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'93 Trek 2300 Refurb

Old 03-02-08, 11:02 PM
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'93 Trek 2300 Refurb

At the risk of setting myself up for a bashing again, I'm considering an attack on a 1993 Trek.

The bike was given to me in exchange for labor, so it afforded me some financial room to perform a few upgrades and repairs. Here's what it looked like when first brought home.



And then after getting it repaired:



And again after making it better suited for my time trial/commuter:



I've liked it better and better after every iteration, and now with spring coming (later when you're in the Rockies), I'm going at it again, this time with a new carbon fork, brakes, headset...and probably a few more small upgrades.

The one thing I haven't ever liked is the color scheme. Those garish white decals, the swap meet nail polish purple paint....no, not really my taste. After checking out the different horrid paint schemes Trek has put on these carbon/aluminum hybrid frames over the years, my favorite was when they just left it naked, polished aluminum and clearcoated carbon.

My plan is to strip the frame down, polish the aluminum and sand the decals off the carbon. The carbon will need to be clearcoated again, but the aluminum could be left bare and polished when needed. Anyone with any tips and/or cautions is welcome to chime in.
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Old 03-03-08, 11:17 AM
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This morning I got the frame stripped of parts.

Overall it seems to be in excellent condition, though there are some minor scratches in the paint and the carbon clearcoat. What surprised me was that once stripped, I threw it on the scale, not expecting much for a 15 year old frame. I was impressed with a 3.7 lb weight, and considering I've had a lot of time to get fat this Winter, is probably perfect for my clydesdale weight.

Tonight I'll do some paint stripping and post some more pics.
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Old 03-03-08, 04:31 PM
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I've got one of those.. well mine is a 2100, and from '91, but pretty much the same thing. Ive fully upgraded mine with STI shifters and 10 sp cassette. Still waiting for April to come around to finally be able to ride it.

Its your bike, but I don't think you should remove the decals, besides the word "composite" is so cool.
Purple Isnt yours blue? Looks blue to me. Mine is purple with the natural carbon. Purple is my favorite color so I couldnt be happier, unless maybe there was some sparkle in that purple.
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Old 03-03-08, 05:42 PM
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I had a 2100 with RSX 7 speed STI shifters. It is the only bike I regret selling - it was a fantastic rider.
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Old 03-03-08, 05:43 PM
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I had one for a while. Very nice bike. That is the least garish of the paint schemes. Be careful in stripping the carbon tubes, as the carbon is very soft. The carbon tubes need a clear coat to protect the plastic carrier from UV radiation...much like fiberglass epoxy carrier. I've also polished lugs on a bike like this, and it is a pretty big job. Brace yourself.
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Old 03-03-08, 09:53 PM
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I'm glad to hear all the positive comments on the ride qualities.

If it hadn't been given to me, I'm not sure I'd even have a road bike. My history is with MTBs, and for the most part I've stuck to the trails where there's no Mack trucks looking to do me in, but after doing a few commutes late last season...I'm stoked on it now. The bike just feels so fast, and lucky for me it was a poor fit for the previous rider...and perfect for me. I have a bit more seatpost exposed than he did, but the top tube length is great for my short torso in proportion to legs. It should be a real joy to ride after the refurb takes a pound or two off.

As for the Purple/Blue debate...yeah, it looks blue under certain light conditions and purple under others, but still reminds me of something you'd see painted on a dead hooker's fingernails. In either case, I don't trust it and it's coming off, as are the decals. Here under the shop lights it looks purple to me:



Proof of weight pic:



There are more scratches on it than initially expected, though after some close inspection they appear to be shallow enough to sand out or build up with a clearcoat.



The top tube "composite" decal is also scratched and would have to either be touched up or removed. I voted removed, election over. "Composite" is a silly word anyway that applies to lots of goofy stuff. Plywood is a composite of glue and wood veneer, asphalt is a composite of emulsion and gravel, poo is a composite of yesterday's lunch and some corn (or is that a matrix?)...none of those items really strike me as something I want associated with my bike.



The "Manufactured in USA" and Easton decals will be left on. Neither is too garish and at least some clues will be left for the guessers.



I didn't get any time to try the paint stripper. My son's basketball game went on a bit longer than expected, so perhaps tomorrow we'll see what's under that purple/blue.

BTW, I also weighed that Topline crankset, and if my Topeak scale is anywhere near accurate, it came in at 520 grams with chainrings. I laughed when I pulled them off and found they were mated to one of the cheapest and heaviest Shimano cartridge bottom brackets made. I won't do Ti BB spindles ever again, so a Campagnolo Centaur in English 68/115 is on order that even though it's chromoly will shave 1/4 lb and still be plenty durable and stiff.

I pulled the fork here at home and was also surprised to find a steel steerer bonded to an aluminum fork. Trek was playing it pretty safe back then. I'll have to take it in and see how much the carbon Ritchey Comp fork knocks off once it arrives. If I get done and this retro/nuevo hybrid weighs in under 18 lbs...I'll be one happy camper.
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Old 03-04-08, 07:02 AM
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Mine weighs 18 pounds without a chain on it..




