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Trek 620 or 720?

Old 11-18-16, 11:00 AM
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Trek 620 or 720?

When it rains it pours. I see another interesting bike on the Louisville CL:



I've been thinking of getting a touring bike, since my rapidly growing collection is all race oriented bikes, and I know people rave about Trek early '80s touring bikes. This looks like either an '82 720 or an '83 620, but I find Trek variants bewildering. I like that it has barend shifters, and the fenders and Brooks saddle are nice. Looks like it might fit me, too.

What should I look for if I can arrange to see it? Can anyone nail down which year and model? Thoughts on the current components, which seem to be a bit of a hodge-podge compared to original?
https://louisville.craigslist.org/bik/5881532388.html
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Old 11-18-16, 11:14 AM
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Pretty sure that's a 1982 728. If it is the brakes and crank are not original.
Check out this link for specs:
https://www.vintage-trek.com/images/trek/Trek3.pdf


That is a good, very good, price if all is well.
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Old 11-18-16, 11:27 AM
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It looks like it has the titanium RD. Those came on the 720/728 I believe. I love those titanium drives.
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Old 11-18-16, 11:45 AM
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I agree, looks like a 720. I believe the 620 has shorter chain stays and there appears to be the remnants of a Reynolds decal on the fork blade. The 720 could be purchased as a frame set, that might explain the mishmash of parts. Look it over good for dents and dings. Take Allen wrenches with you, make sure the stem and seatpost are not stuck.
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Old 11-18-16, 12:39 PM
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This is a 1982 Trek 720. I picked up one earlier this year. $250 is a good price for this bike.


https://
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Old 11-18-16, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Kevindale View Post
This looks like either an '82 720 or an '83 620, but I find Trek variants bewildering.
Yup.
Univega was recently mentioned as being guilty of making it difficult to tell the difference between an entry level and high level bike. I read that and immediately thought to myself that almost no company made it more difficult than Trek in the late 70s/first half of the 80s.
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Old 11-18-16, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Yup.
Univega was recently mentioned as being guilty of making it difficult to tell the difference between an entry level and high level bike. I read that and immediately thought to myself that almost no company made it more difficult than Trek in the late 70s/first half of the 80s.
Did Trek make any bikes at that time that weren't good quality? Sure, the top of the line models had better named tubing, but to me it seems that apart from components and the bling factor of high end tubing you'd be hard pressed to tell the frames apart while riding them. Given two frames, one with full 531C tubes and one with 531 main tubes and Ishiwata stays, if you can't tell which is which without looking up the serial number is one really any better than the other?
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Old 11-18-16, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Did Trek make any bikes at that time that weren't good quality? Sure, the top of the line models had better named tubing, but to me it seems that apart from components and the bling factor of high end tubing you'd be hard pressed to tell the frames apart while riding them. Given two frames, one with full 531C tubes and one with 531 main tubes and Ishiwata stays, if you can't tell which is which without looking up the serial number is one really any better than the other?
Great point. I certainly wouldnt turn away a Trek from lets say '83 regardless of model.
My post was more just a comment on Trek's model naming. It was 5xx if it had this. It was 5xy if it didnt have that. It was 5xz if it was just a frame. Same with the 7 series.

Their later 80s into the 90s offerings were easier to understand. 5 and 7 were road. 8 was mtb. 9 was hybrid. And the bigger then 2nd digit, the nicer the model.
...but then 7 became hybrid too.
...and they added 'multitrack' and 'singletrack' and 'antelope' to just mess with everyone. <---kidding, kind of.
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Old 11-18-16, 04:18 PM
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And then there's the fact that the early years didn't even have the model number on them anywhere, so you're left figuring out what it is based on color and whether or not the head tube matches the main tubes. I definitely see your point.
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Old 11-18-16, 04:44 PM
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I have not had any issue finding what was in my hands by looking up the serial number. It can still be confusing I agree. Here is a 1982 728 that I had for a while. That is a LONG wheelbase. I had no plans to do any touring so now I have a 1981 710. Just right.

To the OP if the bike on CL is your size and no parts are permafroze I would not hesitate to buy it. Note the '82 720 had side pull brakes and 700c wheels. The other early 720's had cantis and 27" wheels. IIRC.



1983 720, 27" wheels and cantis.

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Old 11-18-16, 05:01 PM
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@tmh657
Very nice.
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Old 11-18-16, 10:09 PM
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I'll try to see the full serial number tomorrow. According to the catalogs, the 1982 720/728 had 700c rims and centerpull brakes, while the '83 620 had side pull brakes and 27" wheels -- this leads me to suspect the subject bike is a 620, but then I note the long chain stays, and think 720.

Question: if the frame was meant for center pull brakes, how hard is it to substitute side pull, as might be the case here?
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Old 11-19-16, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Kevindale View Post
I'll try to see the full serial number tomorrow. According to the catalogs, the 1982 720/728 had 700c rims and centerpull brakes, while the '83 620 had side pull brakes and 27" wheels -- this leads me to suspect the subject bike is a 620, but then I note the long chain stays, and think 720.

Question: if the frame was meant for center pull brakes, how hard is it to substitute side pull, as might be the case here?
I can't answer the brake question but someone else surely will.
I'm almost certain that is not a 600 series. You can see what sure looks like a Reynolds sticker on the fork of this bike and that points to the 700 series. The 720/728 is pretty coveted. If it fits and is in good condition I'd buy it for this price and I don't need another bike.
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Old 11-19-16, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Kevindale View Post
I'll try to see the full serial number tomorrow. According to the catalogs, the 1982 720/728 had 700c rims and centerpull brakes, while the '83 620 had side pull brakes and 27" wheels -- this leads me to suspect the subject bike is a 620, but then I note the long chain stays, and think 720.

