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Vintage TREK - I would like some opinions

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Vintage TREK - I would like some opinions

Old 06-09-20, 10:37 PM
  #1  
realsorryman
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Vintage TREK - I would like some opinions





hello... is this thing on...

So I was looking for a road bike with class and character. I didn't think i was going to fall down a vintage trek rabbit hole but here I am. This was a get from a nice chap on the internet very local to where I am in the world. The story is that he had received it from a friend but it was too small for him and he rode his other, bigger bike more often so he was selling this one.

From my slightly more than cursory but certainly less than exhaustive research I can glean from the SN (009240 A) that we are dealing with a 19" Trek 610 from 1981

All of the hardware APPEARS to be stock (except the back tire, and saddle):
SunTour VX GT derailleurs,
SR Crank set,
DiaCompe Brakes and callipers,
SR Pedals,
Sunshine Gyromaster Hubs,
Rigida Alloy 27" Rims,
SR Custom champion something something for the Bars and stem.

I don't know what a freewheel is or where to find it( forgive me I have only just learned literally all of this terminology in the last 12 hours.

There seem to be 2 gears on the front set of gears and 6 gears on the back wheel. So I guess its a 610? NO CLUE

It is dirty and certainly rusty in spots on the frame. the pitting does not look too bad and structurally it all feels great for being a bike made 50 freaking years ago.

REALLY WHAT IM ASKING IS WHAT do you think I SHOULD DO WITH IT and HOW

I would love to do is to take it apart, give every piece a good clean, treat some rusty spots, get new tires, replace some of the smaller chrome bits that are flaking, new chain, handle bar tape, lights, mirrors, little bell, AND THEN PUT IT ALL BACK TOGETHER.

The only problem with this is that I kind of want to ride it!
I don't think I can afford to do this (right now) and I KNOW I will screw something up putting it all back together. But something deep in me REALLY wants to try.

What I will probably do is take it to a local bike shop, have them tell me what is just no good, what is salvageable and what is in good working order, have them put on a new tire, make sure its all good and stuff and then send me on my way.

My questions are: Where do I get some chrome bits that might be flaking or is it even worth it? should I .... upgrade the thing to have modern components? should I treat it like a museum showpiece and restore as best I can and never ride it? cargo rack? fenders? mirrors?

I'm really smitten with the thing and I know if left to my own devices I will ruin it. I just want like a LITTLE bit of guidance.

hope everyone is staying safe and well and righteous this time of year.

check the pics

PEACE




no sticker some nicks and scratches

seat is not stock but it werks





new brake pads looks like...

new brown thing that covers the brakes..HOW DOES ONE EVEN GET THIS ON?

i love these rims so much but I would love to clean them?

is it a good one? is it a bad one? i do not know!

i looked it up and this shop is gone? bummer 4 real

SN and some rust


pretty rusty and grimy but doesn't seem bent or broken

the shifters work
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Old 06-09-20, 11:00 PM
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if you're anxious to ride it immediately, then do that! get yer giddy on! just make sure brakes work well ( i see the new pads). clean the braking surfaces. and, that everything is shifting into gear properly. have good tires and tubes. handlebar tape. maybe spray some rust inhibiting petro goop to rust surfaces. then, later, after you've satisfied your itch, start taking it apart and cleaning. at that point, make sure you have all the proper tools for like the headset and bottom bracket. note, you'll want to start soaking the bottom bracket area with penetrating fluid well before you plan to dismantle it, anyway. the rust around there suggests it might make it difficult getting things apart..

having said that, does the bottom bracket feel smooth when you pedal/turn the crank? and, how about the head set when you turn the handlebars?
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Old 06-09-20, 11:44 PM
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thanks for the comment...
yaaaa so there have been developments.... these pics were taken like a week ago so i've been busy.

heres a slightly more recent pic




got some de greaser and a steel brush and cleaned alot of the drive train. its rides great and both tires hold air fine. front one is old and I fear it may be loosing air so that will probably have to change in the future.

the bottom bracket feels pretty good... maybe theres a little bit of play in the cranks but nothing too bad. i dont really have the tools to take the whole thing apart and i KNOW it will be seized so i think that might have to wait.
Headset also feels really good so im not gonna touch that.

cleaned up alot of the rusty and scuffed chrome bits with some 0000 steel wool and elbow grease. some of those dingy parts are really shining now. I have noticed that Im missing a bolt for the rear derailluer that covers the spring housing assembly thing. not sure what to do there but it works.

