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A Queen For a Knight - 1982 Trek 720/728 - 25.5"

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A Queen For a Knight - 1982 Trek 720/728 - 25.5"

Old 09-18-21, 11:43 PM
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RiddleOfSteel
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A Queen For a Knight - 1982 Trek 720/728 - 25.5"

Thanks to friends that also double as enablers, @ctak once again 'delivered' ( ) by spotting a two-part ad with an older and very small custom Rodriguez alongside a much larger mystery bike. Bereft of both head badge and seat panel decal, the nearly comatose yet somehow wonderfully metallic two-tone taupe (frame) and dark brown (head tube) coloring, in concert with the incredible chain stay length, shouted "TREK 720!" Only a glance at the brake caliper location would be needed to delineate between 1982 (caliper or centerpull per catalog) or 1983 (canti). Sure enough, 1982, which would make it technically a 728 if complete vs. the 720 moniker for just the frameset. It was obviously a 25.5" variant, as only that size can communicate (aka "This is seriously large."), and with a very attractive price to encourage my already-looking-for-a-rain/fender/winter-bike self, it took all of a few minutes to contact the seller.

An hour's drive well outside the city limits brought me to the home of a kind older gentleman. We walked a bit to his workshop/garage and to the 728 inside. Dirty/dusty from years (three decades claimed) of sitting around not being used. A bevy of very nice componentry that had served him in his 50 mile round trip commutes over the years. The frame was straight, and it had several marks on the paint due to use. Overall, this was paint that needed cleaning and waxing to be brought back. And some decal work along with the aforementioned head badge. I gave him his asking price, we talked for a little bit longer, and packed up the bike, which took a bit of figuring out because I didn't bring any tools to undo the fenders and he had a few SAE/English allen keys--no metric.

This is the the bike upon its arrival to my humble apartment. Dusty, dirty, but complete. Crusty tires, minor paint bubbling in two or three places, smelling like it had been in a shop for considerable time, an incredibly 'hammocked' Brooks Professional saddle, but replete with the lug work that is only bestowed on a top-end Trek of that time. I'd need to pump up the tires and give it a ride, but I was already in love!



A nice straight-across-the-top stem and bar orientation. And a rear view mirror that needed tightening.


Cinelli 1R stem was a surprise on a tourer. The Cinelli Campione del Mondo 66-42 bars less so. That foam padding was going straight to the bin as soon as I could do so.


This head lamp, like its tail lamp partner, is HUGE. Wires ran from both to a non-existent battery that looks to have been located just under the saddle. Not a fan of the dorktastically huge lamps being fastened to a brake caliper (insult to injury!).


Dia-Compe Gran Compe calipers of the standard reach variety. Mathauser finned brake pads at all four "corners" are remarkably modern in that they--or at least these ones--can pivot! How many years before the rest of the industry adopted this as standard for their brake calipers??? (It took Dura-Ace to the 7800 generation to do so)


Gorgeously minimal production bike lug for ol' Riddle here to ogle. Drive side paint bubbling kills me, but it's there, so what are ya gonna do?


Upper head lug, also beautiful, along with the upper Tange Levin headset assembly. There's dirt here aplenty, but also a lot of metallic flake.


There's also slight paint bubbling along the upper ridge of the seat stay cap--my favorite parts of these old Treks. Another bummer, but we remain unfazed in our admiration. Oh, and a plated Silca pump! Note the wiring for the lights converging in this area.
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Old 09-19-21, 12:07 AM
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Before we get into more photography, the Queen referenced here is this 728. Fully double-butted 531 tubing, thinned short-point lugs, elegantly elongated chain stays, an extra pair of bottle cage braze-ons, and the construction befitting their top touring offering. The Knight of course is my 620. A hybrid mover, two parts touring bike, one part race bike (in its mind and in its character). Full touring accoutrements, but some of the best road/race componentry and thinking (light weight, performance-minded) hung on its expansive frame. A sublime bike for creating a metaphorical fork of aesthetic and purpose between genres.

So what else is on this?

Ah, Nuovo Record shifters commanding the well-used derailleurs via (very likely) original Campagnolo cables. They worked as designed and held their gears/positions without needing to be nearly frozen tight.


A Nuovo Record double front derailleur operating a triple? Yes, and it had its hands full. Normally a Sugino AT triple crankset would reside in this place, but its former owner opted to build it with a half step plus granny Specialized "flag" triple with 49/44/28t rings. I love these cranksets, and this one just needed cleaning and polishing! It also hid a vintage Phil Wood cartridge bottom bracket that still spins well.


