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1995 Trek Mountain Track 850

Old 10-24-22, 04:39 AM
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BikeGuy2
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1995 Trek Mountain Track 850

I have a 1995 (i think it is anyway, give or take 1-2 years) green Trek Mountain Track 850. Everything on the bike is original from manufacturer, even the back tire, now bald and cracked for a few years now lol. I have been riding it to school everyday and it has done some touring despite it being a very uncomfortable bike to ride, so it has many thousands of kilometers under its belt. The issue is that the whole drivetrain has worn out completely beyond repair last week (chain was never replaced) and i'm wondering if it's worth buying a new drivetrain for it. I haven't been looking after it very well (other than a quick clean a tune up every few months) because I have other bikes that use up my time, money and energy. My question here is if i should buy original parts for the old Trek or upgrade it to modern components? My thoughts are that i might like to keep everything original and buy new/used good condition original parts for it, and look after it better to keep that vintage look and feel with it. Is it worth replacing the drivetrain and bits and bobs on the bike with new original ones? Or i could start upgrading it to modern components. Which is better in terms of adding value to the bicycle? Does it even have value to start with? Or is it a heap of old junk in the eyes of others?
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Old 10-24-22, 05:26 AM
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You start by saying it's uncomfortable. Is that because of the condition, that it's basically a rolling heap of worn-out parts? Or do you just not like the geometry and/or fit of this bike?

If it's green it's a '95 for sure. The 850 had an awesome frame - full chromoly frame and fork, and it's got a pretty long wheelbase. These are excellent "do it all" bikes and can be set up for a variety of riding, and because of the frame, are generally very comfortable. A lot depends on other factors of course. If someone wanted to build themselves a great bike, you could start with that frame. Salvage what's still usable of course, but even if almost everything needs to be replaced, it's still worthy. Go price a new high-end DB chromoly frame and fork, from someone like Surly. The frame that you have is every bit as good, and in fact better than the Surly frames.

You mentioned "value". If you're trying to fix it up to sell it, then no. You won't get what you put into it if you try to sell it. You would only restore this bike because it's a great old bike that you want to ride. Properly done up, this could be a "keeper" that you'll have and love forever. It's not cheap to restore a bike like this if nearly everything needs to be replaced, but if you're building it for yourself, it's worth it.
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Old 10-24-22, 05:54 AM
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"a very uncomfortable bike to ride". What exactly does that mean? Does it mean it doesn't really fit your size and you ride it anyway?

If that's the case, sell it an move on.

If not, you might have a bike co-op in your area where replacements parts can be found for reasonable prices. The other way to go about it is to purchase a bike that has decent parts and harvest them. Donor bikes can often be found very cheaply, way cheaper than having to purchase the components on their own.

And who knows, you might find a better bike in the process for not a lot of money. Then sell that one on to someone who wants to build a nice all-rounder.
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Old 10-24-22, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
You start by saying it's uncomfortable. Is that because of the condition, that it's basically a rolling heap of worn-out parts? Or do you just not like the geometry and/or fit of this bike?

If it's green it's a '95 for sure. The 850 had an awesome frame - full chromoly frame and fork, and it's got a pretty long wheelbase. These are excellent "do it all" bikes and can be set up for a variety of riding, and because of the frame, are generally very comfortable. A lot depends on other factors of course. If someone wanted to build themselves a great bike, you could start with that frame. Salvage what's still usable of course, but even if almost everything needs to be replaced, it's still worthy. Go price a new high-end DB chromoly frame and fork, from someone like Surly. The frame that you have is every bit as good, and in fact better than the Surly frames.

You mentioned "value". If you're trying to fix it up to sell it, then no. You won't get what you put into it if you try to sell it. You would only restore this bike because it's a great old bike that you want to ride. Properly done up, this could be a "keeper" that you'll have and love forever. It's not cheap to restore a bike like this if nearly everything needs to be replaced, but if you're building it for yourself, it's worth it.
The bicycle is in good condition in the sense that nothing is rusty or super dirty/muddy. Issue is, most of the parts have worn out. I find it uncomfortable to ride because of the geometry, bars and stem but put up with it because i couldn't put money aside to upgrade it. Now i have some extra money to put into it I am trying to decide how to go about doing it. I don't want to get ride of it/sell it due to sentimental value. I can go either way, buy original parts for it and keep it like a time capsule, even though it a bit uncomfortable to ride. I would enjoy riding it though knowing its historical significance and uniqueness. Otherwise i might upgrade it to more modern parts that are compatible and it would be more comfortable riding it due to subte geometry changes, fit and generally better parts. i am a bit worried though how much effort it will be putting modern part on an old bike, and i'm not sure im bothered to do so.

