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What is the Modern Day Equal to the Mid-Late 80s Trek 400

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What is the Modern Day Equal to the Mid-Late 80s Trek 400

Old 06-18-21, 11:22 PM
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CleanClassics
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What is the Modern Day Equal to the Mid-Late 80s Trek 400

Hi everyone,

I got into the biking hobby a few years back, and fell in love with the looks of old USA made bikes. I'm a very mechanically inclined person as I work on my cars, so I found a few local old bikes that needed work and fixed them up. Once I'm done I usually ride them, trade them in, or give them away to family and friends.

One of the bikes was a Trek 400, I was unsure of the year, but I added a photo of it when I finished restoring it. I gave this bike to my dad for fathers day as he used to ride an old bike of similar look when I was kid. He loved the bike and rode pretty much any day the weather was permitting. Unfortunately this past week the bike was destroyed due to an accident. He went to Treks website to look for a new 400 and couldn't find one. So I did some digging myself and also was stumped. Does anyone know what the modern day equal to a Trek 400 is?

(nvm, can't upload photo till 10 posts :/ )

Last edited by CleanClassics; 06-18-21 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 06-18-21, 11:35 PM
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Why don't you just buy a used bike instead of a modern equivalent?
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Old 06-18-21, 11:48 PM
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Sorry for the loss of the Trek 400.
My guess would be an
aluminum Domane the AL 2 is where they start. at about $1000 US.
Let the Forum What part of the world are you in and what size would you be looking for and I bet you would get lots of classic/vintage suggestions.
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Old 06-18-21, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by philpeugeot View Post
Why don't you just buy a used bike instead of a modern equivalent?
That's not out of the equation, but I don't know what the lineage is to find an equal bike.

In the car world an example would be Chevy made an S10 from the late 80s to the 2000s, but it was replaced afterwards with the Chevy Colorado and so if I was looking for a vehicle like an S10 after 2003 I would shop the Colorado.

If I could get pointers on what the lineage evolved to (I think the 400 stopped in late 80s / early 90s), I could figure out what used (or new) bikes to get.
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Old 06-19-21, 12:00 AM
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Ah, I see. Like KAH said, it would be helpful to know your location and size. An equal bike that Trek later manufactured might be an Elance, so keep an eye out for those. I'm sure other forum members here could chip in with suggestions.
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Old 06-19-21, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by KAH View Post
Sorry for the loss of the Trek 400.
My guess would be an
aluminum Domane the AL 2 is where they start. at about $1000 US.
Let the Forum What part of the world are you in and what size would you be looking for and I bet you would get lots of classic/vintage suggestions.
I'm in the USA, and the size of the bike can be in the medium or large range. He's rode my medium hybrid, and large hybrid with no problems. I figure if we went new we can get him fitted at the store. When I went to get my mountain bike I tried 2 sizes and was able to find the one for me.
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Old 06-19-21, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by CleanClassics View Post
That's not out of the equation, but I don't know what the lineage is to find an equal bike.

In the car world an example would be Chevy made an S10 from the late 80s to the 2000s, but it was replaced afterwards with the Chevy Colorado and so if I was looking for a vehicle like an S10 after 2003 I would shop the Colorado.

If I could get pointers on what the lineage evolved to (I think the 400 stopped in late 80s / early 90s), I could figure out what used (or new) bikes to get.
Treks went from the three digit series to four digit series meaning aluminum, or then a four digit starting with a 2 meaning carbon fiber. They actually still made these around the same time. They then evolved to more higher numbered series and models like the Madone and Domane are now what they would call road models.

In short, Trek doesn't make a steel road frame like that Trek 400 anymore. They started phasing out steel road frames a while ago. They do still make a steel touring bike, but that's really not going to be anything like the 400 your dad liked. That would be a Trek 520, which is a good bike, just not exactly the same.

Like other posters mentioned, I will also suggest you look for another old Trek road bike (or just another brand vintage road bike in general), they aren't super expensive, they are easily available (I could look at my local craigslist right now and find 3-4 that are great picks) and they will be much closer to that Trek 400 than something new. That being said, if your dad is looking for a new new bike, then he should probably just go to a local bike shop and test ride some. Window shopping is fun and all but he won't really be able to know what he likes by just looking online. He also may find that a more upright, commuter type bike actually better suited for what he likes to ride.

You also should remember, we are the Classic and Vintage forum, so we do know a lot about bikes, but we really like the older stuff for various reasons and aren't all that likely to say that the new bikes these days are all that comparable to the older stuff.
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Old 06-19-21, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by habes78023 View Post
Treks went from the three digit series to four digit series meaning aluminum, or then a four digit starting with a 2 meaning carbon fiber. They actually still made these around the same time. They then evolved to more higher numbered series and models like the Madone and Domane are now what they would call road models.