Campagnolo pedals even. I suppose I'm still not surprised given the level of componentry on the rest of the bike.


This 6-speed freewheel was handled by the darling of touring Treks, the Huret Duopar. I feel nothing towards it, but in selling it eventually, it will likely make someone else happy!


The QR skewer gives a big clue as to what those hubs are, none other the Specialized's sublime sealed bearing units, and in this case 40 hole front and rear! They spin so beautifully--love it.


Wolber Model 58 single-wall 27" rims spin true, with undersized Specialized 1 1/4" tires mounted to them. Interestingly, if spec'd as a complete factory build, a 1982 720/728 was the only 720 (of the 1982-1985 years it was offered) to come with 700C wheels. Well, this custom build didn't get that. Oh well!


The super huge tail light, respectfully mounted to the rear Blackburn rack.


Campagnolo 2-bolt seatpost? Sure, why not? Some pitting unfortunately, but it has cleaned up decently (but still with that present, just lessened).


Brooks Professional Banana, er, saddle. Many miles and years of use, but still kicking.
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Old 09-19-21, 12:48 AM
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Geometry - Specs - Ride Report

Alright, this wouldn't be a Riddle Of Steel post without my own dorktastic additions. Firstly, Trek gave us all only the 22.5" (56cm) frameset geometry for all 1982 models (and 1983 and 1984...). Since I've been known to (still!) cruise the catalogs, I figured certain numbers would match from prior years and angles be retained from smaller models. So here we are, for posterity:

Seat Tube: 63.7cm CTC, 65.0cm CTT
Top Tube: 59.0cm
Chain Stays: 47.0cm to the center, 48.0+ to the backs of the dropouts
Head Tube Angle: 72.0
Seat Tube Angle: 73.0

The factory rake puts the trail in the 56-58mm range, which is very nice. I am so incredibly happy to have a 72 head tube angle bike again. Give me that smooth, stable, comfortable front end geometry again, please!

Serial Number: 033632

Out of 2,460 Trek 720/728s produced for the 1982 model year, only 300 were in the 25.5" size. My 1985 620 is technically rarer with only 250 25.5" examples produced, but still, that is not a lot to have a chance at surviving nearly 40 years after they hit the showroom. Trek would progressively produce fewer 720s as the years went on, finishing with about 75 (in the 25.5" size) for 1985.

Weight as bought: 13.13 kg / 28.9 lb -- Very heavy, especially with respect to the bikes I buy and build
Weight w/o accessories: 11.85 kg / 26.1 lbs -- No fenders, lights, rack, pump, mirror, etc--still kept the pedals and bottle cage on. Still a heavy build to me, and my guess of eventual frameset weight (along with ctak's) was looking to be too optimistic (3300g)
Frameset with Phil BB: 3.43 kg / 7.5 lbs -- This was an incredible turn of events: huge touring frame, lighter than all previous big touring frames, and with a bottom bracket still to remove!
Frameset (frame, fork, headset): 3.155 kg / 6.94 lbs -- !!!

Ok, so why the big deal with a touring bike's frame weight? Well, it tells of construction quality and intent I suppose. My guess of 3,300g was considerably over the mark. With all my touring bike frameset weighing experience, plus a 26.1 lb "starting weight" for a complete, running bike, having a frameset that clocked in at 3,500g would not have phased me. I would have considered it par for the course, especially before (it seems to me) production bikes really started to focus on frame weight for their top bikes, which seemed to be more of a mid to late '80s thing. Anyway, the only light 25.5" "long Trek," my former 1979 510 (44cm chain stays) weighed in at 3,180g, which I thought was very light. For reference, race bikes in the 63.5 to 64.0cm range weigh, at best ~3,000g. You can see why this is a feat to me.

******

Hooray, numbers, figures, theories. How does it ride? Well, before all this disassembly and weighing, I centered the brake calipers, pumped up the tires, and took off the five or so miles to Mr. 66's house to show him the score and to bring a tool or two for work on his Jack Taylor. Nearly 29 lbs of Fully Vintage going down, and up, several of Seattle's innumerable 15% grades, full of crummy pavement, cars, lights at the bottom of hills, no shoulders, construction, etc. I later found out the anchor bolt securing the Duopar rear derailleur was not fully seated, causing the whole derailleur to, in its under-tension state (aka while in use), be misaligned relative to the chain. Shifting performance was compromised and operational noise was up, and constant. I didn't adjust the saddle angle (no tools for it mid-ride over), but set the saddle height up about an inch to help thanks to the 5mm allen wrench I packed. I changed pedals to my SPD-SLs and that did it for both trips.

