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What's It Worth? - 1996 Trek 970 SingleTrack

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What's It Worth? - 1996 Trek 970 SingleTrack

Old 03-01-24, 03:36 PM
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What's It Worth? - 1996 Trek 970 SingleTrack

New member trying to figure out the value of my 1996 Trek 970 SingleTrack ZX Mountain Bike.
- I am the original owner
- Always stored indoors & never abused
- Still have the original owner’s manual and receipt
- Everything is as it came from the bike shop except the tires

Some specs:
- Ice Fire Red color
- 18” frame
- 26” wheels
- RockShox Judy XC fork (needs refurbished)
- Shimano Deore XT & LX components
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Old 03-01-24, 03:37 PM
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Unfortunately, I got a message saying I can't post pictures until I've made 10 posts, so I had to delete the pics.
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Old 03-01-24, 05:53 PM
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Given the state of the fork, maybe $150-$200. That may be generous (on the high side) for some folks here. Very nice bike. To me, it would be worth more if it had a rigid fork and was a 1990-1993(shorter top tube and lugged frame). Even a '96 it be worth more now if it had a rigid fork.
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Old 03-01-24, 08:36 PM
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Where is it located? That informs value too.
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Old 03-04-24, 11:59 PM
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OPs gallery with the photos
https://www.bikeforums.net/g/album/32871359

I'd agree around $150-$200 in this market.
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Old 03-06-24, 10:58 AM
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OP, it's worth about $10 and luckily for you, I'll buy it from you.

Haha, just kidding! I LOVE these old 90's Trek mtbs, and to play to my slightly contrarian nature, I like the mid-90s tig-welded versions a teeny bit more than the older pre-'94 lugged ones. This frame was Trek's highest end steel mtb offering, period (aside from any one-off, custom or team bikes). Triple butted OX-III hardened tubing. Its the same frame as the 990, just with different components. If you look at the underside of the BB, it may even have a stamp that says '990' on it. Only these frames came w/ the gusset under the top tube. Yours looks to be in very nice condition. The rigid fork is far more desirable than a suspension fork (alas, my 990 came w/ a sus fork) but its not insurmountable.

I agree w/ the valuations posted thus far. While most normal people will see 'old mtb rim brake bike that looks like every other outdated old mtb' and pass over it, those 'in the know' will know what it is, how different it is from your run-o-the-mill 90s mtb, and want to snag it. If you have time to wait, I'd post for like $180, and drop it $20 each week it doesn't sell. If you get down to $100 and still have it, keep it and build it up into a magnificent do-everything bike w/ a new steel rigid fork. You won't regret it.
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Old 03-07-24, 09:36 AM
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I would say also nice basic all around bike $150 or so in good safe ready to ride condition and $200 or so if it has nice tires fitted on true wheels and good paint.
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Old 03-07-24, 03:23 PM
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I did a drop bar conversion on my '93 970 (has a shorter top tube than 1994+) and use it as my touring bike. Very comfortable and capable ride. Handles 4 pannier touring weight with ease, fast too. I run Schwalbe Big Ben tires 26x2.15. In near showroom condition.

My 970 before the DB conversion
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Old 03-07-24, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by fishboat
I did a drop bar conversion on my '93 970 (has a shorter top tube than 1994+) and use it as my touring bike. Very comfortable and capable ride. Handles 4 pannier touring weight with ease, fast too. I run Schwalbe Big Ben tires 26x2.15. In near showroom condition.

My 970 before the DB conversion
After pics??? I would love to do this to a lugged 9xx pre-'94. Part of the issue I've found is getting over such a low stem height on these bikes. The top tube is long enough, but they are so squished down in the head and seat tube.
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Old 03-08-24, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
After pics??? I would love to do this to a lugged 9xx pre-'94. Part of the issue I've found is getting over such a low stem height on these bikes. The top tube is long enough, but they are so squished down in the head and seat tube.
...sort of knew that was coming. The bike & pics of the bike are on a computer I won't have access to for another month. I've done 5 DB conversions and find the stem to be the most difficult part to get right...and source in some cases. On the 970 DB conversion I used a VO Cigne 90mm stem. The '93 970 had a threadless headset. With the shorter top tube, the final fit is very similar to my road bike fit. I can ride it all day and no aches or pains and it handles great. I also have a Brooks Flyer saddle on it.
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Old 03-08-24, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
After pics??? I would love to do this to a lugged 9xx pre-'94. Part of the issue I've found is getting over such a low stem height on these bikes. The top tube is long enough, but they are so squished down in the head and seat tube.
There are pages after pages on such builds on a thread I started years ago. There are a lot of stem options, some have a substantial angled rise. I can't stress top tube length enough. Various models from the same year and same brand can have wide variation of top tube length.