In short, Trek doesn't make a steel road frame like that Trek 400 anymore. They started phasing out steel road frames a while ago. They do still make a steel touring bike, but that's really not going to be anything like the 400 your dad liked. That would be a Trek 520, which is a good bike, just not exactly the same.
Perfect, thank you for that information. I assume that's why I was having troubling googling my way into that info as the lineage wasn't exactly straight. I understand now, so steel road bikes were discontinued (which makes sense). And the newer bikes are so different, he's likely going to have to try them out to see if he likes them.

Originally Posted by habes78023 View Post
Like other posters mentioned, I will also suggest you look for another old Trek road bike (or just another brand vintage road bike in general), they aren't super expensive, they are easily available (I could look at my local craigslist right now and find 3-4 that are great picks) and they will be much closer to that Trek 400 than something new. That being said, if your dad is looking for a new new bike, then he should probably just go to a local bike shop and test ride some. Window shopping is fun and all but he won't really be able to know what he likes by just looking online. He also may find that a more upright, commuter type bike actually better suited for what he likes to ride.
Ok. I'll try both plans. I think going to the bike shop is a good idea regardless to see which kind of bikes he does like as a steel roadie would limit my ability to find used.

Originally Posted by habes78023 View Post
You also should remember, we are the Classic and Vintage forum, so we do know a lot about bikes, but we really like the older stuff for various reasons and aren't all that likely to say that the new bikes these days are all that comparable to the older stuff.
That's ok. I figured as much when I posted. My assumption is that this group was the most plausible to knowing the lineage of a bike from the 80s to help point me on where I should start looking. It's pretty obvious to me my S10 to Colorado analogy really doesn't apply here as the differences in the newer bikes versus older bikes are so significant that the bikes deserved new names.
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Old 06-19-21, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by CleanClassics View Post
Hi everyone,
Does anyone know what the modern day equal to a Trek 400 is?
Maybe start with what it is you find special about the 400 and go from there.
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Old 06-19-21, 03:40 AM
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pic assist

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Old 06-19-21, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by CleanClassics View Post
Does anyone know what the modern day equal to a Trek 400 is?
If it is the classic road bike style, but in a new bike that you're looking for, take a look at the Masi Gran Criterium Classico.

https://harobikes.com/collections/cl...-classico-2021

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Old 06-19-21, 05:27 AM
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That 400T was a "sport touring" with long wheelbase, triple crank, and lots of braze ons (depending on year) with geometry similar or equal to the 520. The current "equal" would probably be the 520
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Old 06-19-21, 05:30 AM
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My vote is to find another Trek 400, or even the Elance version. I’m not even a big Trek guy, but they are really nice riding steel bikes.

Even after rehabbing, and upgrading items, you would be saving a lot over a modern “equivalent”. might be a fun project to do together.

That said, your dad might enjoy a carbon modern bike better?

Test ride probably is in the cards...
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Old 06-19-21, 06:11 AM
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https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/d/b...ery=trek%20400
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Old 06-19-21, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by CleanClassics View Post
That's not out of the equation, but I don't know what the lineage is to find an equal bike.

In the car world an example would be Chevy made an S10 from the late 80s to the 2000s, but it was replaced afterwards with the Chevy Colorado and so if I was looking for a vehicle like an S10 after 2003 I would shop the Colorado.
It is goofy like that- Trek's model names were pretty consistent until 85 or so- then the industry changed- so did Trek.

The 1988 Trek 400 (and 400T) were situated about second from the bottom in Trek's hierarchy. It sounds low- but you'll hear "Trek's low end bikes are like other manufacturer's midline bikes" and it's true. The 400T (like your Dad's) has a TrueTemper CrMo frame with CrMo fork and stays, and the component group is a mix of upper mid/lower high end stuff. The derailleurs are Deore- which would be 2nd from the top of Shimano's MTB group. That adds up to a really quality bike.

I'm completely unfamiliar with how Trek's lines are set up these days- but like KAH mentioned- that Domane AL2 in their "Gravel Bikes" section or as dedhed mentioned- the 520 look about right... sorta.

Originally Posted by CleanClassics View Post
I'm in the USA,
People asked where you are because people here LOVE to do bike shopping with other people's money- people will CL shop for you and pick out cool stuff and other people will give pros and cons.

Good luck!
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Old 06-19-21, 10:50 AM
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You can find plenty of brand new steel frames with sport touring geometry. They'll probably take a wider tire than would the Trek 400, too, like this one: https://www.somafab.com/archives/pro...dero-frame-set
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Old 06-19-21, 04:46 PM
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Surly cross check?
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Old 06-19-21, 10:14 PM
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Thanks everyone for the replys. I think I got the jist of the lineup changes now. So I'll go to the store and have him try the Domane AL 2 and the Trek 520 (which I like that trek gave it the old school styling). In the meantime I'll be on the look out for 400T like he previously had. Is there any obvious way to tell the difference between a 400 and 400T. I didn't know I had a T model till everyone here mentioned it.

Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
You can find plenty of brand new steel frames with sport touring geometry. They'll probably take a wider tire than would the Trek 400, too, like this one: (Url removed bc I have less than 10 posts)
Those are nice. As mechanically inclined as I am, I'm unfortunately a bit short on bike tools at the moment. I was able on this bike to swap the destroyed tires, straighten the wheels, fix the brake rub and tune the brakes, tune the gearing a bit, affix and lube the chain, remove the stuck seat post, and clean everything up.

But I know I'm short on tools around fork assembly and my knowledge on gearing is still rookie. While working on these old bikes is fascinating to me, I am a bit saddened that almost none of my automotive, electronic, or house tools really carry over for bike work. And I ended up dropping around $100 on a new set of tools just for bikes (including the bike stand). So I have a little bit to save up before I'll try a full bike build.

Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
Surly cross check?
No Surly bike shop near me to try I only have Trek and Specialized bikes available new in my area (at least to sit and try, online might be different)

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Old 06-20-21, 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by CleanClassics View Post
Thanks everyone for the replys. I think I got the jist of the lineup changes now. So I'll go to the store and have him try the Domane AL 2 and the Trek 520 (which I like that trek gave it the old school styling). In the meantime I'll be on the look out for 400T like he previously had. Is there any obvious way to tell the difference between a 400 and 400T. I didn't know I had a T model till everyone here mentioned it.
The 400T has a triple crank. vs. the double on the 400. Mine is a 1988 with a SR Ovaltech 52-42-32.


1988 Trek 400T, as found.
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Old 06-20-21, 05:25 AM
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You can visit the Trek archive to help get your bearings with respect to when the 400 was made. If you find one used, check the color on this list and you'll find the year it was made.

Trek Bike Models by Year and Color

There are tons of used steel road bikes available on craigslist. The nice thing about Trek is the catalog archive(scroll up on the site above..lots of info available). You can track nearly any older, steel bike back to year and components from an ad by knowing the model and color. Trek also had big sales numbers..so you'll see them used.

If your dad tends to like sitting upright more than the road bike (drop bars) posture, look into the Trek 7.x FX series. (7.1, 7.2...etc). The 7.5 is a nice, fast, comfortable bike with decent tires on it(dump the hardcase tires they come with..replace with Panaracer Gravelking slicks 700x35).
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Old 06-20-21, 08:39 AM
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Trek 400s are pretty easy to find, they made a lot of them. Don’t know where you live, but searching my local Milwaukee Craigslist site, there are currently 9 listed.
Of all my bikes, my 88 400t is my favorite, the most versatile, and gets the most miles. Found it hanging in a shed in San Antonio rotting away, cleaned it up, and upgraded the wheels, not a fan of Treks Matrix rims and Mallard hubs. Good luck replicating the feel and ride of a 400, with a modern bike.
Tim


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Old 06-20-21, 01:03 PM
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CleanClassics , what the guys are asking is, what city and state do you live in? Some of them really want to go CL shopping for you; it's a fun hobby. I don't think anyone will track you down and stalk you with that minimal info.
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Old 06-20-21, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
Trek 400s are pretty easy to find, they made a lot of them. Don’t know where you live, but searching my local Milwaukee Craigslist site, there are currently 9 listed.
Of all my bikes, my 88 400t is my favorite, the most versatile, and gets the most miles. Found it hanging in a shed in San Antonio rotting away, cleaned it up, and upgraded the wheels, not a fan of Treks Matrix rims and Mallard hubs. Good luck replicating the feel and ride of a 400, with a modern bike.
Tim


1988 Trek 400t
Great looking bike. The light blue and yellow with the black rims works nicely together. I like running aero levers on my vintage bikes as well especially when running a fat tire to give me a double quick release for the front wheel. And it does provide better braking.

Yeah of all my bikes, my 1979 Trek 510 gets the most miles. Trek just dialed it in with the sports touring geometry.

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Old 06-20-21, 01:46 PM
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One other thing that might help is to know what your budget is? If you're working on a tight budget, then I would suggest you just be patient try to find another older steel Trek. They can still be found, usually for a very reasonable price. If you have the budget and willingness to pay for a new bike, there are some great options. Previous responses referenced Soma and Surly Cross Check. The brand new bike will certainly cost more. The had to pay $1,279 for my brand new Cross Check last month. One other disadvantage of buying new is that right now the inventory is quite low due to supply chain constraints from the COVID pandemic.
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Old 06-20-21, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Great looking bike. The light blue and yellow with the black rims works nicely together. I like running aero levers on my vintage bikes as well especially when running a fat tire to give me a double quick release for the front wheel. And it does provide better braking.

Yeah of all my bikes, my 1979 Trek 510 gets the most miles. Trek just dialed it in with the sports touring geometry.

Nice bike, love the dark blue. The 88 400t came with aero brake levers, for tires the best I could do was 28s front and back.
Tim

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