I used a small amount of rust remover on some of the frame spots and it actually did a really good job and didnt damage paint at all. still not 100% pleased with the shifting of the back derailuer, feels like its just skipping gears so mayble ill tweak that.

generally i'm kinda figuring out where to go from here. its a lovely bike that i want to both use and enjoy and also feel like i'm respecting it as a piece of history.

It's a shame i haven't been able to find the kind of guidance or feedback i'm looking for here in boston. There are some great bike shops near me but everybody i've interacted with has been kind of dismissive and rude when really all i want is somebody to tell me whats bad, whats good, what i can do, and what i should probably leave up to a professional. it's like im excited about this thing but it almost seems like i shouldn't be. I understand its the busy season, and also a completely hectic and crazy one with social distancing, mask wearing best practices in place, but is it so hard to just have a nice conversation with a stranger looking for thoughts... I guess thats an entirely different issue,

anyway.. ill keep updating this thread as i keep working on it.




I think i want to add a cargo rack hell even fenders********** not even sure where to start with those things....
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Old 06-10-20, 12:28 AM
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sorry hearing your frustration already from the bike shops. good ole ones are disappearing, most remainders are more into selling than maintaining the old pipes. some are surprisingly ignorant too.

your best bet will be this forum, it has been to me for last decade since i fell in. not only online resources but also sure there’re some regular folks from the bean town area too on this forum
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Old 06-10-20, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by realsorryman View Post

It's a shame i haven't been able to find the kind of guidance or feedback i'm looking for here in boston. There are some great bike shops near me but everybody i've interacted with has been kind of dismissive and rude when really all i want is somebody to tell me whats bad, whats good, what i can do, and what i should probably leave up to a professional. it's like im excited about this thing but it almost seems like i shouldn't be. I understand its the busy season, and also a completely hectic and crazy one with social distancing, mask wearing best practices in place, but is it so hard to just have a nice conversation with a stranger looking for thoughts... I guess thats an entirely different issue,
My honest opinion from someone who was in your shoes just several years ago: Just take the damn bike apart.

Seriously. It doesn't sound like you need to be riding it right now, and as long as you are riding it right now you will never fully enjoy it because all of the above thoughts will be circulating in your head.

Step 1: Buy a bike stand. You really don't want to start without this. I did my first bike this way and it took me twice as long as it should have.
Step 2: Start disassembling the bike. A basic toolset will get you through much of this aside from the cranks/bottom bracket and freewheel. Thoroughly photograph every single component you take off from several angles before removing it.
Step 3: As you take parts off, if they are rusty have a box/bucket/Tupperware/whatever full of EvapoRust (most hardware stores) to dump it in. Whatever looks good dump into a big ziplock bag, keeping like parts together (all brake stuff in one bag, all headset stuff in another etc). Dump what looks like it can't be used into another bin. You'll likely want to toss out and replace the chain and brake/derailleur cables, however, keep them until you have the new ones to make it easier to know what length to cut the new ones. As you get to components you don't have tools for: go buy them.
Step 4: Clean the frame and fork. Use warm soapy water and wash it down/clean it out. After this I always then use a polish followed by a wax. Is this necessary yet? No but seeing how great the frame can look after this can be inspirational.
Step 5: Clean every component thoroughly (do searches here to see which cleaning materials work best with which components).
Step 6: Sort out what you will need for the bike and put it on order.
Step 7: Start re-assembling. For the most part this will be as easy as disassembly was, short of the bottom bracket, brakes and derailleur. Googling any of these and bikes forums C&V will find you a great thread on how to do it. Short of that you can youtube RJ the Bike Guy and whatever component you're trying to assemble. Worst case, get everything back together short of the trickier parts and THEN drop it at your LBS and just ask them to install the rest. Make sure to re-grease the bottom bracket and headset, as well as the wheel hubs (maybe have your LBS do the hubs when you're done). Also, dab a little grease on anything threaded as your'e putting it back on.
Step 8: Give it one more quick clean and off you go!