The bike is smooth. The 40-spoke wheels are not harsh, but nicely firm in their handling of road irregularities. Even the dried-out Specialized tires did well. Brakes were acceptable at best, but I expected that. Shifting was an exercise in patience and trying to get a worn out chain and a too-narrow front derailleur cage (with a wide 6-speed chain) to contribute as little noise as possible to the 'orchestra' being conducted by the Duopar. Tracking was stable and steering was just so sweet. The Trek geometry just caresses the rider here, and its 531 construction makes for a beautiful-feeling out-of-saddle climber and accelerator! I had to really crank on it, in low gear, going up a nearly 20% grade on the way home. The 720 did not lay over and die! My 510 would have been laboring and letting me know it was unhappy, but the magic that is 531 and however Trek brazed it up meant that my even-lighter-than-the-510 frameset worked with me, perfectly aiding my efforts.

This is gonna be good.

******

At the moment, the frameset is awaiting new decals and I do have a lead on a head badge (it's a bit tired, but year/period correct--so if anyone has a nicer one they'd like to sell me, let me know!!). It is also awaiting cleaning and waxing as I have been doing so to all the components that came with it, that I will be selling to offset the cost. I am excited to get this winter/rain/epic bike back on the road and gliding along over the fall and winter!
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Old 09-19-21, 01:10 AM
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So much class..
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Old 09-19-21, 01:54 AM
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Great score! I picked up an 83 620 in the 22.5" size this year. I love that it is pre-canti. So many possibilities. It is my first road trek that fit me. They are the real deal.

In 650b guise.
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Old 09-19-21, 10:06 AM
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Thanks for stopping by.

Let me know if you need a Shimano downtube clamp shifter boss set, they are/were a pre tricolor set.
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Old 09-19-21, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. 66 View Post
Thanks for stopping by.

Let me know if you need a Shimano downtube clamp shifter boss set, they are/were a pre tricolor set.
Will do. I still have mine (tri-color / 6400 in this case), which I will likely be using since my 10-speed Dura-Ace DT shifters are the only spare shifters I have (that I want to use).

******

For this build, I have the components necessary to complete a 700C wheel build, but I am decently considering 650B for the added tire volume while still allowing fenders. 700x33c tires will fit fine with fenders for the standard reach calipers that I'll use (like a dual pivot if I can find a pair...again). @Dfrost has offered his 650B wheelset (presently being employed on one of his bikes) for testing purposes, and in light of that generosity, I would want my borrowing to be as brief as possible, which would mean building the bike up as much as possible before mounting the tires. We shall see. Much to do before then!
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Old 09-19-21, 10:29 AM
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Wow, great find.
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Old 09-20-21, 03:09 AM
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Riddle, a suitable mount for Conan! I like your ride report, I have a 21 frame/fork of that model and year, and now Im gonna have to accelerate my rebuild!

have you kept the head and taillights? Id take them if you want to divest. Ditto the Duopar.
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Old 09-21-21, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Riddle, a suitable mount for Conan! I like your ride report, I have a 21 frame/fork of that model and year, and now Im gonna have to accelerate my rebuild!

have you kept the head and taillights? Id take them if you want to divest. Ditto the Duopar.
Thanks! I'm really glad it did well with the vintage components, which bodes very well for lighter and less crusty modern ones. I just got back into town from a few days away, and I was missing working on it. Just the wheels to shine up and then I get to "desert" (cleaning and shining up the frame).

The lights are gone. I need to do some market research for pricing the components I'm looking to move along, so I have that ahead of me as well.
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Old 09-23-21, 02:49 AM
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I have completed the extensive cleaning and polishing of components, as well as the cleaning, compounding, and waxing of the 720's frame. Took a number of days, interrupted by a few rain storms that saw our building's new roof leak into my apartment thanks to insufficient vent capping (or something). It's fixed now, but that delayed me a bit, along with a quick jaunt out of town.

Decals are removed and with that, we have a frame, fork and headset that weigh just 3,152g in total. Incredible. With a head badge, add 11g. With Reynolds decals and a seat tube panel, add a few more. Those will come whenever Velocals wants to send them..

