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My First Touring Bike: 85 TREK 620

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My First Touring Bike: 85 TREK 620

Old 04-23-20, 09:30 PM
  #1  
Classtime 
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My First Touring Bike: 85 TREK 620

Also my first Helicomatic and half-step plus granny shifting. And I'm eager to see what "nice" 27 x 1 1/4 tires are all about if I can make the Matrix Titan T passably true, and the Helicomatic hub/cassette rebuild goes smoothly. 700c wheels will work fine while I get the Helicomatic tool and mess with the original wheels. It is a low mileage bike judging by the rotten original tires so the hub and cogset should have plenty of life left.


Almost complete.

Matching rack and bottle cage.

Grant Peterson Special. It works.

Before Polish and Wax
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Old 04-24-20, 07:56 AM
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Wow; that's a beauty!
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Old 04-24-20, 01:01 PM
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Old 04-24-20, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post

Sharp! Looks like a 1985 model given the color and the canti brakes. The original Jim Blackburn rack is a nice feature.

Post more pics when done.

Good luck!
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Old 04-24-20, 01:42 PM
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Nice.
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Old 04-24-20, 01:49 PM
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Excellent first!
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Old 04-24-20, 02:19 PM
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A classic. They tend to accumulate. I went overboard on the touring bike thing and never know which one to ride anymore
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Old 04-24-20, 03:35 PM
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I must have read 40 pages of threads on the 620. Specifically the 1985 620. And it rated very very high. Oftentimes, it was preferred over the 720 for ride quality under this or that circumstance. So ya, I thank/blame you guys for encouraging this undertaking.

Before I broke it down, I put on some 700 wheels and rode it down the street And it feels good, and it rides well no handed. I was surprised that the brakes needed very little adjustment to hit the rim squarely. Neat pieces on this bike. Besides the cool rack and bottle cage, that very cool roller bearing headset. Good looking stem and 42cm CTC bars will stay on the bike. The hoods and bar tape are in great shape and I will be polishing around them. When I dripped some liquid wrench on the spokes and nipples, it looks like washers between the nipple and rim. I've never encountered Made in Korea 27 x 1 1/4 inner tubes before. I wonder if they are O.E. I ordered a Helicomatic tool today and my fingers are crossed that all goes well.


Roller Bearing Stronglight.

Made in Japan Fork on my Made in USA Bike.
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Old 04-24-20, 03:59 PM
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Are the headset races painted?
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Old 04-24-20, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
I must have read 40 pages of threads on the 620. Specifically the 1985 620. .
Have you read this blog? Fuji Otaku: The Phoenix Project - The 1985 Trek 620 Alights

It's an over-the-top-money-is-no-object rehab of an '85 620 - well-written too.
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Old 04-24-20, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jlaw View Post
Have you read this blog? Fuji Otaku: The Phoenix Project - The 1985 Trek 620 Alights

It's an over-the-top-money-is-no-object rehab of an '85 620 - well-written too.
Yes. Very much a fun read. I was linked to it from his build thread on here and it contributed immensely to my pulling the trigger.
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Old 04-24-20, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Ferrouscious View Post
Are the headset races painted?
No. Those are just the braces for the races. I’ll get a couple pictures. It’s pretty neat.
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Old 04-24-20, 10:02 PM
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What normally is the crown race position

What the bearings roll on

Bearings

The bottom cup on the head tube rests on this

The upper bearing is set up similarly.
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Old 04-25-20, 02:13 PM
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Ah, makes sense. Some of the lower end Treks of that period had paint on or very close to the headset bearing races. Great way to get a repeat customer...
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Old 04-25-20, 02:24 PM
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The stronglight A9 was the best headset made BITD. It is such a good design; roller bearings are a good design for a headset.

https://bikeretrogrouch.blogspot.com...-headsets.html

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Old 04-25-20, 04:39 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
I must have read 40 pages of threads on the 620. Specifically the 1985 620. And it rated very very high. Oftentimes, it was preferred over the 720 for ride quality under this or that circumstance. So ya, I thank/blame you guys for encouraging this undertaking.