Also, start a thread for it here when you begin to keep all of your progress and advice in one place.

Last edited by polymorphself; 06-10-20 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 06-10-20, 04:45 AM
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where in boston are you located?
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Old 06-10-20, 04:56 AM
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FWIW, Landry’s is certainly still around, perhaps just not at that location. Have you tried Broadway Bikes in Somerville or Bikes Not Bombs in JP?
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Old 06-10-20, 05:09 AM
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realsorryman You have a really nice example of an American bike. Don't replace what isn't broke. Use it as your learning mule. If you are careful and not force anything, it is unlikely you will damage anything that may be damaged already. In other words, hide your hammer for now.
What tools do you have? Are you mechanically inclined?
polymorphself s list is good. follow it.
Pick a area where you are having questions and post on hear with them. We will walk you through it. Unless someone can give you a good reference for an LBS, I would avoid them. But that depends on your mechanical aptitude.
The "freewheel" is the set of sprockets in the back the chain rides on. Some call them "cogs," not really, they are sprockets. They are sometimes referred to as the block. In any case, at some point you should clean that as well. Searchin on BF will give you a wealth of info on this topic alone. It may not be a typical freewheel as ITrek did sell these bikes with Helicomatic hubs and freewheel. To remove one requires finess or the correct tool. The LBS that has a tool will be one to trust.

To begin with, show us a picture of the RD problem you think you have. Lets start there.
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Old 06-10-20, 05:31 AM
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You just fell down a great rabbit hole. Vintage Treks are really fine bikes. polymorphself 's advice is excellent.

Two things. First, overhaul the bike before riding it too much. The grease inside the bike does not get better with age. Buy new ball bearings (grade 25) and use a quality grease (Park is a good name for bike tools and for bike lubricants and grease). Second, change the consumables like the damn tires. You really don't want to ride old tires. Panaracer Pasela Protites are very good; I'd run a 27 x 1 and 1/4 on those rims. If you need new rim tape (and you may), it's tough to beat velox rim tape.

I'm in the middle of restoring a 1979 Trek 510; old Treks are awesome bikes.

1979 Trek 510 build

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Old 06-10-20, 05:39 AM
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my opinion: That's a great {bleeping} bike.
You might consider occasionally wiping the bike off with some kid of rust inhibitor, like PB Plaster. Others can state what they think, I would like to know. If you take the bike apart get some frame-saver spray for the inside of the bike frame and fork. (Use it out doors, it's not anything you want to inhale. Maybe even use a respirator if you can find one these days.)

some learning resources you may or may not have found yet:
- The Late Great Sheldon Brown: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/ - this is probably the greatest resource of information formatted circa 1997 Interwebs style.
- Also: the Park Tool website is quite modern and has helpful videos. It's oriented toward stuff from this millennium, but also has vintage style help. https://www.parktool.com/

I've never owned a bike work stand. Man, just a pain in the neck not having a work stand. Get one if it's not cost prohibitive.

Some other definitions you might have already figured out:
- freewheel: the 6 gears on the back wheel. Someone already mentioned you might have a Heliomatic. There's also a version called a "free hub".
-- basically the difference is where are the bearings and clutch mechanisms are located so you can coast (aka "freewheeling") vs. being "fixed", which means you have a fixed connection between the rear wheel and cranks, like a track bike where you can never coast.
-- if the shifting problems ends up meaning you need a new chain and new freewheel, you could (now don't get discouraged) end up needing a whole new rear wheel to get the right kind of rear-hub so you can get a modern cassette.
Here's how to think of it: You now have a frame and fork, that if you tried to buy new would cost you about $2000. I know, crazy. Make that your mindset, then spending a couple hundred bucks to make upgrades once or twice a year will seem totally worth it.

