe i missed it, but, did anybody ask you what tires you're using?

what tires are you using?
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