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-   -   Help on Trek serial number (https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vintage/1245174-help-trek-serial-number.html)

sloar 01-14-22 03:46 PM

Help on Trek serial number
 
I think it’s one of the out sourced frames that got old numbers from what I can understand. But what is it? Looks like remnants of a 531 decal. SN N2F3A12



https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...8a3878d19.jpeg
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...a096d1266.jpeg

tkamd73 01-14-22 04:50 PM

I assume you have already looked at the vintage Trek site, lots of exceptions for the serial numbers that start with N. As you think an outsourced bike, lots who know more then me, but my guess, 21” 1981 613, or 614 depending on the crankset.
Tim

T-Mar 01-14-22 04:51 PM

That's the Reynolds 531 Butted Main Tubes decal. From what I understand, that is the Trek factory serial number format for the 61x series, though the year code doesn't follow the normal system, which complicates exact dating. Given the presence of top tube brake cable clips, I'm assuming it is 1981, as this catalogues doen't show the models, but the 1982 catalogue shows brazed-on top tube cable tunnels. Both the 613 and 614 appear to be identically spec'd for the crankset, though neither are triples, as on your bicycle. Hopefully, some of the resident Trek experts can provide further information or correct me if I'm wrong. Treks really aren't my forté.

Edit: Oops, looks like I was composing, while Tim was posting. Sorry for the duplication. At least we're on the same track.
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1db23f4a7.jpeg

Road Fan 01-14-22 04:53 PM

If you look at the Vintage-trek.com site, the N2F3A12 means 610, 613, or 614, 21" frame, stamped in June 1983. Being a 61x the main tubes are double butted 531 and the seatstays chainstays, and fork blades are either straight 531 or straight CrMo of some other origin. I've had one of these from 1984 since it was new. Sometimes I like and sometimes I don't. I've had mine in many different configurations, it's my mule.

This info is all from the Vintage Trek site. There is also a section on colors and paint combinationsversus year and model. You should go and read that section of the site.as well. It might not all make a consistent story, but these were made nearly 40 years ago. A lot could have happenned to it.

Road Fan 01-14-22 05:05 PM


Originally Posted by T-Mar (Post 22374337)
That's the Reynolds 531 Butted Main Tubes decal. From what I understand, that is the Trek factory serial number format for the 61x series, though the year code doesn't follow the normal system, which complicates exact dating. Given the presence of top tube brake cable clips, I'm assuming it is 1981-1982, as these catalogues doen't show the models, but the 1983 catalogue shows brazed-on top tube cable tunnels. Both the 613 and 614 appear to be identically spec'd for the crankset, though neither are triples, as on your bicycle. Hopefully, some of the resident Trek experts can provide further information or correct me if I'm wrong. Treks really aren't my forté.
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1db23f4a7.jpeg

I don't agree that the dating is complicated from being as good as it can be, in this numbering system. This number system gets you to the month when the frame was stamped. After frame build they were often racked until needed for deliverable bike builds, so the released (painted and equipped) model year could different from the frame stamping date. It does keep you from using the build sequence chart where you can see where in the sequence if 21"" frames it sat.

It seems they had both systems running at the same time (I don't know if that means anything). My 1982 720 is numbered in the 6 digit numerical sequenc, as is my 1984 610. I can see that my 720 is one of the first ones to roll off the line. This bike, a 1983 610 frame, is numbered in the older alphanumeric system, whicn I think dates back to the 1970s frames.

sloar 01-14-22 05:17 PM

Thanks for the help!

natterberry 01-14-22 07:18 PM

The ‘82 catalog definitely shows the models. I’ve looked at this catalog more than I prefer to admit.

https://www.vintage-trek.com/images/trek/Trek3.pdf

Ross200 01-14-22 08:03 PM

Are the dropouts Suntour or Campagnolo? Lack of braze-ons for shifters and brake cabled the missing color panel on the seat tube might suggest 1981 610.

Classtime 01-14-22 08:33 PM

What? I thought we just go to vintage trek dot com and know for sure. 😁

Ross200 01-14-22 11:07 PM

Sorry for reading the footnotes on vintage trek dot com!:crash:

Road Fan 01-15-22 03:30 AM


Originally Posted by Ross200 (Post 22374532)
Are the dropouts Suntour or Campagnolo? Lack of braze-ons for shifters and brake cabled the missing color panel on the seat tube might suggest 1981 610.

On my 610 they are Suntour. On my 720 they are Campagnolo.

Road Fan 01-15-22 03:44 AM

Sloar, does the Trek site talk about “outsourced frames?” It’s a new part of the lore, for me. Your paint looks original and remarkably good, but doesn’t have the features of 1983 .Did you maybe misread the SN? The long chain stays, down tube font, and the SN format suggest an older pattern of theirs, perhaps late 1970’s.