Before I broke it down, I put on some 700 wheels and rode it down the street And it feels good, and it rides well no handed. I was surprised that the brakes needed very little adjustment to hit the rim squarely. Neat pieces on this bike. Besides the cool rack and bottle cage, that very cool roller bearing headset. Good looking stem and 42cm CTC bars will stay on the bike. The hoods and bar tape are in great shape and I will be polishing around them. When I dripped some liquid wrench on the spokes and nipples, it looks like washers between the nipple and rim. I've never encountered Made in Korea 27 x 1 1/4 inner tubes before. I wonder if they are O.E. I ordered a Helicomatic tool today and my fingers are crossed that all goes well.



Made in Japan Fork on my Made in USA Bike.
So probably 36 of the 40 pages you read were all me yammering about mine... And I LOVE yammering about my 620 and 720. (for those not familiar- I have both a 1985 Trek 620 and a 1985 Trek 720)

I go back and forth about how I feel about the ride of my bikes... don't get me wrong, I LOVE both bikes. there's definitely a difference- and Trek outfitted the 620 and 720 very similarly, but the frames themselves are different- but kinda the same. The big similarity is that 47cm long rear end. And although there are a few small differences- I think the big difference is the metallurgy. The Trek 620 for 1985 was made from the Reynolds 531CS tube set. What that means is that the main frame is butted 531 and the fork and stays are "specially cold worked" CrMo. https://www.equusbicycle.com/bike/rey...-transfers.jpg

Everyone that gets a 620 points to the 531CS decal and the description in the catalog stating that the fork and stays are 531CS. By definition- the fork and stays are CrMo with 531CS.

So what kind of difference is there? I used to think my 620 was more "stout" than my 720. After some 9 years with the 620 and 5 with the 720, and having had them built similarly (I used to regularly swap wheel sets between the two bikes), I really think the 620 rides lighter and more compliant than the 720. NOW whether that's a good thing when you've got an extra 30 or so pounds strapped on the bike is a matter of opinion. I do believe the 720 is stiffer. Think of all the times you've heard people refer to the 720 as "flexy" and then I think of how I love the compliance in my 531/531 Trek 730; I think I used to WANT my 720 to be more compliant. I really wanted that compliance of my 730 amplified by the 47cm chainstays and really give it that 1972 Cadillac Eldorado glide. Yes the 720 does have *that* kind of ride- but it really is more stiff than the 620. The 620 is the bike that I've made it ghost shift- and I'm not a strong rider or masher.

Right now, I have my 720 built up with a 10 speed rear end, and I do like that a lot more than 6 speed. I'm STILL working on getting the 620 built up as similarly- and very somewhat similarly to Jay's "Phoenix Project" 620.

To address a couple of your evaluations about your bike-

You may have read, you really don't need a Helicomatic tool- I've used a regular long needle nose pliers to loosen the lock ring. It takes WAY less force than you think it's going to, so just be gentle and you won't bend the ring.

When I got my Stumpjumper, the RD and rear wheel had been replaced. The original RD was a Mountech- and that had a reputation for getting crud in it and seizing and catastrophically blowing up. My bike totally showed a textbook 'Mountech seized up and threw the cage into the spokes.' History is neat like that. So I notice your Duopar is missing... I've read that people have put on tens of thousands of trouble free miles for decades (including at least one person here whom I eminently respect the opinion of), but my short experiences with both the two Duopars I've owned has shown them to be fragile and finicky. As your bike doesn't have a whole lot of mileage on it- it looks like the Duopar gave up before your Helicomatic. While it might be fun to mess with the Helicomatic- I think you're taunting fate. Heck, even the Helicomatic museum says: " I would suggest to all but the most fanatic about originality to stay away from Helicomatic or replace any Helicomatic hub with a model for which it is easier to source spare parts."