With pictures forthcoming (tomorrow), I mounted my venerable 7400/MA2 wheelset and took 700C and 650B measurements. Aside from the stack and reach of this 720 frame's being nearly dead-on to my later 620, the tire clearances both in width and height (vertical clearance to brake bridges, fork crowns, etc) are also remarkably similar. The 620 is superior in vertical clearance, though not by as much as I would have thought. Anyways, the width clearances for 700C (taken at the theoretical max tire bulge width point) and 650B (taken at the outer rim edge/diameter point of a 700C rim) are as follows:

700C:
Fork Blades: 44.0mm
Chain Stays: 45.9mm
Seat Stays: 70.9mm

Vertical Fork Crown Clearance: 42.5mm
Vertical Chain Stay Clearance: 62.5mm (think fender mounting clearance here)
Seat Stay/Brake Bridge Clearance: 42.8mm

650B:
Fork Blades: 46.0mm
Chain Stays: 50.7mm
Seat Stays: 74.5mm

Vertical Fork Crown Clearance: 61.5mm
Vertical Chain Stay Clearance: 81.5mm (think fender mounting clearance here)
Seat Stay/Brake Bridge Clearance: 61.8mm

It is interesting to me to see that the width gains from 700C to 650B are not a whole lot. 700x42mm tires are theoretically possible, but would be quite snug up front. No fender possibilities with that either. 700x38mm tires would fit, though fenders would be pretty tricky at best. I have 700x33mm Somas that run small, so fenders with them will be a cinch. Going to 650B gives me, in theory, those critical millimeters in width to run 42mm wide tires with fenders thanks to the 19mm smaller radius with which to work with. So that remains an appealing option should I ever be able to find a polished silver 650B rim (Pacenti Brevet essentially) I like. Everything else is either the wrong color, disc only, incredibly heavy, or ugly.

The big-item to-do list presently, includes:
1) Obtain dual-pivot, standard reach, polished brake calipers--Tektro R737s are the leading candidate due to finish, design, price, and availability (over, say, Shimano's R650 or Tektro's R539).
2) Obtain a 34-39 tooth 100mm BCD vintage Specialized chain ring to replace my 44T one as I am not running a half-step setup but want to use those 170mm cranks.
3) Find the Q-factors of that Specialized triple crankset and make BB adjustments/changes if necessary or if possible.
4) Get inner tubes for these 700C wheels and 33mm tires, or use used ones that are for slightly smaller tires, maybe.
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Old 09-23-21, 01:31 PM
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For my Specialized Flag triple, I used a 113mm Shimano UN-55 BB with a 3.0mm DS spacer for a 44.0mm chainline that works great with a Campy Racing T FD. Some FDs often need the extra 1.0mm (and the next longer BB) for the perfect 45mm chainline to avoid hitting the ST on the granny shift.

Q-factor is 148mm, and I prefer low Q.

Tektros are likely the only nutted calipers youll find. But you already knew that, Dan.
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Old 09-23-21, 02:40 PM
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Thank you @Dfrost! Good information for both me and everyone else here. I had done a rough measuring of the q-factor numbers for the crankset upon initial riding, and it was close enough to give me peace about it not ruining my left knee over a 10 mile ride.

For more data for folks curious, I took measurements for brake reach with 700C rims, measured from the centerline of the mounting hole to the centerline/center of the rim's brake track:

Front: 53.0mm
Rear: 55.7mm (with wheels set a touch past halfway rearward in the dropouts)

Calculated for 650B (add 19.0mm to the 700C reach numbers):

Front: 72.0mm
Rear: 74.7mm
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Old 09-23-21, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
So that remains an appealing option should I ever be able to find a polished silver 650B rim (Pacenti Brevet essentially) I like.
What about the Soma Weymouths? I have two pair (one unbuilt). they could be straighter if they machined them but so far have held up to my curb jumping and uneven trail joints in 32h with my 220# frame. I'm using the Panaracer Col De Le vie on them on the Trek 710.
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Old 09-23-21, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by canopus View Post
What about the Soma Weymouths? I have two pair (one unbuilt). they could be straighter if they machined them but so far have held up to my curb jumping and uneven trail joints in 32h with my 220# frame. I'm using the Panaracer Col De Le vie on them on the Trek 710.
I looked at them, but 580g for a rim (650B or 700C) is boat anchor territory, personally. TB14s (700C) are 505g and that's heavy (and harsh when encountering bumps). TB14s and Brevets have a beautiful profile, as do Sun M13 II's. The Somas are chamfered, like Sun CR18s, as well as many other cheap 27" wheels on low-end vintage bikes. I cannot abide that mental association. At least they have a nice finish, which makes up for many things. Still, I am very particular here, and since I'm not a curb jumping kind of guy, I don't need to the bombproof architecture. I'm glad they kick butt for you though. Always nice to have a 'go-to' rim/wheelset regardless of what other people (and especially the internet) think.
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Old 09-23-21, 07:17 PM
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As promised, here are some of the photos from the frameset cleaning. Riveting to some, I know, but a few things stood out.

