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1984 Trek 720 - Where to start...?

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1984 Trek 720 - Where to start...?

Old 06-25-15, 07:38 AM
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1984 Trek 720 - Where to start...?

I just recently acquired an '84 Trek 720 (based on the serial number lookup on vintage-trek) for $70. The frame and paint job is nearly perfect, but there is a small scratch on one side. There is no rust. Here is what I can see on the bike:

1. Brake levers say dura-ace
2. Brakes are Shimano DeoreXT
3. Wheels are Mavic MA40
4. 531c Reynolds steel
5. Shimano 600 shifters
6. Two stainless Blackburn water bottle holders
7. No racks
8. Specialized VI 40 handle bars with black foam grips.
9. A very strange foam seat (not original) and post. I think it is an old version of an Easy Seat.
10. Head badge is flawless


I am new here and have a few questions. What should I avoid replacing? Any warnings before I start trying to work on the bike? Was $70 a reasonable price? Is it worth working on? It is a 21 inch frame, what heights does that typically accommodate? The scratch on the side looks new and I can see some chrome, what should I do to protect that spot from rusting and "hide" it a bit? Where should I start on the bike? I am sure I will have a lot more questions.
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Old 06-25-15, 07:41 AM
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Post pictures.
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Old 06-25-15, 07:44 AM
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If it is an 84 Trek 720, you stole the bike at $70.

21" should fit someone 5'6" to 5'9", depends on other fit factors.

The scratch, find some nail polish or model paint to touch it up.
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Old 06-25-15, 07:56 AM
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I am sure I will have a lot more questions.
That is for sure! Me too and I have been doing this for a while, now. So...

Have a look at what I have learned, over the years, coupled with a How To or two and, hopefully, the information will help you save time, effort and cash when building up your bicycle.
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Old 06-25-15, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Ryvers View Post
I just recently acquired an '84 Trek 720 .... for $70. The frame and paint job is nearly perfect, but there is a small scratch on one side. There is no rust.....
What a great and lucky find! Pictures.... please.

Fingernail polish is the standard for fixing bicycle nicks, chips, and scratches. The dollar store brands are fine.
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Old 06-25-15, 08:09 AM
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Ryvers, Welcome to the forum.

Testors model paint is a favorite of mine. Buy a small kit for mixing the best possible match.

What you do or don't replace is up to you depending whether the bike will be used often or not. No matter how nice a bicycle is, it needs to be comfortable to ride and mechanically up to any task.

Brad
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Old 06-25-15, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Flog00 View Post
If it is an 84 Trek 720, you stole the bike at $70.

. . .
+ 10. That may be a deal of a lifetime.
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Old 06-25-15, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Flog00 View Post
If it is an 84 Trek 720, you stole the bike at $70.
Definitely. My '84 520 commuter came to me as a $75 mess. I thought I got a good deal on that.
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Old 06-25-15, 08:31 AM
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I suspect this was originally sold as a bare frame, as none of the components seem to be what we used on 728s at Trek (i.e. Huret Dupar RD, Simplex front, Helicomatic hubs with Matrix rims, SunTour bar-end shifters, etc.). Replace what needs to be replaced and enjoy the ride!
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Old 06-25-15, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Flog00 View Post
Post pictures.
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Old 06-25-15, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Ryvers View Post
That's the real deal. You could flip that bike for quite a bit more than you paid for it. I'd replace the saddle (a Brooks B17 is a pretty common choice) and fix the bike up. It needs an overhaul. You should also replace any consumables that need replacing. This bike looks pretty good and the chain and freewheel might be fine. I'd replace the tires though and I nearly always replace all the cables (shifters and brakes) as well but these cables look OK in the picture. You should grease the cable as it runs through the cable housing if you don't replace it. Also I'd grease every contact point that needs it (seatpost, handlebar and stem) as well as every screw on that bike.
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Old 06-25-15, 09:10 AM
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It looks like maybe a 19"?
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Old 06-25-15, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Flog00 View Post
It looks like maybe a 19"?
I think it is a 21" based on the serial lookup on vintage-trek. I measured it how I think i was supposed to and also found it to be about 21. I am 5'10 and my wife is 5'7". It will likely be her bike
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Old 06-25-15, 09:17 AM
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Yeah, looking at another members 720 it looks like a 21.

For reference, I sold several frame/fork 720's for between $450 and $650. Your 21 should fall in there somewhere. It is in beautiful condition.

Scott
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Old 06-25-15, 09:20 AM
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Looks like a 19" frame...
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Old 06-25-15, 09:20 AM
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sweet score there. take your time and give it love
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Old 06-25-15, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
I suspect this was originally sold as a bare frame, as none of the components seem to be what we used on 728s at Trek (i.e. Huret Dupar RD, Simplex front, Helicomatic hubs with Matrix rims, SunTour bar-end shifters, etc.). Replace what needs to be replaced and enjoy the ride!
That's what I was thinking as well.

But John, do you have any sense how much 728's, as shipped, actually matched what was in the brochure? I'm thinking of a 1982 728 currently on ebay that matches the brochure in most components, but the brakes are Gran Compe side pulls, not the Gran Compe 450 centerpulls specified. In fact all the early 728's I've ever seen --as opposed to the one seen on the internet-- had the sidepull brakes.