I do notice that your seat post was also replaced... I don't know what that means.

As far as the parts on your the stock 620, the bars and brake levers are really cool- and the Sachs/Huret ratcheting shifters are some of the very nicest friction shifters- up there with the Simplex Retrofriction and the Suntour Sprint ratcheting shifters. Also, that Sachs/Huret FD is great- you know when you have a part that is so unremarkable- but yet you realize it does exactly what it's supposed to do, and never effs up? That's that FD. The FD-6206 crankset is one of my 2 favorite triple cranks right along side the Sugino AT.

And then there's the Dupont Imron finish. I've read of people referring to the finish on the 1985 620 as "meh." I guess in photographs, the paint just looks like a sort of metal flaked dark blue. But when you're with the bike- especially in the sun- that finish is so DEEP. You can look INTO the tubes- it looks like you can put your finger into it and you almost expect your finger to go in. So far from "meh" as you can get.

And one of the strangest things to me- the 531CS tube set specifies a Reynolds steerer. But remember, this bike would have had the fork and rear assembly assembled in Japan (as I understand it was done at Tange) and then final assembly would have been done in Waterloo. I don't know if the TANGE stamp on the steerer is indicative of a Tange CrMo steerer or just that Tange assembled it.

In any case- the 85 620 is a world class bike. You don't need to read the superlatives on Jay's website to know it's a really, really nice bike. And after you get some miles on it- you'll be convinced even if you never go on a cross-country trip, this is a great all-rounder and a bike to grow into.

I'm interested in seeing what you've got in mind for this guy!
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Old 04-25-20, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Right now, I have my 720 built up with a 10 speed rear end, and I do like that a lot more than 6 speed. I'm STILL working on getting the 620 built up as similarly- and very somewhat similarly to Jay's "Phoenix Project" 620.
How are you shifting the 10 speed on your 720 - friction?

My '85 620 is a frame/fork hanging from a hook and a box of parts. When disassembling I noticed that the shifters have a very nice ratcheting action - might try to use them with a 9 or 10 speed rear when I get around to doing something with this bike.

I'm still experimenting with my '84 620. It's all together and rideable with some old 700c wheels and a 9 speed rear with indexed bar end shifters - want to put a set of 700c H Plus Son Archetypes on it. I also bought some better vintage brakes than the Dia Compes that were OEM - not yet installed.

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Old 04-25-20, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jlaw View Post
How are you shifting the 10 speed on your 720 - friction?

My '85 620 is a frame/fork hanging from a hook and a box of parts. When disassembling I noticed that the shifters have a very nice ratcheting action - might try to use them with a 9 or 10 speed rear when I get around to doing something with this bike.

I'm still experimenting with my '84 620. It's all together and rideable with some old 700c wheels and a 9 speed rear with indexed bar end shifters - want to put a set of 700c H Plus Son Archetypes on it. I also bought some better vintage brakes than the Dia Compes that were OEM - not yet installed.
I'm running the Suntour Command Shifters with a replaced indexing ring for Shimano 10 speed. It's boss.

Yeah, those S/H shifters are really nice- but I don't think you're getting 9 speeds out of them. I tried them on a Shimano bar end pod and couldn't get 7.

Sachs/Huret shifters on Shimano pods by Dave The Golden Boy, on Flickr


As far as "vintage" cantilevers- IMO- the Shimano M732 or MT-62 are the best there were for "regular" profile cantis. For this 620 rebuild, I'm planning on M732 in the front and XTR M900 in the rear. Just because.