Not only do we have have the Reynolds tubing info stamped on the steerer (fun details, for me at least), but also "720" inscribed. It's just cool to see parts of the manufacturing process decades down the line.


I took some time to remove all the cracked and drifting 531 decals and came upon Ghosts of Stampings Past. Here we have "REYNOLDS" juuuuuuuust barely visible below the paint, and behind what would normally be the triangular 531 decal.


On the other blade, we get, depending on how you work the fork and the light, hints of "BUTTED" text with perhaps another stamped word(s) below it.


I have owned Very Nice Bikes before, and am thankful to have done so, but wow does the crispness of the scalloping and dropout-to-stays forming/defining just look superb!


Ditto this side. Things happen when it's a nice bike, eh?


Apparently, some 720s of this year got a Cinelli bottom bracket shell. I suppose I will have to do with a TSI60-stamped, Trek-debossed shell, haha.


Touring bike gets fancy weight-saving bottom bracket shell cutouts, too!


"This is my good side."


Underside of the shell here. Under bottom bracket cable guides are a nice feature. You can also sneak in a view of the very nicely mitered tubing running into the shell. You can also see a small dent in the chain stay near the shell. Drive side. Bummer! Can't win 'em all. The bike rides well regardless.

Last edited by RiddleOfSteel; 09-23-21 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 09-23-21, 07:23 PM
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With the frameset completed and headset overhauled, it was time for a indoor-with-outdoor-light photo session. The taupe coloring isn't gregarious, but we're not in direct sunlight either.

I will still need to find (if possible) some touch-up paint for the few areas, but otherwise, things look great.


Gloss level check. Some clear coats are and feel quite thick. The one on this frameset is modest, but thankfully shined up well (as did the headset).


I really like the brown metallic as a color. Would have been pretty cool, and quite bold, to have it as the color for the whole frame.


While the corrosion is still present, the whole area looks a lot better now that it's cleaned and waxed.


Just checking out the gloss in the bottom bracket region.
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Old 09-23-21, 09:55 PM
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Moving along to getting it on its (new) wheels again, I have yet again the venerable MA2 and Supple Vitesse pairing done up and put into its dropouts. Let's see how it looks:

Unlike my 620, which has even more axle-to-crown in front, the 720 keeps things a bit more 'normal', thereby denying tire-to-tube parity of distance that the 620 enjoys. Proportionally, this imbalance serves to highlight the 'train' (long chain stays) in the rear.


With these 700x33c tires measuring 30.0mm wide and ~29.0mm tall, we have 12.8mm of vertical clearance from the top of the tire to the fork crown. Plenty of room for larger tires with fenders, to say nothing of plenty of room for fenders right now.


Good lateral clearance as well, which helps with fender fitting options.


Spacious around the chain stays as well.


12.5mm of vertical clearance here, nearly identical to the front (to be mostly expected). Trek did a good job designing them to be even, unlike their 600/10/20/30/40s...


Another shot of the chain stay clearance--a bit more of an orthographic view. Note the one-sided chain stay bridge for fender mounting. It's threaded! I definitely could have used that design feature on the 620, but we get it here.
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Old 09-23-21, 10:24 PM
  #19  
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Apart from some dual pivot calipers, which are now on their way, I essentially have everything to build the bike up. It's down to a crankset choice, picking up some black bar tape, and choosing a cable housing color (I am trying to avoid black). My current frontrunner is Jagwire's Carbon Silver, which is a "warm grey" (aka has brown in it) that I think would pair well with the taupe and dark brown colors. White, silver, primer grey, yellow, or gold are too shouty and inappropriate. Greens and blues are also out. A strictly dark grey option I can't find. Keep in mind I am looking for brake and shift cable housing. Porkchop BMX has a bunch of cool colors, but none really work aside from Clear Black, which is cool, but a tad intense for this 720's color palate--to say nothing of it being brake cable housing only and not shift cable housing (since I will be running an indexed shifting system here).