If i kept the bike original and walked into a bike shop or bike festival would people recognise its vintage quality or would they just see it as a old and outdated bike? i don't care what people say or think unless its positive, but it would be nice knowing if people see me as owning a cool vintage bike if i left it in original condition, or do people just see it as a old bike.

Last edited by BikeGuy2; 10-24-22 at 06:26 AM. Reason: accidentally pressed send
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Old 10-24-22, 06:46 AM
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Jeff Neese
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Originally Posted by BikeGuy2 View Post
The bicycle is in good condition in the sense that nothing is rusty or super dirty/muddy. Issue is, most of the parts have worn out. I find it uncomfortable to ride because of the geometry, bars and stem but put up with it because i couldn't put money aside to upgrade it. Now i have some extra money to put into it I am trying to decide how to go about doing it. I don't want to get ride of it/sell it due to sentimental value. I can go either way, buy original parts for it and keep it like a time capsule, even though it a bit uncomfortable to ride. I would enjoy riding it though knowing its historical significance and uniqueness. Otherwise i might upgrade it to more modern parts that are compatible and it would be more comfortable riding it due to subte geometry changes, fit and generally better parts. i am a bit worried though how much effort it will be putting modern part on an old bike, and i'm not sure im bothered to do so.

If i kept the bike original and walked into a bike shop or bike festival would people recognise its vintage quality or would they just see it as a old and outdated bike? i don't care what people say or think unless its positive, but it would be nice knowing if people see me as owning a cool vintage bike if i left it in original condition, or do people just see it as a old bike.
There were a lot of these produced and a lot of them out there, so it's not thought of as a collectible and they are certainly not rare. It's not like an old Bridgestone X0 or something like that - there's little value in trying to keep it original. Bike shops and people at bike festivals might, but most people don't understand what they're looking at when they see those tubing stickers and so they might see it as just an old bike. I'd classify it as a "sleeper". So feel free to customize it to your hearts content. People put all sorts of handlebars on these and that might help with comfort.
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Old 10-24-22, 08:09 AM
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It's easy to make that bike more comfortable and it's not expensive to rebuild this bike if you do your own work. But we will need pics of the bike to have an idea of what you would like to replace and some idea of what you find uncomfortable so that we can give you ideas of how to fix that. Some pics of the bike showing the drive side, an explanation of what is worn out, and an explanation of what you find uncomfortable would be helpful. But yes this bike is worth fixing up and keeping.

This is a valuation thread. I'd open a new thread in the C&V forum with the proper headline (Help me fix up my Trek 850 for example) with pics and an explanation of what you need help with. You will get a crazy amount of help and if you're lucky, some of it will be good,
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Old 10-24-22, 08:10 AM
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I would not replace worn out parts on a bike that is uncomfortable. For the price of just a few parts, you could buy a nice used MTB in much better condition and hopefully one that fits. I don't get sentimental about bikes that aren't comfortable. Sold my old college bike, that I had put a ton of time into upgrading. In the end, it was way too big, uncomfortable, so I moved it on to a new home. No regrets. And this is from a life time COLLECTOR! Now if I had a bike my dad rode and cherished, yes, I would be keeping it regardless of fit.


The Trek 850 from that era was nothing special. I would call it an "old bike". Now a 1984 Trek 850? That was something special. Trek continued with the same model names for decades but changed the build dramatically.

The nice thing in my market at least you can get really GOOD vintage MTBs at low prices if you are patient!

Now if it fit you like a glove, then sure, I would update it. Note, to keep from putting way more $$$ into it than it is worth, the keys to managing the cost of any such update are: 1. Find a donor bike. 2. Do the work yourself. Take it to a bike shop and say fix this? Forget it. It will cost way more than the bike is worth. I separate having extra money from wasting extra money.