This Cimarron is with the stock stem. I've converted others where I used a threaded adapter and then used a steep stem.



My go to Schwinn Cimarron LE.


Can't have just one Cimarron.

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Old 03-08-24, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
After pics??? I would love to do this to a lugged 9xx pre-'94. Part of the issue I've found is getting over such a low stem height on these bikes. The top tube is long enough, but they are so squished down in the head and seat tube.
The lugged pre 94 would be great for a conversion since they have about 2" more wheel base and 1" more top line. When doing conversion a frame with a slightly longer wheel base and top line is good much easier with parts to shorten than lengthen a bike to get good fit.
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Old 03-08-24, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
After pics??? I would love to do this to a lugged 9xx pre-'94. Part of the issue I've found is getting over such a low stem height on these bikes. The top tube is long enough, but they are so squished down in the head and seat tube.
There are pages after pages on such builds on a thread I started years ago. There are a lot of stem options, some have a substantial angled rise. I can't stress top tube length enough. Various models from the same year and same brand can have wide variation of top tube length.

This Cimarron is using the stock stem. I have used a threadless adapter and a steep angled stem on other builds.



My go to Schwinn Cimarron LE.


Can't have just one Cimarron.
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Old 03-08-24, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
There are pages after pages on such builds on a thread I started years ago. There are a lot of stem options, some have a substantial angled rise. I can't stress top tube length enough. Various models from the same year and same brand can have wide variation of top tube length.

This Cimarron is using the stock stem. I have used a threadless adapter and a steep angled stem on other builds.



My go to Schwinn Cimarron LE.


Can't have just one Cimarron.
+1 on top tube top line length basically longer is better and correct fit length is a key element for a good build.
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Old 03-08-24, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by fishboat
I did a drop bar conversion on my '93 970 (has a shorter top tube than 1994+)
Originally Posted by zukahn1
The lugged pre 94 would be great for a conversion since they have about 2" more wheel base and 1" more top line.

Trying to understand both these comments - topline meaing headtube height, or top tube length? I suppose a lot of that is going to depend on frame size, and I've heard that Trek has at times gotten the technical specs wrong on occasion. I've always thought that the older bikes have a longer top tube, yet, on my '96 Trek Singletrack 990, I went with a 16" frame size (small) because the top tubes were decently long, comparatively speaking. I think tt is either 22 or 22.5" on that bike, and for having a 16" seat tube (effectively, a 40cm) it seemed long, but fits me well - just need to make sure I have enough stem rise and also a long enough seatpost to have decent insertion length.
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Old 03-08-24, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
Trying to understand both these comments - topline meaing headtube height, or top tube length? I suppose a lot of that is going to depend on frame size, and I've heard that Trek has at times gotten the technical specs wrong on occasion. I've always thought that the older bikes have a longer top tube, yet, on my '96 Trek Singletrack 990, I went with a 16" frame size (small) because the top tubes were decently long, comparatively speaking. I think tt is either 22 or 22.5" on that bike, and for having a 16" seat tube (effectively, a 40cm) it seemed long, but fits me well - just need to make sure I have enough stem rise and also a long enough seatpost to have decent insertion length.
The top line is the distance between the center if the seat and the center of the stem handler bar position and top tube is the distance from the center of seat post to the center of the headtube as said both of these can not be changed much.
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Old 03-08-24, 10:40 AM
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Can't help you on the discontinuity. I targeted 1990-93 due to a lugged frame and more importantly a shorter top tube. The '93 970 is nice as this is when threadless headsets were being introduced and the '93 has one. A 20" frame is my size in a mtn bike..which is what I have. I tried and 18 inch frame and it felt too cramped. I'm sure I looked at the wheelbase over the years, but it wasn't a primary concern. Longer is better though. "Top line"..shrug.