Road Fan 01-15-22 03:57 AM


Originally Posted by Classtime (Post 22374564)
What? I thought we just go to vintage trek dot com and know for sure. 😁


Yes of course! But like any other religious document, it needs study, prayer, analysis, discussion, and finally a hearing with the Board of Elders in Wisconsin, to be sure the Truth has been correctly discerned!!

:injured:

so while I thought I had this one solved, Sloar, I don’t. Time to put on my prayer shorts and cycling cap and look more deeply within!.

sloar 01-15-22 04:38 AM

Suntour dropouts.




https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...55b6822b5.jpeg

markk900 01-15-22 07:35 AM

sloar In the footnotes from the vintage trek site:

"For M and N leading serial numbers, if the TREK letters on the seattube have no colorwrap behind, the bike is from 1980 or perhaps 1981. If it has a colorwrap, the bike is probably from 1982." This supports T-Mar 's observation that there are no braze ons for the brake cable on the top tube. My 1983 600 has those cable braze ons and I would have expected them on an 83 61x.

JohnDThompson 01-15-22 08:31 AM

Reynolds tubing and domed stay ends indicate a 6nn series frame. The main triangle was brazed in Waterloo, the fork and rear stays were brazed in Japan and shipped to Waterloo to be attached to main triangles.

tfbike 01-15-22 11:18 AM

Several years ago I had an email conversation with Skip Eckhart. My 82 614 (I think), N5F4C88. Pewter gray with only seat tube panel (slate blue). Suntour dropouts w/eyelets , brake cable braze ons, long chain stays, glue on head badge, rear rack braze ons, bottom bracket cable braze ons (on top). Had a triple when I received it used. 531 main tube decal. I can't remember what else to note but that was most of the "tells".

Tom.

The Golden Boy 01-15-22 11:25 AM


Originally Posted by Road Fan (Post 22374341)
Being a 61x the main tubes are double butted 531 and the seatstays chainstays, and fork blades are either straight 531 or straight CrMo of some other origin.

A 600 series frame should not have 531 stays and fork. CrMo or Tange Mn alloy.

Road Fan 01-15-22 03:15 PM


Originally Posted by The Golden Boy (Post 22375003)
A 600 series frame should not have 531 stays and fork. CrMo or Tange Mn alloy.

Not gonna make it a big debate, but I've always thought the info in the Trek catalogs is somewhat ambiguous, and I think they allowed themselves the freedom to use any CrMo or similar which was available and suitable to satisfy the manufacturing process and stop the line as little as possible. We have to admit, 531 and CrMo are pretty similar, though not identical, and many non-Reynolds branded tubings are CrMo. We don't really know what was in the minds of the engineers and managers or what may have been written in engineering documents. We only know the words that were chosen for the consumer's information. Presumably those were written by marketing people. It's a lot more than you get with a lot of bike companies, but it still is not the hard technical requirements.

The Golden Boy 01-15-22 03:52 PM


Originally Posted by Road Fan (Post 22375308)
Not gonna make it a big debate, but I've always thought the info in the Trek catalogs is somewhat ambiguous, and I think they allowed themselves the freedom to use any CrMo or similar which was available and suitable to satisfy the manufacturing process and stop the line as little as possible. We have to admit, 531 and CrMo are pretty similar, though not identical, and many non-Reynolds branded tubings are CrMo. We don't really know what was in the minds of the engineers and managers or what may have been written in engineering documents. We only know the words that were chosen for the consumer's information. Presumably those were written by marketing people. It's a lot more than you get with a lot of bike companies, but it still is not the hard technical requirements.

The whole crux of the matter is '"what is a 700 series frame?"

If a 600 series frame has the same attributes, then why is the 700 series frame more expensive?

531 tubing is branded (as you mentioned). Does it make sense that Trek gave away premium branded tubing for the cost of tubing "of some other origin?"

It doesn't matter what's in the minds of the engineers, managers or engineering documents- If a frame is advertised and being sold as having "X" tubing- it needs to have "X" tubing. It's not like subbing Z series components because Simplex was unavailable- this is the very foundation of the naming convention, thus the price point the bike is at.

For those not wishing to pore through the Vintage Trek catalogs- Any 700 series frame has a butted 531 main frame with 531 stays and fork. ANY 600 series frame has a butted 531 frame and stays and fork made from CrMo or Manganese alloy from sources like Ishiwata, Tange and Reynolds (but not 531). And for anyone wishing to pore thru the Trek catalogs- 531CS is a tube set with a 531 frame and Reynolds CrMo stays and fork.

tkamd73 01-15-22 04:59 PM

Minor point, Reynolds 501 was the CrMo used for the stays and fork, on the 531CS frame set.
Tim


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