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'83 Trek 700

Old 05-05-19, 06:38 AM
  #1  
Triplecrank92
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'83 Trek 700

Ran across this Trek on FB market place. Owner was real nice but had not been using the bike for quite a long time and had stowed it in the garage. While am sure that my thinking has probably been "askew", I've always been diametrical opposed to Treks for no particular reason, like some folks are to successful athletic programs like the NE Patriots or Duke basketball. I guess that with so many Treks out there that I was just looking to be the contrarian. (It was either that or the fact that my first bike/love was a Cannondale and I was just C'dale biased). In any regard, as my disposition as mellowed over the years, I couldn't resist the opportunity to pick up the bike and have a new project.

It's a '83 Trek 700 with its frame being all Reynolds 531. I've read a lot about 531 frames and the rides of the older Trek frames so I'm looking forward to riding this one in comparison to my other bikes. I love the look of the paint scheme and panel decals on the frame. Given its age, it's all friction shifting which I'm looking forward to using again (use to have an old Motobecane Super Mirage in school). From my cursory pre & post-purchase look-over, all the parts are original with the exception of the derailleurs, saddle, pedals, the stem and handlebar. The frame is a 10 footer and has multiple scratches and nicks all over the paint, which were touched up but with an off-color paint. However, there appears to be no major rust on the frame. The stem is stuck at the moment and will be the first order of business. I would like to find the original SunTour derailleurs to make the bike period correct so if anyone has information (as to how to ID Suntour parts on eBay) or leads on the SunTour Superbe GT Tech rear and Superbe front derailleurs please let me know. I'm not as concerned at the moment about the stem and bars. Pedals and saddle will be changed to conform to my aging bod like all the others in the stable. Then, I'll get into cleaning it, tearing it down and then building it back up. During the build up, I'll play with removing the touch up paint. The original paint is Imron per the catalog on the Vintage Trek so any suggestions on removing the touch up without damaging the original paint would be appreciated. Looking closely at the frame, I was surprised to see that the dark blue paint was metallic. I picked up some Testor's metallic Arctic Blue paint that looks fairly close but I'll have a lot of work on the bike before I get to test it. This rebuild should keep me busy this summer. Hopefully, I get it put back together to be able to enjoy it later in the summer or fall so I can be converted to the Trek "Dark Side".











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Old 05-05-19, 06:39 AM
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Old 05-05-19, 07:29 AM
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Nice find, beautiful bike. Think about Trek as they were in the late 70s and early 80s, based out of a barn in Wisconsin, trying to break into a very competitive industry, by building higher quality bikes across the various price ranges. There was no low end Trek, they started in the middle. Your find is near the top. The bike you bought has nothing to do with, nor does it support the market bull, that Trek is today. You’ve joined while the they were still on the light side of the Force, young Jedi. The vintage Trek site is your friend, as to all the original components, which you will eventually find on eBay. Enjoy the ride!
Tim
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Old 05-05-19, 07:57 AM
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I had a one year later 760 w/Superbe and really liked it. I think you'll find it a very nice ride.

As flat as your terrain is, I'd opt for a short cage Superbe RD, and smaller cogs. Mine was a stock 12-21 7s, and shifted like butter. The hoods from same era Campy fit those levers - good repops will run you about $35.

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Old 05-05-19, 08:11 AM
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Lovely bike with a nice mix of components. Cyclone long cage RD would be nice on this bike as well and easier to track down.
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Old 05-05-19, 06:14 PM
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Welcome to the Trekheads. I got my first a year ago and am currently touring on my second. I have not ridden a nicer bike.
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Old 05-05-19, 07:19 PM
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Beautiful color, a bunch of very nice Superbe components, and a full 531 frameset. It will be a fantastic ride. My '81 710/719 is simply top notch.
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Old 05-05-19, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
Think about Trek as they were in the late 70s and early 80s, based out of a barn in Wisconsin, trying to break into a very competitive industry, by building higher quality bikes across the various price ranges.
+1; this was when, and in great part why, I bought my first Trek, an '82 613 brand new, same gunmetal blue as the OP's bike. The US manufacturing base's great off-shore slide was going full-tilt at the time. As I was shopping for my first "good" bike, my brother turned me on to this relative upstart brand, boasting "American Handbuilt Bicycles" right on the downtube. Indeed, the OP's bike is from an era when the brand stood for something.

