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What to buy?

Old 05-15-21, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
Here is the OP's Trek from 1984:

Notice you can't put the butt of your palm on the handlebar, because that part of the bar is sloping down. You are more or less resting on the web of your thumb and your carpal tunnel.

Now the same bike, with modern brifters and handlebars:

Notice the top of the handlebar and the hood of the brifter, form a continuous horizontal surface. Much more comfortable to put your whole palm on the bar now.
So instead of adjusting the handlebars and/or lever placement one should replace the entire drivetrain. Sounds legit.
A race bike in any era is a highly personal choice that at its "best" balances the requirements of fit, weight, handling, durability and cost tempered by the willingness to toss it and oneself down the pavement at considerable speed. ~Bandera
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Old 05-15-21, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Fahrenheit531 View Post
So instead of adjusting the handlebars and/or lever placement one should replace the entire drivetrain. Sounds legit.
No matter how much adjusting you do youíll never get the modern flat transition. If you like to old way itís fine, if you like the new way itís fine itís a personal thing.

I donít love pre-2005 Ergos so I wouldnít build like he did but I do like the range and ratio steps of modern drive lines.
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Old 05-15-21, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Fahrenheit531 View Post
So instead of adjusting the handlebars and/or lever placement one should replace the entire drivetrain. Sounds legit.
In order to make them horizontal, you would have to rotate the bar and brake lever up so much that the levers would be pointing forward. Very goofy looking.

Also- as I said earlier, the old single pivot brakes don't work very well, especially deficient when braking from the hoods. When you upgrade to a newer groupset you get the much improved dual pivot brakes.
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Old 05-15-21, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Fahrenheit531 View Post
Don't be intimidated by tales of wildly overpriced vintage stuff you'll have to score from ebay and blah blah whatever. Vintage bicycles are very wallet-friendly unless you are going for a full restoration on a truly special bike. Get the one that fits you better. Expect some outlays for tires, cables, etc., but I've found most old components clean up to solid functionality unless the previous owner has truly beat them to hell.

And as suggested above, spend some time in the Classic & Vintage forum.
This is very good advice. My addition would be (even though I love them and have one) to avoid French bikes WITH French threads if parts need replacing. Those parts can be hard to find, (especially french thread pedals) except for new French spec sealed bottom brackets that are available.

I would also recommend getting a bike with a cassette rear wheel versus a freewheel, as the removers for some older freewheels are hard to find. However there are good rear freewheels still available in English threading. With a good English threaded vintage bike you have lots of flexibility. Vintage bike does not mean you have to restore it to original specs or even period specs. A lot of the more recent technology upgrades can be retrofitted and will work.

One advantage to certain ages of vintage bikes is you can run fatter tires, but with some bikes you absolutely can not go larger. If you are considering going larger, than shop carefully as going to a fatter tire is one area that cannot be modified, while you can always go narrower.

Good luck.
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Old 05-15-21, 05:04 PM
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To the OP... if you want real answers to vintage bike questions you should follow the suggestions to post in Classic & Vintage.

My opinion is that the older Trek needs to be in very good working order.

The one area of concern will be the rear wheel and freewheel because 120mm hubs and 5 speed freewheels are not easily available.

Yes, more modern drops are more comfortable, but it is not like older style drops were not used by generations.

Single pivot brakes don’t stop as well, but just get better pads and get used to it. I’m using Kool Stops on mine.

Good luck and have fun.

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Old 05-16-21, 06:44 AM
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I ended up not going with either, I found a Trek 400 Elance that had been sitting in a garage for 20 years, paid the owner $50 for it. Brought it to my local bike shop where the owner gave it a look over for me, told me I stole it. After changing both tires, cleaning, degreasing and oiling everything up she seems to ride and shift very well for this novice rider. Thanks all for the advice, you guys are a mountain of knowledge.
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