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Trek 710 with a story

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Trek 710 with a story

Old 07-10-22, 03:47 PM
  #1  
steine13
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Trek 710 with a story

Learned Friends:

Thanks to those who chimed in on the "looking for one of these" Enabler Thread. Don't we love spending each other's money. Of course I called and looked at this bike, and once I saw it in the flesh, I bought it. Aside from the gum hoods, it's in rideable shape. Anyone have a good source for Dia Compe hoods?

The "story" is that while the frame is a 1978 Trek 710 per the serial number, the rest of the bike is from a later time.The owner appears to be in his 80s and obviously did not ride it much. But he remembers buying the bike new at the LSB, and he does not seem to have memory issue. He said to his wife things like "I'd just retired, and Jerry was in high school" and then he told me he'd paid $650, which in 1978 would have bought any two Treks. He gave me the Zéfal mini pump that he bought at the same time, and here's the thing that makes me a believer: My new steed is shod with 28x700C "Specialized Touring" tires. Who would have outfitted a bike like that in 1978?

My guess is this frame was special-ordered and hung around the store for a few years, though I don't suppose there is any way to find out. I might pop in the LBS in question -- they operate under a different name, but the prior owner helps out, so he may remember something.

This is such a time capsule that I'm thinking I won't do anything with it except install a Technomic and a 44 cm Noodle bar, and ride it like that for a while. I'll probably 650b it at some point, but I've got enough projects, and it would seem a shame not to just enjoy it for a bit. Now I've got to re-learn how to ride with toe clips and straps. So awkward when you forget to pull your foot out...

Anyway, below are some pictures, because I know you lechers like this sort of thing.

cheers -mathias


















Last edited by steine13; 07-10-22 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 07-10-22, 04:05 PM
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Great score, no brainer.
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Old 07-11-22, 10:43 AM
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That is a pristine looking bike! Those Specialized Touring tires are ridiculously undersized. I had one that said 700 X 32 on the yellow label, but molded-in wording on the sidewall actually says 28-622. I guess even their OEM didn't want to go along with their numbers game.
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Old 07-11-22, 12:45 PM
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Purchased on 7/10?
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Old 07-11-22, 04:39 PM
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Super cool and beautiful bike!!!

I thought they were going with screwed in head badges until at least late 79. Both my Mar 78 TX700 and Dec 78 730 (736) have screwed badges.

What are the dates on the components? Are they *around* 78?
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Old 07-11-22, 06:41 PM
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Very nice bike. I rode my '81 710 this morning. I am becoming convinced that Reynolds 531 bikes are my best riders
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Old 07-11-22, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by PhotonDon View Post
Very nice bike. I rode my '81 710 this morning. I am becoming convinced that Reynolds 531 bikes are my best riders
Similar revelations! Pristine mid-generation head badge a valuable asset.
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Old 07-11-22, 07:48 PM
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steine13
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The Golden Boy
>> I thought they were going with screwed in head badges until at least late 79. Both my Mar 78 TX700 and Dec 78 730 (736) have screwed badges.
>> What are the dates on the components? Are they *around* 78?

I don't really know what's going on here.
The bike was bought in the late 80s, or that's what the original owner believes.

The components that aren't shown in the pictures are SR Laprade seat post, SR crankset with 52/40 chainrings, and Shimano 600 hubs.
What sticks out as NOT 1978 is the wheelset with the Rigida 700c rims and the ridiculously undersized "28 mm" tires that aren't even 24 mm wide.

Keep in mind that Trek didn't even sell complete bikes early on and only started building frames in 1976 -- this frame is clearly date coded to May of '78 but for all I know it didn't leave the factory until later. The glued head badge is a good point. Ultimately, it hung somewhere for a decade years, unused.

Check out the Gary Fisher article from 1978 (PDF) here: Vintage Trek - A brief history of Trek Bicycle Corporation and its steel bike frames

I went to the successor of the original selling dealer to "demand an explanation" but the previous shop owner wasn't there. I'll try to catch up with him later in the week.



PhotonDon
>> I rode my '81 710 this morning. I am becoming convinced that Reynolds 531 bikes are my best riders

It feels lively but also still foreign to me. Reminds me -- unsurprisingly -- of my Moser with Aelle tubing and tubulars from the late 80s, not that it sits like that anymore.

I've been riding my 87 Cannondale ST600 (32 mm GP) most of the time and if chance of rain, my 95 T400 (35 mm Schwalbe). So the thin tires feel weird, the thin frame tubes look weird , but the biggest thing I notice is the narrow 40 cm handlebars low down, when I'm used to 46 cm Noodles right at saddle height.

Reminds me of what Bruce Gordon's web site used to say right at the top -- "nothing is better than a bike that fits." Not a bad statement from a guy selling high-end custom frames.
So until I've set it up correctly for me, I can't really talk about "how it rides." Sure love looking at that deep sparkly paint.

