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1981 Trek 716 (710 frameset) - 25.5" - Keeping it Original

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1981 Trek 716 (710 frameset) - 25.5" - Keeping it Original

Old 10-16-18, 06:49 PM
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Thanks so much, guys!!
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Old 10-16-18, 10:51 PM
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Beautiful bike, and you did an outstanding job restoring it!

Here's my '81 710. I've since rebuilt it with a semi-modern Shimergo 8-speed drivetrain. It rides like a dream.
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Old 10-16-18, 11:01 PM
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I recently built a SuperCourse with Shimano 600 arabesque. It really shifts like a dream. Mine is also a long cage RD and it covers the full range of 52/39 and the 13-28 freewheel easily
your Trek looks sweet.
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Old 10-17-18, 12:16 AM
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Thanks, guys. The shifting is nice, but it's the only time I've wanted to have fewer gears in the rear, and with older cog tooth technology so that the chain will stay on that cog. The shifters are, well, plenty old and not as crisp as they were over thirty years ago, so even with them snug, not over-shifting from 2nd to 4th is tricky. Once you're in a gear, it's smooth sailing.

Man, it's so nice to see all these pewter colored 710s! @lonesomesteve yours looks like it's built for (real, comfortable) speed!
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Old 10-17-18, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel
@inkandsilver that is beautiful 710!! Definitely "not stock" done right--you are giving me ideas! With 700x28mm tires there is such little rear brake bridge clearance so as to make one think twice about running fenders. With 650Bs, this becomes a much more realistic proposition (if one wants to run larger tires and not 700x25s per se). I'm glad yours is the same size as mine as it gives a direct comparison. What kind of center pull brakes and how is their power? I would have to imagine that they are at least stronger than the original 600 Arabesque calipers.
They are Dia-Compe 750 calipers. With careful setup and the right pads (Koolstop Dura that have angle adjustment) the braking is very good.

Yours is looking great!
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Old 10-17-18, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by inkandsilver
They are Dia-Compe 750 calipers. With careful setup and the right pads (Koolstop Dura that have angle adjustment) the braking is very good.

Yours is looking great!
Thank you for the information! Glad the brakes are solid performers--none of us likes soft brakes!
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Old 10-18-18, 12:22 AM
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Just about perfect, Dan. Reminds me I have a full set of Arabesque stuff just sitting and waiting for the right frame to come along. Yes, you have to know how to friction shift, but if you do, it feels every bit as nice as NR.
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Old 10-18-18, 02:32 PM
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OK. Now I'm getting very interested. Do the Arabesque brakes work as well as NR/SR? I contemplated using my SR group but the SR brakes don't quite reach the front rim and barely reach the rear on my 710.
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Old 10-19-18, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel
Thanks, guys. The shifting is nice, but it's the only time I've wanted to have fewer gears in the rear, and with older cog tooth technology so that the chain will stay on that cog. The shifters are, well, plenty old and not as crisp as they were over thirty years ago, so even with them snug, not over-shifting from 2nd to 4th is tricky. Once you're in a gear, it's smooth sailing.

Man, it's so nice to see all these pewter colored 710s! @lonesomesteve yours looks like it's built for (real, comfortable) speed!
Beautiful 716!

I actually just picked up one for myself a couple of hours ago! Mine is blue, and unfortunately the paint is quite a bit rougher than yours, but the components are all in excellent shape. I've never seen Arabesque in the flesh before, and it's just so incredibly elegant.

After a quick ride around the block I can sympathize with your sentiment of wanting less cogs in the rear. Mine actually has a 7 speed cassette in the rear! The shift lever throws are so incredibly small! Definitely going to take some getting used to.
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Old 10-21-18, 01:31 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman
Just about perfect, Dan. Reminds me I have a full set of Arabesque stuff just sitting and waiting for the right frame to come along. Yes, you have to know how to friction shift, but if you do, it feels every bit as nice as NR.
Thank you, sir!

Originally Posted by abshipp
Beautiful 716!

I actually just picked up one for myself a couple of hours ago! Mine is blue, and unfortunately the paint is quite a bit rougher than yours, but the components are all in excellent shape. I've never seen Arabesque in the flesh before, and it's just so incredibly elegant.

