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1984 Trek 850

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1984 Trek 850

Old 06-19-22, 06:39 PM
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theblackbullet
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1984 Trek 850

After a few weeks of navigating the messed up algorithms of facebook marketplace and endless craigslist ads, I finally came across an early all-terrain bike that was my size. Making the drive from Atlanta to Charlotte was a lot, but I was able to add in some track racing at the velodrome in Rock Hill, South Carolina to help make the driving worthwhile. Here is what I brought home!






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Old 06-19-22, 06:47 PM
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So some questions, if you're willing and able to help:
Does anyone know the original seatpost diameter for this bike? It came with a 27.0 seatpost and a chopped up wald 13/16" to 7/8" shim. I currently have a 27.2 seatpost in there with a coke can and a half shim. It seems a 27.4 might be the right fit?
At some point someone tried to touch up paint with black spray paint covering up the original beautiful metallic flake. I'd like to try and remove what I can without damaging the original paint. I don't mind the nicks on the frame but the dull black spray paint really bugs me. Any suggestions on how to best approach this?
I love the original stem, but I'd like to consider a wider bar. Do I have any options with this double clamp? I don't think there is a bulge at the clamps. I'll have to measure my diameter when I get a chance.
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Old 06-19-22, 06:50 PM
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Those hardtail biggies are tough to find, ain't they. You just have to make sure the knurling on the new bar is in the right spots and it will certainly work. Those double clamp bars came in several widths. Try to load up with cromo one, the weight difference is noticeable.

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Old 06-19-22, 06:54 PM
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A bonus shot of the bike "as-found" at the velodrome.
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Old 06-19-22, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by prairiepedaler View Post
Those hardtail biggies are tough to find, ain't they. You just have to make sure the knurling on the new bar is in the right spots and it will certainly work. Those double clamp bars came in several widths. Try to load up with cromo one, the weight difference is noticeable.
I don't think I'll regret making the drive for this one! It's a completely different ride than my 1991 Ironhorse MT600r. I'm really enjoying the loooong stays.
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Old 06-19-22, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by theblackbullet View Post
I don't think I'll regret making the drive for this one! It's a completely different ride than my 1991 Ironhorse MT600r. I'm really enjoying the loooong stays.
If you haven't been, Vintage Trek is the resource you need. Here's where you can date it; once you've done that, find the brochure and/or tech manual for it here. HTH. Oh, and make sure to show us pics as you get her back in working order!
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Old 06-19-22, 08:36 PM
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Terrific find from the era when solid axles were used even for the high-end mountain bikes, since it was assumed that QR axles wouldn't hold up to the rigors of hard off-road riding.
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Old 06-20-22, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Terrific find from the era when solid axles were used even for the high-end mountain bikes, since it was assumed that QR axles wouldn't hold up to the rigors of hard off-road riding.
Those Deore XT hubs were derived from Dura-Ace track hubs. The front hub uses a 10mm axle with flats milled to fit in a 9mm fork end.
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Old 06-20-22, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by theblackbullet View Post
So some questions, if you're willing and able to help:
Does anyone know the original seatpost diameter for this bike? It came with a 27.0 seatpost and a chopped up wald 13/16" to 7/8" shim. I currently have a 27.2 seatpost in there with a coke can and a half shim. It seems a 27.4 might be the right fit?
At some point someone tried to touch up paint with black spray paint covering up the original beautiful metallic flake. I'd like to try and remove what I can without damaging the original paint. I don't mind the nicks on the frame but the dull black spray paint really bugs me. Any suggestions on how to best approach this?
I love the original stem, but I'd like to consider a wider bar. Do I have any options with this double clamp? I don't think there is a bulge at the clamps. I'll have to measure my diameter when I get a chance.
Sheldon Brown's site lists 27.2 as the most likely candidate, but you have one in place now plus a shim so another 2mm may be it. As far as the spray bomb touch-up goes; I have used acetone on a rag to remove it. Trek paint is tough, so if you don't go overboard with the acetone it should take care of the problem without harming the original paint - be careful around decals though. Nice bike.
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Old 06-20-22, 10:59 AM
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+1 on the acetone. The paint might have been cured for too long for the acetone to work effectively but that would be my first try. It may take some rubbing and some exposure time for the acetone to work. I was doing some repair work to the hood of my car and discovered that I had two primer drips on my fender after two weeks. It came off. It took some time for the acetone to soften the paint and then some rubbing. I used paper towel. Cotton cloth would have been better but the fenders will get blended in the next few weeks.