XT XTR1 by Dave The Golden Boy, on Flickr
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Old 04-25-20, 06:44 PM
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Funny about the Duopar that was on this 620. I saw the add on day 3 when I offered a trade that was turned down. Then I read up on the '85 620 and put a bike up for sale to increase my bike money from zero. I contacted the seller again to let him know that I was raising funds to buy his bike (thinking maybe he would put other buyers off for a bit). The seller responded that someone just stole the derailleur while he was getting some take out and he lowered the price from 180 to 140. Every thread on C&V indicated that was a good deal. I sold the bike that I had offered him in trade and got 400 bucks. I went to see the TREK the next day bringing with me a 600 rear derailleur to leave with him if the trek was too big for me. I also brought with me my Cimarron to offer in trade so I could use my cash for other bike stuff. (The seller had earlier refused my Competition G.S. in trade because he wanted a hybrid.) The seller rolled the bike out and pointed out the Sunrace derailleur and told me it wasn't working too good and that he already bought a hybrid. Ok fine.

Thanks for pointing out the seat post The Golden Boy
Mine is a SR Laprade. Hmmmm... the saddle is correct...

Some progress today: polish and wax. Touch up will be if and when. Hobby shops are closed. Found some Arctic Blue Metallic on line.


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Old 04-25-20, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
The seller responded that someone just stole the derailleur while he was getting some take out and he lowered the price from 180 to 140.

Thanks for pointing out the seat post The Golden Boy
Mine is a SR Laprade. Hmmmm... the saddle is correct...
Someone stole a Duopar Eco?

The stock seat post should be the SR SP-KC- with the 'ruler' on it. The San Marco saddle is really nice- with the strange exception of the curiously missing bag mounts on it...
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Old 04-25-20, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Someone stole a Duopar Eco?

The stock seat post should be the SR SP-KC- with the 'ruler' on it. The San Marco saddle is really nice- with the strange exception of the curiously missing bag mounts on it...
Isnt that crazy? Apparently, the scam is to sabotage the bike and make it unridable so the owner leaves it there long enough for the saboteur to cut the lock and make off with the whole bike. Too bad. There was a Duopar on a Motobecane G.T. Mixte I got for my daughter that I was very impressed with. My daughter didn't like the bike. I suspect that trimming a vintage triple was annoying.
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Old 04-26-20, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
The seller responded that someone just stole the derailleur while he was getting some take out
Someone 'stole' the Duopar rear derailleur from a bike while the guy was getting take out? REALLY!? So the thief had a 5mm hex with him and undid the main RD bolt, then he either disassembled the RD cage to detach it from the chain or he drove a pin out of the chain (or cut the chain, or disassembled the master link)...all while the guy is inside waiting for his General Tsao's Chicken? And, he stole a DUOPAR ECO!

I have two Duopars - one of them (from my '84 620) I completely disassembled, cleaned. lubed, and reassembled so well that it no longer works right! The other one is fresh off my '85 620.

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Old 04-26-20, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post

As far as "vintage" cantilevers- IMO- the Shimano M732 or MT-62 are the best there were for "regular" profile cantis. For this 620 rebuild, I'm planning on M732 in the front and XTR M900 in the rear. Just because.
At your suggestion previously I bought a set of the M732s and I'm half done shining them up (need some new Kool Stop pads before mounting). These will go on my '84 620 to replace the Dia Compes. The brakes on my '85 are original XT-MC70s and, as you know, are a very nice vintage canti. brake.

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Old 05-01-20, 11:49 AM
  #24  
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Back together again using most of the parts as received. Using an LX rear derailleur instead of the Sunrace and replaced the frazzled rear shift cable. Every thing else was cleaned and put back on with some Sunshine tires from the LBS. A BF member has offered a FW to replace this maladjusted one and when it arrives, I'll put on a new chain. Right now I have the original chain on it which is very rusty and I had to straighten a bent section so it wouldn't hang up. I think it was damaged during the Duopar theft. My chains on hand are too short. I've always shortened new chains. Will any new one be long enough for these chainstays and a 28?



Does it look too big for me?
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Old 05-01-20, 11:59 AM
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Piff 
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Will any new one be long enough for these chainstays and a 28?
Only one way to find out Chains are cheap and it sounds like you have plenty of extra lengths of chain in new condition to add on to whatever new chain you purchase to make it right.
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