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Old 03-21-08, 02:26 PM   #1
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What a difference new parts can make...

I have an old Trek 800 mountain bike that I use as a general purpose bike. It's about 14 years old with a 6-speed freewheel. I noticed this winter that the hubs were getting wobbly. I tried tightening them up but in order to get rid of the wobble, I had to tighten it so much the axle would rub against the bearings creating a lot of friction.

I took the plunge recently and bought a new wheelset from my LBS. He had some great deals on Bontrager wheel sets. I also bought a new 8-speed SRAM casette and some new shifters. I installed these components on last week and tuned the bike up and I'm really happy with the results. I was surprised at how much of a difference brand new, good-quality wheels and hubs makes! I seem to coast forever when compared to my old wheels. Also, my old 6-speed freewheel had a 34 tooth mega granny gear to help when I'm hauling kids or groceries up the hills here in New Hampshire. However, the new 8-speed freewheel, while it only has a max 32 tooth gear, has two more cogs in the back and shifts a lot more smoothly. Plus, it provides me with a greater range of usable gears to choose from.

I find that with the new 8-speed cassette I can pick a more efficient rear cog to use and get up hills faster while still doing so very comfortably.

Anyway, I wish I had invested in these upgrades a long time ago! This thing is a joy to ride.

Now only the front derailleur, the brake levers, the seat post, the frame, the handlebars and headset are original. I think I've upgraded everything else over the past couple of years. What an awesome bike.
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Old 03-21-08, 02:55 PM   #2
Time for a change.
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Now time to annoy- You could have gone 9 speed- possibly at a slightly higher cost and that would have given you the 34t on the cassette. One of the best improvements you can do for most bikes is in the wheel department. And having had a Trek 820- those weineman rims on no name hubs could definitely be improved on. The other items left from original will probably outlast the Frame- including the front mech- so ride the thing into the ground and enjoy.
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.

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Old 03-21-08, 05:29 PM   #3
Bill Kapaun
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"Plus, it provides me with a greater range of usable gears to choose from."
You said the "magic word", USABLE!
I bought a new cassette to mix with my old cassette and made a "custom cassette" for my "flat" riding conditions. I'm now using a 12-13-14-15-16-17-19-23. I use the 38T middle ring for "around town" and still have 4 nicely spaced higher gears (if necessary) if I switch to the big ring. I "cheated" and am actually using 7 speed cogs with thinner (non standard) spacers. I have friction shifting, so no indexing problems.
It makes the bike much less disgusting to ride!
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