1982 Trek 728 Touring Bicycle Road Bike 531C Steel Touring | eBay
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Old 06-25-15, 09:38 AM
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So you guys feel that there isn't much original on it as far as components? I would prefer to not replace any of the original parts if possible. Let me know if there is more info or if I should take some other pictures. Thanks for all your help already!
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Old 06-25-15, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Ryvers View Post
So you guys feel that there isn't much original on it as far as components? I would prefer to not replace any of the original parts if possible. Let me know if there is more info or if I should take some other pictures. Thanks for all your help already!
If John is right (and I believe he is), then "original" is a moving target. Trek sold a lot of bare frames. I bought a 720 frame in 1983 and built it up with parts I had on hand; other people built them with carefully chosen components that were, in many cases, better than what Trek put on the fully built bike (i.e. the 728). Yours looks like that.

Now, 30+ years later, an "all original" bike, that is one with all the components specified in the brochure, has some kind of premium value in the collector's eye. Yours doesn't have that. It's not worth your time and money to try to put it in that condition. It looks to be excellent as it is, and certainly worth several times what you paid for it.
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Old 06-25-15, 10:08 AM
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That's a 1985 (catalog year at least), the 1984 models had the model name in the downtube decal e.g. "TREK 720"

The Trek 1984 and 1985 brochures are up here with the original specs:

Vintage Trek Bicycle Catalogs and Bike Brochures, Fisher, Klein LeMond

+1 to what everyone else said: great score! and they're not original components, but someone made sensible upgrades that should make it a great rider, although it would have been nice to have the original racks.

If you were buying this to ride it, just swap the seat for one of your preference, and enjoy!
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Old 06-25-15, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
+ 10. That may be a deal of a lifetime.
Yeah- I've heard of a couple being sold at $75, and another at $125... but yeah... deal of a lifetime- @Ryvers- you can now give up hope of ever winning the lottery- this was the luck you used up in your life!

Again- if it's an 84 Trek 720- it's one of the very finest touring bikes ever made. If the bike fits you, you've got a "lifetime" bike.

Check out @randyjawa's website in post 4. He's put together the finest information about finding and rehabbing bikes- from the perspective of a guy who loves bikes.

This forum has lots of good discussions about bikes and parts. You can learn TONS by reading here.

The paint on the 1984/85 Trek 720 is pretty closely matched by Essie nail polish #2168034 "Rock Star Skinny." (and Ulta looks like they have it on sale for .99- after I bought my jar for like $5 +shipping)

I agree with @JohnDThompson- (who worked at Trek at the time- building these) NOTHING matches what was on the bike from the catalog. There's someone else here that has a 720 that they suspected was sold as a frame, built up with M700 components.

This nice young man (another forum member- @robatsu ) did a "from scratch" build of a 1985 Trek 620- he did a really great job of it: Fuji Otaku: The Phoenix Project - The 1985 Trek 620 Alights

As far as what to use and what not to replace on your bike... It's your bike, you can decide how you want to do it according to your budget and your own personal aesthetic. But keep in mind- this bike came with the finest, the best, and among the most expensive components available at the time. Nothing is too good for this frame. I'm a dork about this stuff. I daydream about bike parts while I'm driving to work. I like mid-late 1980s- to early 90s components. If'n I were to build it up- I'd shy away from "modern" components and "modern looking" stuff- nothing swoopy or bulbous, silver instead of black. I'd do a judicious mix of Deore XT, 600, Suntour XC Pro and assorted SR and DiaCompe components- with other little bonus things thrown in. Oh, wait, that's how I built mine up.

Here's mine- it's an 85. Although most everything on my bike was in great to decent shape- I replaced some things that were scratched, I replaced some things with things I just liked more- it's a bike dork build to my own particular... idiom.













I'm always happy to share my opinion, whether you want it or not . I've tried out bunches of different components and I'm very fond of my own opinions. Let me know if you'd like some help or whatever.
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Old 06-25-15, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by mainstreetexile View Post
That's a 1985 (catalog year at least), the 1984 models had the model name in the downtube decal e.g. "TREK 720"

The Trek 1984 and 1985 brochures are up here with the original specs:

Vintage Trek Bicycle Catalogs and Bike Brochures, Fisher, Klein LeMond
You're correct about the decals. There's something on the Vintage Trek site that mentioned that ALL the 84/85 720s were built in 84. My guess is they didn't sell too well in 84 because of the price. There was a guy here who worked at a store at the time- he recalled that his shop sold 10 Specialized Expeditions to 1 Trek 720.

There is also a discrepancy about the amount of braze ons on the fork ends and dropouts. I thought all 84s had dual eyelets. Then I saw some with dual and some with single- and then I've seen dual eyelets on bikes with 85 decal schemes... who knows.
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Old 06-25-15, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Ryvers View Post
@Ryvers- I would totally keep the brakes- I think those are the M732 Deore XT brakes- REALLY good cantilever brakes- and IMO among the very best of all time- and they look great.

Is your crankset the FC-M730 or is it the FC-6206? Either way- again, those are in the upper tier of triple cranksets of all time. According to my opinion.
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Old 06-25-15, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
@Ryvers- I would totally keep the brakes- I think those are the M732 Deore XT brakes- REALLY good cantilever brakes- and IMO among the very best of all time- and they look great.

Is your crankset the FC-M730 or is it the FC-6206? Either way- again, those are in the upper tier of triple cranksets of all time. According to my opinion.
I don't know how to check either of those things. Does it say it on them or should I just try to compare to online pictures?
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Old 06-25-15, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Ryvers View Post
I don't know how to check either of those things. Does it say it on them or should I just try to compare to online pictures?
The model number for the cranks will be on the inside of the arms.
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