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1991 Trek 990

Old 10-23-20, 11:41 AM
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Lbxpdx
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1991 Trek 990

I have been on the lookout for a Trek 750, but in the mean time I found a lugged Trek 990. My main bike is too nice to lock up, plus I couldn't afford to replace it if anything happened to it, so I've been on the hunt for an older lugged steel bike that I can lock up in front of a store and not worry.

The paint and tires are toast, all of the original Deore parts are still there, though quite filthy. I took it for a spin yesterday and was surprised at how light it is for such a sturdy feeling bike. It looks like it will be a good winter project.

Any recommendation on street tires for an old MTB?

I will be picking it up this afternoon.

I've seen exceptionally clean models going for fairly high prices, so I am curious what project prices are for these models.
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Old 10-23-20, 12:01 PM
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@Lbxpdx 990s were top tier mountain bikes made with good steel tubing. Your 990 is a really nice bike. The ratty paint and will help prevent theft, but definitely lock it up with a quality u-lock and tape or paint over the Trek brand name to make it even lower profile. Rigid MTBs in general make great bomber city bikes, especially if they have rack and/or fender mounts.

Here's a thread with a ton of recommendations for 26" tires for exactly this purpose: The 26" Tire and Wheel Thread

What do you mean by project prices? Are you looking for a valuation of the bike or the cost to refurb it?
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Old 10-23-20, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by tricky View Post
@Lbxpdx

What do you mean by project prices? Are you looking for a valuation of the bike or the cost to refurb it?
Thanks for the link. Just what I was looking for. I guess I was subconsciously looking for approval on the price, which is $150. I keep reading posts where folks are finding awesome older bikes in great condition for $200 and under, but I have a feeling that is more the exception than the rule.
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Old 10-23-20, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Lbxpdx View Post
Thanks for the link. Just what I was looking for. I guess I was subconsciously looking for approval on the price, which is $150. I keep reading posts where folks are finding awesome older bikes in great condition for $200 and under, but I have a feeling that is more the exception than the rule.
$150 is a totally reasonable price in PDX, especially if all your components are working. I could see a 990 frame only selling in PDX for $150 if the finish was perfect. Regardless, you probably did just fine. We can tell you for sure once you get to 10 posts and can post pictures.
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Old 10-23-20, 07:05 PM
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I need three more posts to post a photo
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Old 10-23-20, 07:05 PM
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Hopefully these posts will allow me to post a picture.
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Old 10-24-20, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Lbxpdx View Post
Thanks for the link. Just what I was looking for. I guess I was subconsciously looking for approval on the price, which is $150. I keep reading posts where folks are finding awesome older bikes in great condition for $200 and under, but I have a feeling that is more the exception than the rule.
There's people that seem to find grail level bikes for $20 or whatever... and then there are those that are snobby about "you paid too much for that," but I've had to pay through the nose for the bikes I've wanted.

I guess the rule of thumb is to have an idea of what it is that you want, and how much similar things ACTUALLY sell for, and how much you want it.

The important thing is knowing what you want, IMO. Why is that bike desirable? Is it good tubing, is it constructed well, are those good components, does it have braze-ons and features you want, is it made in the factory you want it to have been made in, does it have a good reputation...

Good luck and I'm looking forward to the pix!!!
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Old 10-24-20, 08:57 AM
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Pre-pandemic finding a top end vintage mtb for $100 +/- $50 was doable but it was becoming increasingly more difficult as people rediscovered what fine bikes these are. Post-pandemic, $150 for a Trek 990 even in crummy cosmetic shape is a fine price. I paid $125 for my Trek 950, which was in great shape cosmetically, and it is one of my favorite bikes.
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Old 10-24-20, 02:23 PM
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Just one more post.
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Old 10-24-20, 02:31 PM
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Finally some pics. As you can see, someone tried to scrap the black off. It needs a thorough cleaning, cables, tires, brakes(Unless there is a magic solution to soften old pads) and probably a chain.





















The seat looks to be rather abused, though I will see if I can condition it, stamp out some holes and tie it tought.



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Old 10-24-20, 03:09 PM
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That paint job is actually pretty cool. The seat seems pretty trashed. Iíd throw something else on and maybe play around trying to recondition the beat one just to see if itís possible, but it doesnít seem wholly worthwhile. Although, who knows? Iíve seen dress shoes brought back from worse fates. Is there a leather saddle equivalent to shoe trees? If not, maybe I should get on that.
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Old 10-24-20, 04:51 PM
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The bike is facing the wrong direction, but for the components I can see, you got the original XT components. You did good at $150, especially since you got a rigid fork with it. I also would of bought it.

Looks like a previous owner wanted an orange bike. I'd just refurbish the bike and ride as is for a while, but it is a good contender for a repaint. That saddle is not what would of been sold with the bike. It looks gone to me, but I don't have any experience refurbishing old leather saddles.

Look for wide (2in+) tires. Maxxis DTH are a popular choice on here and I've been wanting to try the Schwalbe Billy Bonkers.
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Old 10-25-20, 03:20 AM
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I like the rigid 990's, check the grease in all the bearings, probably needs new grease everywhere. Hopefully stem and seatpost are free and races and cones in ok condition. Should be a great daily rider.
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Old 10-25-20, 06:05 AM
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I found a lugged 750 for $40 on Craigslist a few years ago. It was not rideable as purchased but that was OK since I had most everything I needed to make it a drop bar commuter. The paint was rough in some places with a few rust spots so I just sanded them and shot the spots with black paint.

I first bought some Continental TourRide tires in 700c in 2015 and put 26" on the 750. With both 700c and 26" I have never had a flat. They are affordable as well, generally under $25 each.
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Old 10-25-20, 07:51 AM
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Great bike at a mostly reasonable price. Whoever did that to the paint..yikes..shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a good bike.

I have a 970(1993)..same frame as your 990. I believe you have a 1991. Clean it up and ride it..you'll love it. If your inclined, the drivetrain on this bike makes for a very easy, inexpensive drop-bar conversion. Road shifters are fully compatible. Add in a high-ride stem, drop bars, and shifters and you're done.

As for tires..Schwalbe (Raceguard) Almotion, Big Bens, Big Apples, or Maxxis DTH will give you an easy rolling, comfy ride. I run Big Ben Raceguards and love them. The Plus or Greenguard versions will be heavier and stiffer..Raceguards are nice..do some research on the Schwalbe website. I've heard the G-ones are nice too.

Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_tires/road_tires

https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_tires/gravel
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Old 10-25-20, 08:11 AM
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Thread moved from C&V to C&V Appraisals.
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