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Vintage Trek 720 and front bag question

Old 02-07-21, 10:30 AM
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jr59
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Vintage Trek 720 and front bag question

I just acquired a 84/85 Trek 720. It came with both front and rear racks, rear installed. Looking at the front, will my Ortlieb rollers work on these tiny top rails? They fast seem so small.

also, maybe a picture of your 720 front racks unloaded and loaded. Thanks guys
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Old 02-07-21, 11:40 AM
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to jr59, one easy solution is to "fatten up" the rails, using either some split sections of flexible piping bought at a hardware store, along with tape, or simply trying just the tape route.
I have this on a few of my bikes because I elected to remove or not use the little Ortlieb adapters for varying rack rail thicknesses, and wanted to eliminate vibrations on long trips over rough roads. Works great.
Pretty easy to just experiment, you probably have things around the house that will work. I've used both electric tape and hockey tape over the bits of piping.

Last edited by djb; 02-07-21 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 02-07-21, 12:40 PM
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This is an example of what Djb was describing.



In my example, this is a Tubus Logo EVO rack, the tubing was 10mm OD, which is pretty close to 3/8 inch. I bought plastic tubing at the hardware store, 3/8 ID, 1/2 OD and slit it lengthwise to put on the rack. I am not runnign the little Ortlieb hook inserts, I have a bit of electrical tape wrapped around the tubing and that fits the Ortlieb hooks just fine.

I also have used Carradry panniers, as in the photo below. I later added zip ties to help hold that tubing onto the rack, the electrical tape did not work as well, zip ties are shown in the photo below. Note in the photo that most of the wear spots where the pannier would rub against the rack has that tubing to prevent chaffing.


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Old 02-07-21, 05:09 PM
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Measure your rack's tubing diameter. Ortlieb makes 8 mm and 11 mm inserts for their pannier mounting hooks. if an 8mm will fit your rack, I have a whole bag of them, and would be glad to send you some.

Last edited by Doug64; 02-07-21 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 02-07-21, 06:45 PM
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I used Gorilla tape at the wear points but it didn't last. I like the tubing idea! Winter project!
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Old 02-07-21, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
I used Gorilla tape at the wear points but it didn't last. I like the tubing idea! Winter project!
I'm impressed because on two other bikes I ride I put tubing on also , and it's held up fairly well, looks a bit rough but they've held up over a couple of years.
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Old 02-07-21, 09:21 PM
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What tiny top rails?
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Old 02-07-21, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
What tiny top rails?
Good question, I wonder if he is talking length or the diameter of the "tiny top rails"
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Old 02-08-21, 04:52 AM
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I assumed "tiny" meant diameter. Some of the aluminum racks that were rod instead of hollow tubing have a small diameter.
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Old 02-08-21, 06:43 AM
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tiny rails? i assumed he got one of them mini-platform rack thingies
with 8" long rails and 5kg capacity that mount on the brake studs.

just guessing, since the piece of equipment in question was the only
part not included in the pitcher.

don't know why he dinna try the ortlieb bags he gots with the tiny
rail rack he gots....

https://tse3-mm.cn.bing.net/th/id/OI...e?pid=Api&rs=1
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Old 02-08-21, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
Good question, I wonder if he is talking length or the diameter of the "tiny top rails"
correct. If they know the original Blackburn front racks, they would understand.
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Old 02-08-21, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
Measure your rack's tubing diameter. Ortlieb makes 8 mm and 11 mm inserts for their pannier mounting hooks. if an 8mm will fit your rack, I have a whole bag of them, and would be glad to send you some.
thank you for your generous offer. But Iíll try the tape/tubing idea first. But thank you.
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Old 02-08-21, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
tiny rails? i assumed he got one of them mini-platform rack thingies
with 8" long rails and 5kg capacity that mount on the brake studs.

just guessing, since the piece of equipment in question was the only
part not included in the pitcher.