The second try would be 1000 grit sandpaper followed by 2000 grit. Use a firm sanding block or a piece of wood or aluminum as a backer. The idea would be to remove the spray paint without removing too much of the original paint. This should leave just the spray paint in the paint divot.

Nice find. I like the lugged frame, lugged fork and character of the bike. Was that made in Wisconsin?

That is a good looking velodrome I had not seen pictures of it until now.
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Old 06-20-22, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule View Post
I like the lugged frame, lugged fork and character of the bike. Was that made in Wisconsin?
The main triangles were brazed in Waterloo, fork and rear triangle subassemblies were made in Japan and joined with frames in Waterloo before painting. Early production used Reynolds 531 "All Terrain" tubing, later production used Tange Prestige tubing.
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Old 06-20-22, 07:45 PM
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I will definitely give the acetone a go. Wish me luck!

Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Terrific find from the era when solid axles were used even for the high-end mountain bikes, since it was assumed that QR axles wouldn't hold up to the rigors of hard off-road riding.
Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Those Deore XT hubs were derived from Dura-Ace track hubs. The front hub uses a 10mm axle with flats milled to fit in a 9mm fork end.
The hubs are one of my favorite parts of the bike! They're spinning smooth as butter.

Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
The main triangles were brazed in Waterloo, fork and rear triangle subassemblies were made in Japan and joined with frames in Waterloo before painting. Early production used Reynolds 531 "All Terrain" tubing, later production used Tange Prestige tubing.
That's awesome! I thought it was odd that the catalog spec'd the 531 for the main tubes but Tange Champion for the stays. Any idea why the rear triangles we done in Japan instead of trying to do the whole frame in Waterloo?

Last edited by theblackbullet; 06-21-22 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 06-21-22, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by theblackbullet View Post
I Any idea why the rear triangles we done in Japan instead of trying to do the whole frame in Waterloo?
The imported subassemblies could be done cheaper in Japan and didn't carry the same import tariff a complete bike would pay.
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Old 06-21-22, 07:15 AM
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Very Cool. I stopped looking at 850s because they weren’t lugged.
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Old 06-21-22, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
The imported subassemblies could be done cheaper in Japan and didn't carry the same import tariff a complete bike would pay.
Very interesting. Thanks for the insight! This quirkiness makes me love this bike even more!

Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Very Cool. I stopped looking at 850s because they weren’t lugged.
I started looking for 850s because I realized that the early ones were! haha
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Old 06-21-22, 04:25 PM
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Was wondering who picked it up. It was for sale for several weeks. Sounds like it's going to a good home...glad it worked out for you.
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Old 06-22-22, 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted by OutnBack View Post
Was wondering who picked it up. It was for sale for several weeks. Sounds like it's going to a good home...glad it worked out for you.
I was surprised how old the listing was when I saw it. Couldn't believe it hadn't come up in any of my earlier searches. I was somewhat surprised when the seller responded and it was still available!
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Old 06-22-22, 04:02 AM
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Some small changes/personal touches
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Old 07-15-22, 04:23 AM
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Thursday evening cruise.






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Old 07-15-22, 09:09 AM
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Nice find. I picked up mine a year or two ago. Mine was painted at RRB bike shop in Chicago and has years of wear and tear, though I fully appreciate the wabi sabi of it.
It is a very comfortable bike.

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Old 07-15-22, 02:00 PM
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Nice bike! I have an '84 also. Well it's an 830 - one model down - built with Reynolds 501. It needs a little work:

I got a good deal on it. Free. Just had to drive 15 miles to go get it. It had been in a flood in 2016 and was under water for a week or two. When the water receded, there it sat, in the same spot under a shed, until the owner called me up and said come get it, about four years later. So when I got it home I gave it a preliminary scrubbing:

The seatpost and stem were not stuck. The Suntour cartridge bearing hubs still turn as smooth as butter!
I was the original owner of this bike. I bought it new in '84 and sold it after about two or three years, around 1987, give or take. Well, the guy I sold it to, who was a friend, called me and said it was going in the trash, unless I wanted it, around 2020. I think it will be salvageable. It doesn't seem to have too much rust. Maybe it was protected by the layer of bayou scum and toxic waste that remained on it ever since the 2016 flood.
I also got a '69 Schwinn Super Sport at the same time, with the same story (I was the original owner, etc.). My friend bought both bikes from me around the same time, and gave them both back to me thirty six years later.

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