At least the handlebar and stem are "in keeping". But it's begging to shed those derailleurs, esp. the rear. +1 on the Cyclone; it'll make it feel like its old self again.
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Old 05-06-19, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Triplecrank92 View Post
I would like to find the original SunTour derailleurs to make the bike period correct so if anyone has information (as to how to ID Suntour parts on eBay) or leads on the SunTour Superbe GT Tech rear and Superbe front derailleurs please let me know.

Hopefully, I get it put back together to be able to enjoy it later in the summer or fall so I can be converted to the Trek "Dark Side".

Congratulations. I purchased the same bike a few months ago, it's a joy to ride! Yours too looks like a 24".

I'm confident you will overcome your diametric opposition in short order after spending a few miles on it.

Mine doesn't look as nice as yours and it came with replacement wheels (where yours look original). Oddly mine came with 27x1 1/4" Weinmann concave wheels, with Maillard front and a Helicomatic in rear -- the catalog specifies 700c. I actually really like the Weinmanns despite their weight. They're a novelty for me, and currently are suited in 27x1 1/4" Gatorskin.

I pump them to max pressure, they've stayed firmly attached to the (apparently) non-hooked rims.

I think you're correct it's only the derailleurs (and saddle, stem, and bars) that were replaced on your bike.

Unfortunately, the previous owner of mine looks to have used it as a trainer, at least that's what a friend of mine thought, due to the rust pattern on the top tube, top and bottom. It's ugly, and looks potentially bad, but still seems structurally sound.

Here are some photos of the bits on mine, that I think are original. Hopefully they help you identify what you're looking for. I think they do a great job shifting.




Shifting bits


Rust never sleeps
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Old 05-07-19, 05:03 AM
  #10  
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Thanks for the kudos and input on the needed parts, folks! I've started the tear down and have gotten the stuck stem out with a 24 hr cocktail of PB Blaster, sweat and choice expletives. The jury is still out on which of the three actually made the biggest difference in the removal of the stem. However its demise has been replaced by a frozen water bottle cage bolt and the rear adjustable barrel/wheel on brake cable housing. So, I'm back to mixing cocktails starting with the first ingredient, cursing. I'll be making a trip after work to the local bike co-op to see what they have in the parts bin and "tithe" the block pedals and saddle from the bike to the cause. Also starting to read up on SunTour freewheels, their removal and OA baths. Been cruzing ebay but, WOW, what prices for SunTour parts!

tkamd73... Unfortunately, Jedi mind tricks on the stem didn't work, "You don't want to stay in that fork! You can move on!". It was worth a shot.

Specialmonkey....Thanks for the pics. Very helpful. Amazing what a little sweat will do, eh? I think you're assessment of the rims is wheels is correct, that they are original at least based on looking at Vintage Trek pictures. The hubs are Campy which matches the catalog info on Vintage Trek (I haven't gotten around to look for identifying numbers on the hubs yet to confirm). However, all the stickers on the rims are completely faded out or are missing so I can't validate that they are the originals. And yes, it's a 24 inch frame.

Ex Pres...I think you're correct on the gearing. The 28 cog is going to be a low for my neck of the woods, but I'll see if I'm going to be successful / lucky finding another cassette or sprockets to rebuild it. I've been reading the info about SunTour's New Winner cassette on Sheldon Brown's website so maybe a little of that knowledge will seep in. It appears that the 6 speed can be converted into a 7 speed which would be nice but that assumes the parts can be found. It will probably be easier to find (and pay dearly for) an entire cassette.

Last edited by Triplecrank92; 05-07-19 at 05:58 AM.
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Old 05-07-19, 05:12 AM
  #11  
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Oh, I forgot to add. There are two slightly bent spokes on the front wheel which I'll see if a LBS can swap out. The spoke nipples are in fairly good shape for a 36 year old bike with just a little rust and corrosion on some. Should I spray them with PB Blaster or anything else to start conditioning them?
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Old 05-07-19, 05:51 AM
  #12  
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Great bike - I had a 25.5 model.

