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Deciding between 93 Trek 950 and Schwinn High Plains

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Deciding between 93 Trek 950 and Schwinn High Plains

Old 09-30-20, 10:42 AM
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max.d_a
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Deciding between 93 Trek 950 and Schwinn High Plains

Hoping to do a gravel/touring conversion of either of these bikes, which would yall pick? I cant post links or photos as this is my first post...

The Trek 950 is for $250 but I can talk him down to $200. The Schwinn is for $200, might be able to talk him down. Not sure the year but it seems to be early/mid 90s.

They seem like relatively comparable bikes in terms of quality, but Im very new to old steel MTBs. The Schwinn has a Shimano 200GS RD and the Trek has a Shimano Deore XT RD. The Schwinn looks to be better taken care of while the Trek is a bit more used. Im planning on refurbing most parts anyway so Im not too worried about that.

what do yall know about these bikes and which would you choose?
Thanks!!

Last edited by max.d_a; 09-30-20 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 09-30-20, 01:58 PM
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The Trek 950 is 2nd in the line up of Trek's Steel bikes for 1993 (under 970, no 990 that year). Not sure where the high plains fits, but it's somewhere in the middle / low end.

Go for the Trek if you are OK with the condition, but we haven't seen photos.
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Old 09-30-20, 03:06 PM
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I'd put the Trek 950 as roughly comparable to a Schwinn High Sierra (which is a noticeable jump up from the High Plains model).

Between the two (950 or High Plains), assuming in reasonable condition and with all factory components: I'd go with the Trek 950 every time. Lugged construction, decent components, durable/capable bike. JMO.

Doing a '96 Trek 970 build, myself, right now. (Not the lugged vintage, but still a great frame.)

If you do a search on prior discussions for title = ' "trek 950" ' then you should be able to find a good number of threads. Including these (below). The 930, 950 and 970 were fairly similar, with the same basic frame design (just increasing quality as the model went "up" in the line), improved components. Basically, the 950 was the 970, with one step down in components.

Trek 950 vintage.
1992 Trek 970.
Trek 970 rebuild complete.

They're very popular as a basis for a tough, commuter-type or MTB build where someone wants to stay rigid but have a relatively inexpensive but capable bike.

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Old 09-30-20, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by max.d_a View Post
Hoping to do a gravel/touring conversion of either of these bikes, which would yall pick? I cant post links or photos as this is my first post...

The Trek 950 is for $250 but I can talk him down to $200. The Schwinn is for $200, might be able to talk him down. Not sure the year but it seems to be early/mid 90s.

They seem like relatively comparable bikes in terms of quality, but Im very new to old steel MTBs. The Schwinn has a Shimano 200GS RD and the Trek has a Shimano Deore XT RD. The Schwinn looks to be better taken care of while the Trek is a bit more used. Im planning on refurbing most parts anyway so Im not too worried about that.

what do yall know about these bikes and which would you choose?
Thanks!!
950 all day, every day. As other have indicated, 950 was second from top. The giveaway is the XT (top of the line at the time) vs the 200GS (second from bottom of the line).

I remember 200GS, its was steel coated in plastic and rubber.
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Old 10-01-20, 01:29 AM
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If one is clearly more your size, go with that one. Otherwise, +1 for the Trek, for the reasons others have mentioned.
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Old 10-01-20, 12:14 PM
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Neither. I'd take my $200 and put it towards a real gravel/touring bike with 700c wheels. Ask me how I know.. actually don't.
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Old 10-01-20, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Neither. I'd take my $200 and put it towards a real gravel/touring bike with 700c wheels. Ask me how I know.. actually don't.
Please do tell! Im curious.

I like the idea of doing a bit of work myself, and also having the bike be a part time beater/city commuter. Id love to get a full on 700c gravel bike but I dont think I can justify it for my uses.
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Old 10-02-20, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by max.d_a View Post
Please do tell! Im curious.

I like the idea of doing a bit of work myself, and also having the bike be a part time beater/city commuter. Id love to get a full on 700c gravel bike but I dont think I can justify it for my uses.
ah, well in that case just go for the cheap 26" mtbs. And then buy all the tires you can find, they're getting scarce. Panaracer makes a decent one right now, might be your best bet.
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Old 10-04-20, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
ah, well in that case just go for the cheap 26" mtbs. And then buy all the tires you can find, they're getting scarce. Panaracer makes a decent one right now, might be your best bet.
Trek 950 will make a really nice all-around bike, if it fits you and you get decent tires. Wheels and tires are the main issue - there are far fewer nice 26" tires available now than there used to be (I swear by Ren Herse Rat Trap Pass, which competely transform the ride of my old rigid MTBs); and wheels - canti and V-brakes perform well, but there are fewer nice 26" rims made for rim brakes than there used to be, and even fewer that are also tubeless compatible (it's ~easy to find nice used 26" wheelsets to use with tubes; Velocity's Cliffhanger rim comes in 26, is tubeless compatible and also rim brake compatible, and has 25mm internal width, which is terrific for Rat Trap Pass tires).
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Old 10-06-20, 07:29 AM
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Funny dialogue above.

Trek 950 would be my top pick of about anything for a cheap gravel bike. I love the roadish geometry (compared to "modern" mountain bikes) that works great for gravel and that time period was the peak high end bikes using steel. I have a road and mountain bike from that time, and they are sublime. It would litterally cost me well over 10+ times that amount to get something equivalent in a modern bike.

Cautions:
what shape are the components in? replacing and fixing any issues can quickly cost more than the bike. I would only get it if it was a garage queen, or had been well maintained (it helps if you can work on the bike yourself, and have access to used parts). Parts are getting hard to find (rip nashbar), and the selection of tires/wheels, etc is getting limited. There is probably a good chance the elastomers in the front shock are toast - although putting a ridged fork on there would likely work well for ya.
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