This 710 is in such good shape that it seems a shame to ride it in rough conditions. But ultimately, it's not a unicorn but one of thousands and it's not wall art. A bike's purpose in life is to make its owner happy. So I'm thinking I'll rando it out with fat 650s and fenders, and pretty soon it won't be pristine anymore, and better for it. I'll ride it a bit as is and then hang it up until the winter for a redo. There are good examples of this on the forum, and there is no hurry. Good thing I'm still young

I'll update if I learn anything interesting.

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Old 07-12-22, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Super cool and beautiful bike!!!

I thought they were going with screwed in head badges until at least late 79. Both my Mar 78 TX700 and Dec 78 730 (736) have screwed badges.

What are the dates on the components? Are they *around* 78?
According to the serial #,mine is a 1979 710. I think it was reworked sometime before the original owner ( a dear friend of mine..) bought it from a shop in Albuquerque. My frame has top tube braze-ons added and came with the new style of head badge, Strangely it never had any seat tube decals,,ever..only the Reynolds decals..

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Old 07-12-22, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by steine13 View Post
...So I'm thinking I'll rando it out with fat 650s and fenders...
Beautiful bike! I'm sure you'll enjoy it once you get it set up the way you like it.

You may want to do some measuring or test fit a 650b wheel before you commit to that plan. I own both an '81 and an '82 Trek 710, and neither has enough clearance for 650b x 42mm tires with fenders unless you're willing to do some serious work like dimpling the chainstays and moving the seatstay bridge. Mine might handle 650b x 38mm with fenders, but it would be very tight.
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Old 07-12-22, 10:26 AM
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A lovely bicycle. I was wondering if you asked the old chap whether he had a sales receipt, handbook, or other documentation he may have been given when he bought the bike. Alternatively, the LBS from which he bought the bike may have archived receipts, etc., that could provide dates and other information pertinent to the provenance of this beautiful bike. A final idea is to contact Trek, who might have generic information that might help, especially if you give them the serial number.

I know the bike should make you happy and I am all for that, but let me say, gently, that fat 650 tires on a graceful frame like that would be sad. Just (aesthetically) sayin' that's all, LOL. I recently picked up my first Wisconsin-built Trek, a 1995 Single Track 930 with fat tires in close to mint condition, intact paint and all. It rides like a dream, after a bit of rehabbing, and a new seatpost, seat and sweptback handlebars. I have a collection of steel Raleighs includng a hand-built Ilkeston frame and fork for time trials (Reynolds 753), and a 1972 Schwinn Paramount P-13 chrome-plated. This Trek 930 is my first Trek, but if I found one like yours, I would snap it up too,
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Old 08-09-22, 08:35 PM
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So I never got "the story."

I did visit the selling shop a couple times and caught up with the owner from back when.
He immediately recognized the bike for what it was, but had no specific recollection of selling it, nor did he recognize the buyer's name. Not surprising after all this time. One thing he did offer was that the equipment was standard issue for a 710 back then, and that the bikes were shipped unassembled, with the shop doing all the installation work from the frame up.
So nothing special happened; this was a fairly pricey bike that didn't sell for a few years, as the market around it changed away from 'sport touring' bikes towards dedicated racers and tourers.

Secondly, I appreciate all the feedback. @Sudevan will be pleased to know that while I disagree with the "fat 650b [..] would be sad" statement, I intend to ride it "as-is" at least for this year. It's just pretty.

The exception to the as-is has to be the bar & stem setup. The bar is a 40 cm, which seems OK, but it's more like 38 cm at the hoods, plus it has a bunch of reach, plus it's got what I'd call round shoulders and an old-school bend that puts the hoods low, and with the short (as in not-tall) stem, I was just miserable. Way too bent-over and stretched out when riding in the hoods. This thing needs a 44 cm Noodle, but I already bought three Noodles for my other bikes....!?

The basket case 620 I bought last year yielded an acceptable 43 cm Cinelli bar with a "square" profile, but of course it was a 26.0 to the 25.4 on the 710. Once again, a Technomic had to come to the rescue; and 70 mm is long enough. Note the fresh hoods -- I posted about the hood replacement on the "wrenching" thread a few days ago. Would you believe the campus bike shop had Cane Creek replacement hoods in stock? And while we're on the subject of brakes -- I read in @SpeedofLite 's post about the Cannondale ST400 that these Dia Compe calipers really were backwards..note the front brake routing, to the left side. Isn't that weird?

Aside from the fact that I need to re-tape the right side cuz I guessed too short, I like the way it turned out, and I'm using it for the occasional ride to work, or to show off when riding with friends. Serious miles go on other bikes, but this one is cool.

cheers -mathias




Last edited by steine13; 08-09-22 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 08-09-22, 10:16 PM
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Mathias, I am glad that you will ride the bike as is for a year! And I do understand if you want to change things, it is absolutely your prerogative. I changed a number of things on my Trek 930 -- especially the flat bar, very low, which also made me stretch out and bend over far too much. I have a North Roads style bar and a quill that allow me to sit up straight and ride comfortably. I also added mudguards/fenders plus a small front carrier on which i can mount an optional basket if I need to haul something. It rides very nicely and has become a daily driver.

I se that you are in East Lansing. I lived there 1981-83 when I was a postdoc in psychology at Michigan State University. A very nice town and a lovely campus.
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