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1997 Trek 750

Old 05-19-17, 07:11 PM
  #1  
hokiefyd
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1997 Trek 750

I'm posting this in both the Hybrid and C&V sections, as I think folks in both forums will be interested. I bought this the other night and I'm pretty pleased to own it. I saw this ad 19 minutes after it was posted, and I was lucky to be the first to contact the gentleman who owned it. I gave the man every one of the 65 dollars he was asking for it, and would have probably paid twice what I did. I originally thought it is a 1995 model, but it is a 1997 model. Trek's name for this color is "Ice Inkwell Blue" and it's a pretty stunning color. I wish you could see in pictures the depth that you can see in person. It's not a deep metal flake, but the mixture of color in this paint makes it really interesting (a lot of blue, but just slightly towards the purple spectrum). The decals are a bright silver, which really show nice. And the "Made in USA" decal ALWAYS shows nice (at least to an American like myself!).

The 750 series uses a double-butted cromoly frame and fork. The fork has the mid-point rack mounts, as well as a fender mount down by the dropouts. The steerer tube runs up through a Tange headset. All the components are original to the bike -- STX drivetrain with Alivio low profile cantilever brakes. As you can see, there are no brake pads on it at the moment -- the ones it had were pretty loaded with aluminum and the rims were pretty scored. The rims sanded down pretty good, but I'm not running the bike until I get some new pads on it.

What's really interesting is the Shimano Silent Clutch freehub. From what I gather, this was introduced on the 1996 model, and it was exclusive to the 750 (at least in the MultiTrack line). It doesn't use ratcheting pawls, but uses rollers and cams to engage the hub. It's COMPLETELY silent, and activation is instant. It was commonly used on police-spec bikes as well (to reduce the sound from the bike). It had the original (and rotted) Trek Invert II tires. For now, I've fitted a set of Kenda Kwick Tendril tires I have on hand, but it looks like I could go up to about a 42mm tire.

All of this was very mid-range in its day, but I think it's really neat how durable this stuff is, and how complete this particular bike is. There are some storage marks on the frame, but it's clear to me that the bike generally saw little actual use.

Immediate needs are a set of brake pads. Otherwise, it's a rider for me. Frame size is perfect (21"), and the riding position feels good. My current primary ride is a 2015 Trek Verve 3, which is a much taller/larger bike (suspension fork, so the frame is setup taller for that). We'll see if this 750 is comfortable enough to replace it as my go-to bike. I can't wait to get some miles on this.



















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Old 05-19-17, 07:15 PM
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I read up to the part where I saw you paid $65 for the bike, then went directly to the pictures, (just to much to read) nice bike.

EDIT: I guess I should've mentioned I'm very familiar with this bike since I owned one back in the day, and meant no disrespect by not reading your whole description. I was merely trying to say that I went straight to the photos to look at how nice and clean it was after seeing you only paid $65 for it. I have to remember that inflection doesn't work on messages boards.

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Old 05-20-17, 07:43 AM
  #3  
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I read up to the part where I saw you paid $65 for the bike, and then continued to read the rest of the post. Thanks for the detail about the rack and fender mounts and the Silent Clutch freehub. The length of the post was perfect. Go to Instagram if you only want pretty pics of bikes. Go to Bike Forums if you want pretty photos + plus useful information.
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Old 05-21-17, 08:07 PM
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SCORE!!

Awesome deal!
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Old 05-24-17, 04:03 PM
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I just love riding this bike! Couple of changes I've made...I swapped on a set of cheapie stamped steel v-brakes and levers from my parts bin, just to see if I like v-brakes better than the stock cantis on this Trek -- and I like them a ton better. So I'll eventually swap these out for a nicer set of v-brakes and put these back in the parts bin for my next project.

I also traded wheels/tires with my Trek Verve, because I wanted to try the Continental SpeedRIDE tires I have on it, on this Trek, and they're superb on this bike also. These are nominally 42-622 tires, and inflate to about 36mm at 40 psi (front) and about 38mm at 50 psi (rear). Both bikes share a 136mm drop spacing, but the Verve has an 8-speed cassette whereas the 750 has a 7-speed cassette. Cog spacing is close enough between them (4.8mm for 8-speed and 5.0mm for 7-speed) that they're effectively interchangeable. In fact, the index shifting from the Sram SRT-400 grip shifters is at least as good with the 8-speed set on the back as it is with the 7-speed. I just have it adjusted so that the second cog on the cassette is 1st gear on the shifter. I don't know any difference riding the bike and it works like a champ. I will likely pickup a set of these tires to mount on the 750's rims next time I find them on sale somewhere.