I updated my worn out Schwinn Cimarron in that fashion. I got a barely ridden Shogun, a brand few recognize but it was a top of the line model. Derailleurs, crankset, and wheels all went onto my. Cimarron. I sold remaining parts from the Shogun on yeah old auction site and donated the rest.


If you like Treks, I would look for a late 1980s to early 1990s Trek 9xx lugged frame steel bike. 950 or higher are the best ones.

1990. ish Shogun Prairie Breaker Donor:




1988 Schwinn Cimarron LE after upgrade:




Cimarron as found, slap wore out, at a garage sale. Check out the quad crankset! Besides the frame and fork, I kept the stem and the seat post. Everything else I updated.


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Old 10-24-22, 08:18 AM
  #8  
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You mention you have other bikes to ride. You don't explain why the Trek is uncomfortable but you rode it for thousands of kilometers and still ride it every day? On a bald and cracked rear tire? I suppose you have your reasons.

Anyway, if this is just a fun project, I would work towards finding as many original components as possible.

I doubt it is worth much money in its present condition unless a knowledgeable person recognizes the value of the frame. If you decide to get rid of it, you might strip the components and sell the frame here.
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Old 10-24-22, 09:48 AM
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Those of us who both ride and collect notice things that most are oblivious to. I saw an older Trek MTB on vacation last week in the Los Angeles area. It was being ridden by a young woman and my first impression was that she didn't have the seat post at the correct height for her size. Her legs were bent way too much at the bottom. But she was smiling, so what do I know?

Her Trek 950 appeared to be a 1995 based on the color scheme. You can get lots of info here: Trek Bike Models by Year and Color

How did others look at the bike? They probably didn't even notice, and if they did, they probably couldn't tell whether it was new or old. It was in good condition, so most people might assume it was much newer than it is.

Here's two "stories" about how little folks know about bicycles in general. These two stories concern conversations I had with two of my friends who are active riders. One more than the other, but both friends ride road and MTBs regularly. The first friend and I were discussing my love for vintage steel bicycles. He questioned how I could love such "heavy" bikes. I asked him what he considered heavy and he really had no answer. I asked how much his main bike weighs and again he had no answer. So I guess he was speaking about the relative difference between newer aluminum or carbon fiber bikes versus vintage steel bikes. I told him he'd be surprised if he compared some of mine to what he's been riding. Next time he was at my home I showed him a couple of my favorite bikes and he was very impressed with how light they seemed. Who knows, maybe I can get him to try riding one?

Then the second friend and I had a very frustrating conversation. Frustrating from my standpoint because he simply refused to believe what I was saying. He just didn't get it because he had preconceived notions that I couldn't help him eliminate. The conversation was about mountain bikes and 29ers versus 26" wheels. I didn't want to confuse him further by introducing the concept of 27.5" wheels!

I mentioned, in the course of the conversation that "29er" wheels are the same diameter as the 700c wheels on his road bike. He looked at me like I was being facetious or something. I said that the difference is that the wheel diameter is the same, but the tires folks tend to ride on 29er MTBs are way wider than what they choose for road wheels. He just couldn't understand. He thought "29er" meant the wheel diameter was equal to 29 inches. Then I really confused him when I mentioned that some of my vintage bikes had 27" rims on them and that they are larger than 700c in diameter. He really thought I was putting him on. In the end I gave up. I said next time he was at my place we could get out a tape measure and compare wheels on some of my bikes. I guess I could have pulled out my phone and gone to a website that gives specifics on tire and wheel sizes, but decided against it. Just not worth it at the time.

So never overestimate the general bike knowledge of riders or non-riders. Some know very little about that which they sit on. And apparently, some not enough to know when they aren't sitting at the most effective height.
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Old 10-24-22, 03:01 PM
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On this one I will just say no for the rebuild for a couple hundred you can get bet a better thatf fits and is comfortable.
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Old 10-24-22, 07:19 PM
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An average-decent bike for the time. Trek kept taking the 800 series bikes down in quality to keep hitting the price point and this was about the last time it was good. Their top mountain bikes at the time like the Y bikes were not that popular... other companies were eating their lunch

But used up is used up. The cheapest thing to do is find a similar quality bike that you actually like, that is not used up yet
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Old 10-25-22, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Inusuit View Post
You mention you have other bikes to ride. You don't explain why the Trek is uncomfortable but you rode it for thousands of kilometers and still ride it every day? On a bald and cracked rear tire? I suppose you have your reasons.