don't know why he dinna try the ortlieb bags he gots with the tiny
rail rack he gots....

https://tse3-mm.cn.bing.net/th/id/OI...e?pid=Api&rs=1
hmmm... I didnít know ďone of them mini-platform rack thingies ď were original equipment.

why would I put the front racks on, if I have no use for them at the present time. Nor was I sure about the fitting of my bags to said racks?
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Old 02-08-21, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by jr59 View Post
hmmm... I didnít know ďone of them mini-platform rack thingies ď were original equipment.

why would I put the front racks on, if I have no use for them at the present time. Nor was I sure about the fitting of my bags to said racks?

just to be more clearful, "i bought a 35-year old bike, and it came with some stuff" in no way indicates original equipment, just that the seller included it in the deal.

will the bags work on the rails? easy-peasy! hold rack in hand A, hold bag in hand B. place clips of bag in hand B onto rails of rack in hand A. observe closely and decide if bags work on rack.

ah, front racks. plural. does that mean a set of lowriders?
hard to tell without a pitcher.
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Old 02-08-21, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by jr59 View Post
I just acquired a 84/85 Trek 720. It came with both front and rear racks, rear installed. Looking at the front, will my Ortlieb rollers work on these tiny top rails? They fast seem so small.
...
Since you already own the Ortliebs, I assume you know that the upper hooks can be adjusted fore and aft. With older bike frames that have small diameter downtubes, the frame can flex a lot with a load and if the panniers are too far back, the bike can handle like the dog wagging the tail. I always try to adjust my Ortliebs so that i have minimal heel clearance, enough but not excessive.

Nice bike. That crankset is obviously newer than mid 80s. If my recollection is correct, some mid 80s Treks had an odd rear hub that could have problems, I think it was made by Mallaird. If yours is a Mallaird you should check that closely and maybe research it further before a tour.

Did the Carradice bag come with it too? That looks bigger than my Nelson, is that the camper?
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Old 02-08-21, 12:06 PM
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the Ultegra road triple on it is probably a 50/39/30, or maybe a 52/42/30, but it should have the bcd bolt pattern to change the 30 to a 26--but you should be able to check this out fairly easily.
Is it still 6 speed? or even 7?
the rd looks like a similar age to the crankset? midcage?

that rear rack looks very similar to the vintage Blackburns, I have one from about 1990 and on another bike a more modern copy of them, and I think both have the same thickness of rails.
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Old 02-08-21, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jr59 View Post
correct. If they know the original Blackburn front racks, they would understand.
Which is correct? He brought up two separate issues: Length and diameter.

Pro tip: Take the time to compose clear posts. You will get much better answers. And, as noted, you did not indicate it came with the original front rack." Even if you had, I have a dollar to a donut that says most people don't know what those would have been on a bike that old.
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Old 02-08-21, 02:15 PM
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I just did some work on another bike in the garage so took the time to measure the thickness of various rear racks I own.
Nearly all of them are 8mm thick rails, the old Blackburn rear and the various brands of other aluminum racks I have.

** important** -- regarding a front Blackburn lowrider, if your bike came with one, you won't be able to use Ortlieb panniers, as their top latch system must "enclose" a rack rail. I only realized this after getting new front panniers to replace my old ones, the usual types that only have an inverted U shape that "sits or rests" on top of rack rails.
The old Blackburns lowriders have a metal plate welded to the top rails, as a structural thing, but this stops the ortlieb system to encircle the rail when you release the lift strap that opens up the latch mechanism. I only saw this after putting on my blackburn lowrider after not using it for ages, my old panniers were the simple system (which can jump off the rails easily over bumps if the bungee and hook below is not strong or tight enough)
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Old 02-08-21, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
I just did some work on another bike in the garage so took the time to measure the thickness of various rear racks I own.
Nearly all of them are 8mm thick rails, the old Blackburn rear and the various brands of other aluminum racks I have.