I never weighed the frame alone, though I did weight the frame and fork together (with headset) and it came up 5 pounds even.
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Old 03-04-08, 08:33 AM
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I did look closely at the decals before making the decision they'd come off. Running my fingertips over them told me they're slightly raised and that they're under just a single layer of clearcoat. I started wetsanding on one section as a test, wiping it down with a sponge as I went, keeping a close eye, and the decal came off easily leaving the carbon weave surface untouched. Even the deeper scratches don't appear to have broken any fibers, but I won't push my luck and try to sand them out. They should all but disappear once clearcoated.

When I mentioned paint stripper it seems a few people got worried. I've already masked off the joints with poly tape and will mask off the tubes before starting that process. The stripper is only for the main areas of paint. I know the joints can be fragile on these frames and will be sure to use care not to get any chemicals into them. Hand sanding the joints will be a pain, but after years of fine finish carpentry, I'm used to it.

I did check out that color chart Chuckk. The only year of the 2300 to have white decals is the '93. The color is listed as Ice Blue, lending further credence to my dead hooker theory. I did put the entire bike up for sale at one point. The offers I received ranged from insultingly low to someone asking me to donate it for free, which convinced me to keep it.

Nice looking ride divineAndbright. The weight you achieved encourages me a lot that mine will come out in the same area.

OK, off to work.

Now at work I weighed that bonded fork...it comes in at 660g. Not bad really, but the Ritchey should give a lot better ride...as well as save 200+ grams. I found a few other 1" forks, but the Ritchey Comp was about as light as I'll let my bike or my wallet get.

It seems funny to me that Trek took the time to bond a steel steerer to an aluminum fork when nearly all forks in the range of the 2300 now use alloy steerers, full carbon at the high end. Then again, that may be exactly why this bike has lasted so well. If the fork is any indication, the frame should be just as overbuilt...and less worry for what I'm doing to it.
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Old 03-04-08, 02:47 PM
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I have an 91 Trek 2300 so I know what you mean when you say cheap looking colors. I have the deep green front lugs and neon yellow rear triangle. Its time for me to completely repaint mine as well. I was thinking of going with either orange or white and leaving the carbon naked. Good luck with your build! Be sure to post photos!
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Old 03-04-08, 08:32 PM
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I'd love to see pics of your bike too OldschoolTrek!

I know this project isn't your typical "steel is real" classic Italian or English or French or even USA made frame, but it's becoming apparent that a lot of folks are rocking "composite" frames similar to mine. Pooling ideas and resources on how to preserve, care for and refurbish frames like this seems to fit in well with the C&V ethic, regardless of materials. Please, anyone that wishes to contribute ideas, tips or just pics of your neo-classic Treks, please feel free. I sure appreciate seeing what you've done with them.

It was Christmas at the shop earlier today. I received the Ritchey fork, Cane Creek S-6 headset, TRP dual-pivot brakes and Cinelli carbon bar tape I ordered. There's a lot of other stuff going too, so I wasn't able to do much with it, nor was I able to get to that paint stripping. Don't worry though...I'm motivated to get this rig running by Spring, and it shouldn't take too long considering that I'm not going for anything too fancy.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:52 AM
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...nothing too fancy as far as work put into it. I know for some folks this is a lot of money in parts. Frankly, it is for me too, but the shop discount and having it taken out of my check makes it a bit more bearable.

I was careful in selecting the parts. It's very easy to just go for the lightest and best parts, tougher to find that balance point between cost and benefit. I weighed the boss' new S-Works Tarmac frame yesterday and it weighed in at 3.2 lbs. If I were to go with one of them, that'd be roughly $1800 retail to save just 1/2 lb.
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Old 03-05-08, 02:21 PM
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1989 Trek 2300

I have a 1989 model that was ordered without decals, never liked the crazy decal colors. Its a really good bike, well worth the attention your giving it..Have fun
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Old 03-06-08, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by CarltonRaleigh View Post
I have a 1989 model that was ordered without decals, never liked the crazy decal colors. Its a really good bike, well worth the attention your giving it..Have fun
I am having fun.

That bike looks great CarltonRaleigh. I had no idea Trek offered custom options like that back then.
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Old 03-07-08, 06:34 PM
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Today was my first day off in a while. Inbetween honeydews I sprayed a few coats of Aircraft stripper on the frame. Sizzle sizzle.





The carbon is protected by clear poly tape, so don't get worried. It took most of the day, spraying a coat, letting it work, steel wooling the paint off, washing it with water, then spraying it again. There's still a lot of detail work to do with a Dremel, but at least I can get an idea of what it'll look like...and I'm happy so far.



It matches the Ritchey fork much better now.



Polishing it up is still going to take some work. I can see now why Trek chose to paint most of these frames: the aluminum lugs are fairly coarse and it'll take some sanding in very tight quarters to get a decent shine that doesn't show all the surface flaws.