I also swapped on a Bell saddle from my parts bin that is narrower than I typically prefer, but it's more comfortable than the stock Velo saddle from Trek. In fact, the Bell saddle is comfortable enough that I'll leave it on for now.

I took a quick spin down some gravel paths through the park this evening. This bike is really fun.



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Old 05-24-17, 07:22 PM
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Can't believe how clean your bike is, brings back memories. The black wheels really make the bike look newer too.
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Old 05-25-17, 02:25 AM
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Nice! Good steel, easily upgradable, good geometry, especially tire clearance. I have a Trek Singletrack from the same year and love the silent clutch also.
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Old 05-25-17, 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Scooty Puff Jr View Post
The black wheels really make the bike look newer too.
They do, and I look forward to procuring another set of these tires for the 750's wheels. I do like the Silent Clutch on them (that the Verve doesn't have), and I do prefer the vintage look of the bright wheels vs. the ones with the black paint.

This is what I love about bikes though, and why I often like to keep my bikes with similar specs (in terms of number of speeds, sizes, etc). Most of this stuff is interchangeable, and it's fun making different combinations of things, even if I'm just trying something temporarily.
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Old 07-18-17, 07:25 AM
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I have some updates on this bike. I'm working on fitting a trekking bar to it, along with raising the stem some for better comfort. I'm sort of in the middle of that, testing fit and shifters and such before I finalize it with tape.

My plan for this bike is to keep it "classic" looking, and keep the silver/bright trim theme. I bought a polished aluminum trekking bar from Velo Orange. Right now, I have a black adjustable stem on it for checking fit, but my plan is to replace this with a polished or silver stem once I have the final measurement. I have a tube wrapping the bar now, and will top this with some nice leather-brown tape. I also plan to replace the saddle with a brown saddle to match. It has a black rear rack, but I'd like to replace this with a silver/stainless rack when I can find one on the cheap. I have other bikes that have all black trim -- I'd like to keep this one bright.

(Never mind the black seat post -- it's from another bike temporarily as I've been swapping posts and saddles around.)

The forward straps on the rear rack fit perfectly on the INSIDE of the seat stay bosses. This works perfect, because the noodle for the rear Mini-V curves up just outside the rack strap. Excellent!

The Shimano SL-EF51 combo brake/shift levers I had on here are black and didn't fit very cleanly on the trekking bars. Two strikes against them. So I'm not using those and I actually have the original Tektro cantilever brake levers and the original Sram SRT-400 shifters. I ran all new shift cable housings and new shift cables, and took the shifters apart and cleaned them, and these shifters work a treat now (they were slow and mushy when I first got the bike). The cantilever brake levers are also fun with the Mini-V brakes. I bought these Mini-Vs because I wanted something silver and compact so as to blend in. But, being Mini-Vs, they're somewhat compatible with the cantilever brake levers. I have them set so that I can JUST wiggle the noodle out of the brake arm, and there's about an inch of brake lever travel before the pads make contact, but, being the short-pull levers that they are, mechanical action is overtly strong. I can physically bottom the levers out on the handle bar on the bike stand (if I REALLY pull them), but, out on the road, I've never come close to bottoming out, even braking really strong. There's so much mechanical action, they're really 1-finger brakes right now. Interesting and fun for now. I'll decide whether or not I want to keep these levers on it or get V-brake levers.

Pictures in following post.
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Old 07-18-17, 07:35 AM
  #10  
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I have gone ahead and swapped the Continental Speed Ride tires to these wheels. They work great on this bike. This bike doesn't have any suspension, and the larger volume of these helps to smooth the bumps. The handlebar itself, actually, also helps smooth out the bumps. Especially holding down near the shifters -- there's some "give" to the bar that reduces road impacts.

To-dos:

- Get the bar wrapped and comfortable position set.
- Find a silver stem and an aluminum spacer for the headset to replace the cantilever brake hangar.
- Find a brown saddle to match the leather-brown tape I'm going to use.
- Find a silver or stainless rear rack to replace the black rack.

