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Finally complete: '85 Trek 720 + bonus bike

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Finally complete: '85 Trek 720 + bonus bike

Old 07-12-19, 05:41 PM
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Finally complete: '85 Trek 720 + bonus bike

Finally finished my '85 Trek 720. Upgraded with a modern derailleur, new wheels (38mm 700cc tires), Brooks saddle, and new pedals. Also ended up having to swap out the Cinelli handlebar for a Nitto Noodle when it turned out to have a non-standard width. I had some ergo brakes lying around so I committed the blasphemy of switching them in too. Still think it looks pretty good, and it rides better than any touring bike I've ever been on. Thanks for all the advice here y'all.






Bonus bike: At the same time as I was working on this I swapped out the dirt drops on my bikepacking-ified 81' Univega Specialissima for cruiser bars. Haven't had a chance to really ride it with the new set up yet, but it felt great on a spin around the local park. This isn't so much a restoration as an unrecognizable repurposing of an old frame though. (It had already been powder coated when I got it, and there isn't a single original part.)


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Old 07-12-19, 05:57 PM
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I also am a member of the 1985 Trek 720 Club

Your build is great. Crank Brothers pedals? They look like they really match the color. What model are they?
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Old 07-12-19, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by revcp View Post
Your build is great. Crank Brothers pedals? They look like they really match the color. What model are they?
Yep! On both bikes. My favorites. Stamp 7s on the Trek, in the "USA" colorway. The pedals on the other bike are a cheaper version , but they've stood up to a year (about 4000 miles) of rough four-season riding in on Vermont trails and salted roads of NYC without issue.
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Old 07-12-19, 06:20 PM
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That's a great looking build; and that's cool getting 38c tires to fit on an old touring bike.
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Old 07-12-19, 07:12 PM
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+1, sweet build. The original blue bits are a nice touch, and the mods are at modest and respect the originality.
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Old 07-12-19, 07:26 PM
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Very nice build, great color scheme.
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Old 07-12-19, 08:57 PM
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y'all are making me blush
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Old 07-13-19, 03:14 AM
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Looks great, I like the blue and red. The only thing that I'd change is that Altus RD. Not to be a snob, but that RD is maybe a step above a big-box bike RD to to me. Far too much steel and plastic and it doesn't fit the ascetic. Looks brand new and those monster pulleys probably suck up a lot of chain, so definitely ride on with it, I'd just keep my eyes open for something to fall in your lap that is silver and aluminum and pretty.
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Old 07-13-19, 08:15 AM
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Nice bike! What was the factory or default gearing front and back on that bike? Have fun and ride safely on it!
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Old 07-13-19, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by degan View Post
Looks great, I like the blue and red. The only thing that I'd change is that Altus RD. Not to be a snob, but that RD is maybe a step above a big-box bike RD to to me. Far too much steel and plastic and it doesn't fit the ascetic. Looks brand new and those monster pulleys probably suck up a lot of chain, so definitely ride on with it, I'd just keep my eyes open for something to fall in your lap that is silver and aluminum and pretty.
That was my thought initially- but it's one of the very few 'large pulley' derailleurs- unless you want to hunt down (and pay for) a Dura Ace 7703. Plus it has the Grant seal of approval.
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Old 07-13-19, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by BengalCat View Post
Nice bike! What was the factory or default gearing front and back on that bike? Have fun and ride safely on it!
Default was a 48 45 28 triple and a 12-28 five speed in the rear.
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Old 07-13-19, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by bicybike View Post



Great job with it!

You have some interesting stuff going on there... The Sugino AT and the Simplex FD with the logo on the cage... were those original? If so- that must be an early 85. The 85 was specced with a Sugino LP, and most of the Simplex FDs for the 85s that I've seen have a plain cage- But the 84s had the Sugino AT and the logo'd Simplexes. Otherwise, there's no real difference between the 84 and 85 720- Only the decals, crank and FD... they were all brazed in 84. Some had 2 eyelets on the dropouts and fork ends, most didn't.

I like a lot of your choices- until people have ridden on those TRP RRL levers- I can see someone saying they look ugly... but they're the best brake levers I've ever used. I like that you color matched the pedals and pegs with the frame colors!

As mentioned before- I'd want a more fancy-pants RD- but truth be told, that Altus is a really nice unit- as evidenced by your picture showing it in the granny and higher gear- with NO chain droop.

But if you want to upscale it- there's always the Dura Ace 7703:

620 Build Derailleurs by Dave The Golden Boy, on Flickr



I ended up taking off the bottle cage on the underside of the down tube- I kept kicking it and catching it on stuff- I didn't want to wreck the cage or possibly wreck the eyelets or frame.

If you're going to be using this in the rain- you may wish to choose a different seat post- While the SP-KC seatpost looks really cool, it will allow water into the seat tube where it will just sit. And corrode. I have one SP-KC in use right now- and I have the top packed with grease- I'll be swapping it out eventually.

Just out of curiosity- why did you change out the brakes? "Just because" (which is a good enough reason) or were there problems getting the stock brakes to line up on the 700c rims?
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Old 07-13-19, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Great job with it!