It could also be a bit too much brown, so I'll be mulling it over and test fitting some spare black housing to see how it actually looks.

******

For some data points and a bit of humor for all of you, I mounted my 620's wheels and (nominal) 700x42c tires (39.5mm wide, 36.0mm tall) to see if they fit, and if so, what my clearance was. No Riddle build thread is without some inflection of heresy.

For the record, this looks super dumb, mostly because the colors and aesthetics of the frameset and the wheels do not match whatsoever. But they fit!


Yeah, that's about 4mm, a gap the impressive 620 manages to essentially triple with these wheels and tires installed. Remind me why this bike is my fender bike???


Clearance, Clarence. Snug, but comfortable. Getting a chuckle out of the "puffy shoulders" fork crown. The ride quality is no laughing matter, so back to being serious about the frame's features...


Low Bridge Ahead is also present in the rear.


Again, comfortably snug in the chain stays. Mounting is pretty easy--no real squishing the proverbial cheeks (of the tires) to get an inflated tire around the long dropouts. The 126mm rear spacing doesn't mind the rounded-nut 130mm Dura-Ace 7403 rear hub. I could pick up (again) a pair of 38mm Somas, like I had before (and sold), but I want to save some expenditure and run what I have until I decide to go the 650B route, or not. I'd like to find some chrome fenders locally, but my initial search has yielded nothing so far. Will just have to turn this into a weekly thing and just run my matte black PDW fenders for now.
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Old 09-24-21, 06:27 AM
  #20  
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I like that Jagwire silver carbon housing you show so much that I bought a big roll of both brake and shifter several years back and will probably be using it until I die.
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Old 09-24-21, 04:33 PM
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Well isn't this interesting. A quick throwing-on of parts just to get an idea of how the composition will work and what do ya know, the various (matte) black elements 'calm' things down. I really thought the black cable housing would give me some trouble, but it isn't. And in the interest of using parts I already have, keeping things simple is really attractive. It's also just plain attractive to me. Bonus. The 720 looks perfect and quite graceful with fenders, and they're not even mounted! The brake calipers are on their way, officially, and I'll need to pick up an extra cable or two, but then, we'll have a runner!

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Old 09-29-21, 03:15 PM
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We talk a lot about fender lines, or at least some of us, and care about getting them dialed in. Nothing makes that situation more difficult than long horizontal dropouts as far as tire removal and installation goes. This is where we would have all loved companies taking the Centurion Pro Tour approach and simply using vertical dropouts on their touring bikes. Sure, they may lack some traditional horizontal dropout elegance, but they'd make the fender situation a lot easier! Anyway, the below photos show the tire's position with the wheel settled into its dropouts, and then at the point of being able to drop the wheel (axle, specifically) out vertically.

We have about 32mm worth of room to slide things, which is fine for a fenderless setup.


For a wheels-out position, we now have about 5-6mm, with the tire fully inflated. With the 620, I rode the fender position decently "high off the tire", and I'll be doing much the same here as it will give me a good starting clearance with regard to tire mounting and removal. I will certainly make sure that I can remove and install a fully deflated tire with the fenders--boy would that be a huge flub if I couldn't even do that! This fender mounting will coincide with mounting the brake calipers, which I have now, as those present their own set of challenges (seen in the next post).
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Old 09-29-21, 03:33 PM
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So, the Tektro R737 calipers arrived, and thankfully quite quickly! Whereas the R539s have a SRAM-like open triangle form (from the arm to the cable stop/barrel adjuster), the R737s have a more traditional single arm/form a la Shimano R650s (and many Shimano brake calipers). The R737's finish is beautiful--not as try-hard super-polish like the R539s--more mature and perfectly matching the Technomic stem, polished seatpost, and (in the future) the Dura-Ace componentry. I think they look perfect on the bike. Tektro advertises their reach as 47-59mm vs. the R539's 47-57mm. Either are more than enough to work with this 720, and I would say the R737's extra few mm's of reach would be very welcome on low(er)-end vintage bikes that came with 27" wheels and the brake pads a little too close to the bottoms of their slots, which would normally make a 700C wheel conversion dicey. Yes, one could go to the long reach R559s, but the pads would be way up at the tops of their slots, and the whole setup would look goofy (IMO).