Anyway, if this is just a fun project, I would work towards finding as many original components as possible.

I doubt it is worth much money in its present condition unless a knowledgeable person recognizes the value of the frame. If you decide to get rid of it, you might strip the components and sell the frame here.
The bike was passed down to me from my dad. The story of the bike is a bit crazy. it was my dads when he was around 15 he bought it in Poland. he road it until he out grew the frame. I have no idea what size the frame is and have no idea how to find out. anyway he gave it to his brother which found it uncomfortable to ride but road it anyway. it then was given to a family friend in Poland because we moved to Australia. the family friend didn't like the bike because it was...... uncomfortable to ride. so it was sent to Australia where it continued to be ridden by random people in the family then i inherited it because everyone found it uncomfortable to ride. i didnt care about it much and only road it to school and was kept busy with my enduro bike. i Road the old trek to the ground wearing out all the components. i never bothered to replace anything becuse it still kida worked. now the drivetrain is stuffed im wondering what to do with it. I was riding with the balled and cracked tyre to see how long it is going to last. The tyre is still going hahahaha. I dont find it that uncomfortable. i think ill get a new seat though. i just ride everywhere with no hands on the handlebars so i can sit up in a better comfortable position. i have now since become a master at no handed riding.
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Old 10-25-22, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
1988 Schwinn Cimarron LE after upgrade:



I love the look of your 1988 Schwinn Cimarron LE. Thats a nice looking bike. I can tell you did a lot to make it look and feel comfortable. Thats a bike i would be proud to ride. Mmmm.... I'm thinking to match your style with my Trek, seeing that i could turn it into something like this. Beautiful bike .
P.S. Sorry i couldn't properly quote your post. its saying i can't because i haven't posted enough or something.
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Old 10-25-22, 05:23 AM
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Unless the frame doesnít fit you at all, Iíd rebuild it with a new drivetrain and more upright handlebar and stem. Itíll cost money but IMO be better spent than on a cheap new bike.

Might be worth taking to a shop, at least to get advice on fit and what all needs replacing.
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Old 10-25-22, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by BikeGuy2 View Post
I love the look of your 1988 Schwinn Cimarron LE. Thats a nice looking bike. I can tell you did a lot to make it look and feel comfortable. Thats a bike i would be proud to ride. Mmmm.... I'm thinking to match your style with my Trek, seeing that i could turn it into something like this. Beautiful bike .
P.S. Sorry i couldn't properly quote your post. its saying i can't because i haven't posted enough or something.
That Cimarron came to me beat within an inch of its death. $15 at a garage sale, leaning against a tree. If it didn't sell, it was going in the garbage. The paint is rough, with a lot of touch up (my me), along with rust abatement. But I am a patina guy, so I don't mind. And the frame itself was solid, the rest was a POS. Finding a donor bike in much better shape was the key to the turn around. The Shogun was a garage queen for sure, no wear anywhere. Sold the left overs from the donor for about 4X of what I paid for it so financially its been wonderful. For myself, I took a MTB that would be too big for me in standard form fits well in drop bar form. But I have a long torso and short legs. Everyone is different.

I'm a sucker for the filet brazed/lugged frame on the Cimarron. Pretty unique for a production bike.
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Old 10-25-22, 08:08 AM
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BikeGuy2 Given the sentimental value, I'd favor fixing it up, but there are limits to how much any bike can be adjusted to fit someone.

Thus far, you and everyone else here is stumbling around in the dark with respect to specifics, which are required to actually help you.. You've been asked up-thread (by bikemig & others..) to provide some details. Without some specifics , all folks can do here is "say stuff about some things..".

What's your height? Inseam length?

What size is the bike frame?
https://www.ebicycles.com/measure-fr...e/traditional/

This frame, given the effective top tube length, is a good candidate for a drop bar conversion, but that may be more than you want to take on
Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions
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