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New (to me) '84 Trek 520 - help with some component replcements?

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New (to me) '84 Trek 520 - help with some component replcements?

Old 09-19-13, 12:36 PM
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New (to me) '84 Trek 520 - help with some component replcements?

+1 Panaracer Pasela TG
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Old 09-19-13, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by b dub View Post
The early 80s cantilevered bosses on the front fork were positioned closer together (65mm.) During the mid to late 80s the manufacturers moved them out further to match the rear once (80mm.). Also during this transition they added two more spring holes which improved setup options as well.
No. 1. I have a 1983 Trek 720 and had a heck of a time getting new cantis to work on that frame. I finally gave up and ended up using an old pair of modolo cantilevers that work great:
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Old 09-19-13, 01:05 PM
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Of course it was a compliment. Looks like it's going a hundred miles an hour sitting still, just like a Porsche! I want one (a Porsche, that is) the color of your handlebar tape, with leather interior the color of your Brooks saddle. Can you hook me up?

Okay, sorry. Back on topic: What wheelset on your bike, drasp? Details?

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Old 09-19-13, 01:33 PM
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I have a similar era Nishiki Crest and I was never satisfied with the brakes with 700c wheels. I ended up building a set of 36 hole tricolor 600 hubs to the 27 Sun CR18. It's been a great wheelset for the last 6 years.
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Old 09-19-13, 02:18 PM
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Porsche, gunmetal, tan leather, red steering wheel. Nice!

Regarding tires: check out Michelin World Tour also.
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Old 09-19-13, 03:39 PM
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The wheels are the stock Matrix Safaris - pretty much everything on this bike is original & in pretty good shape. I can't wait to apply some elbow grease!!!

Now, WHO IS GOING TO SELL ME THE HELICOMATIC TOOL/BOTTLE OPENER!?
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Old 09-19-13, 08:50 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Fair enough, but this is a semantic debate. Helicomatic hubs were a dead-end technology that lasted only a short time. 27" rims were once state-of-the-art and were made for many years. You can still get decent 27" rims and tires, but the best rims and tires are no longer made in that size. Does anyone still make bikes with 27" wheels? I don't think so. The only reason anyone makes 27" rims and tires today is to fit old bikes; and as time goes on the choices will continue to narrow until one day they will stop making them entirely. So, while I sympathize with your reluctance to call them 'obsolete,' I can't think of a better term.
The point is that the bike was designed with that size wheel in mind. The canti points were chosen to work with 27" wheels. 27" wheels attach to most any kind of hub. They roll. Tires fit on them. They still make tires for them. So regardless of the prevalence (or lack thereof) 27" wheels- that bike was engineered for those wheels, those wheels work, and to use 700c wheels means having the pads at goofy angles on the arms.

I guess that bike is obsolete.

Again, I'd get rid of the Helicomatic.
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Old 09-19-13, 08:54 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by drasp View Post

Now, WHO IS GOING TO SELL ME THE HELICOMATIC TOOL/BOTTLE OPENER!?
I'll give you a bottle opener, just get rid of the Helicomatic.

If you want to tempt fate, keep riding the Helicomatic, find a Suntour Mountech rear rerailleur, and one of those sweet French AVA stems.

The one Helicomatic I have is hanging in the garage- I'm convinced it keeps the hobos out. Even the hobos know those things are bad news-
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Old 09-20-13, 05:13 AM
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NOT getting rid of the Helicomatic. Its currently smooth as butter & who knows how long since its been re-packed. If anything, as a mechanic, I see odd-ball stuff like this as a point of pride to maintain & enjoy - part of the heritage of the bike. Also, its made it damned near 30yrs & works perfectly - seems INSANE to replace it just because some folks on the internet say its a potential source of trouble down the road. . .

Riding in to work this AM - very pscyed to start logging some miles!!!
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Old 09-20-13, 05:51 AM
  #35  
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Helicomatics are fine. Once they wear out, sure, toss it in a bin. Parts have been obsolete for almost 30 years. Kind of a PITA to rebuild the hubs, but not to the point of tossing them. They were the standard on Treks and other brands for several years.

Now if I was planning a coast to coast tour, you bet, I would replace it before I started.

And in the meantime, my suggestion was to just keep an eye out for replacement wheels. Around here, nice 27 inch wheels go cheap, sometimes really cheap. Myself, I swapped out the Helicomatic set on my 1984 Trek 620, but I have a pile of wheels around here.