The carbon tubes will take an even finer sanding process, but at least they're easy to get to. The only hindrance is the bottle cage bosses. They're studs that are permanently bonded to the tubes and get in the way. I'll have to see what I can do with those. Our shop didn't have a Riv-nut tool, so I ordered one to see if these could be ground off and replaced with standard internal threads. Has anyone ever put a Riv-nut in a carbon tube?
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Old 03-07-08, 07:37 PM
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Well, it does look better than I thought! The carbon black and silver are definitely less garish than the purple, and it certainly looks better without the decals. I think that's my biggest complaint about newer bikes is that you can't escape all those big blatant decals.

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Old 03-07-08, 07:55 PM
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Thanks EH!

That means a lot coming from a lady of taste such as yourself.
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Old 03-07-08, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
Thanks EH!

That means a lot coming from a lady of taste such as yourself.


You just wait until you see my extravangant blingy Raleigh mixte .

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Old 03-07-08, 08:10 PM
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Theres one of these frames on ebay right now with blinding flourescent yellow paint job, too bad its a 62cm ):
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Old 03-07-08, 10:11 PM
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If I were to paint this frame...it'd be black like yours divineAndbright. Yours really looks nice.

For this refurb, the "naked" look seems to be the theme. Very few logos, plain finishes and visible carbon expose more of the soul of the bike IMO....if a Trek can be attributed a soul.

Flashback time: I remember before purchasing my first "real" bike which was a Cannondale M800 in swanky black and white...I stopped by a Trek dealership to see what was offered...

The "shop guy" started going off on me once I mentioned a welded aluminum bike. He boasted about just getting back from the Trek factory and how superior bonded aluminum frames were, and that welded aluminum frames all break in hideously grotesque ways, and how they'd quickly disappear from the market...

Well, that Cannondale did indeed crack, but not until after many, many miles including some races, training rides chasing Stu Thompsen through the hills of Riverside CA... (never catching him though)

That one shop guy taught me a few lessons though: Trek makes a solid bike...even if they aren't often the lightest thing out there, and that I never wanted to be a shop guy/punch drinker like he was.
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Old 03-08-08, 09:38 AM
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its not black, its purple actually. But like yours was I guess you gotta get it under the right light.. You can sorta see the purple in the photo I posted though, but yeah at first glance it looks black. Just wait till spring comes out and I can get it out under the sun, you'll see! I love purple, fave color!
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Old 03-08-08, 09:57 AM
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Looks really good without the paint

Nice bike

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i jam my thumbs up and back into the tubes. this way i can point my fingers straight out in front to split the wind and attain an even more aero profile, and the usual fixed gear - zen - connectedness feeling through the drivetrain is multiplied ten fold because my thumbs become one with the tubing.
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Old 03-08-08, 10:00 AM
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Hunh...it does look black to me, and reminds me of a bad thing I did last night...

...I looked at the Ritchey website. Now I am desiring some shiny black components.

The WCS seatpost seen in the time trial version was just something we had at the shop. I must admit to finding the low weight of the WCS Carbon models attractive...just not the price, even at EP. I was prepared to accept the satin finish and reasonable weight of the post I have, but considering I have a glossy black crankset with the same two-tone look as the frame (now after stripping), A-Class black gloss two-tone rims (also planned to be de-logoed) and no other satin finished components...a gloss black Ritchey stem and seatpost are perhaps in the future for this build.

The present stem is a Titec Pluto Carbon that was actually purchased for my Supercaliber...and never installed before I sold it. With the Trek coming out so well, putting a MTB stem on there seems a bit of a shame. It does have a nice carbon weave to it that matches somewhat, but the logo shows that it is meant to be installed with an upward angle. The Ritchey stem is logo'd to go either way, and if I have to set up the bar position again anyway...I'd really like to go with a traditional downward angle. Nitpicky, perhaps...but I'd heard this roadbike thing leads to OCD...
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Old 03-08-08, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
Hunh...it does look black to me, and reminds me of a bad thing I did last night...

...I looked at the Ritchey website. Now I am desiring some shiny black components.

but I'd heard this roadbike thing leads to OCD...


So it would seem!

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Old 03-09-08, 06:31 PM
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Just a quick update today...

A little more elbow grease with emery, wetsanding, a Dremel wire wheel and a touch more stripper netted me half of the finish I'd like...



The decals wetsanded off easily. I watched very closely and it did not appear I was even taking off the epoxy coating on the tube. This is bad news for the deeper scratches already on the frame, but I'll see how they look after the first coat of clear. I'm a ways from that step.



The lugs on this frame are cast aluminum bonded to carbon and aluminum tubes with no welds at all, and since Trek was going to paint it anyway, little work was done to clean the lugs up. All of them show mold marks, pitting and what looks like dings from bouncing around in a lug bin. I worked on it a little bit, but the surface of the metal has to be smoothed down with fairly coarse emery, then finer and finer grades....all in very tight nooks around the joints and with care to not damage the carbon. Ah well, I knew it would take some time. The bonus is that I'll be shaving weight.
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Old 03-13-08, 03:47 PM
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Still whittling away at the polishing as I have time. Here's a few more pics of what I have to deal with.











I also got in some of the new wet black Ritchey parts, a more modern 10-speed FD and the Centaur BB.



Tomorrow I have off, so hopefully I'll be able to post some more polished (pun intended) pictures. If all goes smoothly, I may even be able to get the clearcoat done and have this on the road by next week.
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