Only issue I had was ghost shifting when standing on the pedals - you will note few bikes have chainstays as long as the 700, so I attributed the shifting issue to the rear triangle flexing (although I’m a pretty big guy). Tried a few derailleur setups with same results, so I ultimately sold the bike.

Original had suntour superbe tech rd. Read up on this one if you want to go down that road. Issues keeping the upper pulley and knuckle lubricated and clean - no replacement parts. But I found it very smooth shifting, due to. The direct pull.

I have a superbe tech long cage in not bad shape with a bin of spare parts that I would let go for a song - so PM me if you are interested.

Joe
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Old 05-07-19, 07:29 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Triplecrank92 View Post
Ex Pres...I think you're correct on the gearing. The 28 cog is going to be a low for my neck of the woods, but I'll see if I'm going to be successful / lucky finding another cassette or sprockets to rebuild it. I've been reading the info about SunTour's New Winner cassette on Sheldon Brown's website so maybe a little of that knowledge will seep in. It appears that the 6 speed can be converted into a 7 speed which would be nice but that assumes the parts can be found. It will probably be easier to find (and pay dearly for) an entire cassette.
You have a Campy wheelset (unless you have an unmatched rear). Keep it, unless you want to swap it from Tipo to Record. It's freewheel, not cassette. I had a Superbe wheelset at one time, good, but it took me a long time to find a suitable one - I ended up using a Record wheelset on my 760.

Last edited by Ex Pres; 05-07-19 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 05-07-19, 12:53 PM
  #14  
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Nice find OP, I was only ever asymmetrically opposed to Treks, picked up an 87 520 Cirrus for the clunker challenge this year.

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Old 05-19-19, 08:19 AM
  #15  
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Since the last posts, I've torn down the bike and dealt with a handful of corroded & frozen parts. The stuck stem wasn't bad to remove after flipping the bike and soaking inside of the fork tube & stem overnight with PB Blaster. The stuck water bottle cage was more of a challenge. I stripped the hex fitting attempting to remove the bolt. Not being able to get any grip on the domed bolt head due to the water bottle cage, I decided to dremel off the cage. Fearing a slip of the hand and marring the frame with the dremel, I held my breath and slowly and carefully cut the cage until I could slowly bend and break it off the bolt. With the cage gone, there was enough exposed bolt head to take the vise grips to it. One of the brake cable adjuster wheels was corroded tight. After figuring out how to remove the rubber wheel grip, a pair of pliers on the barrel resolved that problem. While cleaning the brakes, I noted the missing cone nut at the front of the brake calipers that I'll need to find a replacement. I had one crank arm dust cover that was covered in rust and, of course, the hex fitted hole had been previously stripped. So, another soaking round of PB blaster and the right size flat head screw driver pushed into the hex fitting removed the offending dust cover. I used Bar Tender's Friend several rounds on the cap and was pleasantly surprised how much of the cap was still semi-decently in good shape. At least enough to the point that I'll grease the threads and put it back on the crank when the time comes.

All the good components were removed and cleaned, while the derailleurs went into the parts bin. Pedals and saddle were donated to the bike co-op. I've removed the head set and bottom bracket and cleaned out the old grease with mineral spirits. For all practical purposes, there was little to no grease left and what was left was hard. While the clean up was underway, I ordered new parts. As Ex Pres suggested, I found a 6 speed 13-21 Winner Ultra Freewheel to replace the original 13-28. Given the smaller gearing, I got a short cage Superbe Pro RD and FD to match the other Suntour components. New black Rustine's hood covers, black brake housing will go on the handlebars. I was originally going to use just black cloth bar tape but I think I'm going to get some grey tape to attempt to wrap the bars in that harlequin style wrap. I hope to give it more of that vintage look.







My biggest problem at the moment is touching up the nicks and scratches on the frame, of which there are many. The issue is that the prior attempts to touch up the scratches went well beyond the scratch. I've tested WD-40, thinner, and finger nail polish remover on the chain stay scratches. The nail polish remover tends to work best but it takes a lot of elbow grease and lightly scratching at the polish with my nails. Thank goodness for the original Imron paint which appears to be tolerating this abuse. If I can remove the original touch up attempts, I can focus my attempts on the scratches and hide it amongst the re-exposed original paint. Any suggestions on removing touch up paint would be appreciated.