I also put a different set on my 1984 Trek 520 posted above, but that bike as found did not have its original wheels, and the wheels on it were toast. I have another 1983 Trek 520, which will keep its Helicomatic hub.
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Old 09-20-13, 06:15 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by drasp View Post
NOT getting rid of the Helicomatic.
Come on- a genuine Schlitz bottle opener AND you get the safety and security of knowing that that Helicomatic will go where it can no longer hurt the children. And scare away hobos.


Think of the children.



And the hobos.


Safety first.


Then scare the hobos.
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Old 09-20-13, 06:18 AM
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Waitaminute - it scares hobos!? HELICO FAN FOR LIFE!!!
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Old 09-21-13, 05:37 PM
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SO, rode to work on Friday which was swell. On my lunch brake cleaned up the brakes w/ some acid & Wurth Rost Off, cleaned up VERY nicely. Also used a 3M disc to take the surface off the old Dia Comp pads & they're stopping the bike quite well now! Only thing I need (want) to replace re: brakes now is the tension springs - one was bent out of shape & though I bent it back, its ugly.





Got to do a bit longer ride with my Wife & Son today. Very slow (Son is 6yrs old & just now adjusting to his new 20" Giant Moda cruiser) with lots of stops, but really loving this bike for city riding/cruising w/ the family, etc.

Spent some time re-packing the SR 150 pedals after the ride & they feel lovely now. Need to repack everything else, but still waiting for someone to hook me up with a Helicomatic lock ring tool - asked at a few LBSs today & got laughed at each time. They said, "Oh, we've got one, but you can't have it.". Hah! There you go. . .

Also, decided to hold off on new tires for the time being. The Chen Shin/CST Super HPs really aren't THAT bad & they're brand new. Can't see ditching a set of serviceable tires for no reason. Especially when my needs really aren't very extreme.
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Old 09-22-13, 06:15 AM
  #39  
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Little known secret, you don't have to have the Helicomatic Lock ring too, per say. If you are gentle yet firm you can use a set of Channellocks to remove the ring. Also I can't quite remember but you may not have to remove the cassette to access the hubs. Just remember tiny bearings in that rear hub, and load that thing with grease.
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Old 09-22-13, 06:25 AM
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Oh yeah, I could get it off w/o the tool, but I want the tool!!! The kind of stuff is half the fun!!!
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Old 09-22-13, 09:07 AM
  #41  
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That's a really cool picture.

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Old 09-23-13, 10:16 AM
  #42  
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I am with you on the Helicomatic hubs. Nothing wrong with mine either. I just may be tempted to go across the country with them.
You cleaned up those brake parts very nicely.
Try some aluminum polish on the alum parts and they will be looking sweeter yet.
Of course, search Ebay for the bottle opener/tool and springs. Channel locks will likely distort the lock nut.
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Old 09-23-13, 03:01 PM
  #43  
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Found the Helico tool AND a set of MKS shorty clips @ Yellow Jersey. YAY!!!
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Old 09-29-13, 03:31 PM
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LOTS of great bonding time w/ the new bike, way less miles than I'd hoped. Had two days of torrential rain & two more days home from work w/ strep throat. Yuck. Back to the bike this weekend, several great slow family rides and some wrenching. Got my preriod correct Belleri bars & a nice short Win stem in. Serviced the headset, installed my set of Royal Gran Comp levers, lots of other little odds & ends. LOTS of time working on getting the bike dialed in & as comfy as possible. Thought I'd share some progress pix. . .





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Old 09-29-13, 03:56 PM
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Nice work! The bars and stem look really nice. Wrapping that cotton can be challenging, but your work looks tops.
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Old 09-29-13, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by drasp View Post

Oh I love how those shellacked bars came out. I have a pewter gray 500 with the red padded bike ribbon lookin' stuff and a red silca frame pump with a black Brooks. Almost got the honey Brooks and your's looks good on it.

Very nice job on the bars and I'll have to experiment with some shellack on yellow cotton for another bike I'm getting soon.
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Old 09-29-13, 04:40 PM
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[QUOTE=drasp;16115295]LOTS of great bonding time w/ the new bike, way less miles than I'd hoped. Had two days of torrential rain & two more days home from work w/ strep throat. Yuck. Back to the bike this weekend, several great slow family rides and some wrenching. Got my preriod correct Belleri bars & a nice short Win stem in. Serviced the headset, installed my set of Royal Gran Comp levers, lots of other little odds & ends. LOTS of time working on getting the bike dialed in & as comfy as possible. . .