I think that will pretty much do it for this bike. It's a real joy to ride, and I think it looks super sharp. It will look really smart once I have these last details taken care of.











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Old 07-18-17, 07:40 AM
  #11  
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It's REALLY coming along. As a fan of blue painted bikes, that color really pops! I bet that frame and fork combo with those tires is very smooth. Nicely done!
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Old 07-18-17, 01:54 PM
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loving the changes on it so far. it's nice that an older bike in great shape went to someone that would actually appreciate it.
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Old 07-18-17, 04:02 PM
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That is a really pretty and clean classic Trek.

Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
My plan for this bike is to keep it "classic" looking, and keep the silver/bright trim theme.
When I read this part of your post, I thought, "how cool" then I saw the pic of the bike with those wacka-do handle bars and then I thought, "its retro classic cool". . So you changed the black wheels back to the nature aluminum wheels ? I liked the look it had with the black wheel set.

It is a very nice bike, can't believe how cheap you got it.
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Old 07-18-17, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Scooty Puff Jr View Post
When I read this part of your post, I thought, "how cool" then I saw the pic of the bike with those wacka-do handle bars and then I thought, "its retro classic cool". .
Yeah, I think the best analogy I can come up with is from the classic car world. "Resto mod". Keeping the look and character of something, while modernizing some of it. Maybe like doing a custom dashboard in a '55 Chevy in original color leather and vinyl. Not "stock", but still "classic" looking. Same concept with the V-brakes I installed. I wanted "modern" braking, but I liked the classy look of the bright cantilever brakes that came on it. So I found the Mini-Vs in polished silver. They still add a touch of bright work without looking disproportionate, and they stop. on. a. dime.

Originally Posted by Scooty Puff Jr View Post
So you changed the black wheels back to the nature aluminum wheels ? I liked the look it had with the black wheel set.
Yeah, those black wheels came from my '15 Trek Verve. I had them on this to see how I liked the Conti Speed Ride tires on it. I think the black rims on the Verve because all of the other trim on it is black (headset, crank arms, seat tube collar, QR skewers, brake arms, cassette, etc). All of that stuff the 750 is silver/anodized, and I think the silver rims look better on it. I also think the Silent Clutch hub is just too cool, and I missed not having it on this bike.

So I swapped the Conti tires over to these wheels. The Verve has some Bontrager Select Inverts from my wife's 7100. Her 7100 has the Kenda Kwick Tendrils from my daughter's Raleigh Alysa. The Alysa has the Bontrager H5s that came on the Verve. I like to trade parts around...

Unfortunately, the Bontrager Invert tires that were original to the 750 were rotted enough that I didn't trust them. Shame -- they had gumwalls, too!
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Old 07-18-17, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by camjr View Post
I bet that frame and fork combo with those tires is very smooth.
I had always read about how comfortable steel frames are, but the only steel frames I've had until this were cheaper mountain bikes with heavy high-tensile frames and forks. Steel...comfortable? Eh...

Then I got this bike and understood the truth behind what is often said. This frame is almost frighteningly flexible (compared to what I'm used to), and it does have quite a compliant ride to it. The fork is pretty flexible, the original cantilever brakes had a lot of shudder, common to this type of setup I understand. My other steel bikes never had that, probably because the forks were too rigid.

Now with the trekking bars also (offering more ride compliance to my hands and arms), it's really quite a comfortable bike. The Verve is also very comfortable, though in a different way. It has a relatively rigid frame and relies on the suspension fork and seat post to deliver a similar level of "ride comfort".

Thanks for the compliments, all. My leather-brown tape should be here on Thursday. I can't wait to get the cockpit finished up.
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Old 07-18-17, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
I had always read about how comfortable steel frames are, but the only steel frames I've had until this were cheaper mountain bikes with heavy high-tensile frames and forks. Steel...comfortable? Eh...

Then I got this bike and understood the truth behind what is often said. This frame is almost frighteningly flexible (compared to what I'm used to), and it does have quite a compliant ride to it. The fork is pretty flexible, the original cantilever brakes had a lot of shudder, common to this type of setup I understand. My other steel bikes never had that, probably because the forks were too rigid.