After a quick ride around the block I can sympathize with your sentiment of wanting less cogs in the rear. Mine actually has a 7 speed cassette in the rear! The shift lever throws are so incredibly small! Definitely going to take some getting used to.
One of the "advantages" of older friction systems is that the lever, chain, RD, and cog tooth profile worked in concert to stay in a gear. When more cogs with shift-encouraging profiles are introduced to a vintage system (especially levers that may not be as 10000% crisp as they originally were), then it can get fidgety. I know how to friction shift and have done so on 9- and 10-speed systems with success thanks to shifters that were newer and in nicer shape, as well as a much newer slant parallelogram RD. I've had Suntour Accushift (indexed) setups that didn't like Hyperglide cogs because it would auto-shift even when set up correctly. And since Suntour at that time still employed block-tooth-cut cogs, going back to say, a Uniglide cog tooth profile/technology, cured the issue because Uniglide teeth were not as overly-eager to shift like Hyperglide cogs were/are.

Cool to hear you just picked one of these up (and in blue)!

Originally Posted by Classtime
OK. Now I'm getting very interested. Do the Arabesque brakes work as well as NR/SR? I contemplated using my SR group but the SR brakes don't quite reach the front rim and barely reach the rear on my 710.
If your SR brake calipers are short reach (39-49mm) and not standard reach (47-57mm), they won't work on a 710, unfortunately. Obviously a difference in reach very often results in a difference in leverage. Campy brakes have always had stiffer caliper springs. 600 Arabesque calipers have softer springs (though later 6200 generation calipers bumped up the spring rate while thankfully increasing the stiffness of the caliper arms for stronger braking). As I've mentioned, and this is true on a larger frame with a taller and heavier rider, the 600 Arabesque calipers aren't vices like modern dual pivot units. With new adjustable pad holders/pads, they are better than before and if you really have to haul down on it, they are sufficient. The trade-off to brake strength is easy and near-infinite modulation. If you don't have 10-15% grades you need to go down (and up, ugh) regularly, the brakes are fine. NR/SR may have stronger calipers (in addition to the strong caliper springs), but I'd need to try them back to back with the same setup. Perhaps other people have direct experience with both setups.
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Old 10-22-18, 07:53 AM
  #36  
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Beautiful bike!!!!

It's a shame how the depth and sparkle in the Trek Imron doesn't ever do it justice in the photographs.
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Old 10-23-18, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy
Beautiful bike!!!!

It's a shame how the depth and sparkle in the Trek Imron doesn't ever do it justice in the photographs.
Thank you!! Indeed, the paint has so much depth and dimension that it must be seen (up close) to be appreciated. I did my best on the close-up shots and think I did pretty good, but yeah, I want to ride it but it's about time for bed so it will have to wait. Maybe if tomorrow doesn't look like it will rain in the evening, I'll take it.
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Old 10-23-18, 03:00 AM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel
Thank you!! Indeed, the paint has so much depth and dimension that it must be seen (up close) to be appreciated. I did my best on the close-up shots and think I did pretty good, but yeah, I want to ride it but it's about time for bed so it will have to wait. Maybe if tomorrow doesn't look like it will rain in the evening, I'll take it.
I remember a few years ago someone saying the blue on the 1985 Trek 620 looked "meh." I don't think that person could have ever seen one in person, up close. When I was cleaning mine up for the first time- in the sunlight- it looked like I could LITERALLY stick my finger into the finish. The illusion of depth is so... ummm... deep.

One of my normal summer routes has an area that the morning sun has this magical gleam when I'm either on my 620 or 400.

Are you familiar with the Arabesque stuff? I'm interested to see how you like it in comparison with some of the other stuff available at the time.
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Old 10-23-18, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy
Are you familiar with the Arabesque stuff? I'm interested to see how you like it in comparison with some of the other stuff available at the time.
This is my second full 600 Arabesque groupset, and I've had/shifted a few Suntour systems and friction Shimano systems. Right off the bat, a new current technology chain and Hyperglide-like cogs make for markedly improved shifting. Straight or (as I say) "block-cut" cog teeth and old 5/6/7 speed chains of yore shift poorly. They may be passable in a vacuum, but in comparison to newer tech, the difference is stark. Suntour, with their slant parallelogram, using a new chain and HG-like cogs (a newer freewheel), gave supple and silent shifts that were easy to work with over 6 speeds. No micro shifts due to tired levers or odd non-slant-parallogram geometry.