- 2 gears up front: in case you didn't learn this already: Those are the chain rings, and when you bolt them to the crank arms, that whole deal is called a crankset. Those rings wear out also. They start to look like shark teeth. Shifting will slip. It will be terrible. If you have to buy new rings and you tell your shop you don't want the cheap ones, it'll kind of shock you that you have to spend $150 or something on new rings. Remember, you have a $2000 frameset (thats the frame/fork/headset)

- headset: Those are the bearings in the headtube that hold the fork in place while allowing it to rotate. If it gets stiff or feels like there is a notch, it's gotten worn out. Once you replace it you can go no-hands while you ride.

OK. I should get back to work.
I have a TREK 420 circa 1984 hanging 400 miles away at my in-laws. It's a similar, probably not as nice a frameset as yours, lovely riding bike. I changed lots of stuff on my own like going to 700C wheels instead of the 27 inch wheels. Changed to index shifting and re-aligned the rear of the bike to accommodate wider hubs (modern hubs are 130mm wide, yours is probably 126mm).
The folks that see you on this bike who are riding the carbon fiber stuff with electronic shifting will not understand. Just remember, you're riding a $2000 bike.

cheers.

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Old 06-10-20, 07:04 AM
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First thing you should do before riding it more than around the block is rebuild the hubs (only takes a few special tools - cone wrenches, freewheel remover). Clean, inspect for pitting of cones and races, and if good, fresh grease and bearings. That way if they're in good shape you could go ahead ride it without worrying about destroying you hubs, and if they're bad, you could start looking for a set of wheels. I would do the bottom bracket next. Then the headset. Rebuild if they're in decent shape. Replace if not. Main thing is to not cause unnecessary damage by riding it around with contaminated or dried up grease. With the wheels/ hubs being the most expensive to replace. Bottom bracket and headset could be replaced fairly inexpensively, if need be.
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Old 06-10-20, 07:31 AM
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It will be very helpful if you can hang your bike up and "play" with it. Tie it up to the rafters or a tree. One rope around the handlebars and one around the seat. Once hanging, you can pedal, shift and observe the mechanisms. It looks like the previous owner has replaced some bits already which is cool. You have gotten yourself a nice bike.

This you tube Chanel of R.J The Bike Guy is very usefull.
https://www.youtube.com/user/shyflirt1
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Old 06-10-20, 09:04 AM
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Oil it. Are the tyres and brakes o.k. if it is running fine stick with it for now and ride. You will come across things you don't like as you ride.
The bike shops won't be overrun for long.
My lbs has bikes stacked everywhere for repair. He reckons a couple of weeks to get thru it. Better wait till they are not busy and in a hurry.
It won't suddenly get ruined.
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Old 06-10-20, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by realsorryman View Post
Nice old bike. I assembled many of those and have owned a few other Treks. One thing I get from this photo: see the wrinkled lower edge of the shop sticker and the accumulated crud about a half-inch down the tube from it? It looks to me like the cable guide/stop clamp is loose and is being pulled up the tube by cable tension. You can see in a different photo that it is also skewed on the tube. Might want to fix that. Your gears probably won't stay in adjustment until you do.
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Old 06-10-20, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by polymorphself View Post
My honest opinion from someone who was in your shoes just several years ago: Just take the damn bike apart.

Seriously. It doesn't sound like you need to be riding it right now, and as long as you are riding it right now you will never fully enjoy it because all of the above thoughts will be circulating in your head.

Step 1: Buy a bike stand. You really don't want to start without this. I did my first bike this way and it took me twice as long as it should have.
Step 2: Start disassembling the bike. A basic toolset will get you through much of this aside from the cranks/bottom bracket and freewheel. Thoroughly photograph every single component you take off from several angles before removing it.
Step 3: As you take parts off, if they are rusty have a box/bucket/Tupperware/whatever full of EvapoRust (most hardware stores) to dump it in. Whatever looks good dump into a big ziplock bag, keeping like parts together (all brake stuff in one bag, all headset stuff in another etc). Dump what looks like it can't be used into another bin. You'll likely want to toss out and replace the chain and brake/derailleur cables, however, keep them until you have the new ones to make it easier to know what length to cut the new ones. As you get to components you don't have tools for: go buy them.
Step 4: Clean the frame and fork. Use warm soapy water and wash it down/clean it out. After this I always then use a polish followed by a wax. Is this necessary yet? No but seeing how great the frame can look after this can be inspirational.
Step 5: Clean every component thoroughly (do searches here to see which cleaning materials work best with which components).
Step 6: Sort out what you will need for the bike and put it on order.
Step 7: Start re-assembling. For the most part this will be as easy as assembly was, short of the bottom bracket, brakes and derailleur. Googling any of these and bikes forums C&V will find you a great thread on how to do it. Short of that you can youtube RJ the Bike Guy and whatever component you're trying to assemble. Worst case, get everything back together short of the trickier parts and THEN drop it at your LBS and just ask them to install the rest. Make sure to re-grease the bottom bracket and headset, as well as the wheel hubs (maybe have your LBS do the hubs when you're done). Also, dab a little grease on anything threaded as your'e putting it back on.
Step 8: Give it one more quick clean and off you go!