** important** -- regarding a front Blackburn lowrider, if your bike came with one, you won't be able to use Ortlieb panniers, as their top latch system must "enclose" a rack rail. I only realized this after getting new front panniers to replace my old ones, the usual types that only have an inverted U shape that "sits or rests" on top of rack rails.
The old Blackburns lowriders have a metal plate welded to the top rails, as a structural thing, but this stops the ortlieb system to encircle the rail when you release the lift strap that opens up the latch mechanism. I only saw this after putting on my blackburn lowrider after not using it for ages, my old panniers were the simple system (which can jump off the rails easily over bumps if the bungee and hook below is not strong or tight enough)
and here we have an answer to the question. Thank you.
other than a different rack, any work around? Besides a different set of bags
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Old 02-08-21, 08:58 PM
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Re work arounds, I'd ask you to take a photo of your front rack and show us it before I answer.
thanks
oh and your panniers too please, just so things are clear.
showing the ortlieb mount side, so we know which clips you have
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Old 02-08-21, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Since you already own the Ortliebs, I assume you know that the upper hooks can be adjusted fore and aft. With older bike frames that have small diameter downtubes, the frame can flex a lot with a load and if the panniers are too far back, the bike can handle like the dog wagging the tail. I always try to adjust my Ortliebs so that i have minimal heel clearance, enough but not excessive.

Nice bike. That crankset is obviously newer than mid 80s. If my recollection is correct, some mid 80s Treks had an odd rear hub that could have problems, I think it was made by Mallaird. If yours is a Mallaird you should check that closely and maybe research it further before a tour.

Did the Carradice bag come with it too? That looks bigger than my Nelson, is that the camper?
no the Carradice has been with me for many, many years and several long trips. I think itís a long flap camper. I think. The drivetrain on the Trek is somewhat modern Shimano 10 speed, needless to say, so are the wheels, although when I take a long trip with this bike, Iíll change out the wheel set to a 36 front and rear set up with stronger rims. The Ultergra open pros, ride well around town, but out on the road I will take a stronger set up, just to be safer.

No worries about setting the bags up properly, Iíll work it out abound town, with weighted bags front and rear.
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Old 02-08-21, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Re work arounds, I'd ask you to take a photo of your front rack and show us it before I answer.
thanks
oh and your panniers too please, just so things are clear.
showing the ortlieb mount side, so we know which clips you have


just so happens I have then sitting right here. Of course itís just one half of the rack and the back of a roller
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Old 02-08-21, 09:29 PM
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Ok good, we're talking about the same things.
I never did this, but I did have the idea to dremel out spaces in that flat vertical part for the ortlieb clips to be able to encircle the rail.
you'd want to first check that the pannier lower tab would mount properly too.

I ended up just getting a new front rack, so realized I wouldn't use the Blackburn anymore, and if so ever, I'd use my super old small cordura front panniers used back in the day.
that era of Blackburn low rider was ok, but by no means as sturdy as my new low rider, a tubus
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Old 02-08-21, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Ok good, we're talking about the same things.
I never did this, but I did have the idea to dremel out spaces in that flat vertical part for the ortlieb clips to be able to encircle the rail.
you'd want to first check that the pannier lower tab would mount properly too.

I ended up just getting a new front rack, so realized I wouldn't use the Blackburn anymore, and if so ever, I'd use my super old small cordura front panniers used back in the day.
that era of Blackburn low rider was ok, but by no means as sturdy as my new low rider, a tubus
ive got one of those as well. Just checking on maybe I was overlooking something. Thanks for all your help. I know this will work with my bags , as I have use them many times before
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Old 02-08-21, 09:47 PM
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Hey no problem. I got the Tara as I was planning some long trips where rough roads could be common, and between the Tara and the stout front fork on my Troll, even with a fairly heavy front load, things were quite a lot sturdier than when touring back in the early 90s.
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