You have some interesting stuff going on there... The Sugino AT and the Simplex FD with the logo on the cage... were those original? If so- that must be an early 85. The 85 was specced with a Sugino LP, and most of the Simplex FDs for the 85s that I've seen have a plain cage- But the 84s had the Sugino AT and the logo'd Simplexes. Otherwise, there's no real difference between the 84 and 85 720- Only the decals, crank and FD... they were all brazed in 84. Some had 2 eyelets on the dropouts and fork ends, most didn't.

I like a lot of your choices- until people have ridden on those TRP RRL levers- I can see someone saying they look ugly... but they're the best brake levers I've ever used. I like that you color matched the pedals and pegs with the frame colors!

As mentioned before- I'd want a more fancy-pants RD- but truth be told, that Altus is a really nice unit- as evidenced by your picture showing it in the granny and higher gear- with NO chain droop.

But if you want to upscale it- there's always the Dura Ace 7703:


620 Build Derailleurs by Dave The Golden Boy, on Flickr



I ended up taking off the bottle cage on the underside of the down tube- I kept kicking it and catching it on stuff- I didn't want to wreck the cage or possibly wreck the eyelets or frame.

If you're going to be using this in the rain- you may wish to choose a different seat post- While the SP-KC seatpost looks really cool, it will allow water into the seat tube where it will just sit. And corrode. I have one SP-KC in use right now- and I have the top packed with grease- I'll be swapping it out eventually.

Just out of curiosity- why did you change out the brakes? "Just because" (which is a good enough reason) or were there problems getting the stock brakes to line up on the 700c rims?
oooh that's good to know about the seatpost. I'll try weather sealing it for the time being. All the parts on the front of the drivetrain came with the bike, though I'm not 100% sure they're original. The original brakes were beyond repair.

the bike had a Sachs Huret Titanium Duopar derailleur when it showed up, and it was in pretty good condition. I swapped it out because of durability concerns but I'll keep an eye out for that 7703!
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Old 07-13-19, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by bicybike View Post
the bike had a Sachs Huret Titanium Duopar derailleur when it showed up, and it was in pretty good condition. I swapped it out because of durability concerns but I'll keep an eye out for that 7703!
I'll have to get some better pix of that 7703-

I got it for that "someday" Rivendell- but I think that ship sailed. The long cage 7803 is probably going on the next build.
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Old 07-13-19, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
I'll have to get some better pix of that 7703-

I got it for that "someday" Rivendell- but I think that ship sailed. The long cage 7803 is probably going on the next build.
any chance you're looking to sell ?
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Old 07-13-19, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by bicybike View Post
any chance you're looking to sell ?
Sorry...
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Old 07-13-19, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Sorry...
forgiven!
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Old 07-14-19, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by degan View Post
... The only thing that I'd change is that Altus RD. Not to be a snob, but that RD is maybe a step above a big-box bike RD to to me. Far too much steel and plastic and it doesn't fit the ascetic...
What an acid thing to say. I'm more concerned about that RD's aesthetics. I'm sure it functions quite well, but aesthetically it's a bit out of place on such a classic steel bike.

I will admit I ran an enormous black Tourney long cage RD on my Lambert for awhile. That thing weighed almost a full pound and it was ugly.
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Old 07-14-19, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
What an acid thing to say. I'm more concerned about that RD's aesthetics. I'm sure it functions quite well, but aesthetically it's a bit out of place on such a classic steel bike.

I will admit I ran an enormous black Tourney long cage RD on my Lambert for awhile. That thing weighed almost a full pound and it was ugly.
In defense of the Altus- Schwinn's 1980 top of the line Voyageur used an Altus derailleur set...
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Old 07-17-19, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
What an acid thing to say.
Whats that even mean?

Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
In defense of the Altus- Schwinn's 1980 top of the line Voyageur used an Altus derailleur set...
I've had a couple older Altus RDs pass through my hands, the one with the three little cutouts on the faceplace. They were kind of heavy but I think they looked fantastic and shifted great.
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Old 07-18-19, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by degan View Post
I've had a couple older Altus RDs pass through my hands, the one with the three little cutouts on the faceplace. They were kind of heavy but I think they looked fantastic and shifted great.
It’s interesting that Schwinn opted for that derailleur/shifter set on that bike.

I’d guess it was the typical Schwinn “overbuilt- too heavy- but indestructible” mindset that WAS Schwinn.
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Old 07-18-19, 02:10 PM
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Cool bikes.

Yes, those Altus and Acera are a little incongruous when you have a $350 Sinewave light on the bike... XD
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Old 07-21-19, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
Cool bikes.

Yes, those Altus and Acera are a little incongruous when you have a $350 Sinewave light on the bike... XD
haha thanks. that's fair! but they do work well and I'm not sure what could replace them that would be as robust and functional
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Old 07-21-19, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by degan View Post
Whats that even mean?
Probably riffing off your 'ascetic' comment. Acetic acid?

OP, no one will deny you the right to use those derailleurs but their are so many more handsome and equally competent, period correct models.
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Old 07-22-19, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Probably riffing off your 'ascetic' comment. Acetic acid?

OP, no one will deny you the right to use those derailleurs but their are so many more handsome and equally competent, period correct models.
Ha, didn't even notice my typo. Makes more sense now.
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