Seeing these photos, I'm a lot more "on board" with your preference for keeping the bike mostly stock. Good work!

The Helicomatic freewheels were of course designed to work with Sedisport chain, and with their narrow cog spacing (much like Ultra-6 btw) the selection of chain can be important when replacement time comes around.
Be sure there's a little bit of freeplay in the rear axle bearing adjustment! This will go away when the quick-release effectively shortens the axle, and the small bearings won't tolerate a tight condition for long if the bearings bind when the wheel is secured.
I've used pliers to remove and replace the lockring many times, but later found the correct tool.

I like the 27" Vittoria Zaffiro tires for their good compromise between performance, tread life and flat resistance, and they're not expensive.
Your ChengShin C-732 tires perform very well but not as durable or long-lasting as the Zaffiros.

I've got the same color, 22" 520 from 1984. Mine came with black Matrix Titan rims iir. I eventually replaced the rear hub but kept the original rims and spokes which turned out to be extremely long-lasting (Trek's excellent unbranded spokes that is).

My bike came to me with a dented top tube, but rides well and the bike cost me only $23 from a garage sale back in 1997. I commuted on this bike for several years and enjoyed it's stable handling character. I added 7-speed RSX STI shift levers, but those later gummed up and I haven't ridden the bike since because of other recent projects I've taken on.
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Old 09-29-13, 05:22 PM
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[QUOTE=dddd;16115452]
Originally Posted by drasp View Post
LOTS of great bonding time w/ the new bike, way less miles than I'd hoped. Had two days of torrential rain & two more days home from work w/ strep throat. Yuck. Back to the bike this weekend, several great slow family rides and some wrenching. Got my preriod correct Belleri bars & a nice short Win stem in. Serviced the headset, installed my set of Royal Gran Comp levers, lots of other little odds & ends. LOTS of time working on getting the bike dialed in & as comfy as possible. . .


Seeing these photos, I'm a lot more "on board" with your preference for keeping the bike mostly stock. Good work!

The Helicomatic freewheels were of course designed to work with Sedisport chain, and with their narrow cog spacing (much like Ultra-6 btw) the selection of chain can be important when replacement time comes around.
Be sure there's a little bit of freeplay in the rear axle bearing adjustment! This will go away when the quick-release effectively shortens the axle, and the small bearings won't tolerate a tight condition for long if the bearings bind when the wheel is secured.
I've used pliers to remove and replace the lockring many times, but later found the correct tool.

I like the 27" Vittoria Zaffiro tires for their good compromise between performance, tread life and flat resistance, and they're not expensive.
Your ChengShin C-732 tires perform very well but not as durable or long-lasting as the Zaffiros.

I've got the same color, 22" 520 from 1984. Mine came with black Matrix Titan rims iir. I eventually replaced the rear hub but kept the original rims and spokes which turned out to be extremely long-lasting (Trek's excellent unbranded spokes that is).

My bike came to me with a dented top tube, but rides well and the bike cost me only $23 from a garage sale back in 1997. I commuted on this bike for several years and enjoyed it's stable handling character. I added 7-speed RSX STI shift levers, but those later gummed up and I haven't ridden the bike since because of other recent projects I've taken on.
Thanks!!! My Dad (life-long cyclist/tourer/bike mechanic/awesome guy) rides the Zaffiros on his Trek 7.3fx & swears by them. Had one with a defect & Vittoria quickly drop shipped him a replacement. These aren't the C732, they're actually the better C740, bit of a set-up, still nothing remarkable, but I plan to wear them out b4 throwing more $$$ that direction.

Original Sedisport chain on mine measures 12" dead nuts, so other than a good servicing, its staying 'till I measure some stretch, rear cogs are also pretty flawless - I don't think anyone ever put any heavy miles on this bike. I've got a line on a spare rear wheel, so I'll have some parts for backup if/when needed.
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Old 09-29-13, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bear_a_bug View Post
Panaracer Pasela TourGuard FTW!
+1. They've recently changed the name to Pasela PT.
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Old 09-29-13, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
... The Helicomatic hub... takes a special tool to remove the freewheel.
There are few things I have loathed more than the helicomatic I had on a (then new) 620.
The tool was pretty cool, though. It weighed next to nothing and included two spoke wrenches and a bottle opener.

edit: I really need to read the whole thread before replying. sorry.
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