Also, start a thread for it here when you begin to keep all of your progress and advice in one place.
This is great list thanks for this. gotta work on a stand. ive seen some of those YT vids and RJ has been the most helpful so far i think. very manic also.
what do you recommend for grease?
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Old 06-10-20, 10:16 AM
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wow there are too many replies to respond to individually so i will just say a blanket thank you for the knowlegde and encouragement. I find myself to be pretty mechanically motivated so i think digging in will be a fun undertaking.

ill update this thread with pics as I take them and hopefully i can have a thing that really shines
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Old 06-10-20, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
Nice old bike. I assembled many of those and have owned a few other Treks. One thing I get from this photo: see the wrinkled lower edge of the shop sticker and the accumulated crud about a half-inch down the tube from it? It looks to me like the cable guide/stop clamp is loose and is being pulled up the tube by cable tension. You can see in a different photo that it is also skewed on the tube. Might want to fix that. Your gears probably won't stay in adjustment until you do.
oh yeah i didnt even notice that. great eye.
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Old 06-10-20, 10:45 AM
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Nice Bike! Iíve renewed a bunch of vintage Treks, kept 3 of them. First off, ride it for awhile, see if you really love it. Right off the bat, Iíd install proper Dia Compe hoods, in black, and tape the bars to match the saddle, lube everything, replace tires if ness. Once you love it, then strip it down to frame, remove rust, touch up the paint, Iíd have the frame professionally repainted, if itís a keeper, but thatís just me. Then clean, reinstall and re-lube the components, replacing the chain. Great find, enjoy!
Tim

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Old 06-10-20, 10:55 AM
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Unless I missed something in a post, two other things not mentioned. SheldonBrown.com is pretty much the ultimate online bike source. There are also a lot of good sources for how to adjust, repair. Park Tool would be my first stop, from there you will be certain to run into others. Enjoy, its going to be a fun bike!
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Old 06-10-20, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by realsorryman View Post
This is great list thanks for this. gotta work on a stand. ive seen some of those YT vids and RJ has been the most helpful so far i think. very manic also.
what do you recommend for grease?
I've used several types so far and don't have a favorite, any bicycle bearing grease will do really. People have preferences based on years of usage with various kinds but it's all mostly the same it seems. I think it's one of those things where if you don't know well enough to point out the differences then the differences aren't significant enough to matter to you yet. The last tube I bought was white lightening and it was fine.
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Old 06-10-20, 03:42 PM
  #21  
uncleivan
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Still wondering where you are. I can probably help.
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Old 06-10-20, 05:14 PM
  #22  
dedhed
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While Randy's former site is gone, nothing is rally gone on the net.
https://web.archive.org/web/20190509...TRODUCTION.htm
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Old 06-10-20, 05:15 PM
  #23  
dedhed
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While Randy's former site is gone, nothing is rally gone on the net.
https://web.archive.org/web/20190509...TRODUCTION.htm
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Old 06-10-20, 06:43 PM
  #24  
realsorryman
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Originally Posted by uncleivan View Post
Still wondering where you are. I can probably help.
ya im in somerville
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Old 06-10-20, 10:22 PM
  #25  
Korina
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realsorryman , another interesting and useful website is vintage-trek.com. According to them, your beauty was made in 1981.

Have fun, and welcome to the rabbit hole!
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