Due to the 737's design, its "open" position sees the secondary/front caliper arm dip considerably below the mount bolt, thereby removing a good 6-8mm of vertical clearance. In the "closed" or cabled-up position (aka ready to ride), that clearance is gained back, as you will see in photos. This will make fender mounting difficult as I will essentially have to cable up the brake calipers first and then shuffle the fender around etc. It's height over the tire will be affected, and likely give me things to think about when deciding how "open" I want it to be for tire removal. The cart is on the horse here.

Macro photo first. Brake pad positions are obviously not adjusted at all here--just an initial mounting to see where things are.


The profile is nice, especially that front/crossover arm.


You can see the drop in clearance due to the open position of the front/crossover caliper arm. I do like the radiused sculpting for the pad slots. A nice nod to vintage centerpulls (intentional or not).


I'm squeezing the caliper to give a better idea of how they look ready to ride. Very nice.


Rear caliper, low clearance!


Rear caliper in ready to ride mode. Much better!


Front caliper's elevation is more snug than I would like, but it's reality and I'll need to work with it.


Still lower than the rear, but much more workable. I will have my work cut out for me achieving not only a nice fender line per wheel, but also matching front to rear.
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Old 09-30-21, 05:00 PM
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I began fender work yesterday, starting with the hardest (the rear) as the front would be, theoretically, easier. That was mostly true. Or perhaps one could say, they presented a different set of challenges.

After some initial hardware fitment checking (regarding the rear brake bridge fender mounting position, which can be changed), I mounted the fender semi-snugly with the rear brake caliper. The dropout eyelet mounts would come next, and lastly, the chain stay bridge mounting.


With the fender in its highest position (lowest in the slot, as you can see just behind the caliper), it gave the Tektro caliper complete room to splay or "open up." Great news for tire installation and removal.


Squeezing the calipers to simulate a fully cabled up brake setup, you can see the additional space available.


I will say that the really nice thing about owning two Treks with 47cm chain stays (that have had/need fenders), is that theoretically you don't have to adjust the brake bridge mounting hardware/clamp's position. What a relief it was to find that true in this case!


This incredibly sophisticated chain stay fender mounting system cost about $2.00. It's missing its final nut, but otherwise what you see is what is there. Let the record state that this sort of solution has been dreamt up and produced before, so this is nothing new in concept.

To make this, I bought an M4 x 0.7 x 50mm screw. The threading for the bridge hole is an M5. I needed a simple way to create a sliding system that would, ideally, allow for a fully inflated tire to be mounted or removed (via spring/system compression) as well as hold a proper fender line when the tire was mounted. I initially considered an M5 screw and drilling out the bridge hole to accommodate, but the combination of no 1" springs available to slide over the 5mm screw diameter (found this out after I had gotten home), and its subsequent working with an M4 bolt, sealed the deal. Various washers were used to fully capture the fender (slot width and resulting stability) and disallow the spring to get sucked into the gap in between the screw and the washer. I eventually put a second nut (7mm tool interface) to the first, and did a lock-nut type solution as the hardware store seemed to lack M4 nylon locknuts. M3 or M5, but no M4. Ugh! Stoneway Hardware has a very good selection of hardware, including metric, so they get a visit from me whenever I need bike solutions. In this case, I had to work with what I had available. The good news is that it works!! Full compression to that critical 6mm minimum needed, was achieved. It also anchors and centers the fender well. Road testing will put that to the test, but a bunch of fender bopping (to check for rattles) bodes very well.


Here is the assembled look. Wheel in, fender line satisfactory, and locknut style securing in place.
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Old 09-30-21, 05:12 PM
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A brief interlude here to bring you the reestablishment of the 720's branding and graphics, which is has been sorely missing! From one 1982 Trek 720 frame to another, comes this lightly touched up head badge (thank you Sharpie marker). Some of these badges stay in great condition thanks to their owners, a good number don't it seems. Even good paint is no indicator of a head badge's condition! At the end of the day, though, it's not $80 on ebay, it's in decent shape, and it's even from a 1982 720. I am extremely grateful!

Two pieces of tape to locate the head badge vertically, and one to gently hold it in position as the glue dries. Looks a little like it rolled through a clothesline.


All done. That brown metallic paint is quite nice.
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