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Old 05-27-19, 07:44 PM
  #16  
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After a lot of experimentation, I was able to remove the offending blue touch-up paint / Walmart finger nail polish. I tried a variety of solvents from finger nail polish remover, mineral spirits to Testor's paint thinner to no avail. I finally bought a bottle of kerosene and scrubbed some of the off-color blue in an discrete location. Much to my surprise, I began to see more of the original paint. I would work a small section with the kerosene and then wipe it down with a watered down paper towel and then dry it. My hope was to remove any residual kerosene off the original paint. It doesn't appear that I damaged the original paint, so hat's off to Imron paints. Tough stuff. Now to find a better matching touch up paint and place it just on the scratches without covering two square inches of the original paint around it. My results:



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Old 05-27-19, 07:50 PM
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This bike is well worth the effort you are putting into it. It will be a very special bike when you are finished. I wouldn't sweat the nicks and different touch up colors too much. Those just give the bike character. I would get on top of any rust issues straight away. Evapo rust gel does a great job and won't harm the paint. It also comes in a liquid but the gel is best for dealing with rust on the frame (the liquid is really for parts).
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Old 06-11-19, 06:14 AM
  #18  
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Paint Touch Up

Been working on the paint for the last couple of weeks and got it as good as it is going to get (or the best that I can do without repainting it). I studied several car sites for touching up scratches which was beneficial on building up the paint, wet sanding, rinse and repeat. Did a final round of polisher to clear the wet sanding scratches and other assorted minor scratches. Some of the paint scratches, dings, divots were so large that it was close to impossible to get a smooth layer of paint across it. I could have used a Harbor Freight air brush that I bought for touching up a large spot on my Serotta, but with as many scratches that the 700 had, I would probably have been air-brushing the whole frame so I stuck with just the touch up. The Testor's Artic Blue Metallic paint was close in color, it was still just that, "close". For touching up the small spots, I found that the small Testors paint brushes perfect. Much easier to control the amount of paint on the tip as opposed to the end of tooth picks. So I think I achieved a lowering my 10 footer frame to at least a 5 footer. Here are the results below with before / after pics.

Other tidbits as I re-worked the frame. Using a package scale at work, the frame weight (with shifters and headset races which I wasn't going to remove): 4 lbs 15 oz / Fork: 1 lbs 11 oz.




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Old 06-11-19, 07:22 AM
  #19  
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Nice job on the touchup! A little late now, but one other slvent you might have tried was lacquer thinner. A bit stronger than mineral spirits or kerosene, but not quite as aggressive as acetone/nail polish remover.
Anxious to see how this one looks/rides when finished!
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Old 06-12-19, 08:02 PM
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Opinions Needed

I'm mounting the derailleurs. Would you or would you not place a strip of inner tube under the FD to protect the frame paint? And, I'm initially positioning the FD so that it will be centered over the small chain ring thinking that I would then adjust the H and L limiter screws. Am I correct or wrong on my thoughts to position the FD?
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Old 06-13-19, 12:30 AM
  #21  
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Now, about those chain rings. Before you bolt them back down onto the crank spider, put the smaller one on the inside; big one on the outside
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Old 06-13-19, 04:42 AM
  #22  
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D’oh...the chainrings! I knew something didn’t look right last night! ;-). Must have been the wine I was drinking during the re-install. Remember kids, don’t drink, wrench and post online late into the night!

While it made sense last night, I GUESS I was thinking that I had to worry about roughly adjusting the limiter screws at the same time the FD was going on to insure that the FD has enough adjustment & play over both rings. But in the light of a fuzzy morning, that seems rather silly. In the words of Roseanne Rosanna Danna, “Never Mind!”

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Old 06-13-19, 06:15 AM
  #23  
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Great thread! I think you'll really like the ride on that thing. My 1985 Trek 470 (also metallic paint, black) is the most comfortable road bike I own, and gets a lot of use.
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