Question: if the frame was meant for center pull brakes, how hard is it to substitute side pull, as might be the case here?
It doesn't matter. You can go back and forth between center and side pull brakes. You'll need hangers for center pull brakes (you don't for side pull). The 720 was sold as a frame.

Also the bike in the picture is a full reynolds 531; the 620 was only 531 main triangle. This is a 720 and the price is pretty reasonable.
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Old 11-19-16, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
It doesn't matter. You can go back and forth between center and side pull brakes. You'll need hangers for center pull brakes (you don't for side pull). The 720 was sold as a frame.

Also the bike in the picture is a full reynolds 531; the 620 was only 531 main triangle. This is a 720 and the price is pretty reasonable.
Thanks! BTW, how can you the bike in the photo is full 531?
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Old 11-19-16, 08:24 AM
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If this was local to me it'd already be in the bike room. Hand over the $$$ and work out the rest later, IMO.
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Old 11-19-16, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by toavii View Post
If this was local to me it'd already be in the bike room. Hand over the $$$ and work out the rest later, IMO.
^This. Also IMO. Where I live it's far enough below FMV that it would be a no brainer. You are in a smaller market but: bar end shifters, a rear rack, fenders, Brooks saddle...
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Old 11-19-16, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Kevindale View Post
Thanks! BTW, how can you the bike in the photo is full 531?
Because the catalog says it is. Also the sticker on the seat tube and the sticker on the fork. It is full Reynolds and will likely be gone soon....
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Old 11-19-16, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Kevindale View Post
Thanks! BTW, how can you the bike in the photo is full 531?
You can see the 531 sticker on the fork blades.
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Old 11-19-16, 04:45 PM
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Confirmed serial #024004, so definitely a 1982 720/728. 24", so a touch big for me. Been ridden hard. Seller had gone at some of the rust (pedal axle, front hub) with steel wool. Shifted fine in my very brief test ride, and didn't feel any issues there, though didn't look hard. Brooks saddle in poor shape, with dry rot and the leather stretched at the rivet holes in the front. The biggest concern to me was what looked like rust/corrosion under the paint under the bottom bracket and on the chain stay:


Here's the front hub:


The other issue is that I bought a Panasonic this morning, and my wife isn't keen going home with two 'new' bikes, unless one is for her. I gave the seller the info about the serial number, and he updated the CL ad, and I know he had some other calls on the bike. I'm curious what others think of the corrosion issue. I've never seen those worm-like trails under the paint.
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Old 11-19-16, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Yup.
Univega was recently mentioned as being guilty of making it difficult to tell the difference between an entry level and high level bike. I read that and immediately thought to myself that almost no company made it more difficult than Trek in the late 70s/first half of the 80s.
Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Great point. I certainly wouldnt turn away a Trek from lets say '83 regardless of model.
My post was more just a comment on Trek's model naming. It was 5xx if it had this. It was 5xy if it didnt have that. It was 5xz if it was just a frame. Same with the 7 series.

Their later 80s into the 90s offerings were easier to understand. 5 and 7 were road. 8 was mtb. 9 was hybrid. And the bigger then 2nd digit, the nicer the model.
...but then 7 became hybrid too.
...and they added 'multitrack' and 'singletrack' and 'antelope' to just mess with everyone. <---kidding, kind of.
The 70s and early 80s scheme was the easiest.

9xx Columbus
7xx 531
6xx 531 main triangle- CrMo (or Mangalloy) fork/stays
5xx CrMo
4xx Mangalloy
3xx HiTen
2xx HiTen

The ATBs were 800, regardless of frame metallurgy.

The early years- an x1x means touring, x3x means racing- a little later x2x is dedicated touring.

You follow that- it seldom changed. (I say "seldom" because 400 series bikes were a little different from year to year, but it's always "lower" than a CrMo frame)

When it got to the other digits, it kind of changed by year- but it was pretty easy to tell what was going on.

The groups are the last digit- xx8 is usually Campagnolo NR xx7 is like Campagnolo GS, xx6 is Shimano 600

After 1985 they started using 531 in groups below 600... to me, that's where it gets hard to tell what's going on entirely... but there's really no low end stuff coming out of Waterloo.


Originally Posted by Kevindale View Post
Confirmed serial #024004, so definitely a 1982 720/728. 24", so a touch big for me. Been ridden hard. Seller had gone at some of the rust (pedal axle, front hub) with steel wool. Shifted fine in my very brief test ride, and didn't feel any issues there, though didn't look hard. Brooks saddle in poor shape, with dry rot and the leather stretched at the rivet holes in the front. The biggest concern to me was what looked like rust/corrosion under the paint under the bottom bracket and on the chain stay:


Here's the front hub:

I'm curious what others think of the corrosion issue. I've never seen those worm-like trails under the paint.
Phil hubs...
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Old 11-20-16, 07:28 AM
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Rust on top of dropouts looks mild, even if bb has some flaking, just lightly sand/remove the rust spots, then clear coat with nail polish. The 72x frames are always valuable and casually does not look ridden hard to me so worst case you part it down, you or LBS pack well, then sell on ebay. Those early Phil hub shells often rusted like that, I would sand that rust more aggressively then maybe coat with some good rust/metal paint.
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Old 11-20-16, 08:30 AM
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Here's my 1979 710 (?) that I have built into a road bike. Seriously light frame for touring, but it makes a really good radonneur, and a very comfortable bike for long distance road rides. mine has D/A derailleurs, Shimano 600 'arabesque' crankset, and 105 brakes. Exage hub w/Uniglide/Hyperglde freehub, currently with 7 speed Uniglide hubs. Semi-aero tubular rims. Will soon be upgraded to barcons. 20 lbs total.
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