Dig into the Trek Archive and look at the spec manuals for a 93 and 94 970..note the top tube length...there's a significant difference. With DB conversions you're always fighting too long of a top tube...and this era has some long ones. Remember you're adding 3-4 inches in handlebar length(extension) with the drop bars..the bike frame wasn't designed for this. With a head tube tilting back at 71ish degrees and a higher rise stem...effectively shortens up your bar reach as it gets higher..and a modest stem length..things tend to net out in a decent place from a handlebar Stack and Reach perspective. If the top tube is too long..you're net handlebar reach gets (too)long. It can still be ridden, but the fit is sub-optimal. My DB converted ('93) 970 has a handlebar Stack and Reach very similar to my road bikes..which fit well.
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Old 03-08-24, 10:50 AM
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I can agree on this if the top line fit is not right to short or to long the bike well get not nice to ride after few miles.

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Old 03-08-24, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by zukahn1
The top line is the distance between the center if the seat and the center of the stem handlerbar position ....as said both of these can not be changed much.
ahh..ok. For me, a Handlebar(the flats-perpendicular to the plane of the frame at the stem clamp) Stack and Reach is a more objective measure as the references to calculate it are all fixed, Top line (apparently) uses the center of the saddle, which can move forward and back on its rails...thus changing the top line value. Handlebar Stack and Reach is measured exactly the same as frame Stack and Reach with the forward reference point being the center of the stem-bar clamp instead of the top center of the headtube.
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Old 03-08-24, 10:56 AM
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..and apologies to the OP for the thread derail..but I think you have a number of good responses regarding value and they all seem to be consistent in $ estimate.
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Old 03-09-24, 06:38 PM
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When setting up a MTB as a drop bar conversion, I measure the distance between the nose of the saddle and the stem clamp for the handlebars. As I mentioned, some MTBs got crazy LONG top tubes, where that distance just doesn't work for me.

Of course, before measuring, I get the saddle to pedal height right too. The Cimarron LE I posted above measures identically to my 1987 Schwinn Prologue road bike. In my case, long torso, short legs, I tend to go up a frame size from my typical MTB, yet it is still smaller than my road bike frame size.

I always keep an eye out for lugged steel Trek 9xx series bikes. 950 or higher is my preference to get better components.
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Old 03-10-24, 03:16 AM
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These bikes are outstanding value for money and made in USA with true temper tubing
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Old 03-14-24, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bluegrass
New member trying to figure out the value of my 1996 Trek 970 SingleTrack ZX Mountain Bike.
- I am the original owner
- Always stored indoors & never abused
- Still have the original owner’s manual and receipt
- Everything is as it came from the bike shop except the tires

Some specs:
- Ice Fire Red color
- 18” frame
- 26” wheels
- RockShox Judy XC fork (needs refurbished)
- Shimano Deore XT & LX components
About a year prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, I purchased a complete example for $100 from a guy who'd purchased it for $150 but later sold due to it being a tad small for him.

Same basic bike but in the small size, with the Deore LX group set, RockShox Judy shock, System2 stem and bar, the original wheels; unmolested, basically all original. I'd estimate condition as being ~80% with a few minor nicks and wear spots on the paint, otherwise in pretty darned good shape. Of course, that's in my area. Prices can vary widely from region to region.

Given the relative lack of availability of many Trek 930/950/970 bikes, your own area might well command somewhat higher prices. Higher still, if you can show it's got newer brake pads and cabling, newer chain (and possibly cassette/rings) if the gearing's "tired", along with being an unmolested and unaltered example.
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Old 03-14-24, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bluegrass
Unfortunately, I got a message saying I can't post pictures until I've made 10 posts, so I had to delete the pics.
You ought to be able, though, to create a photo album (over on your UserCP page). Look down the column for the "Pictures & Albums" link. Place photos in there, then reference your album when you want people to see the photos.
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Old 03-15-24, 05:36 PM
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I've been looking to pick up a Trek 970 , in my frame size . One came up recently in my area but it needs new tires , and probably an overhaul and he's asking $350 which I think is a bit high. it does have the lugs, which i think are cool, but factoring in new tires, overhaul, and I'll probably change out the handle bars to Moloko, or Jones, I'm not sure ..?
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