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1985 trek 420

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1985 trek 420

Old 05-08-18, 03:22 PM
  #1  
ryansu 
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1985 trek 420

Seems like there's been a rash of Treks posted on the C&V forum lately so I guess I am jumping on the bandwagon. I rarely see old steel Treks in Seattle for less than $200, so when this 420 popped up for $100 in my size I went to take a look. I made two rookie mistakes 1) I was going to see it after work and forgot to throw in tools to check for stuck stem and or seat post, thankfully when I got it home and checked they were fine 2) despite checking drive train and frame I totally missed the fact that the back wheel was a non stock 7 speed cassette 700c wheel!!! (face palm) paired with the stock (I think) 27" front.

That's fine as I have a set of 27" wheels I can use on this bike but I can't believe I didn't see that, I would have haggled more :lol:. The bike was used as a college runabout by the sellers son, so its going to need some TLC especially the paint but I am thinking of building it as a fendered commuter so a bit of patina won't hurt.

Anyone have any experience with this model? I have done a bit of browsing at vintage Trek but haven't dived in yet beyond knowing it was the entry level sport tourer with solid but not special true temper chromoly. Also any tips on the funky through chain stay RD cable routing? more pics to come as I get time. This was the CL ad


Trek 420 by Ryan Surface, on Flickr

Last edited by ryansu; 05-08-18 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 05-08-18, 04:56 PM
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Looks okay. Good price for a complete and semi functioning bike. The through chain stay cable tunnel is not bad, just different. Tru temper is just good stuff when DB'ed.
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Old 05-08-18, 05:48 PM
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I've routed one cable through the through-the-chainstay configuration on my '88 400 and it went int first try. I haven't heard from anyone who've said they had any trouble with that setup.
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Old 05-09-18, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
I've routed one cable through the through-the-chainstay configuration on my '88 400 and it went int first try. I haven't heard from anyone who've said they had any trouble with that setup.
Good to know thanks for the info
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Old 05-09-18, 09:14 AM
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Paint? Take a trip to the auto parts store for some close matching touch-up paint in a spray can. Probably under $8.
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Old 05-09-18, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cycleheimer View Post
Paint? Take a trip to the auto parts store for some close matching touch-up paint in a spray can. Probably under $8.
Thanks for the tip @cycleheimer I am going to give it a thorough clean it up make judicious use of rubbing compound and then we'll see how scratched up it is, although first it may spend some time as the designated stationary trainer bike for some early am exercise a good use for the mismatched rear wheel.
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Old 05-09-18, 06:05 PM
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Look at it this way, you're kind of coming out ahead- the original Helicomatic probably died- I think you did pretty good for $100. Good frame, good components, upgraded rear wheel...

As far as the thru the chainstay cable routing- I *think* it's a 4.5mm ferrule.

Use a new shift cable... it can cause trouble using an old or used cable.

For your edification: Routing The Derailleur Cable Through The Chainstay On An Old Trek

It looks like that thread has helped a few people...
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Old 05-10-18, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Look at it this way, you're kind of coming out ahead- the original Helicomatic probably died- I think you did pretty good for $100. Good frame, good components, upgraded rear wheel...

As far as the thru the chainstay cable routing- I *think* it's a 4.5mm ferrule.

Use a new shift cable... it can cause trouble using an old or used cable.

For your edification: Routing The Derailleur Cable Through The Chainstay On An Old Trek

It looks like that thread has helped a few people...
Thanks for the tip and the link, I have a step down ferrule that should work for that. Its probably for the best about the rear wheel as I don't have the special wrench for a Helicomatic fw anyway
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Old 05-11-18, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ryansu View Post
Thanks for the tip and the link, I have a step down ferrule that should work for that. Its probably for the best about the rear wheel as I don't have the special wrench for a Helicomatic fw anyway
You *really* don’t need the wrench- I’ve done it with a needle nose pliers- utilizing excessive caution- but one of those wrenches are much betterer. You’re not worrying about bending that ring.

It’s not just the FW/cassette removal- it’s the bearings and the spoke breakage and the “not the best metal in the world” stuff going on with the Helicomatic. You’re coming out ahead.
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Old 05-13-19, 01:10 PM
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Update Although I have long been a proponent of keeping 27inch wheels feeling that there are in fact decent options in tires for them unless you want really narrow or really fat, not to mention the costs of converting - wheels brakes etc, I decided to give a 700c conversion a try on this bike since the rear is already 700c. I found a 700c Araya black alloy front to match the rear for $20 on CL. This bike is still doing trainer duty but I look forward to trying a 700c conversion and rebuilding this tired Trek with some TLC, that is when I get the queue a bit cleared out (87 Letour, 87 520 and 92 Allez Sport are ahead of it in line). I even have some dual caliper Tektros R539s with the nutted bolts I am going to try and some maroon Newbaum's Cloth Bar Tape that I think will match the Trek Decals.

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Old 05-13-19, 01:53 PM
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Had I read what JohnD said last week I would have saved my self so much work. I taped my cable to the end of a piece of wire and even though the wire was through both ends, it didn't want to come out the BB end. Eventually the wire came loose at the tape and out of shear frustration and of course, a few foul words, I just pushed the cable through and it went in as if....like there was a PLASTIC CONE inside the stay!
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Old 05-13-19, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by jskita View Post
Had I read what JohnD said last week I would have saved my self so much work. I taped my cable to the end of a piece of wire and even though the wire was through both ends, it didn't want to come out the BB end. Eventually the wire came loose at the tape and out of shear frustration and of course, a few foul words, I just pushed the cable through and it went in as if....like there was a PLASTIC CONE inside the stay!
My first attempt with it was with a 30 year old NOS cable that had been coiled for 30 years- I had a dickins of a time getting it out the dropout side. I’ve done it several times since with a new new cable, and it’s gone straight through.
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Old 05-13-19, 03:41 PM
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Yes the threading the RD cable into the dropout/chain stay is going to be a new thing for me with this bike, I am hoping I get the first try option
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Old 05-13-19, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ryansu View Post
Yes the threading the RD cable into the dropout/chain stay is going to be a new thing for me with this bike, I am hoping I get the first try option
Use a new cable- it'll go right through, and you're going to wonder what everyone else was going on about!
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Old 05-13-19, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ryansu View Post
S
Anyone have any experience with this model? I have done a bit of browsing at vintage Trek but haven't dived in yet beyond knowing it was the entry level sport tourer with solid but not special true temper chromoly.

Trek 420 by Ryan Surface, on Flickr
I have an '85 410 with the Tru Temper frame - very nice ride - mostly because it fits me well, but the Tru Temper is respectable.

Your 420 has the same geometry as my 410 but was spec'd differently - nice bike. I did a 650b conversion with updated components.

If you like those funky foam grips they are still available - look comfy: https://grabongrips.com/bicycle-grips

To look up the original specs. go here: https://www.vintage-trek.com/images/trek/85TrekSport.pdf

Last edited by jlaw; 05-13-19 at 05:52 PM. Reason: edit
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