Now with the trekking bars also (offering more ride compliance to my hands and arms), it's really quite a comfortable bike. The Verve is also very comfortable, though in a different way. It has a relatively rigid frame and relies on the suspension fork and seat post to deliver a similar level of "ride comfort".

Thanks for the compliments, all. My leather-brown tape should be here on Thursday. I can't wait to get the cockpit finished up.
Leather-brown tape and saddle just scream tanwall tires. Shame the Bontrager inverts were rotten.
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Old 07-18-17, 07:33 PM
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It looks like I have some options. Panaracer GravelKing SK looks interesting to me, in 700x43 gumwall.
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Old 07-19-17, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
It looks like I have some options. Panaracer GravelKing SK looks interesting to me, in 700x43 gumwall.
Very nice choice. Do you have enough clearance for that?
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Old 07-19-17, 07:36 AM
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I had the same bike, but it was a women's I think. I road it all over hell and back, and sold it to a young women for $160.
Still wish I kept my early 90's model.
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Old 07-19-17, 08:09 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by andrei_r View Post
Very nice choice. Do you have enough clearance for that?
According to Trek's documents, the 750 can accept up to a 700x45 size tire, while the 700 and 720 can accept up to a 700x41 size tire. Depending on the year, a 730 can accept either a 700x41 or a 700x45 size tire.

The frames seemed to have changed some over the years, and I think the ones with the larger allowable tire size lack a kickstand/fender mounting pad between the chain stays, whereas the other bikes might have (but I don't know for sure). My 750 has a bridge between the chain stays, but no pad.

The tires I have on it now are nominally labeled 700x42, but they're actually about 39mm in size. There is some room for growth, and I do think 43mm tires (actual) would fit fine. I do have to be careful, though -- I do love the Mini-V brakes on it, and I wouldn't want to fit a tire so large that I'd have problems removing it from the bike frame due to clearance issues with the brakes. Panaracer also make the GravelKing SK in a 38mm size -- that'd certainly be a safe bet. The stock Invert II tires on this bike were 700x38s.
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Old 07-19-17, 11:39 AM
  #21  
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Remarkable deal on a really nice 750. You're making it yours nicely, but with your new cockpit, especially, it's already about as non-classic as 750s get, no? But, I wouldn't fret because '97 is probably too recent to be "classic" anyway.


My favorite component? Love GripShift! My '97 Rockhopper came with them and they still work great in their original form. I'm on a second set of Continental Town and Country tires, and also keep the size at 1.9 to retain the quickest quick release and not have to change or keep releasing brakes.
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Old 07-19-17, 11:57 AM
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Sweet find & fun build. So jealous. I had a 1994 750 that I eventually sold because it was a size too small and no amount if stem/bar swapping made it right. But I loved it anyway, it was super fun & versatile.

I keep half an eye out for one in my size because I'd love to do a drop bar conversion and make a heavy-duty commuter/bikepacking rig-45mm tire clearance ftw!- but they NEVER show up in my local market, and anything even close 8s never less than $300.
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Old 07-19-17, 08:24 PM
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Nice looking bike , and a great deal too.
I think going brown on the seat and bar tape would really finish the "look" , very nice.
I hated the trekking bars at first , they take some getting used to , but function and comfort wise , they're hard to beat.
I noticed the same thing about the frame flex , it's a bit unnerving at first , but the smooth ride is worth the odd feel of the frame after you get used to it.
Even with brutally tough tires , the ride is still very good , the 700x40 Schwalbe marathon plus tour tires made my Giant Roam feel hard , but they don't feel bad on the multi track , go figure.
The blue/kinda purple is quite unique and is a nice change from normal colors you see on other bikes.
Very nice.
Mick
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Old 07-20-17, 05:57 AM
  #24  
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The closest analog I can think of, to this color, is the blue on the 1996 Corvette Grand Sport. I think Chevrolet called it Admiral Blue.

1996 Corvette Grand Sport - Bill Hermanek's Rare 1-of-3 '96 GS Convertible - Vette Magazine

I will not be adding a red stripe to my bike.
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Old 07-20-17, 07:34 PM
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Here is my '97, I got it a few years ago for $125, with fenders, and I'm happy. I love the old glossy paint jobs they used. This is the granddaddy of the adventure touring bikes, and a real bargain in the day.

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