Suntour's Power shift or micro-ratcheting shifters are great. Their old Superbe stuff worked well, but like Retrofriction shifters, the ratcheting is really nice. Later '80s Suntour shifters in friction mode are nice to work with, and I've worked a 9-speed cassettte and newer long cage Campy RD with ease and enjoyment, in a downtown environment no less!

At the end of the day, Shimano index shifting kicks butt, and that's why I upgrade to it quickly. Anything that helps shed the shroud around a frame's/bike's "true character" is something I generally go for. A fidgety shifting experience makes for unpleasant riding via distraction. Heavy tires (and wheels!) dull a frame's ride-giving characteristics. A much too long stem makes for labored and ponderous steering when the front end's true characteristics are really something else.
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Old 10-23-18, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel
This is my second full 600 Arabesque groupset, and I've had/shifted a few Suntour systems and friction Shimano systems. Right off the bat, a new current technology chain and Hyperglide-like cogs make for markedly improved shifting. Straight or (as I say) "block-cut" cog teeth and old 5/6/7 speed chains of yore shift poorly. They may be passable in a vacuum, but in comparison to newer tech, the difference is stark. Suntour, with their slant parallelogram, using a new chain and HG-like cogs (a newer freewheel), gave supple and silent shifts that were easy to work with over 6 speeds. No micro shifts due to tired levers or odd non-slant-parallogram geometry.

Suntour's Power shift or micro-ratcheting shifters are great. Their old Superbe stuff worked well, but like Retrofriction shifters, the ratcheting is really nice. Later '80s Suntour shifters in friction mode are nice to work with, and I've worked a 9-speed cassettte and newer long cage Campy RD with ease and enjoyment, in a downtown environment no less!

At the end of the day, Shimano index shifting kicks butt, and that's why I upgrade to it quickly. Anything that helps shed the shroud around a frame's/bike's "true character" is something I generally go for. A fidgety shifting experience makes for unpleasant riding via distraction. Heavy tires (and wheels!) dull a frame's ride-giving characteristics. A much too long stem makes for labored and ponderous steering when the front end's true characteristics are really something else.
I only had one Arabesque group- it came on my Trek 736. It came with a long cage derailleur- maybe it was my stuff, but everything about that package (except the hubs) was nowhere near the shifting or braking quality of contemporary Suntour or later (6400+) Shimano. Iíve read by several people, including people whoís opinions I trust the the front derailleur is among the very best- but I was so frustrated by every aspect of shifting with that group. Iíve also read that the long cage Arabesque RD had a poor spring design- itís highly possible a short cage RD would have improved everything (except the flexy brakes) about the performance. In the end, I went with Cyclone front and rear, Superbe brakes and levers Simplex Retrofriction shifters and a Stronglight 99 BIS crankset. Maybe itís unfair to compare them- but the Arabesque stuff really disappointed me.
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Old 10-25-18, 12:48 AM
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I think, everything being set up correctly, a front derailleur is a front derailleur (doubles, here). It's dirt simple in concept and in execution. Pull ratios do vary, but I've found every single FD I've used to be easy to shift. It was the old Superbe FDs that were narrow (with a 6/7/8 speed chain no less) enough, with some wobble in the chain ring, that made trimming constant and annoying. Now that I know how to tweak a chainring's "true-ness" I'll cut the Superbe FD some slack. Old standard reach Superbe brakes were alright, IMO (as a 6'5" 215 lb guy), but a heavier/normal 27" wheelset and ~550g tires make for over-matched brakes on descents or in traffic. Out on the open road these are fine. Maybe Campy, with their tough lever pull due to caliper springs, were tougher. Honestly though, dual pivot brakes mop the floor with any single pivot. I'm glad technology advanced. It's good to know where we came from, and to acknowledge the fact that we or technology (that is good, today) wouldn't be here if it weren't for the work and production of people in the past. Acknowledge the good, remember and be mindful and respectful of the time period and context, and point out the weaknesses that were (hopefully!) rectified in future years/generations.
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